Writing to washing powder manufacturers

I sometimes wonder about myself. I’ve just been clearing out a folder on my PC, the one where I dump stuff to be entered into my journal (it’s password protected, so don’t even try to read it!). It appears that in December of last year I had a spell of writing emails to washing powder manufacturers offering them advice, and giving general feedback on their websites. Here’s what I wrote:

Surf washing powder

I discovered the following email that I sent to Surf, and their reply:

Your name
The Revd Gareth Saunders

Where you live
In a nice upper villa house in Edinburgh. The house is owned by the Scottish Episcopal Church, for whom I work. I wouldn’t have chosen this house, it has too many stairs but the last minister liked it, and it doesn’t get broken into as much as the old house did. That was terrible.

Let’s hear it
I simply wanted to tell you how much your website brightened up my day (and my computer screen). What a lovely shade of yellow — may I ask who chose that shade for your website? If you could let them know that I like it that would be lovely of you. I’ve had a sad day today, and was looking at the internet for some inspiration. I enjoy cleaning and so thought I’d take a look at your website — our Lord himself cleansed lepers, but I don’t think he used Surf! My little joke there, don’t worry. Anyway, that was all. Please let your chief colour selector know that he or she did a spendid job.


Fr. Gareth Saunders

And to my surprise, I received this lovely reply a couple of days later:

Dear Fr Saunders

Thank you for your e-mail.

I was really glad to learn how much you enjoyed looking at our website and that it brightened your day.

I have passed your comments onto the Surf Brand Team who will be delighted to get your feedback.

Thank you once again for your comments.

Kind regards

Charlotte Wooller
Consumer Care Advisor

I’m now quite upset to discover that they have changed their website colour from bright yellow to some kind of deep pink. Is this some of joke? Does my feedback mean absolutely nothing to them? And after that lovely reply … all lies! Lies, lies, lies! I think it about time I should write to them again!

Ariel washing powder

Then I wrote to Ariel about their fine product; I’ve been using Ariel washing powder since I moved away from home in 1989, to university. It is my washing powder of choice, so I guessed that I owed them some feedback by now.

Dear Sir / Madam,

I am a long-time user of Ariel washing powder.

I was wondering if you have ever considered putting free gifts or toys in your washing powder boxes in the same way that cereal manufacturers do in theirs?

You could have special tie-in promotions such as a free tennis ball, or a small effigy of Tom [sic] Henman, or how about a nice, clean pair of spare socks? It was just an idea, and I think a good one. It might attract other powder users away from their preferred cleaning products.

Also, did you know that your website does not work in Mozilla Firefox or Netscape?


Fr. Gareth Saunders

No reply. As yet. Can’t understand it, it was quite a neat idea, and some practical advice regarding their web-standards non-compliant website.

Downy fabric softener

To be fair, I’ve never even heard of Downy fabric softener, although I do like their name. They are owned by Procter & Gamble so I must have discovered a link on their website. But that didn’t stop me, here’s what I wrote to them:

I just noticed that your logo for Downy reminds me of the chocolate bars Bounty that you get in the UK. I wonder if you’ve ever noticed that too. I asked my wife and she agrees.

Have ever considered making a chocolate and coconut flavoured version of your product?

No answer. How rude!

Break-dancing 2CV robot

This is genius! You know that advert on TV with the Citroën car that turns into a Transformer robot? Well someone has remade it with a Citroën 2CV for B3ta … not exactly a state of the art car! I’ve watched it three times and it just gets better with each viewing.

Dancing 2CV Transformer robot (WMV, 2.22 MB)

Postscript: just goes to show how successful advertising is. When I wrote this earlier this morning I wrote “Renault 2CV” rather than Citroën.

Update: I’ve corrected “Citreon” to “Citroën”. Thanks for all the commënts.

Scared of Santa

Each Friday the kind people at B3ta towers send me an email full of irreverent nonsense created by people like you and me. Today they drew readers’ attention to the Scared of Santa photo gallery.

These are my three favourites, in reverse order, with comments by me:

#3. This, I reckon, is where the inspiration for the Blair Witch Project came from. How, in the name of the wee man, did the girl in the middle get her hood so pointy?! I suspect, thinking about it, it’s just that her hair is standing on end.

#2. I swear the girl on the right is a young Mrs Doyle, from Fr Ted, and I love the expression on the face of the poor boy in the middle.

#1. I reckon it was Santa’s robotic hand dropping off that scared this poor kid the most.

If Carlsberg made Christmas…

In many pubs and cinemas around town you can pick up free promo postcards for all sorts of things: films, alcohol, the armed services, clothing, etc.

Months and months ago I picked up a handfull of postcards at Bar 38 on George Street, including one from clothing manufacturer H&M.

This Christmas I doctored it and sent it out as a e-mail Christmas card. Although, first of all it had the Heineken logo on it … just goes to show how effective Carlsberg’s advertising is. Probably!

If Carlsberg made Christmas...