Tag Archives: channel

Usher confesses his love for Cheerios in new campaign

13 Nov

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There’s no denying that breakfast is big business. We’ve just seen fashion designer Anya Hindmarch give Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger a grrreat makeover and Shoreditch is awaiting the launch of its first Cereal Killer Café next month.

So, it’s no surprise that celebrities are chewing their right arms off to be associated with the most important meal of the day – becoming part of everyone’s morning routine in the process. And, the king of R&B, Usher, is no exception.

He’s partnered with Cheerios and Walmart in the US to give away his latest track – Cluelesswith every box of Honey Nut Cheerios.

Just add milk
On the outside looking in, this brand partnership doesn’t seem to make any sense. 36-year old Usher, who has come a long way from his You Make Me Wanna days, doesn’t fit Cheerios’ target market – a cereal championed by a bee called Buzz.

But, once you’ve swallowed this fact and digested the promotional video that accompanies the PR and marketing stunt (don’t knock it before you’ve tried it – it’s already secured 820,000+ views), it becomes the entire reason why Usher has taken this on.

With super fans downloading One Direction and Justin Bieber tracks left, right and centre, how does an ‘experienced’ singer steal back sales and kudos? By ending up in the hands of millions of young digital eagles across the country, giving them a unique code to download a fresh track of course!

No added sugar
Essentially, it’s a win-win situation. Usher gets the downloads he needs ahead of an upcoming album launch and Cheerios gets to negotiate premium shelf space with Walmart, while producing some crunchy content for its communications channels.

But, how could this partnership develop in the long-term?

Free gift inside
Some ways that Cheerios could maximise its partnership with Usher include subtle branding in his next video; utilising his 9m+ followers by hosting a Twitter takeover and running a competition to meet the star himself; or creating a series of educational videos on the importance of breakfast with Usher’s children, linking in with Cheerios’ Family Breakfast Project.

So, it’s a good start, but there’s lots more Cheerios could be doing to transform this fleeting stunt into a considered campaign.

What do you think?

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The top five charity hashtag trends you love to hate

8 Oct

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I’m going to let you into a secret. I wasn’t brave enough to take part in #NoMakeUpSelfie, I was nominated for the #IceBucketChallenge twice and I didn’t dunk myself in cold water and although I’ve laughed at CLIC Sargent’s #JokeAppeal campaign, I’ve not donated.

So, there you have it. I’m a bad person.

But, while I’ve not successfully completed the call-to-actions, I do think their social media-driven campaigns are brilliant at raising awareness of very important causes. Transforming the way young people engage with the third sector, these hashtag trends are snowballing and I just can’t keep up.

As a result, I’ve become fed up of my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram timelines constantly getting clogged up with pictures and videos that I feel obliged to like. Because, let’s face it, once you’ve congratulated one person on throwing water on themselves, you really have to do it for everyone. So, people like me, who were once in awe of these great PR and marketing stunts, are now just ‘meh’.

But, if the BBC can be impartial then Prime Time can at least be kind enough to write about them. Which is why, after reading about new ways charities are piggybacking off hashtag explosions, I’m going to rank my top five social media charity phenomenons:

#WakeUpCall

Established by Unicef, in aid of its Syria Emergency Fund, the #WakeUpCall campaign involves celebrities posting photos of themselves… you guessed it… having just woken up.

Kick-started by the charity’s ambassador Jemima Khan, Strictly’s Claudia Winkleman and QI’s Stephen Fry have also got involved to encourage people to open their eyes to the unstable situation in the Middle East affecting young children. And, with more than 3,000 tweets containing the all-important hashtag in the last 12 hours, it’s likely that this initiative will raise a lot of money.

A gallery on the Telegraph online doesn’t hurt either.

Supermodel Naomi Campbell wakes up like this for Unicef#FaceUp

Developed by Plan UK, Face Up is an app that aims to raise awareness of female genital mutilation, sexual violence and child marriage. Once you’ve downloaded the app onto your smart phone you can upload an image which will be imprinted with the words ‘I’m putting girl rights where they can’t be ignored’ and share it in the app’s photo album.

Compared to Unicef’s efforts, this isn’t creating as much of a buzz online yet; tweets are currently in the hundreds – rather than the thousands. But, with PR coverage on The Huffington Post and The Daily Mail online, thanks to support from Game of Thrones stars Natalie Dormer and Lena Headey, it may not be far behind.

Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer promotes women's rights

#LastSelfie

WWF Denmark and Turkey embraced Snapchat earlier this year and made the most of its self-destruct feature to explain the rate that endangered animals are disappearing.

From tigers and gorillas to pandas and orangutans,  the charity used the hashtag #LastSelfie to encourage people to share the image in order to ‘save’ the species. Persuasive, clever and easy to do, this worked well because the aim was to raise awareness rather than source donations.

Once people had bought into to the severity of the situation, a new call-to-action followed. By focusing on one objective at the time, WWF created an incredibly strong campaign.WWF's #LastSelfie used Snapchat to raise awareness

#FirstWorldProblems

If you’ve never used this hashtag before then I’d love to live your life. #FirstWorldProblems is a generic hashtag used by people when venting online about insignificant annoyances.

For example, I recently almost slipped on a rogue squashed tomato in the supermarket and if I’d known the couscous was down a different aisle I could have avoided the whole hullabaloo.

So, when Water for Life borrowed the phrase – which was used over 106,000 times in the last month alone – and turned it on its head for its emotive campaign, it grabbed people’s attention.

The only issue is that when you Google search the term, the first mention of the charity is on the fourth page and it’s not its official website. This emphasises the importance of ensuring all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed when linking up your website to generate top SEO rankings.

Water for Life adopted the #FirstWorldProblems hashtag to make a point

#Batkid

I’m a little late to the party on this as it’s a couple of years old now. But, thanks to Miles Scott, a five-year old leukemia survivor, his Make a Wish Foundation dream to become a superhero for a day went viral.

The charity transformed part of San-Fran into Gotham to recreate Batman’s city and kept people up to date via its website and a behind the scenes video ,which was picked up by Twitter users across the world. The hashtags #Batkid and #SFBatkid were used in more than 110 countries reaching 777m people on a cold November day in 2012. Not even I can argue with these figures.

Make a Wish launched #BatKid

Reading through my top five, I can see that there was definitely something special about the slightly older social media stunts employed by charities.

Perhaps I believe they have more charm because I think the brands would’ve shocked themselves at their own success, because they were taking a risk and exploring unknown online territories. Either way, the hashtag trends have exploded so quickly that as long as people get behind them, they’ll continue taking over timelines and securing national headlines for the foreseeable future.

The charities were shocked at their own success, because they were taking a risk and exploring unknown online territories.

Don’t get me wrong, I think social media opens up the floor to make charity PR a level playing field, especially for rarer causes or organisations with tighter budgets. I just don’t believe that if a trend launches in one country for a specific cause, that a different charity across the pond can adopt it as its own. Surely, the cause and challenge should translate wherever it’s used across the world?

Hashtag highjacking, particularly by the big boys, is not big or clever, and it’s certainly a box you don’t want me to open. Utilising the #TubeStrikes is one thing; stealing an entire campaign is another. Know who I’m talking about yet?

What do you think? Did your favourite hashtag trend make the list?

Instagram won’t be the same again after reading this blog

13 Jul

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They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Then, what’s the value of an Instagram? I guess it depends on what filter you choose.

One thing’s for sure – brands are boosting their presence on the photo-sharing site and I don’t just mean using hashtags. Clever companies are now using it to build entire campaigns.

Ikea
To launch its new PS 2014 collection, Ikea used Instagram to create a mini website by creating a profile for each piece of furniture in the range, and linking them together using the tagging functions.

This allowed users to scroll through the different items on the site, just like flicking through a catalogue, because every page was linked. It also encouraged people to add to the website by snapping their own pieces and tagging them – to show they were associated with the brand.

Sky Rainforest Rescue
A partnership between Sky and the World Wildlife Fund, the charity has launched an Instagram account and uploaded a blend of 60 images and videos – each tile representing part of a design created by an artist – giving users a unique interactive tour of the Amazon.

From unique illustrations to exclusive blogger content, every time a user follows the account and clicks on one of the tiles, they’re automatically entered into a competition to win a pair of sustainable VEJA trainers, designed by ‘eco-warrior’ model Lily Cole.

It’s pretty obvious that these innovative campaigns are changing the way we use social media. So, what can we do to give our own profiles a makeover?

1) What’s your strategy?
I don’t mean to offend anyone with my patronising nugget of advice, but if you don’t know what you want to gain from Instagram, you won’t achieve anything.

– Want more followers?
– Want to network?
– Want user-generated content?

Create a tick list and prioritise in terms of importance. Then, look at what content you have and create a plan to either drip feed it over the coming weeks, building momentum, or sync it onto the page in full as part of a bigger campaign.

Right, lecture over. Back to the quick wins.

2) Chill out
Don’t go for the tough sell. Instagram is the perfect platform for brands to show off their talent and personalities.

If you wouldn’t read your own updates, chances are no one else will.

Worried that no one will really ‘get’ what you do? Then stream Instagram on your website. Problem solved.

3) Press record
In reference to my opening line, surely videos are worth a million words.

Quality is important, but don’t make a meal out of creating a video. As long as the content is clear and engaging, with a relevant call-to-action, it’ll work.

Then PR your post by shouting about it on your other social media channels.

Not enough? If you’re a bit more creative, you could always explore capitalising on the filter craze by creating your own branded option and pitching it into Instagram. That should get you noticed pretty quickly.

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