1. Survival essential
Making a shelter, finding food and attempting to escape are going to be high on your agenda -- so which brand will you find most useful in your attempt to tame the great outdoors?
I won't be discouraged by the fact that this has been chosen already by several castaways -- the Swiss Army knife is the best little gadget in the world. If you get the really big chunky one you can saw things up. So, good for making a shelter. You can also trim your beard so you don't look too much of a mess when you are rescued. And the stone in horses hooves bit would be great for opening shellfish. Apart from that you can do all the usual grizzly stuff of gutting, skinning etc, etc, which I'm sure I'd have to get used to as ambient meals probably aren't an option in this place.
2. Last taste of civilisation
The island has a plentiful supply of nuts and fruit, not to mention a healthy population of fish, so you will have plenty to eat. But which one food brand are you really going to miss from your old life?
Confirmed Chocoholic I'm afraid and I love Cadbury's Dairy Milk. So, I'd like to be marooned with a ton of the stuff and a solar powered fridge to keep it in -- nothing worse than runny chocolate bars. Failing that, Arbroath Smokies -- haddock smoked over hardwood until it takes on a beautiful burnished gold colour and a full, smoky flavour. I suppose after a while I could get the hang of doing it myself. Might even get the local tribe hooked on the taste and be able to barter my Paradise Smokies for a raft.
3. Best reminder of home
Successful survivalists always claim that it is mental attitude which sees them through. Belief that you will get back home is going to be vital -- so which brand will sum up home best?
Well as I have two homes -- one of them in Florida -- I could choose between a loud Gap Hawaiian shirt that would even make Alfie Moon wince or my favourite pair of M&S corduroy trousers from England! Though I accept that the cords will be a bit hot for where I'm going I guess I could always make them into cut-offs. Anyway, foolish choice or not I'd still like to have them even though it might just be to wear every anniversary of my arrival just to remind me how things used to be.
4. Most welcome online brand
Eventually you manage to rig up your own connection to the internet using bits and pieces found on the beach but you have only one chance to log on to a website before it goes down -- which online brand will you choose?
It would have to be something news driven. I rarely get a chance to sit down and read a newspaper from cover to cover even on a Sunday and so something like FT.com fits the bill perfectly. I think I'd also choose the BBC website -- there's a great section for learning languages and there might even be a quick course in the local language -- that would come in very handy even if I could only manage to shout "Leave me alone I taste horrible!"
5. Ultimate luxury
Self indulgence is hard to come by on a desert island, so what brand would you be most excited to find washed up on the beach?
Well a big, big bottle of Charles Worthington's aftershave would come in handy for a number of reasons: there might not be too many opportunities for a wash and brush up on a daily basis and it would cover up the fishy smell of the smokies, it might discourage the cannibals (if something smells that strange it can't possibly be food), and lastly, well I am an optimist and you never know your luck.
6. Transferable skills
You already work in the jungle of marketing so there are probably skills which you have acquired through your job which will come in handy -- or you may have other hidden talents. Which of your personal skills will help you to get to grips with life on a desert island?
Planning. I'm always telling my clients never to leave new-business activity until the last minute -- when you really, really need it it's usually too late. Instead, it's best to always make the effort even though times may seem good. Consequently, I would be making my getaway plans from day one and trying to build some sort of boat -- I wouldn't wait to be chased down the beach by the local head-hunters trying to beat them off with a filleted haddock!
Designer and desert island survival specialist Adrian Whitefoord comments:
Well, this man obviously has a sense of humour which always comes in handy when you're marooned. He's right that the Swiss Army knife has been chosen before, but it seems that John is willing to put it to all of its uses, even the yucky ones like skinning and gutting. That has my admiration and should also win him some friends and undying respect amongst the local tribe. Most people that have these knives would never know what to do with all the bits and John seems pretty clued up, even down to the hairdressing attachment.
Cadbury's Dairy Milk sounds great as I am partial to a bit of chocolate myself and, ever the realist, John has plans for how to keep this cool. Solar powered fridges, although not in plentiful supply on the island, are a cool accessory for any castaway and might also stop the fish from going off too. I must say the Arbroath Smokie sounds like a fine dish and I'm sure that when they eventually run out smoked fillet of Puffer fish will make a welcome substitute.
Unfortunately, the Hawaiian shirt and corduroy trousers makes him sound like one of the cast for 'Auf Wiedersehen Pet'. I would almost pay money to see the reaction of the local chief when he thinks that Jimmy Nail has been shipwrecked on his turf. John better get practising the Nail back catalogue as the chief is a great country and western fan and not a good man to be around when disappointed!
By the way, I understand that some of our castaways are unexpectedly gifted products by brands surprised to see their merchandise chosen as a last reminder of civilisation. I think john deserves a couple of pairs of freebie cords for his undying devotion to M&S don't you? FT.com is a very sensible choice of online brand, even though it costs nearly a hundred quid for the subscription. John is obviously every inch the business man and wants to be able to get right back into his stride when he is repatriated to good old Blighty.
Whereas, the bbc.co.uk site, with its language learning advantages, is also a very sensible choice. Sadly though, I have logged on this afternoon and the language spoken on the island (which sounds like a cross between Glaswegian and a very obscure Fijian dialect spoken only by descendents of the Bounty mutiny) does not appear on the site. However, John might find that speaking loudly and clearly in English with some basic (but also restrained) hand gestures might get him through.
Charles Worthington's aftershave would have been an excellent choice but the local tribe are already familiar with this and drank the last bottle washed ashore in 1988. They might seem troubled by the sight of the new castaway dabbing perfectly good mouthwash behind his ears! So, if he does get lucky it might just be with a native islander suffering from halitosis. Lastly, John's comments on planning just can't be faulted and I'm sure he would have constructed a very comfortable boat within a few weeks. I predict that the sails will be very colourful -- what else would you really do with all those Hawaiian shirts?
Q&A supplied by design consultancy Pemberton & Whitefoord.
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This article was first published on brandrepublic.com