Some say that advertising is only for the big and brave. It’s for the Steve Jobs’ and the Carlsbergs of the world, with their 3D effects, inspiring set designs and dubstep samples; they’re capable of crippling any form of competition that even dare. Well I would like to say otherwise and I’ll tell you why! Just get a little bit closer.

No, closer. I mean, seriously, up real close to me. Yep, that’s good. Now can you keep a secret? Let me whisper it to you:

“Yusuf Taiyoob”

I’ll give you a second to embrace the shivers down your spine and let the goose bumps settle. Yes, Yusuf Taiyoob. This is a prime example of a man with a commodity product, where the cheaper price usually rules the market, and how he completely turned the game on its head.

With the use of one provocative whisper into the nation’s ear; we were all hooked (well, at least in a sense)! Children were reciting it in playgrounds, in schools and in the comfort of their own homes. Adults would talk about it at their offices or local coffee shops, debating its effect on all of us. Before we knew it, we all wanted a taste of Yusuf Taiyoob’s dates.

Datuk Yusuf Taiyoob; a 49 year old business man, started the company back in 1988, importing and distributing dried fruits, nuts, spices and other consumer products. Sales were fine but things all changed when he decided to take a chance and go down a new direction. Safe to say after that one bold advert, sales of Yusuf Taiyoob dates and other products sharing the name skyrocketed.

It is amazing how a bold leap of faith from a commodity product we all consume so often, can change our perceptions and taste. There was no magic trick or cheat code to the success of this brand. What Yusuf Taiyoob essentially did was make dates sexy. End of story.

So if any consumer good brands out there are thinking of following Datuk’s footsteps and upping their game, here are some suggestions:

1. Dental Floss
Sell them in packs and patterns that would suggest lacy lingerie. Maybe even go as far as to do up ambient ads with teeth biting down on some stretchy undergarments, with a sultry tag line to go with it: “Embrace the lace”


2. Instant Coffee
Give Red Bull a run for their money. They’ve managed to monopolise the whole extreme sports world, so it’s time to make good old instant coffee THE drink for the nocturnal. With mamaks, cafés and 7-11s already selling them 24 hours a day, all you need is a foxy tag line to implement after hour activities and round the whole thing off: “You’re going to need to be up all night anyway…”


3. Cheese Singles
We all know it and we all consume it. Might as we blow all competition out of the water by crossing that bridge and finally making cheese seductive. Because we integrate these square slices of heaven in so much of our daily lives, let’s get naughty and pose a tantalising question to the consumer as a sign off: “Where will you put me next?”

This will hopefully in turn create the nickname; ‘Brand X: The Tease Cheese’ and push sales through the roof.

At the end of the day, we really hope this new wave of turning something so familiar and common into an object of desire really catches on. Because what we’re lacking at the moment is faith in the underdog, a little bit of creativity and a gentle reminder that a little sex appeal never hurt anybody.

Does your brand have a big idea on how to rise above the rest?

How would your brand participate in the golden age of the geek?

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