Tag Archives: freebie

Weight Watchers’ café is fuelled by social media

17 May

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It’s not a case of bloggers’ block that’s kept me away for so long; it’s a lack of intriguing campaigns. But, just as I was about to give up hope… Weight Watchers opened the door to a very interesting concept.

The weight-loss company has launched its first ‘Feel Good’ café in London, and social media is the key to getting in.

In exchange for spreading the ‘feel good’ message, customers can pick their favourite healthy dishes – for free.

It’s a bold and brave approach to hospitality, but it’s not the first time we’ve been bribed with freebies for a Facebook update. Remember Special K‘s Tweet Shop?

Weight Watchers’ café, based in Hoxton Square, may only be open for a week, but it is something the the brand will consider rolling out nationwide if it’s successful. After all, tasting is believing and if people choose its meals when eating out, then they’ll definitely purchase as part of their weekly shop. It’s a win-win.

So, don’t be fooled. Even if you leave feeling good, the Weight Watchers’ empire will feel better.

Don’t get me wrong. This is a breakthrough initiative for the weight-loss industry, as Alex from Social Media Frontiers says. And, for a brand which already commands considerable shelf space in supermarkets, this really was the only direction to go in. Sure, it could’ve partnered with an up-and-coming coffee chain but where’s the fun in that?

Big brands don’t tag-along if they’ve got the pulling power to lead from the front.

My only critique is that the café launch should’ve coincided with Social Media Day (June 30), but Weight Watchers has a good excuse – new research which highlights the dieting challenges the UK faces, and the café is part of the answer.

The only other question is, how will Slimming World respond?

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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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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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