Tag Archives: accident

Clear your diaries for 1D Day!

3 Oct

October is here. As soon as we know it, it’ll be Halloween, Bonfire Night, 1D Day and Christmas.

Yes you read correctly. Global super-band One Direction announced yesterday that the 23rd November will be officially known as 1D Day, as Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik and Liam Payne look to ‘give back’ to their loyal fans. Forget the sentiment, it’s PR gold.

To celebrate 1D Day, the boys will give fans 7-hours of non stop ‘behind the scenes’ access to their lives in an streamed webinar, that I guess will be 99% focused on the band’s latest album, Midnight Memories, which is released two days later. And that’s no accident.

It’s a great move by Syco, which gives fans a chance to submit ideas and contribute to the day’s events – whilst making them feel part of an exclusive community (along with the world and his teenage daughter.)

One Direction’s YouTube announcement has already generated more than 999,000 views in 24 hours, so I predict that this online streaming session will break records and / or break the entire internet!

But, for the band, it’s just another stepping stone as they look to take over the world and cash in on marketing deals whilst their stock is high. And it’s working; the announcement has since been covered by the Mirror, the Metro, the BBC and Perez Hilton to name a few.

So be warned PRs. Avoid selling-in your stories on 1D Day. Journalists won’t appreciate taking their attention off the world’s biggest boy band baring all to just discuss a boring press release.

Will you be tuning in for 1D Day?

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Is London Duck Tours headed for a watery grave?

29 Sep

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It’s been a good week for ducks. Or rather, it had been before London Duck Tours’ bus-boat caught on fire in the Thames this afternoon, leaving passengers to jump overboard.

Now I’ve seen those bus-boats poodling around the capital and I can’t say I’d jump at the chance to take a ride. While the brand might call this experience ‘fun, quirky and different’, I think it’s more ‘rusty, risky and darn scary’.

I know what you’re thinking and you’re right, it doesn’t matter what I have to say. But the truth is, London Duck Tours hasn’t said anything. No updates have been posted on Twitter, Facebook or the website. So by doing nothing, the business has exposed itself as unprofessional, unreliable and untrustworthy. Three traits nobody wants to mix with.

After a similar company had its water licence revoked last month, following a sinking in Liverpool, I’m starting to think that all the PR in the world couldn’t keep this brand’s reputation afloat.

However, if I was to pushed to come up with a strategy, this is what I’d do:

1. It’s too late to apologise
But London Duck Tours has got to do it anyway. This situation cannot get any better unless the business admits fault and takes full responsibility for the accident. This apology, directed at the brave passengers, needs to be sent to all the journalists and bloggers who have covered the story – along with details of who they can speak to for more information. Trust me, they’ll expect it.

2. The show’s over
I’d recommend cancelling all tours for the next few weeks. Certainly before customers cancel on the duck. Rather than attract attention by continuing business, and people waiting in the wings to shout about your next mistake, I’d use this time to rebuild trust with the public.

3. Buy new equipment
This is the time that City Cruises and Thames Clippers will be showing off their attributes, such as safety, so come back to your customers with a clear message: new equipment. Ideally London Duck Tours should also work with a VIP and take them out for a spin to attract interest.

Arranging a photo-call up and down the river, so everyone can see the duck is back, would be good but, better still, the team could brand the boat with a hashtag to track what people have to say about the re-launch.

After that, you’re on your own! What would you suggest for this sitting duck?

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DVD release has people running for their mums

14 Jun

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Hotel chains are definitely upping their game when it comes to PR stunts and marketing campaigns.

It was only last week that I blogged about Ibis’ bunny room and now Holiday Inn has caught my eye.

Holiday Inn Camden partnered with Universal Pictures’new thriller Mama and transformed one of its rooms into terrifying horror experience –
to celebrate its DVD release.

Open for one week only – free to selected guests that booked in advance – the #SurviveMAMA experience promises to ‘shake the public’s nerve and resilience’, throwing guests into key moments and elements of the film.

I salute Fever PR and AtmosFEAR! for putting this together. Now I’m only guessing, but coming up with innovative campaigns to promote DVDs – where the twist or special effects from the film have already been seen – must be tricky with a capital ‘T’. Not only is this experience-led activity attention grabbing, but it also generates unique content.

Clever content is a PR’s best friend when engaging with journalists, giving them another reason and angle to write about the film. The stunt also looks like it was very well executed with authentic props, costumes and scare actors. The video resembles an after hours trip to London Dungeons and I’m pretty sure if I’d gone along I’d have had an accident. But, I’ve never been a fan of scaring myself for fun!

The campaign has generated lots of blog coverage in phase one – inviting consumers to apply for free tickets – but post-event write ups are more difficult to find. I’ve spotted an article on the Daily Express – which might be an exclusive. Besides chasing national coverage, if I was Fever I’d have partnered with the likes of Shortlist and Total Film for additional in-depth features.

But, social media is a different story. Twitter is buzzing with different mentions of the campaign, so with a tight digital evaluation process Fever will deliver an incredible reach for its client – while impressing Holiday Inn (a brand currently missing from its portfolio).

Wise move. Brilliant idea. Great campaign.

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