Tag Archives: engagement

Alternative advent calendars give consumers food for thought

1 Dec

IMG_0004

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.

IMG_1082.JPG

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

Halloween 2014 is sponsored by…

21 Oct

20140430-231008.jpgIn a dark room in a chilling office, set among a black backdrop of skyscrapers gracing the city’s skyline, shone a single glimmer of light. John stayed silent as he moved the cursor around his overworked computer screen.

The window had been left open to curb the stench of late-night pizza. The draft surrounded John and he systematically shivered. Pressing print, he moved slowly to collect his paperwork – marking the end of a 12-hour working day. As John turned his chair a glass smashed on the floor.

‘That’s strange,’ thought John. ‘I’ve not used a glass today.’

A rush of adrenaline shot through his veins, followed by a sense of calm. He even had time to momentarily wonder if they were his last thoughts. It felt like a lifetime, but in reality the person, or thing, who’d smashed the glass had acted quickly. As he hit the thick wooden floors, he turned ever so slightly to see who had attacked him. But, the remained silent.

With no time to feel scared he didn’t even try. Instead he opted to give his body in to the pain and then… nothing.

Got your attention? Don’t worry, John’s Halloween pitch made it to the client. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many brands making the most of this American holiday as I have this this year. And poor PRs like John are risking their lives by working overtime to deliver standout campaigns.

Maybe it’s because it falls on a weekend, and entertainment and lifestyle companies want to use this as an opportunity to boost sales and strengthen its position for Christmas.

Whatever the reason, it’s working. I’ve seen some cracking campaigns and here’s my top five:

Waterstones’ blogger mystery
No, it’s not locking in more tourists and keeping them there overnight to turn them into social media sensations. Waterstones is launching an online murder mystery with five bloggers who will communicate clues for fans, via their blogs and Twitter (where was my invite guys?), to work out ‘whodunit’. Those who crack the case will find themselves £50 richer (vouchers, darling).

Nice use of social and great blogger engagement, coupled with subtle branding, means that Waterstones is getting down from the shelf and making itself the go-to destination for books. Tick!

Walking Dead staggers to PR success
To celebrate the launch of the fifth series of the Walking Dead, Now TV made former MIC star Millie Mackintosh into a zombie to support its online campaign. In addition to this, it created a buzz on social media by sending personalised popcorn holders with ‘bloodstained’ snacks inside which was sent to celebrities and journalists.

To give customers a chance to join in the fun, it’s also using Twitter to give wary special edition Walking Dead Now TV equipment, zombie makeup and the exclusive popcorn holder. The competition hashtag is hardly memorable – #TWDNOWTV – but in two days it’s generated over 150 re-tweets and is steadily seeing its follower count rise.

IMG_0703.JPG
Spooky Speaker app shouts out
To promote its Halloween costume range, superpower supermarket Sainsbury’s has launched a voice app to inspire children to ‘transform’ into their scary characters using its voice distortion functions. The voices – such as Frankenstein, Witches, Vampires and Skeletons – match the costume designs available in store and online.

It’s a good attempt, reminding parents and children that Sainsbury’s is their one-stop shop for Halloween goodies, but can the interactive app outdo Asda’s inflatable wings which are being supported with TV advertising? Time will tell.

Chupa Chups’ chomping campaign
It’s great that brands are starting to scratch beneath the surface to see the value of Instagram – and Chupa Chups is no exception. It’s using this social network to create an online game, encouraging users to free a trapped lolly before it gets a licking. Age is certainly no barrier here. With contemporary references to current culture, the youth brand has made this Halloween-themed relevant to all groups.

Do you dare trust the National Trust?
Not strictly Halloween themed, but the National Trust has extended its successful ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4‘ campaign by creating a direct mail around number 40: night walks. This glow in the dark pack targets existing members and encourages people to essentially see more than they bargain for by trudging down a natural trail at night.

This stunt might come with a parental advisory warning (i.e. kids – please don’t walk alone), but not only has the National Trust found a novel way to reach out to an engaged audience raising brand awareness, but it’s hit gold with timing this during half term. Expect to see families up and town the country on night walks next weekend.

With just over a week to go we’re bound to see more stunts slip out of the woodwork. But, whether they’re bold enough to make the top five is yet to be seen.

What do you think? Are brands going for ghoul this Halloween?

IMG_0700.JPG

Anya Hindmarch’s cereal partnership is far from soggy

13 Oct

If you didn’t fancy a bowl of Kellogg’s finest before reading this blog, you will now.

Thanks to fashion designer Anya Hindmarch – the woman behind the ‘I’m Not a Plastic Bag’ campaign – the latest trend is vintage-inspired accessories that pay homage to big brands. From Ariel washing powder clutches and Custard Cream purses to Rich Tea baguettes and Coco Pops totes, this collection has hit the shelves at a time when demand for nostalgic kitsch has almost hit the roof.

And one in particular has caught my eye – Frosties.

With a fresh landing page, a strong social media presence and bold e-comms, this partnership is unique because both brands benefit from the added value. Here’s how:

Anya Hindmarch
Having been inspired to develop the limited edition Fashion Flakes range as part of her Counter Culture collection – inspired by her passion for making the ordinary, extraordinary – the bags are exclusive to her stores in London and Paris, instantly making it a sought-after product.

But, so not to put the products on a pedestal, Anya’s cleverly employed the use of social media to create a buzz – making these luxury items seem attainable to the average cereal eater.

Fans are being encouraged to post images or films on Instagram, tagging @anyahindmarch with the hashtag #cerealshopper for the chance to win a £1,350 bag.

With each Instagram post featuring the collection – or the Frosties-themed milk float, which formed part of a PR photo-call where cereal was handed out during London Fashion a Week – reaching 57,000 followers and generating in the region of 1,000 likes, it’s by far the best platform for the designer to show off.

IMG_0085.JPG
Frosties
But, what does Kellogg’s get in return for loaning out its family favourite brand I hear you ask? Well, whether you’re a collector or just like your cereal boxes with a pinch of class, you can get your hands on a redesigned Frosties box for a respectable £3 (the same calibre high-end creation at the snippet of the price).

Of course, Tony the Tiger is holding one of Anya’s bags as an extra plug, but on the whole the metro (modern vs retro) interpretation looks good and gives Kellogg’s some new content for its comms channels – something a 100+ year old brand must be desperate for. It’s also been able to share the love with Waitrose where the chic cereal will be available for a short period.

So, as you can see, two totally different brands from different sectors and with different audiences (the proportion of women with Anya’s luxury handbags who eat Frosties is considerably small, or so I assume) can successfully work together.

It’s simply a case of sharing key assets – in this case it’s Tony – and making it relevant to each other’s customer base using the right comms channels. It’s like a formula and this one has been well executed:

 

Photo-call launch + global news hook + exclusive product + competition + social media = brand awareness + recognition + engagement = sales

Do you agree? What element of the partnership do you think tastes grrreat?

IMG_0084.JPG

Prime Time Blog

PR-IN-MY-EYES

belfastdad

parenting, music, food, photography, tech, fashion

Global Talents

Let's have a laugh about all the silly situations we find ourselves into on today's job market

Mashable

Prime Time: 'PR in my eyes'

A Cup of Lee

Digital Communications in Ireland

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

PR Communications Box

Where Journalism and Marketing Entwine

Juddz' shower of thoughts

My shower of thoughts will detail fresh ideas to intrigue and inspire

Opinions of a PR Addict

Taking on the PR world one internship at a time.

%d bloggers like this: