Always #LikeAGirl

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Whilst getting my fix of Fleur De Force on YouTube at the weekend, an advert from Always  was displayed. Whilst it gave me the option to Skip, I kept watching and I’m glad that I did. The video showed young women, men and boys being asked to run like a girl and fight like a girl. The results are sadly as expected, with one woman running on the spot worrying about her hair, because clearly we’re the weaker sex? The insult #LikeAGirl is thrown around all too often and whilst women are believing it, we can’t blame young boys for believing it either.

The video asks the same questions to young girls, who believe they can run fast like anyone else, can fight just like anyone else and swim as good as anyone else. For me, it’s amazing to see that these young people know that doing things #LikeAGirl isn’t an insult- as we see results just as men do. It’s somewhere in between the ages of 10 an beyond that this becomes an insult, where the differences in men and women in society is highlighted to them and confidence is knocked.

The video ends with ‘Why can’t Run #LikeAGirl also mean win the race’ something that is so powerful.

Using #LikeAGirl as an insult is a hard knock against any adolescent girl. And since the rest of puberty’s really no picnic either, it’s easy to see what a huge impact it can have on a girl’s self-confidence. Always are starting off a campaign to make sure that girls everywhere keep their confidence throughout puberty and beyond, and making a start by showing them that doing it #LikeAGirl is an awesome thing.

This simple phrase can have a significant and long-lasting impact on girls and women, and we all need to share this to redefine #LikeAGirl into a positive affirmation.

What do you do #LikeAGirl?

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*Just to note, this isn’t a sponsored post. I just think this campaign is awesome.

Posted in Lifestyle, Marketing | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Where does Plus Size start and ‘Normal’ size end?

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Plus size models are something that are being embraced – they’re representing the average size of a woman in the UK, a size 16. Personally I’m all for this, I think it’s helpful to see how pieces will look on a body size similar to your own. I don’t think it goes as far as to ‘promote’ that being Plus Size is cool and healthy, it simply acknowledges that this is happening. I wrote a post last year about Debenhams starting to use larger models and received some comments via social media that were making out as if I was promoting people being overweight and unhealthy. Not everyone with a healthy lifestyle is a size 10 and nor is everyone that is unhealthy a size 32. I think people need to stop being so narrow minded and release that everybody’s body is different. Yes, there are huge numbers of women in the UK who are that overweight it is a hindrance on their health. According to the Telegraph it stands at 1 in 4 women aged 18 to 24 – the worst in Europe. It’s a staggering figure, but again, I don’t think being plus size is promoted through the use of mannequins.

My question is when does plus size start and ‘normal’ size end? I see lots of people branding themselves as plus size bloggers – what is the criteria for this? I’m a size 14-16 – does this make me plus size? Elle magazine recently branded Calvin Klein model Myla Dalbesio a size 14 model as plus size. Whilst Calvin Klein received the back lash of thousands of unhappy Twitter users, stating that Myla clearly wasn’t plus size, it was in fact Elle who used the label. It was outrageous that the label have been used, I’m aware that the range CK released had been made to fit larger sizes than usual, but that doesn’t make it a plus size range and they didn’t brand it as one in the first place, did they?

What is the criteria for someone that is plus size? Is it the girl wearing a size 16 and eating McDonalds 4 times a week, or the one that is a size 20 who eats healthily and goes to the gym 4 times a week? We are all different shapes and sizes with different metabolisms etc, why does society feel the need to judge and put you in a box?

How can we distinguish where plus size starts, and do we NEED to? Do we need separate ranges for anyone over a size 16/18/20 (wherever plus size actually starts), can’t we just have ONE range in store? It’s a known fact that when mannequins were first used to sell clothes, the average size of a woman represented that of the mannequin – should that have been smaller? Was it seen to be promoting an unhealthy body image then? Why is it so outrageous for brands to increase the size of them based on the size of women?

Does anyone else think this whole Plus Size debate as boring? I’ve seen loads of people saying that overweight people are a drain on the NHS – but so are people who drink and require their stomach to be pumped, smokers who sadly get lung cancer and skiing enthusiasts who decide to do a black without a helmet.

WHO CARES ABOUT PLUS SIZE – people should ignore the fact that others may be ‘fat’ and focus on themselves. Everyone is driven by different things, be that going to the gym, enjoying a take-away on a Friday night or spending every penny you earn on clothes. Everyone is a different shape and size and nobody knows what conditions the ‘fatty’ next to them has. In fact, I don’t think it has ever occurred to some people that many women who are plus size are actually happy with their bodies and don’t want to lose weight to impress you.

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Posted in Fashion, Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

YouTubers and Band Aid

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Twitter blew up when the news that Zoe Sugg, Joe Sugg an Alfie Deyes would be singing in the chorus of Band Aid hit. There were a lot of ‘WHY?!’ and then some of the usual ‘They’re vloggers like us, we have to support them.’

For one, we don’t have to support someone because they have a blog or vlog – I really wish people would stop saying it. I don’t agree and support with what every other affiliate assistant does because we have the same job, I also don’t support what every single female does with their lives, so why do I have to support a fellow blogger? Can you also refrain from saying I’m jealous because I don’t agree with something Zoella has done? It makes you look like a sad little fan girl – just saying. I like Zoella but I’m also a Marketing Graduate who can’t help but look past the squeaky clean exterior and see that she doesn’t simply just sit at home and record videos anymore.

The three YouTubers have become the first non-musicians to ever take a starring role in Band Aid- which is pretty huge. Whilst a lot of people are angry and think this doesn’t make sense (on the surface it’s a little like ‘what the hek?!’), it’s so bloody clever. Well done to Sir Bob Geldof for thinking about the charity involved and how they can increase the reach of the track.

We are all aware of the influence of these YouTubers, I have stressed in past blog posts just how influential they are. As I’ve said in the past, my main concern in the lack of knowledge viewers as young as 8 possess on sponsored posts, PR and how their favourite online celebrities are making a living by adverting to them. They aren’t equipped to make these decisions and probably wouldn’t understand, which is a little terrifying. I know this is much like any media, but I think theres a different (and deeper) connection with YouTubers.

Viewers will buy almost anything with Zoe, Joe and Alfies name on, and I’d much rather it be a charity single than a badly constructed book or a bottle of shower gel. Yes, it’s an unusual fit and I know a lot of people are fed up of seeing their faces everywhere, but they’re the new, modern day celebrity. Companies are falling over themselves to sign deals with them and I think Sir Bob Geldof has very cleverly seen an opportunity to reach the teenage market, one that is hugely difficult to engage with. Bravo to him and it’s nice to see that Zoe, Joe and Alfie have accepted and are willing to get involved.

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Posted in Lifestyle, Marketing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Degustabox: October 2014

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Make way for my favourite Degustabox* yet! If you aren’t aware of what this box of delights is all about, click here for all the info!

Each month I usually give my mum half of the box as I’m really fussy. However she only walked away with the Kent Kitchen Meal Kit, which we both thought was a really clever idea. The Get Buzzing bar was given to my sister and I decided to keep everything else.

Sweet Chilli sauce is one if my favourite things and this month we received two bottles from Blue Dragon. Whilst one is in the kitchen cupboard, the other has found it’s home to be my food drawer at work. This on tuna pasta = life changing!

I’ve tried Special K cracker crisps before and went through a phase of being slightly obsessed! However, I was yet to try the Barbecue flavour. They were gorgeous, and between myself and a couple of colleagues, the whole bag was polished off in around 10 minutes!

When I spotted to Solo Marshmallow Creme I let out a little squeal of excitement! This stuff is bloody gorgeous! Maybe a little sickly, but get yourself some rich tea biscuits and spread it on. It’s what heaven tastes like!

Two Dr Oetker offerings in the form of Cocoa Powder and extra dark chocolate made their way into brownies the day after receiving the box. They were gorgeous!

I’m a huge fan of the Bear Yoyo things and for the first 8 weeks of my job I had one every day… I collected the cards, I’m sad. When I saw the Bear Paws I was intrigued and took them to work with me. Oh boy they are amazing – I love kids snacks!

I tried the Enhance Drinks juice and wasn’t a fan of the flavour. I have got it at work in case of emergencies though! I also took the Jelly Belly jelly jeans into work and enjoyed some of the flavours. The ones I wasn’t fond of didn’t go to waste though – as other members of the team were eager to help me out! The chocolate brioche became my breakfast for a good week! These are lovely and I would definitely purchase these!

Lastly, the Fridge item which was the Benecol Greek style yoghurt. I found these really easy at ASDA and had no trouble with the voucher. These are gorgeous – especially the vanilla ones, mmmmm!

Overall, a great box as usual and I can’t complain with the variety of brands piled into this months box. I’d definitely recommend getting yourself signed up to Degustabox if you love good relates surprises!

For more information check out their website, twitter or Facebook page!

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*This was sent to me by Degustabox to review – all opinions are my own :)

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Travel: Geneva

After my graduation last Wednesday I took a long weekend off work and headed to Geneva with my boyfriend. We spent a couple of days in Geneva and the others in France with his cousin and family. For once I’m quite happy with the photos I took, so thought I’d share them with you.

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 Where is your favourite place for a city break?

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Posted in Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Why the Sainsburys Christmas advert is better than Monty the Penguin

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I love nothing more than seeing the influence of different Marketing campaigns, especially around Christmas. Ads from the likes of Coca Cola and John Lewis have huge hype surrounding them, leaving Twitter to go crazy from their first air date in November through to the end of the festive period.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore (almost) everything about Christmas, I’ve already finished my Christmas shopping & desperately want to put my tree up. But I cringe when people are posting online that ‘it’s officially Christmas when… they see the Coca Cola polar bear/Christmas van or John Lewis ad.’ No, that isn’t when it’s officially Christmas at all and I although I think the power of marketing is amazing in these instances, it’s all constructed to make you buy, not to simply make you feel as if Christmas is here and give you a little cry because the penguin is ‘so cute’.

Have you seen how much that penguin teddy is selling for? £95! Yes they may have sent loads over to WWF in a hope to boost adoption figures but £95 to buy one from them!? They claim the advert increases the awareness of the need to adopt penguins, but does it? I haven’t seen one post on social media suggesting anyone has received that message. Whilst a report from the Telegraph suggests that adoptions of penguins have increased on last year, the numbers are ridiculously low in comparison to the number of people who have seen the advert. OK, so John Lewis are doing their bit and donating money from the sale of their CD to the Adopt a Penguin Programme, just how many people are going to buy the CD? Most likely a very small number in comparison to the cuddly toys sold at John Lewis, which have already sold out and attracting bids of up to £150 on eBay! I understand it works for John Lewis, there are numerous reports online suggesting profits are up since it first aired, but it just doesn’t sit comfortably with me.

This is where I can quite happily welcome the new Sainsburys Christmas ad. Yes, I know this is created for the same reasons as above, but everything about it oozes sincerity. If you haven’t seen it, I’m sure less people have as it doesn’t feature a cute child or animal, click here. Sainsburys have teamed up with the Royal British Legion to create an advert fitting for the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1. The video features the rare truce of Christmas 1914, where both British and German soldiers ventured into No Man’s Land to greet one another, exchange gifts and even have a game of football.

Whilst some may see this collaboration as a little bizarre, I think it’s genius. The ad features a chocolate bar sent to the British soldier who then gives this to a young German. The chocolate bar will be sold in Sainsburys stores and all profits will go to the Royal British Legion, isn’t that what Christmas is about?

OK, Sainsburys will receive a lot of positive PR for this, enhancing the brand and hopefully they’ll see consumers associating themselves with the holiday and purchasing with them. But I as a consumer am satisfied that we aren’t being exploited in paying £95 for a penguin and seeing John Lewis pocket it all. I’ll very happily part with my hard earned cash to see it go to a cause as great at the Royal British Legion.

Marketing is proven to be such a powerful thing, with consumers not even thinking about Christmas until certain ads hit the TV. Why not use this tool for mutual gain like Sainburys have?

I’d love your opinions on this, I’m definitely not a party pooper when it comes to Christmas, but £95 FOR A PENGUIN TOY?

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Posted in Marketing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

I GRADUATED!

Yesterday I graduated from The University of Chester with a First Class Degree in Marketing. My mum, step-dad and boyfriend came to the ceremony at Chester Cathedral whilst my Nan and Grandad watched on the live stream at home. I love the idea of the stream as they were unable to come but still got to see me graduate (eventually, it was alphabetical order and being a W meant they had to play the waiting game!).

I had an amazing day and luckily there was no rain, even though it was freezing! Especially as left the Cathedral around 5pm. The Cathedral is a lovely backdrop for photos and was beautiful inside, it’s definitely worth the visit if you are ever near by.

After the ceremony, I went for a meal with my family and my little brother and sister joined us. We went to an amazing Italian in Tarporley, Cheshire called Etc. It’s absolutely beautiful and the food was gorgeous! Definitely a must-visit if you live near by.

My time spent at The University of Chester was the best three years of my life and I wouldn’t change anything about it. Overall, the University is really good, with a few stand out lecturers who without them, I wouldn’t have that piece of paper in my hand. Overall, I liked the course and think there are so many opportunities with a Marketing Degree, I got offered a job within a month of finishing, still having other interviews to go to. I’ve met some amazing people who will most definitely be friends for life and the support from my family and boyfriend has been amazing. I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped me with exam prep, lecture notes, assignments, listened to be moan, cry and tell me I was capable, when I thought I wasn’t. Also, nice one to Student Finance who not only funded my degree, but funded  holidays to Geneva, Berlin, Amsterdam, Brussels, Magaluf (never again) and Mexico. Hello real world…

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Posted in Lifestyle, Marketing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Balm Girls Lipstick

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Make way for my new holy grail nude lipstick! I’m usually a berry/plum lip kinda gal but I’ve been on the hunt for a good nude lipstick for a while. I have now entered the real world and most days at work I can’t be bothered to maintain a bright lip! When I received this lipstick from The Balm in the shade Mai Billsbepaid* I was intrigued thinking this may answer my nude lipstick prayers!

I can happily say that I love this – the shade, formula and staying power are amazing! I pair this with their Pretty Smart lipgloss in BAM!* as they go together really well. Once the lipgloss wares off (it takes a while) the lipstick looks great and I find it doesn’t need topping up until after you’ve eaten lunch, sometimes even longer. The lipstick is definitely my favourite of the two, it applies really nicely, last for ages and is really moisturising on the lips.

Price-wise it isn’t the cheapest, but if you are used to buying Mac, this is slightly cheaper at  £12. I’d definitely recommend them, of course I can only speak for this shade, but I’m lusting after a couple of others! Lipgloss-wise, I like this! I don’t often wear a lipgloss, mainly due to being lazy! But if you are into lipgloss, I’d definitely say give this a whirl!

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What is your favourite Lipstick brand?
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*This post includes PR samples – all opinions are my own :)

Posted in Beauty | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Power of Social Media and Brand Stupidity

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Rewind 10 years, if we had wanted to complain to a company for bad service or for disagreeing with something they sold we wrote a letter, email or marched down there for some good old fashioned faced to face interaction.

Back then, companies held the power, they could do pretty much whatever they wanted and the only way we could tell people about it was face to face, on the phone etc. This is when people would hold a protest outside of a store for not putting enough bacon on their bacon batch, only to be marched away by police…

Fast forward to 2014 and we, as consumers have the power. Annoyed your bacon batch hasn’t got enough bacon on? Why bother with the awkward face to face complaint in store, snap a photo, find them on Twitter and compose an angry 140 rant with said photo attached. Result? They reply, hugely apologetic and you might get a £10 voucher out of it – result.

Why is this the case? You decide you aren’t happy, you compose your angry tweet, your followers see it and will probably think twice about that brand. Anyone who searches that brand may be exposed to it, they’ll probably think twice too. If all of these people retweet or favourite it, it can spiral to millions of people seeing your negative message about a brand. Thats a lot of people who may remember the message when considering purchasing from them. No wonder they publicly make an apology and compensate them for the ‘inconvenience.’

This is all light hearted, I just want a freebie for being fobbed off with more batch than bacon but this platform is hugely useful when things get serious.

Last night, Katie of Scarphelia shared a photo of what we (and the majority of people on my timeline) thought was hugely offensive. ASOS decided to stock a cushion which was taking the piss out of anxiety sufferers.  I don’t suffer with anxiety myself, but I don’t think that matters, it’s something that thousands of people live with daily, and it can be incredibility difficult. Of course, ASOS saw the ‘drama’ created on Twitter and have since removed it from sale.

There, the power of social media. Although I’m happy this has been removed I ask WHY has one of the UK’s largest online retailers decided to stock this in the first place? People are finally starting to open up about anxiety, where it used to be sort of  a taboo subject, and ASOS are playing on that?

I’d love to know who said ‘yes’ to this being stocked, then as it passed through each department to ensure this was in stock and on site NOBODY QUESTIONED IT. Frankly, I’m sick of brands having offensive products on site, removing them only when a fuss is kicked up on Twitter and then it all going back to normal. Urban Outfitters have done it multiple times and I refuse to shop there. This shouldn’t go away just because they’ve removed it from sale.

Why is this OK? I’m sick of brands getting it wrote, you only have to read this post to see that it isn’t just in products they stock, brands aren’t thinking about their image on social media either.

I’d love your opinions on this, apologies for getting a little ranty ;)

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Posted in Lifestyle, Marketing | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments