Monthly Archives: December 2013

“We are obsessed with tablets and smartphones!” says online retailer, ahead of Christmas

“We are obsessed with tablets and smartphones!” says online retailer, ahead of Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner, and with it comes the chance to relax in front of some festive classics on the telly, and enjoy a little traditional TV. However, while the programs may be classics, the way we’re viewing them is ultra-modern – what with our inability to put away the smartphones and tablets for even a moment.

Don’t just take the word of the Mirror journalist who says this is the case – the story has even been backed up by facts! That Danny Walker of the Mirror believes it rare and impressive that a story is supported by facts presumably speaks volumes about the veracity of the average output of the publication once owned by Robert Maxwell.

Still, this story does have facts – facts provided by the company behind the story: eBay.

eBay spokesman, Steven Heywood, says; “Smartphones and tablets have shaped the way we shop and the rise of ‘dual-screening’ has created a direct correlation between what we are watching on TV and the purchases we are making.

“The phenomenon means these shows are not only dominating our TV screens but also our shopping baskets”

So, just because you’re watching Eric and Ernie skip away from the camera for the umpteenth time, there’s no excuse not to be following those last minute auctions just as closely, according to eBay.

“People don’t know Christmas carols any more!” says takeaway company, for seemingly no reason

“People don’t know Christmas carols any more!” says takeaway company, for seemingly no reason

“Christmas shopping gets pretty busy!” says price comparison website

“Christmas shopping gets pretty busy!” says price comparison website

“It’s important to get Christmas dinner right!” says supermarket, via marketing scientists

“It’s important to get Christmas dinner right!” says supermarket, via marketing scientists

Christmas is just around the corner, and with it the annual stress over getting that family meal just right. Fortunately, research published in the Daily Express (by Nathan Rao, who potentially contributed barely a word to it) has the answer to your prayers: a scientific formula to follow.

Admittedly, if your prayers involve a scientific formula published in the Express and Daily Mail, to guide your Christmas Dinner preparations… well, you have a very curious idea of religion. But, I guess, evidence that yours is the one true god, so, y’know, Mazel Tov.

First things first – just how scientific is this article? Well, it’ll come as little surprise to you to find the scientist behind this is one David Lewis – founder of neuro-marketing company Mindlab International, and no stranger to this very blog. David has appeared in the press a number of times over the last few years, often (in my opinion) trading his scientific legitimacy in for publicity.

Personally, I find this deeply problematic – not least given that many people’s only experience of science is what they see in the newspapers. Stories such as this paint a skewed view of what legitimate science is, portraying scientists as little more than zany stereotypes, conducting silly work. Which leads to comments like this, from the Daily Mail story:

Really! I’m sure the science community has better things to do than spend time on this!! It’s the one time of the year when your definitely allowed to have a few extra spuds!

What the commenter – and many like him – doesn’t realise is that it’s likely no real science was done in the name of this article. Rather, a company looking to garner some attention in the press found an academic willing to lend their name – and with it, the legitimacy of their profession – to what is in essence an advert.

Which leads us to the company behind this story:

The perfect plate was created for Aldi by TV food psychologist, Dr David Lewis, of Channel 4’s Secret Eaters and eating expert Dr Margaret Yufera-Leitch…

An Aldi spokesperson added: ‘Everyone likes to treat themselves at Christmas but the traditional turkey dinner is the one meal where people feel most pressured that everything should be perfect…

‘By shopping at Aldi, families really can relax knowing that they are serving top quality, award-winning foods without breaking the bank.’

And by hiring scientists like David Lewis, Aldi can secure legitimate-seeming stories in at least two national newspapers, without breaking the bank.

“Spending time with the family at Christmas can be a nightmare!” says attention-hungry voucher website

“Spending time with the family at Christmas can be a nightmare!” says attention-hungry voucher website

“Men are useless and lazy at buying gifts!” says catalogue company

“Men are useless and lazy at buying gifts!” says catalogue company

Christmas is just around the corner, and with it comes the opportunity to shower your special someone with affection, attention, and (most importantly) gifts. However, some of us are better at buying gifts than others – with men bringing up the rear, present-wise, due to their naturally lazy and unthoughtful nature.

It’s actually quite a shame that men are so unequivocally useless, given how much effort women put into Christmas. Men ought to be ashamed of themselves, and ought to find some kind of way to raise their game when it comes to shopping for gifts…

Even more depressingly, one in ten women will be expected to wrap all of the presents that go under the tree… even their own, according to a survey of 1,000 mums and dads by Littlewoods…

To help men out, Littlewoods have compiled a list of what mothers really want, and it’s topped with jewellery, perfume and handbags.

Oh, thank god for that then! Thank you, Littlewoods, for coming up with the perfect solution to the problem your own research convinced us exists.

“You’ll probably have sex at the office party, so you’ll need somewhere to stay!” says hotel-finder app

“You’ll probably have sex at the office party, so you’ll need somewhere to stay!” says hotel-finder app

Christmas is just around the corner, and with it comes the opportunity for a drunken fumble at the office Christmas party with that someone special from HR – after so many exchanged glances over the photocopier and in disciplinary hearings, it’s basically a foregone conclusion by this point, right? Definitely! Especially if you believe reports in the Daily Mail recently.

Although, that said, it’s worth having a quick look at the company behind this valuable Christmas party poll:

A spokesperson from Hotels.com mobile app, who carried out the survey, said: ‘After working longer hours and being more careful with spending over the year, it’s understandable that hard-working Brits want to let their hair down and the Christmas party is the perfect opportunity for this to happen.

‘But while it’s fine to indulge, if you do find yourself getting into an embarrassing situation, having a phone handy can help get you away quickly and easily – from booking a cab to finding a hotel at the click of the button – so you don’t need to worry about explaining yourself to your colleagues the next day!’

Hotels.com – cashing in on drunken sex, year upon year, just as the little baby Jesus would have wanted.

“You can get a good Christmas dinner from a supermarket!” says supermarket

“You can get a good Christmas dinner from a supermarket!” says supermarket

“Christmas food will make you fat, ladies!” says kitchen appliance manufacturer

“Christmas food will make you fat, ladies!” says kitchen appliance manufacturer

Christmas is just around the corner, and with it the all-important family meal. But while it’s an opportunity to relax with your loved ones, the meal also represents a real danger to your waistline, with women in particular requiring a reasonable amount of exercise to burn off the excess fat put on over Christmas Day.

At least, that’s what kitchen appliance Breville would like you to think:

A quarter will not sit down to turkey, with six per cent having a curry, the Breville survey found.