Tag Archives: Banksy

Fila gives Banksy a run for his money

5 Jun

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I was late to the party when the world-renowned ‘graff-art-i’ father Banksy first hit the scene. But, when I did, I went through the same stages we all did. From ‘is that legal?’ and ‘who is he?’ to ‘what’s he trying to teach us’ and ‘I wish he’d give my house a makeover’, love him or hate him, he’s making statements and hard cash.

So, it’s no surprise that people trying to get in on the action. Remember the masterpiece that was removed from a shop wall in North London? The point is, we’re used to people trying to remove Banksy’s to sell them on. And we know that brands, like Lego, will shamelessly piggyback off his success by making mock-ups. (For those of you new to Prime Time, I love to hate Lego. It’s stepped to its game in recent months and I just can’t keep up). But, we’re not necessarily used to brands adding to an existing piece of his artwork – cue Fila.

To me, Fila is an old school brand. Quite literally, the last time I wore a pair of its kicks was at school. So, I’ve already conjured up an idea that this vigilante brand has nothing to lose by slicing pairs of its trainers in half and strategically placing them at the foot of Banksy’s across London (as if to worship his approach).

But the story doesn’t end there. Here comes the science. Advertising agency GREYGermany used Google Ad Words to lead consumers, searching for answers to what this sporting statement actually meant, to shoe retailer Deichmann.
Nice touch, but I would’ve much preferred a link through to an ‘undercover’ (i.e. subtly branded Fila site) that encourages people to upload their Instagram pictures of the stunt for the chance to win a free pair of trainers.

The key is to convert your audience from interested consumers into brand ambassadors – and get them to tell you the next stage of the story. Who will they influence next? What do they want to see from the brand? What content do they need to share with their friends?

I just don’t believe a shoe shop can offer this because have to work twice as hard to a) assure people they’re involved in Fila’s PR stunt and b) keep people interested in the brand, rather than pushing them to buy.

But, I won’t be too hard on the Fila. It’s a great quick-win for the brand and, judging by the agency’s YouTube video, it has set the path open for others to hijack street art to create a new movement. But, I won’t get too excited until I hear that Banksy’s requested some more shoes for his next piece.

What do you think – is Fila running in the right direction?

Fila gives Banksy a run for his money.

Fila gives Banksy a run for his money.

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This PR stunt is a little abstract

29 Jan

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Do you ever wonder how often the art world crosses over into PR? Let me explain:

An artist from Milton Keynes, Tomas Georgeson, has hidden the majority of his life savings in his local gallery. Why? It’s an artistic statement to boost numbers and interest.

Through an advert placed in his local paper, local residents are being encouraged to visit their local hotspot to see if they can find it. Whoever does will be able to bank it. No terms and conditions just a potential ‘life- changing’ sum.

There’s no doubt about it – this is a great story. But is it genuine or do I smell a PR rat? One thing’s for sure, if Georgeson ever wanted to jump careers, PR could be for him. But, he’d have to learn a few lessons first to ensure his campaigns don’t fall flat in the long-run:

Think long-term
For someone who’s evidently passionate about bringing artistic culture back to Milton Keynes and reinstating the integrity of the gallery, who is Georgeson doing this for?

I’m not sure how many people are going to return after the ‘New Year egg hunt’ is over. Yes, the visitor numbers are likely to increase over the coming weeks, but what next? Arguably, advertising could have done the same.

Although Georgeson’s gone one better and created a buzz through a ‘PR stunt’, how is he going to fund the ongoing campaign and keep giving people reasons to come back?

You don’t get many surprises at my age
It would have been risky, but Georgeson could have kept his cool and played the game a little longer – and not gone to the press before the stunt had even launched. Call me cynical, but does a rare Robin Hood in the 21st century really make such a public announcement about their endeavours?

An element of mystery would have given the ‘campaign’ a better grounding and positioned Georgeson as more of a hero if he’d waited. Think Banksy.

I’ll give him this though – the timing is spot on. Every day, we’re being told how households are still feeling the pinch and money is a language everybody speaks.

Be realistic
Georgeson says: “It almost doesn’t really matter what happens, it’s the fact that it’s there.”

Serious? We live in a ‘give to get’ society. PRs especially. If you’re not hungry for the PR value or questioning the return of investment, you’re not going to excel. Georgeson should have thought more about his messaging – didn’t he want to bring the gallery to the centre of the community?

Keep your clients informed
According to the gallery’s press office, who have not been told of the cheque’s location, the team have carefully searched for it but cannot find any trace.

A careful ploy to encourage more visitors who believe they still have everything to play for I wonder?

This part of the story just makes us wonder how hard they were looking.

This will be a campaign to watch – especially when it comes to how much the artist and gallery benefit.

What are your thoughts?

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