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Prime Time is on the move!

2 Dec

We’re in the mood for celebrating! In the past few weeks, we’ve secured new digs, a new job and a new domain.

Hop on over to Prime Time PR (professional, eh?) from now on to stay up-to-date on the latest PR, marketing and digital news and views.

Thank you for making the last two years great. Here’s to the next 2(00)!

We've-moved

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Halloween 2014 is sponsored by…

21 Oct

20140430-231008.jpgIn a dark room in a chilling office, set among a black backdrop of skyscrapers gracing the city’s skyline, shone a single glimmer of light. John stayed silent as he moved the cursor around his overworked computer screen.

The window had been left open to curb the stench of late-night pizza. The draft surrounded John and he systematically shivered. Pressing print, he moved slowly to collect his paperwork – marking the end of a 12-hour working day. As John turned his chair a glass smashed on the floor.

‘That’s strange,’ thought John. ‘I’ve not used a glass today.’

A rush of adrenaline shot through his veins, followed by a sense of calm. He even had time to momentarily wonder if they were his last thoughts. It felt like a lifetime, but in reality the person, or thing, who’d smashed the glass had acted quickly. As he hit the thick wooden floors, he turned ever so slightly to see who had attacked him. But, the remained silent.

With no time to feel scared he didn’t even try. Instead he opted to give his body in to the pain and then… nothing.

Got your attention? Don’t worry, John’s Halloween pitch made it to the client. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many brands making the most of this American holiday as I have this this year. And poor PRs like John are risking their lives by working overtime to deliver standout campaigns.

Maybe it’s because it falls on a weekend, and entertainment and lifestyle companies want to use this as an opportunity to boost sales and strengthen its position for Christmas.

Whatever the reason, it’s working. I’ve seen some cracking campaigns and here’s my top five:

Waterstones’ blogger mystery
No, it’s not locking in more tourists and keeping them there overnight to turn them into social media sensations. Waterstones is launching an online murder mystery with five bloggers who will communicate clues for fans, via their blogs and Twitter (where was my invite guys?), to work out ‘whodunit’. Those who crack the case will find themselves £50 richer (vouchers, darling).

Nice use of social and great blogger engagement, coupled with subtle branding, means that Waterstones is getting down from the shelf and making itself the go-to destination for books. Tick!

Walking Dead staggers to PR success
To celebrate the launch of the fifth series of the Walking Dead, Now TV made former MIC star Millie Mackintosh into a zombie to support its online campaign. In addition to this, it created a buzz on social media by sending personalised popcorn holders with ‘bloodstained’ snacks inside which was sent to celebrities and journalists.

To give customers a chance to join in the fun, it’s also using Twitter to give wary special edition Walking Dead Now TV equipment, zombie makeup and the exclusive popcorn holder. The competition hashtag is hardly memorable – #TWDNOWTV – but in two days it’s generated over 150 re-tweets and is steadily seeing its follower count rise.

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Spooky Speaker app shouts out
To promote its Halloween costume range, superpower supermarket Sainsbury’s has launched a voice app to inspire children to ‘transform’ into their scary characters using its voice distortion functions. The voices – such as Frankenstein, Witches, Vampires and Skeletons – match the costume designs available in store and online.

It’s a good attempt, reminding parents and children that Sainsbury’s is their one-stop shop for Halloween goodies, but can the interactive app outdo Asda’s inflatable wings which are being supported with TV advertising? Time will tell.

Chupa Chups’ chomping campaign
It’s great that brands are starting to scratch beneath the surface to see the value of Instagram – and Chupa Chups is no exception. It’s using this social network to create an online game, encouraging users to free a trapped lolly before it gets a licking. Age is certainly no barrier here. With contemporary references to current culture, the youth brand has made this Halloween-themed relevant to all groups.

Do you dare trust the National Trust?
Not strictly Halloween themed, but the National Trust has extended its successful ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4‘ campaign by creating a direct mail around number 40: night walks. This glow in the dark pack targets existing members and encourages people to essentially see more than they bargain for by trudging down a natural trail at night.

This stunt might come with a parental advisory warning (i.e. kids – please don’t walk alone), but not only has the National Trust found a novel way to reach out to an engaged audience raising brand awareness, but it’s hit gold with timing this during half term. Expect to see families up and town the country on night walks next weekend.

With just over a week to go we’re bound to see more stunts slip out of the woodwork. But, whether they’re bold enough to make the top five is yet to be seen.

What do you think? Are brands going for ghoul this Halloween?

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The Prince’s Trust gets swept away with video campaign

29 Sep

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Today marks the launch of a new campaign at Prince’s Trust HQ. We’re celebrating everything Enterprise, as we look to encourage young adults to set up their own business. Dull, boring and disengaging? Wrong.

Working with creative agency Nonsense, and funded by RBS , we’ve created three spoof infomercials bringing to life a series of terrible business ideas. You know, the ones that wouldn’t make it onto the brainstorm flip chart – despite the mantra ‘no idea is a bad idea‘. And, it works. Take a look for yourself.

A toothbrush, hairbrush, toilet brush and broom all in one, there’s more to this video than slapstick comedy. Behind the scenes, the PR, marketing and digital teams have been working closely (even crossing over at times) to ensure our ‘outside our comfort zone’ multi-media content is working as hard as possible to reach the right people: 18-30 year olds. Here’s how:

Digital
The Brush it All video celebrates the start of a three-week digital campaign – our biggest push ever – and to make this possible we’ve strengthened our existing business content to sit alongside the videos. From Enterprise programme enquiry forms to business plan templates, we’ve made the collateral easier to find and use thanks to our new landing page.

PR
Making the most of our campaign news hook, the PR team has also created case studies of young people who’ve previously completed The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme and gone on to business success. To be featured on the website and sold-in to national, regional and local press, these stories will bring to life what we we’re trying to achieve and tick the box for peer to peer marketing.

We’ll also be sharing the stories of the Enterprise ‘heroes’ on the other side of the coin – The Prince’s Trust business mentors who provide two year’s support to every young person who seeks to develop their business idea- to maximise coverage opportunities.

Celebrity
This isn’t a category that I usually highlight when reviewing campaigns – especially when there’s still a debate as to whether it’s stats or celebs that people respond to more. But, with a host of celebrity ambassadors supporting The Prince’s Trust, the team has leveraged business tips from self-made figures to inspire young people. Think Kelly Hoppen , Jamal Edwards, Levi Roots and Jamie Oliver. As well as being rolled out online, this content will also generate consumer coverage.

Social Media
We’ll also be engaging with the celebrities on our social media channels. But, it’s not just a case of us, or them, pushing the video out with a campaign hashtag (although, not to leave any stone un-turned we’ve got one of those as well: #MyBigIdea), we’re using YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram Pinterest and Google+ to share exclusive ‘behind the scenes’ content and connect with followers by feeding into business-related conversations.

So, with all of this, a dash of digital advertising, e-marketing, and internal comms, we’ve come up with a recipe for success. What do you think? Does Brush it All inspire you to start your own business?

Drop me a comment with your thoughts and continue to check YouTube for the other videos in the series over the coming weeks. They’re awesome.

Brush it All

The Prince’s Trust presents Brush it All

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