Tag Archives: customers

Christmas campaign round-up 2013

13 Dec

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With Christmas just around the corner, PRs are working at top speed to make the papers with their ‘quick and dirty’ festive stunts.

And because Christmas is the season of giving, I’m doing the digging to present you with the industry’s top campaigns this month. I’m actually giving you two gifts because I’ve just noticed a perfect pun in that previous sentence, but who’s counting?

The survey one
Costa Coffee has banned Sir Cliff Richard’s festive favourite – Mistletoe and Wine – after research revealed that it was most likely to make its customers exit the store.

But Costa has gone above and beyond to make this headline stand out by donating £10,000 to charity Youth Music, to encourage young people to record their own versions of Christmas classics.

The clever one
Retailer GAME has made up for its reduced presence on the high street in recent years by prioritising PR – and it’s paid off.

Hiring nine-year old Joe Leslie this month, as a ‘non executive director’, is a genius way to help clueless parents know their Call of Duty from their Grand Theft Auto.

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The charitable one
St Mungo’s, a charity to help homeless people, has created limited edition Christmas wrapping paper, detailing the scientific viruses that they might face this winter.

For a charity that seeks to tackle homelessness, it’s successfully delivered a fresh message with an innovative angle.

The mad one
To complement O2’s Be More Dog campaign, the network provider is planning a party for the dogs from Battersea Dogs Home – and it’s getting its customers involved.

The more times you tweet using the campaign hashtag – #tweetattreat – the better the party will be. Now you wouldn’t want to let the dogs down would you?

The relatable one
Of all the retailers, I didn’t expect Harvey Nichols to launch a ‘canned laughter’ campaign (you don’t laugh at it, more smirk and think ‘I should get that for someone’ and then never do because it’s fluff).

The brand’s launched a range of gifts for women to give to their loved ones as a token to simply say ‘I spent the money on myself’. From a Christmas lunch in a tin (which has been done to death) to a sink plug, it’s been cited as ‘original and perfectly timed’ by Golden Goose PR. I say, they haven’t read this blog yet.

So, there you go – the top five Christmas campaigns of 2013 to date. If yours didn’t make the list just tweet me your favourites at @dmhwhite. I may even shuffle the leaderboard around!

Merry Christmas Prime Timers and a Happy New Year!

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Coca-Cola loses its fizz after insulting customer

22 Sep

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Have you heard the one about Coca-Cola calling one of its customers a ‘retard‘ via its latest promotion?

Ok, maybe you haven’t because it happened in Canada. But here’s what happened:

Blake Loates bought home a bottle of Coca-Cola’s Vitamin Water earlier this week and she was in for a shock when she unscrewed the cap, which read ‘You Retard’ on the inside. Some people may have found it funny (personally I don’t, and even less so coming from a global brand) but Blake certainly didn’t because her sister suffers from cerebral palsy.

Her father wrote a letter of disgust forcing Coca-Cola to own up to its politically incorrect mistake – which it did quite well. But the reason the brand manager (or PR) cited for the inappropriate wording was a language mix up (‘retard’ meaning ‘delayed’ or ‘late’ in French), which relates a wider promotion the brand was running.

The fact that more people may have or will continue to open up the phrase before the manufacturing process is discontinued is shocking – and the fact that Coca-Cola has undone its apology to the family, by not noticing the mistake long before it went public, is dumb.

There’s some small-scale crisis management to be done now, in my opinion, because consumers won’t remember the story being a water bottle lid ‘lost in translation’, it’ll become ‘Coca-Cola calls cerebral palsy teenager a retard’. But for some reason the drinks company has put this issue to the bottom of its ‘to do’ list as it looks to push ahead with its international obesity campaign.

Of course a stunt like this won’t damage a brand like that, but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t show empathy. I’d have liked to have seen Coca-Cola show some personality by making the Loates family feel like a valued customer and sending some freebies. Essentially, the company needs the family to publicly say the right things to override the negative comments so everyone can see that the situation was dealt with.

This time, Coca-Cola might not have lost its bottle with the complaint, but it’s certainly lost its fizz.

Would this bad PR put you off your favourite soft drink?

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Budding directors have 6 secs to impress John Lewis

20 Aug

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John Lewis at Christmas has become a highlight for consumers with its heart-warming adverts – and now the department store’s insurance division is giving its customers the chance to shoot their own using Vine.

Using the six-second video platform, customers are invited to direct their own stop-start motion picture inspired by the brand’s latest offering to promote its ‘What Matters Most‘ campaign.

The animated advert is a little dull compared to what we we know John Lewis is capable of, but it gets the message across with its strap line: ‘If it matters to you, it matters to us.’ But, that’s not the important part. It’s the competition. It’s interesting because the mechanic is simple. Shoot six-seconds of video content, upload onto Twitter incorporating the relevant hashtag and wait to see if you’re a winner. If you’re wondering the prize is £1,000 of vouchers and runners up get one of three Canon cameras.

However, I would’ve liked to have seen adam&eveDDB, the agency behind the concept, bring in some better known judges to create another news story. My mind immediately thinks of Rus Yusupov, Colin Kroll or Dom Hofmann – Vine’s co-founders (Ok, not immediately but you understand my thinking.) Failing that, Nick Park or winners from the British Animation Awards or the British Animation Film Festival. Advertising gurus Simon Lloyd and Ben Tollett could sit on the panel but I don’t think they should run the game entirely because it simply doesn’t ooze credibility. In fact, it undermines it. Perhaps budgets play a part, but quite often people are happy to donate their time for free in exchange for national PR.

Currently there’s no chatter on Twitter about the competition. But, I’ll give the campaign its dues – despite the top two YouTube clips generating just two views to date.

Perhaps the brand would do well to front one version of its animation with details about the competition and, like its criteria, edit its content down to six-seconds to further inspire entrants.

Overall, the social media campaign is almost there. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be reviewed in time for Christmas.

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