Tag Archives: chocolate

Alternative advent calendars give consumers food for thought

1 Dec

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I’d like to introduce you to someone – December. That’s right, get the advent calendar out and enjoy your first square of fancy cheap chocolate.

This year, more brands are attempting to give consumers food for thought by not only engaging with them in a creative way on the 1st December, but also every day in the run up to Christmas. Genius.

Here are some of the best:

The Big Issue
Street magazine The Big Issue has launched an online advent calendar, whereby users can log onto the website to read an inspirational case study of a vendor each day. Not only does this help people to emotionally connect with the brand, but also the individuals behind The Big Issue – making this a powerful relationship-building exercise between new and existing customers.

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The Economist
To ensure you’re not winding down at work too soon, The Economist has collated a range of maps, charts and data from the site over the last year. To an outsider, this looks like a novel idea. To a digital marketer, it’s simply a quick win to boost web traffic before the end of the year.

But, don’t worry. Its designers have created a brand new interactive infographic for Christmas Day. It’ll be interesting to see how many tune in for that!

BBC Sport
In a similar fashion, the BBC is giving sports fans a 30-second video each day showcasing a ‘shot of the day‘. It kicks off with a Wimbledon recap of Australia’s Nick Kyrgios teaching Rafael Nadal a lesson in the fourth-round matchearlier this year.

A very nice way to leverage fun existing content, while giving people a reason to keep coming back.

Battersea Cats & Dogs Home
The famous animal rescue centre has partnered with The Metro this Christmas to help their pets find a new home. Revealing a ‘pet for life‘ behind every window, prospective owners can search to see if their future companion is waiting for them.

Time will tell how effective the PR and marketing stunt is. Gizmo, the six-year old Staffy, is still there and it’s almost 10.30pm! But, it’s a good way to raise awareness and personalise the process for people searching for a new pooch over the festive season.

What calendar stands out for you? Do contemporary case studies, charts, clips and cats rock your boat, or are you looking for something more traditional?

Brucie bonus: Masters of Malt
Not strictly on par with the other brands, but I cannot deny how much PR this drinks company has inadvertently enjoyed over the last week since TV legend Phillip Schofield expressed his Iove for the Drinks of the Dram whiskey advent calendar.

Schofe received a backlash from the Meaningful Chocolate Company, a Fairtrade company which has launched a calendar that sticks with the original Christmas story. It’s a good spot of PR for the business, but the share of voice in a Daily Mail mention for the brand at hand is through the roof.

That’s because criticism always leads to headlines, and that’s why I advise smart and subtle approaches to getting your brand’s message heard. Social media silence is best.

The real advent calendar

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Magnum (P.I) fans hunt for Holland dress

29 Mar

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I can’t remember the last time I had a Magnum. Lent aside, it’s a premium product for premium people. I’m more of a Cornetto girl.

But, to celebrate Magnum’s 25th birthday, Unilever – the company behind the Ambu-lunch PR stunt – has teamed up with fashion designer Henry Holland to create a limited edition ice-cream themed party dress.

Holland came up with a 60s-inspired patterned shift dress. But, don’t worry if you think it looks like a glamourous safari outfit. I thought the same at first glance. It’s meant to resemble the ‘iconic crack of Magnum chocolate, revealing the rich ice-cream beneath’ – not a giraffe.

The best thing about this £5,000 fashion collection is that Magnum’s made one of them entirely out of chocolate, handcrafted by three experts, truly making it good enough to eat.

As part of the promotion, Holland is giving away 25 dresses to Magnum (P.I) fans who crack the code by successfully following a set of clues across its social media sites.

It’s a great effective ‘quick win’ promo mechanic for the brand:

1. Celeb-studded launch event
Kimberley Garner, Vanessa White and Gizzi Erskine were just some of the famous faces at Magnum’s party, held at Home House.

Celebs guarantee coverage which is why the event secured ‘Daily Mail Showbiz‘ style coverage (crem de la crem).

2. Exclusive Giveaway
Who doesn’t love a freebie? Magnum’s decision to encourage fans to ‘crack’ the code to win one of the dresses is a no brainer and will see people flocking to follow, like and pin its profiles at the same time.

3. Advertising
It’s underpinned the campaign with TV ads, which is perfect timing as the sun pops its head out of the clouds for the first time in months. So, even if you don’t know about Holland’s design then you should know Magnum has something to celebrate.

The only thing I’d ‘bolt on’ to the campaign is bloggers.

Magnum could’ve recruited fashion bloggers, or even a top magazine, to collaborate with Holland during the creative process to secure additional coverage.

Alternatively, it could’ve asked them to design a dress that’ll represent Magnum in 25 years time and time capsule that bad boy. Then you’ve got a PR story and a 50th birthday present.

Happy birthday Magnum… and you’re welcome.

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7 year old tells off Lego boss for making toys for boys

3 Feb

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I wouldn’t say I’m a feminist but I do have strong opinions. Even tonight my Mum told me to calm down and not get so fired up by other people’s choices.

It was only over the weekend that I was discussing with a PR friend that Kinder Surprise‘s move to package its chocolate in blue and pink is a bit ridiculous. When I was young it wasn’t about the type of toy you got, whether it was a car or a doll, it was the experience I had when I was enjoying the chocolate and the toy – I knew I was winning.

Which is why I don’t think girls should be backed into a corner to opt for stereotypical pink accessories. That’s right – I’m with Charlotte Benjamin.

Who’s Charlotte I hear you ask? She’s a seven-year old with a kick-ass attitude to gender ideals. She makes me wish my mum and dad were handing me pieces of paper and a biro to jot down my thoughts at that age because I’m sure I had them.

She’s written a letter to Lego to point out that on a recent shopping trip she noticed the following things:

1) Where are the girls?
There were fewer Lego girls to choose from compared to Lego boys.

2) The girls stayed at home
While the Lego boys were able to have adventures and play the hero, the Lego girls were at home, at the beach or just pampering themselves.

This letter has now gone viral and been covered by national newspapers such as Metro, Daily Mail and The Independent. And Lego’s social media manager has been working around the clock to engage with its 113,000 Twitter followers to explain that it does listen to its customers’ views and, with over 450 products available each year, it’s hoping there’s something for everyone.

But, for once, I actually have more respect for this iconic brand (for now). There’s a golden PR opportunity to respond to Charlotte’s letter and address the theme of gender roles. And, if I was the boss, I’d use its upcoming Ghostbusters Lego launch to do just this and run a witty, tongue in cheek across Twitter, Facebook and Vine.

It may be too late to turnaround a reactive campaign, to complement its Lego Movie in cinemas on Friday, which is why Ghostbusters is one of the next best hooks.

This way, it can find a way to publicly acknowledge the letter, apologise for the inconvenience and promise to do better – the perfect formula to transform this viral storm into a positive PR stunt.

What do you think?

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