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Birds Eye turns dinner time into a fairy tale

7 Sep

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I’m the sort of person that takes zero pride in my crockery, but that doesn’t mean I can’t see the value in Birds Eye’s latest PR campaign – which sees children’s stories written on plates.

The brand has teamed up with author Roger McGough to write seven new stories, which’ll be printed onto 250,000 plates with Birds Eye’s mascot Clarence the Polar Bear, to make family dinners more enjoyable.

Now I might not be the right age for this campaign, but it’s definitely fun, educational and credible which ticks the right boxes for parents. And it drives brand loyalty by encouraging people to collect the story book set.

Now plates are useful and go hand-in-hand with the product, but to stand tall as a campaign with legs I’d like to see Birds Eye think ‘books’. Linking with World Book Day or the National Literacy Trust, in an education tie-up, would make this more than a just a regular PR idea. With the School Food Plan seeking ways to ensure that healthy and wholesome school meals promote children’s health, happiness and performance, Birds Eye could also leverage the campaign in foodservice. Eat a nutritious, balanced meal to aid concentration for reading. Simple.

In addition to this, if Birds Eye continued to work with authors to inspire its story collection, it could form part of a corporate pledge to help children improve their reading ability across the country.

It’s not a criticism, just an idea that could grow. Stories are nice to have on plates, and on this occasion drive sales, but the brand should also be thinking how it can extend the chapter.

But, it’s always nice to know that one of my favourite agencies is still causing PR and marketing mischief in the industry.

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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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