Tag Archives: Brand Republic

Budding directors have 6 secs to impress John Lewis

20 Aug

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John Lewis at Christmas has become a highlight for consumers with its heart-warming adverts – and now the department store’s insurance division is giving its customers the chance to shoot their own using Vine.

Using the six-second video platform, customers are invited to direct their own stop-start motion picture inspired by the brand’s latest offering to promote its ‘What Matters Most‘ campaign.

The animated advert is a little dull compared to what we we know John Lewis is capable of, but it gets the message across with its strap line: ‘If it matters to you, it matters to us.’ But, that’s not the important part. It’s the competition. It’s interesting because the mechanic is simple. Shoot six-seconds of video content, upload onto Twitter incorporating the relevant hashtag and wait to see if you’re a winner. If you’re wondering the prize is £1,000 of vouchers and runners up get one of three Canon cameras.

However, I would’ve liked to have seen adam&eveDDB, the agency behind the concept, bring in some better known judges to create another news story. My mind immediately thinks of Rus Yusupov, Colin Kroll or Dom Hofmann – Vine’s co-founders (Ok, not immediately but you understand my thinking.) Failing that, Nick Park or winners from the British Animation Awards or the British Animation Film Festival. Advertising gurus Simon Lloyd and Ben Tollett could sit on the panel but I don’t think they should run the game entirely because it simply doesn’t ooze credibility. In fact, it undermines it. Perhaps budgets play a part, but quite often people are happy to donate their time for free in exchange for national PR.

Currently there’s no chatter on Twitter about the competition. But, I’ll give the campaign its dues – despite the top two YouTube clips generating just two views to date.

Perhaps the brand would do well to front one version of its animation with details about the competition and, like its criteria, edit its content down to six-seconds to further inspire entrants.

Overall, the social media campaign is almost there. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be reviewed in time for Christmas.

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It’s a dogs’ life: Absolute Radio crowd-sources song lyrics

12 Aug

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I love a good crowd-sourcing project but I didn’t expect to read tonight that Absolute Radio listeners were asked to share their dead dog memories to create a new song.

Radio station host Geoff Lloyd launched the ‘Dead Dog Memorial Song‘ after he asked people to share their favourite dog moments – such as eating raw turkey at Christmas and licking ashtrays – as part of a forthcoming feature which’ll form part of his shows.

On paper it’s a top-dog (see what I did there) engaging initiative which has seen people proactively get in touch with Absolute Radio to share their tributes. The good news is the content has been reworked by The Boys Least Likely To, the music team behind iconic adverts including Apple and Coca-Cola.

The bad news is the song’s more annoying jingle than chart single. Judge it for yourself here.

Was I expecting too much? Should I tell the little music mogul aka Simon Cowell on my shoulder to pipe down?

In 24 hours the video has generated over 300 views on YouTube so it’s not viral just yet.

To me, it’s a very random social campaign that cannot really be classified as crowd-sourcing in its own right because that’s what radio stations do every day – engage in conversation with listeners and encourage responses.

It’ll be interesting to see how far Absolute Radio can push this and whether it’ll have longevity, if supported properly by the National Dogs’ Trust – which’ll receive all profits from the song which is available on iTunes.

The campaign would’ve made more sense to me if it was launched alongside an event such as National Dog Day (26 August if you’re interested). And it would’ve had more credibility if the station announced that extra verses would added to the song as the project gathers more tributes. As it stands, the campaign’s already maximised its reach.

But, maybe I just don’t get it because I don’t listen to that station and don’t own a dog. Oops.

What do you think? Is the campaign barking? (That’s the end now, I promise!)

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Ibis bunnies storm the hotel

5 Jun

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It’s been a busy few days for me in the PR world, but when I saw this campaign I literally dropped my phone, picked it up and started writing this blog.

Warning: This PR campaign by Ibis Hotels almost tips the cute scale.

Ibis’ new campaign to promote its range of hotels – now featuring the chains’ most comfortable bed ever – stars bunny rabbits as part of a one minute promotional YouTube video.

Forty bunnies took leading roles in the video, and were given permission to enjoy a top-floor room at the company’s Blackfriars branch over two days, in a bid to find the most comfortable spot to sleep.

Although I’m not familiar with the music, which tends to help turn a good video into a viral one (am I the only person on earth that’s never seen Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?), it’s a brilliant video that reaches out to meet consumers’ needs. After all, when booking rooms – whether it’s for a business meeting, girls’ weekend or to break up a journey – what really matters is a good night’s sleep.

Ibis’ key competitors have previously marketed their small touches that make customers feel special – Premier Inn’s pillow wrap, which highlights the softness of the bedding, and Travelodge’s soft toy ‘Sleep Tight‘ campaigns have been successful, but it’s this gentle and inviting video that’s really putting the message across.

The outtakes video, also produced by BETC London, is stronger in my opinion because it brings the campaign to life by telling Ibis’ campaign story. For example, did you know that 571 carrots were used in the making of this video?

Overall, it’s great content that’s already making waves in the hospitality, travel and leisure press – it’s interesting, sweet and well executed. Here’s to the bunnies.

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