Catalyst issue 2 | 2024: The great turn-off Exchange_Lock

Catalyst issue 2 | 2024: The great turn-off


What makes you happy? Perhaps it’s family time, going for a bracing walk or joining the throng in a heaving sportsground. Maybe it’s an unexpected cancellation that hands you a few blissful hours all to yourself…

I was reflecting on what makes me happy this Easter break which, for those of us in the UK, is an amazing four-day long weekend, where the vast majority of offices are closed for business. Even the huge, always-on supermarkets must shut up shop, at least for Easter Sunday.

In Catalyst Clinic this issue, we ask what makes marketers happy, and what other organisations can learn from this. Like many, I find my job immensely fulfilling. To the surprise of my teenage children, I can say I genuinely like getting up and going to work in the morning.

It’s not always sunshine and roses. There are tasks I dread and definitely things I can think of that would make my working day more fulfilling, more exciting and well, a bit less like ‘work’.

Finding the balance between just getting the job done and having a purpose is something many marketers aim for. In our profile this issue, Henkel’s Nikki Vadera reveals how she got into marketing and what gets her out of bed in the morning.

She admits, upfront, that she went for the ‘unsexy’ side of the sector. She’s a data maven with an eye for a good spreadsheet. I wouldn’t be surprised if the prospect of crunching numbers all day long left many of Catalyst’s readers cold. But here’s the thing – one, it has to be done and two, isn’t it a stroke of luck if you can find someone who absolutely loves doing it? 

Confident she was doing what she loved, Vadera is also blessed with self-knowledge. When she landed what many would consider a dream job at a dream company, she realised very quickly it wasn’t for her. And, instead of ploughing on regardless, she left. Contrary to popular belief, this is better for all concerned.

Speaking of unsexy, when compiling last issue’s news section, we were surprised to see the strength of feeling in the market around the Calvin Klein underwear ads. 

Which got us thinking. It used to be headline-worthy when marketers removed more of their models’ clothing than was strictly necessary. The ‘Diet Coke moment’ even entered everyday language. Now, however, does sex really sell? 

Is it appropriate to have people stripped to their underwear to make a sale? Arguably, if it’s selling underwear then yes, although the latest Calvin Klein ad featuring Jeremy Allen White may well generate more streams for his show, The Bear, than sell pants. But what about ice cream, or fizzy drinks? Our cover story gets to the naked truth about using sex in messaging and explores the alternatives.

As ever, we hope we’ve brought you a rich, informative issue of Catalyst this quarter. We’re always keen to hear your thoughts.

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Morag Cuddeford-Jones Editor, Catalyst magazine CIM
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