A case of moving goalposts this week for Shandwick Manchester.
The agency was asked to publicise the latest addition to Manchester
United’s line-up - not another schoolboy prodigy, but the new Man Utd
brand of tomato ketchup.
Naturally the agency had no difficulty creating witty copy from such a
rich, er ... source material.
But the ideas that most appealed related to Old Trafford’s first couple,
the boy Beckham and his Spice missus. And United’s other top scorer,
Lines such as ’More bottle than Beckham’, and ’Get saucy with Posh’ were
unfortunately ruled out by the club.
The next idea - a bunch of page three models posing with just a ketchup
bottle to protect their modesty - was also given the red card by the
executives at the football-to-condiments group.
’Man Utd are very protective of their image. It made the campaign very
difficult, and we had to stick within their guidelines - that was the
hardest thing,’ said a member of the PR team.
The result? A campaign apparently built entirely on double entendre of
the word ’sauce’. ’Help us find Britain’s sauciest football fan’,
’Sauce-up your boyfriend’, etc, etc.
Still, it worked. The agency got coverage in virtually every national
paper and many radio stations. And the ketchup might even come in handy
for team members when faking gruesome injuries during professional