Kiss And Tell November 2020

 In Insights
@Monica Lennon Twitter

What’s Finally being spoken about: It’s About Bloody Time!

Finally something to celebrate – Scotland has made global history becoming the first country to provide universally free period-products. The last few years have seen significant moves made towards ending the taboo around menstruation and this landmark bill is the result of a hard-fought grassroots campaign headed by Scottish Labour’s Monica Lennon. 

It’s no secret that menstrual products are still regarded by most countries as ‘luxury items’ – a notion that was powerfully (and successfully) attacked last year with the release of ‘The Tampon Book’ by German start-up The Female Company. At the time of release Germany taxed period products at a whopping 19%. The Tampon Book (which contained 15 tampons) sneakily avoided this ‘luxury’ tax by moonlighting as a book and thus qualifying for a reduced 7% tax rate.

Back in the rest of the UK we have a 5% tax to pay for the luxury of addressing our menstrual needs, although it is worth noting that Rishi announced back in March that Brexit will bring an end to this so-called ‘Period-Tax’. 

Regardless, period poverty and lack of access to safe hygiene products remains a significant equality issue the world over. Whilst many countries have already begun to address this through abolishing taxes, Scotland is changing the game by making such a public health necessity free-for-all. South of the border we are thrilled for our Northern cousins and very much hope our Westminster counterparts are taking note.



What’s hot : Playstation X TFL

Playstation is no stranger to hijacking London landmarks; with the launch of the PS4 back in 2013 we saw the OXO Tower’s eponymous lights take on the shapes used on PS controller buttons. This time around, hailing the launch of the PS5, they’ve really levelled up. No longer content with a single building, PlayStation has infiltrated the city’s public transport system.

TFL’s Underground roundel (or to use its original, unashamedly literal nomenclature; “bar and circle”) has adorned the Capital’s streets since 1908. A testimony to the strength of the design, it has remained essentially unchanged ever since.

As an institution Londoners love and hate in equal measure, we’ve seen the Undergrounds’s roundel slapped across everything from tourist tat to designer goods. It’s only fitting therefore, that Playstation chose to shamelessly counterfeit it with their own symbols for their latest stunt.

Below the streets certain tube stations were temporarily (albeit rather awkwardly) renamed to celebrate 4 of the console’s launch games. In typically cheeky PS fashion, the pièce de résistance of this campaign took place slap-bang in front of Microsoft’s flagship store on Oxford Circus, where for 48 hours the station’s Underground signs were updated to Playstation’s 4 shapes.

Sure Oxford Circus and TFL might not be getting the foot-traffic (or passenger numbers) they are used to at this time of year, but changing such an established brand mark, even temporarily, has resulted in plenty of noise online. Not only does this simple stunt demonstrate the ability for site-specific brand activations to reach far via social shares, it reinforces the notion that brand recognition stretches far beyond the logo itself, with the ‘secondary’ brand shapes taking centre stage in-lieu of the Playstation logo.


Sainsbury’s Christmas Advert 2020

What’s not: Sainsbury’s Advert vs. Twitter

Christmas decorations, presents, crackers and gorging on Christmas dinner – sounds like a pretty universal festive experience right? Karen would disagree with you.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have seen the Twitterstorm that occurred in the wake of this year’s Sainsbury’s Christmas advert release. The cause of it all? The family featured in 1 of the 3 tv shorts happened to be black. An alarming number of British people felt they ‘couldn’t relate’ to the advert because of this.

In a world where we readily celebrate adverts featuring anthropomorphic carrots, love-struck snowmen and pensioners living oxygen-free on the moon, it remains staggering that something as simple (and need we point out- actually within the laws of science and reality) as cooking a Christmas meal can cause such outrage and purported feelings of alienation. 

After all – it doesn’t get more British than fussing over the gravy.

Check the advert out here: Link


Yorkshire Evening Post

What we are supporting: Punk Ass Poultry

We’ve all had our fill of wholesome campaigns as brands fight to maintain our loyalty during this dumpster-fire of a year. So it is refreshing when simple silliness is used to bring some joy, whilst doing good, as the year draws to a close. 

We’ve been pleasantly surprised to see flocks of flamboyant poultry popping up across Leeds. Shot in closeup against high-contrast eye-popping backgrounds, these chooks look ready to grace the pages of fashion editorials rather than brightening up underpass billboards and neglected poster drums.

Masterminded by local advertising photographer Angus McDonald, ‘Punk Ass Poultry’ celebrates the individuality and uniqueness of ‘show poultry’ ( sorry Crufts, we reckon ‘fancy fowls’ may have become our new favourite show animals.)

In addition to adding much needed excitement to monotonous daily lockdown strolls, all images can be purchased as prints with 100% of profits going to Leeds Asylum Seeker’ Support Network- what a delight to have a good cause being celebrated without the usual insincere worthiness being shoved down our throats.

Buy a print here: Link


Yorkshire Post

What we LOVE: Fine-dining in the time of Corona

It’s no secret how much lockdown has changed the game for the hospitality sector. As challenging as these times are, we’ve seen plenty of exciting things emerge as restaurants adapt their offerings to suit socially distanced dining. From outdoor dining pods to DIY meal-kits, savvy restauraneurs have concocted plenty of ways to stay relevant. 

One unexpected positive of all this innovation is that certain parts of the sector are becoming more accessible than ever. Frances Atkins, notable for being Yorkshire’s first female Michelin-starred chef, has swapped her kitchen at the Yorke Arms for a chrometastic food truck in a garden-centre car park outside of Harrogate. Serving a seasonal menu of locally sourced unfussy food, the pop-up has become a magnet for local foodies itching to experience gourmet offerings at accessible prices.

Frances isn’t the only Michelin-starred chef to branch out this year; alongside donating meals to NHS staff, Tommy Banks (Black Swan, Oldstead) launched his ‘Made in Oldstead’ food-boxes during the first lockdown. Semi-prepared meals are delivered to your home requiring simple finishing touches to assemble the dish at your end; more involved than a supermarket ready-meal but well within the capabilities of even the most novice home cook. At a time when we are all starved of experience, playing even a small part in preparing a high-end meal is a novel substitute to dining out. A new menu is released weekly and whilst a £75 price tag (3 courses for 2 people) is certainly more than your average takeaway, it’s significantly cheaper than the price you’d pay for the same meal in a traditional restaurant setting.



What’s caught our attention: Bah Humbug! 

Every year department stores the world over fight to dazzle festive shoppers with bold window displays, so much so that the big reveal of the flagship window dressings have become events in themselves. With 10 months worth of COVID-reactionary marketing already exhausted we’ve been wondering how the high-street giants would use their unique platform to bring a fresh take to 2020.

Tactic No.1 appears to be flagrant disregard for 2020’s existence – Fortnum & Mason and Myers (Australia’s answer to Selfridges) both ducking out from acknowledging the year at all, instead going for a ‘greatest hits’ compilation, revisiting windows from years gone by. 

Others have gone for a more heartwarming approach; Fenwicks (Newcastle, UK) recruited The Wind in the Willows’ characters to ‘save Christmas’ in a storybook-style display; with over 250,000 viewers tuning in for the live-steamed unveiling this comforting nostalgia is clearly very much needed.

All-in-all the offerings have been disappointingly tame; possibly responding to the overwhelming desire (reflected in various consumer polls)  to have a ‘traditional Christmas’ this year. A welcome exception to this is Harvey Nichols’ illuminated ‘BAH HUMBUG’ and ‘BRING ON 2021’ statements shouting from windows across their UK stores. This simple and honest ‘fuck you’ to 2020 channels a nation’s collective feelings and we are so here for it!

More Kiss & Tell?

Look out for more Kiss and Tell 💋Just because we can’t get out and about to discover the inner workings of the world, doesn’t mean we’re not staying in touch with all the latest goings on. We’ll keep you posted!