Thoughts on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. In Tesco.


how should we remember those that died in war?

The act of remembering is a pretty good place to start.

But the act of remembering is about me, not just about them. So inevitably, we start revealing a lot about our beliefs.

Even sitting so firmly on the fence between commenting on the horror of war’s existence and the sacrifice of those involved, as I have done in the first 50 words of this blog, says something.

the verbal identity of armistice day

The verbal identity of commercial reality.


But commercial – and especially retail – organisations have a challenge on Armistice Day.

Respect the wishes of your customers? There are too many conflicting wishes to make that possible.

Anyway, this is about humanity and comradeship and don’t retail organisations have a paternal responsibility in the welfare of their employees, so shouldn’t their  wishes be respected instead? See previous answer.

Once again in life, there’s no ‘right’ here.

Which is why I first liked the sign I saw sellotaped onto the door of my local Tesco this morning.

The language is clear: this is what we’re doing.

The messaging structure is smart: we’re not going to talk about the Why  but instead focus on the What  we are doing.

The penultimate line is skillful: “Please feel free to join us…” We’re doing this, we’re not judging you if you don’t do it, but we’re giving those that want to, permission to join in.

It seems like a very, very smart piece of communication…right up until you get to checkout.

When you see this sign:

branding and tone of voice in store Tesco knows that Christmas is coming.

Tesco knows it’s time to start buying gifts.

I just wish Tesco had the same amount of foresight about Armistice Day coming.

Not because I want my personal beliefs about war and death and Armistice Day honoured, but because I think Tesco should honour its own beliefs about war and death and Armistice Day.