Tag Archives: campaigns

Extreme Meadowland has a strong message

17 May

I’ve previously said that it’s hard for the hospitality and foodservice industry to run sexy PR campaigns, but it doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t try.

Earlier this year, Pelican PR celebrated new research that showed that frozen food was on the up by using a wall of ice to attract attention to its client – the British Frozen Food Federation. But, I think Unilever Food Solutions (UFS) – the brand behind the Ambu-lunch – has gone one better.

With a chance to go viral, UFS has created six videos to demonstrate Meadowland’s, a dairy cream alternative, strength. Here’s a taster to whet your appetite:

The quick clips – packed with some smooth ‘slow-mo’ action – bring the metaphor to life that Meadowland is tough and won’t split when cooking, by putting it to the limit with a car, bench saw, angle grinder, chain saw and axe. And boy does it hold up!

Aimed at chefs, working in restaurants, pubs, canteens and hotels, that tend to be big personalities that run on adrenaline, it had to be hard hitting and appeal to their ‘need for speed.’ And Meadowland doesn’t pull any punches by challenging chefs to take it to the extreme.

The YouTube films are strong – just like the message it wants to convey – and chefs would be mad not to want to watch, request a sample and experiment in the kitchen with this kick-ass product.

Want another? Here you go:

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The power of love (as demonstrated by PR campaigns)

13 Feb

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After pancake day, PRs have another great opportunity to impress the press with quirky products, services and campaigns that promote love, hearts, flowers and… car insurance. Most Valentine’s Day campaigns are PR fluff and all are wholly unnecessary. But, as long as they’re limited to just 24 hours we can learn to live with it.

Here’s a round up of some of my favourite ‘roses are red’ digital and social media campaigns that have stood out for all the right reasons this month:

Eat your heart out
Domino’s in Japan is offering heart-shaped pizzas tomorrow when ordering online.

With recent research revealing that 92% of couples will stay in this Valentine’s Day, it makes perfect sense to offer consumers something a bit different. It’s cheesier than M&S and Waitrose’s ‘dine in’ offers (excuse the pun) but gets away with it. What’s more, I imagine this slight change in shape is cost effective and is something that would’ve worked well in the UK.

Hello sweetie
M&S is putting the power in its Facebook fans’ hands to help decide what the new heart-shaped Percy Pig sweet will look like. It’s even gone to the effort of devising a back story to support the campaign – Percy and his sow Penny are moving in together. The vote closes tonight and the new edition will be in packs from June.

Making loyal customers part of the decision process generates instant ‘buy-in’ and creates insight and content for brands to use going forward e.g what they liked and why.

Is that your best chat up line?
My agency launched a ‘quick and dirty’ Facebook competition today for Lyons Coffee asking fans to share their best coffee-related chat up line to win some beverages for their loved ones.

Facebook continues to offer brands the opportunity to engage with a ‘switched on’ community and reach thousands in minutes.

My favourite chat up line is: “Have you bean here before?”

A lifetime of chocolate
Pudding brand has also been offering one lucky couple, through its Twitter page, the chance to win a lifetime’s supply of product.

An easy mechanic coupled with an appealing prize makes for instant brand awareness. However, I’m sure I could challenge their terms and conditions. I like chocolate. A lot.

You cheeky frog
Finally, movie download company blinkbox has teamed up with popcorn manufacturer Cheeky Frog to produce the world’s first aphrodisiac-flavoured popcorn. (Limited edition of course, because that type of love just can’t last forever.)

So, there you have it. But what do these campaigns all have in common? They’re food related. Why? Because I gave up chocolate for Lent and I have to get my fix somehow. Can’t eat it, so will write about it.

Send me your Valentine’s Day campaign spots and I’ll add them to the hall of fame.

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Sometimes social media silence is best

19 Dec

Following the tragic Newtown shootings in Connecticut last week, which has left America mourning, brands have continued to make light of the situation with insensitive gestures.

This isn’t uncommon. Recently I blogged on GAP and American Apparel’s misfortunes during the New York hurricanes. Amidst the disaster, both retailers thought sales were the answer and encouraged users to stay indoors and do some shopping.

What’s worrying is that brands aren’t learning the basic ‘dos an don’ts’ even after bloggers hang them out to dry.

This time around there’s been a series of mishaps.

Cerberus Capital Management
Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, the maker of Bushmaster firearms – the gun that killed 27 people, had to pull a marketing ploy that referred to ‘avoiding eye contact with tough looking fifth graders’.

This links to Brad Phillips’ viewpoint on the PR Daily that it’s about time people stopped their prescheduled social media updates and campaigns during crises such as this to avoid foolish mistakes.

Since the shooting, Cerberus Capital Management has announced that it plans to sell the arms firm it bought in 2006.

Dansko
As highlighted by blogger Alex Judd, US footwear maker Dankso posted this on its Facebook page:

“…sometimes it’s the routine of everyday life that keeps us moving after a tragedy. You grasp for the familiar, the little things you take comfort in, even if that’s simply wearing a favourite pair of shoes and taking one step at a time.”

After a series of abuse from fans, it promptly pulled the comment and moved on without apologising – a pet peeve of mine.

Celebrity slip-up
Former Coronation Street and I’m a Celebrity star Helen Flanagan has made headlines for all the wrong reasons – re-posting an image of herself holding a gun to her head as the first Newtown funerals took place.

Helen has since turned the tables on her enemies, claiming the papers are bullying her after her ‘brainless’ tactic.

I’m not going to add to the comments Helen’s been receiving. But I will say, for brands and celebrities alike, there’s nothing wrong with social media silence in the aftermath of an event that has shaken the world.

If you can’t say anything appropriate, don’t say anything at all.

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