Tag Archives: Croydon

April Fools: a dish best served with PR

1 Apr

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Pinch, punch first of the month and no returns white rabbit. Gotcha!

Now that’s over with it’s time to remember another special day in the PR calendar: April Fools.

So, let’s get straight to it. Here’s a nod to some top brave brands that have mixed the right ingredients (a pinch of believability, an ounce of doubt and a sprinkle of brashness all blended and baked for 20min on ‘creativity’) to make some clever, and suspect, PR-driven April Fools’ Day stories.

1. Virgin’s glass-bottomed jet
Branson announced today that his empire – Virgin – has developed the technology to introduce the world’s first glass-bottomed plane (pictured above.) One word. Genius.

2. SPAM launches Easter egg
This year the obvious news hook for April Fools is Easter, but this campaign just reeks of chopped up ham. Apparently SPAM has extended its range with an Easter egg including mini ham treats covered in chocolate – an unusual and delightful pairing (pictured below.) Available in supermarkets today, that’s the giveaway.

3. Mumsnet launches vajazzling course
Online parenting community Mumsnet has launched a vajazzling course for members including a keynote talk from former TOWIE star Amy Childs. Why? Because, as any new mum knows, appearance is the first luxury to be sacrificed when caring for a baby. In my mind the Mumsnet members are vicious roller derby players with babes in arms. They’re definitely not to be messed with. Vajazzle, really?

4. Twitter tax
Twitter has announced that it’ll begin charging tweeters for using vowels – although foreign language options will remain unaffected. For $5 a month, users can update to its premium service where all letters are available. A good try because it does make you look twice.

5. Cats crackdown on yobs in Croydon
There’s times when I have to represent Croydon and this is it. A faux feline story reports that cats are being trained and given top technology to patrol antisocial areas before reporting back to the authorities and the cats’ HQ: the Mobile Evening Observation Wing (or Meow for short.)

Spotted any more? Drop me a line and I’ll add it to the hall of fame.

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Can Brit bloggers turn on the BBC?

15 Oct

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US bloggers are hogging the limelight right now – broadcaster CBS has bought the rights to transform Tumblr blog Hollywood Assistants into a TV comedy series called 20-Nothings, according to digital and social media newsfeed Mashable. If you’ve not had a look before, do – this video and picture led blog is very tongue in cheek and lends itself to comedy.

It’s not the first time this has happened. Comedy S*** My Dad Says, featuring William Shatner, started life as a Twitter feed which hit the silver screen in 2010. Across the pond, us Brits have also had a fair crack at turning our blogs into books and series: Secret Diary of a Call Girl, most notable.

But, with more blogs grabbing producers and writers’ attention, their authors are the key to producing the subtlest form of reality TV – one that the audience doesn’t even know they’re watching. A programme motivated by an average individual’s life, passions and motivations.

From PC to TV, this is a fantastic achievement for social media. Not only can this medium raise brand awareness, it also raises ratings.

All I need to do now is continue pitching in to the BBC the concept of a twenty-something PR ready to take over the world from an office in Croydon.

The Olympic Torch comes to Croydon

23 Jul

I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Olympic Torch this afternoon on day 66 of its momentous journey as it came through London Road in Croydon. Almost one year after the riots, it was a fantastic sight to see so many people gathered to celebrate part of the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics.

I saw Beth McKillop, deputy director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, carry the Torch through the street as she was cheered up the high street. Sir Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean-Luc Picard from the Star Trek movies) continued the Croydon trail later in the afternoon and described the experience as better than any move premiere he has ever attended.

Before I saw the Torch in all its glory, I was clearly reminded of the controversial reason why the Games can be dubbed ‘one of the greatest shows on earth’ as it was preceded by sponsor buses: Coca-Cola, Samsung and Lloyds TSB. They created a fan-fare of excitement for people as promotional people ran down the road waving flags, shouting encouragement and blasting music from the buses.

But, one sponsor in particular must be questioning if this is all worth it. The Grocer revealed at the end of last week that £50m top tier sponsor Cola-Cola posted a drop in sales month-on-month for the last quarter against rival Pepsi (who took the lead of Euro 2012). Boss Hubert Patricot has quickly responded to say that, of course, the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics are long-term investments for the brand which will continue to leverage the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity to better engage with their customers. Time will tell.

Here’s a brief look at the sponsor buses:

Track the Torch’s remaining journey here.

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