Tag Archives: challenge

Why are London’s Talking Statues staying quiet online?

12 Aug

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I’ve met a few celebrities in my time, and therefore had the obligatory ‘be cool’ moment before quickly losing it. (Meeting Labrinth on stage at Proud Camden springs to mind, with my cousins having no choice but to make the universal sign for ‘crazy’ behind my back to make amends.) But, I’ve never had the pleasure of Sir Patrick Stewart, Hugh Bonneville or Prunella Scales giving me a call on the old dog and bone for a catch up.

You neither? Well, that’s going to change.

The Evening Standard has revealed that statues across London are going to be brought to life with voice recordings, as part of a year-long art project called: Talking Statues Speak Their Minds. From 19th August, people will have the chance to use their smartphones to unlock statues’ exclusive content before receiving a call from a well-known name who’ll share information about the figure’s life history.

It’s a great way to add yet another dimension to the city, giving Londoners an opportunity to explore old sights for the first time. And, the story has generated a commendable amount of PR thanks to Riot Communications.

But, with the launch just around the corner, its efforts will be wasted if it doesn’t bring its digital marketing up to scratch.

Here’s some lessons the Talking Statues might want to learn:

Woeful websites miss opportunities
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that websites are the first port of call for more information, but the Talking Statues aren’t capitalising on incoming traffic. Google the initiative and there’s simply holding pages providing a home for a press release.

I’m not asking for downloadable resources for people to map out their routes pre-launch (necessarily), but the least Talking Statues can do is put themselves in the shoes of their audience and think about what they’d want to see: articles, interviews and images.

Unsociable social media doesn’t win friends
On Twitter, Talking Statues boasts just 158 followers and on Facebook just a pitiful 72. Hardly a significant platform to shout about an innovative campaign this Tuesday. Followers and fans aside, updates are few and far between and the content is dull.

There’s a big opportunity here to tease content by taking pictures of stars in the studio doing voice overs; challenging fans to guess which statues are being improved; and even launching a competition giving someone the chance to voice their favourite London artefact.

But hey, if I can just think of these things off the top of my head I shouldn’t expect an agency to, should I?

Phone a friend
The campaign’s content is triggered by people swiping their smartphones across the statues, so it would’ve made sense to work with a supplier that can make this even easier. Whether that’s The Cloud, offering free WiFi for app downloads on the spot; network providers using advertising pop-ups to market their services; or phone companies showing off the latest gadgets, having the backing from one of the big boys could’ve potentially freed up Talking Statues to focus more on the marketing.

Of course, I could be jumping the gun and this will all fall into place on Tuesday. But, if it doesn’t, I’ll know who to call.

What do you think of the campaign?

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Weight Watchers’ café is fuelled by social media

17 May

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It’s not a case of bloggers’ block that’s kept me away for so long; it’s a lack of intriguing campaigns. But, just as I was about to give up hope… Weight Watchers opened the door to a very interesting concept.

The weight-loss company has launched its first ‘Feel Good’ café in London, and social media is the key to getting in.

In exchange for spreading the ‘feel good’ message, customers can pick their favourite healthy dishes – for free.

It’s a bold and brave approach to hospitality, but it’s not the first time we’ve been bribed with freebies for a Facebook update. Remember Special K‘s Tweet Shop?

Weight Watchers’ café, based in Hoxton Square, may only be open for a week, but it is something the the brand will consider rolling out nationwide if it’s successful. After all, tasting is believing and if people choose its meals when eating out, then they’ll definitely purchase as part of their weekly shop. It’s a win-win.

So, don’t be fooled. Even if you leave feeling good, the Weight Watchers’ empire will feel better.

Don’t get me wrong. This is a breakthrough initiative for the weight-loss industry, as Alex from Social Media Frontiers says. And, for a brand which already commands considerable shelf space in supermarkets, this really was the only direction to go in. Sure, it could’ve partnered with an up-and-coming coffee chain but where’s the fun in that?

Big brands don’t tag-along if they’ve got the pulling power to lead from the front.

My only critique is that the café launch should’ve coincided with Social Media Day (June 30), but Weight Watchers has a good excuse – new research which highlights the dieting challenges the UK faces, and the café is part of the answer.

The only other question is, how will Slimming World respond?

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Volvic goes back to its roots with Tough Mudder deal

23 Apr

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I have a confession to make. Seven months ago I completed the incredible Tough Mudder challenge, and sometimes I wear my victory t-shirt to the gym to subtly show other people on the treadmill how brilliant I am. By the way, it feels good.

If you don’t know what Tough Mudder is, I’ll pop it into a nutshell for you: it’s 12-miles of electrifying pain across muddy terrain that requires top teamwork to overcome physical and mental challenges for a great cause – Help for Heroes.

Last year, I entered a team of chefs on behalf of my client, Meadowland, and ended up escorting them (slowly, slowly catch a monkey) down the track. I hadn’t trained, I was tired and almost gave up after nine miles. But my team, and every other competitor, kept me motivated. And that’s the beauty of Tough Mudder. It’s a challenging movement with camaraderie at the heart of every step – which is a marketing dream for the right brand.

So, I’m impressed that Volvic has recognised the event’s reach by signing a three-year sponsorship deal.

More than having the foresight to partner with this international event, it’s also creating a digital campaign to bring it to life. From Facebook ‘fan’ galleries to YouTube content, it seeks to unite runners online as well as on the circuit.

Executed in the right way, Volvic has a great opportunity to generate a good return on its £550,000 deal, by:

* Raising brand awareness through Tough Mudder’s existing comms
* Generating effective content that can be leveraged across traditional and social media
* Getting its products into the hands of thousands of runners across a series of regional events year-on-year.

Let’s just hope, for everyone’s sake, there’s still a pint of Strongbow waiting for them at the end. It’d be a shame for this brand to step away just as it’s built up momentum. Water just won’t cut it when you’ve been electrocuted, frozen and thrown yourself off walls.

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