Carry on Poundland

A Christmas elf ‘teabagging’ a Barbie-type doll.

I remember spitting my tea out when I first saw Poundland’s #ElfBehavingBad campaign on Twitter. Surely they’d been hacked? Or perhaps it was a spoof feed?

Sure enough, there was the blue tick that confirmed its authenticity. At last! It was really happening. I’d patiently waited for the day a high street retailer would resort to bawdy behaviour – and here was my reward. I immediately embraced it before it would, inevitably, be taken away from us.

Fortunately, the ban came after Christmas so we managed to see the festive japes in all their glory. Only 85 people complained about the posts but it was enough for the ASA to take action and ban them from appearing again. The star of the show is currently serving time and thinking about his actions. (Nicely done, Poundland.)

Of course, nothing disappears from the internet that easily and we can still see what it was that got Elfie into trouble. Top-of-mind awareness, boosted sales, word of mouth, and a marketing campaign that didn’t cost the earth. Pure genius all round. Not all retailers could take this kind of risk. 

For Easter, they’ve introduced us to Bunny & Chick. I doubt that anything will shock the way that the naughty elf did – but I’m sure Poundland will give it their best shot. There’s still time. 

ps: I tried my best to write this without resorting to innuendo. It was so hard.