Monday, 4 April 2016


We’ve had major domestic renovations here culminating in the installation of a new kitchen, the loss of cooking facilities and, thus, extensive experimentation with the improved 2016 food concept called Cup-a-Soup. I’ve lost weight but my wife is coughing badly from the dust clouds that come with building work. And something else has happened…all the doors in the house started creaking.
So I’ve been going round with my WD40 and the creaks just go with one spay. This is a magic product; invented in the mid 1950’s by the Rocket Development Company, California its formula is a trade secret. The name stands for Water Displacement, 40th formula. Mystery surrounds the magic.

On the can it says it, amongst other things:-
-          Stops squeaks
-          Frees sticky mechanisms
-          Shines stainless steel

This is a miracle multitasker we’d trust to do anything from curing constipation, headaches, pimples, debt, mathematical problems and so on. Would we trust a company called WD 40 Marketing Services, WD 40 Home Repairs or the WD 40 Bank? It’s quietly goes about its business and it never lets you down. It’s earned our trust by delivering….quietly.

Like hairdressers.

They’ve unobtrusively swept up the Ipsos Mori Veracity League Table 2015 to sit alongside vicars and judges. Business leaders languish down with Estate Agents and Bankers. The least trusted are politicians… (how would the WD 40 Party do?) As Jack Welch said: “Forget about technology – worry about who trusts you.

Trust is at its most vulnerable when we encounter major change. In writing my book on marketing I’m coming to realise the changes we saw a few years are accelerating. We are in marketing literally witnessing a revolution.

When we ordered bathroom items from John Lewis online at 10pm and they arrived at 9.30am the next day we could see that Amazon is no longer the only game in town.

When Guinness launched their new commercial (they call this their “champion creative”) on Instagram rather than mainstream TV some of us blinked before thinking – “how wonderfully novel”.

Those who worry most about all this change tend to be concerned that we now live in a world where figuratively speaking Chateau Petrus is available to everyone at affordable prices.

On Saturday I compered a Celebrity Cricketers’ Question Time Session in Brighton with ex County Cricketers reflecting on current developments, most notably the World Cup being played in India. They and the audience all expressed anguished concern about the threat to Five Day cricket by this “Fast Food” version of the game.

Sadly for this mostly retired audience the concept of five day Test Cricket seems to belong to a different world to the fast moving one we live in where people are too busy to take lots of days off in the sun. Technology changes everything…more powerful bats, day-night cricket under cover, computerised umpiring and it only takes a long as a film.

We are in a new world where nothing squeaks.

WD 40. It’s the future.

1 comment:

Nick Fitzherbert said...

I have long bemoaned the way great brand names are simply discarded after a takeover when their residual goodwill could still be doing a great job. So, yes, let's extend the use of the ones we still have. Just one problem with WD40 - I had to lock it away in my office because people mistook it for spray mount and the one place WD40 is not good is all over the back of some expensive artwork!