So where do I start with my objections to another ill-judged World Cup promotional link up? The launch seems a suitable place to kick us off. Monday evening at a Central London venue. Obviously Gary Lineker was there. I would expect nothing less.
Lineker was joined by, according to one report, “Other stars”, including “Girls Aloud's Sarah Harding, Saturday Una Healy, Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee, Will Mellor and Melinda Messenger. Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, Big Brother star Nikki Grahame, Jenny Frost and glamour model Sophie Reade also tested the new snacks, which are competing for the Walkers' World Cup title in July. Apprentice star James McQuillan hosted a betting game at the event, asking the celebrity guests to predict the most popular flavour.”
The old saying about people who will turn up at the opening of a crisp packet has never been more suitable.
The campaign itself misses out most of the actual competitors. A little research would have uncovered the perfect Serbian, Honduran and Portuguese meals which could easily become tasteless crisps. But they haven’t bothered. (For the record, they are rakija, a Serbian fruit brandy, Yuca con Chicharrón, which is pork fat served with raw cabbage and lemon, and full English breakfast, something you can only find on the Algarve these days)
Second, Scotland (Haggis), Wales (Rarebit) and Ireland (Stew) didn't even qualify and yet they are included. This leaves the whole idea open to ridicule and probably won't do much for sales in Glasgow, Cardiff or Boston.
Third, references to spaghetti, kangaroos, paella and cheese etc lack originality. It's almost as if the copywriter's brief was to uncover witless clichés and nothing else. I just wish they'd given the whole thing a bit more thought is all I'm saying.
Talking of which, here are my initial ideas for a new crisp campaign based on UK regions:
Brummie - tastes like an old car seat picked from the floor of an abandoned car factory and coated in engine oil
East Anglia - a subtle blend of rusty pitchfork and incest
Geordie - mix brown ale and teeth into a paste - no actual potatoes required
Lancashire - faintly reminiscent of hot pot mixed in clogs
London - overpriced and tasting of nothing more flavoursome than the sweat clammy handed Tube travellers leave behind
Northern Ireland - plain; there's no place for tasty pleasure-inducing flavours here
Scotland - tastes like a pint of "heavy" someone left out in the rain for a week
Scouse - that rustling in the bag is the crisps trying to get out and batter you
Wales - Essence of leek and burning second home owned by English couple
West Country - think Cornish pasties, rocks and the discarded toenails of werewolves
If all this leaves a nasty taste in your mouth, just remember it could be worse. I haven't even mentioned the German Bratwurst Sausage flavour.