Tag Archives: gift

App brings new meaning to phrase ‘you snooze, you lose’

3 Nov

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If you didn’t already know, it’s November. Or, as most men will try and convince you, ‘Movember‘. But, either way, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s dark, cold and miserable – three factors that make me want to hug the pillow in the mornings. And I’m not the only one.

Chelsea Apps Factory has developed an app called iCuckoo, which gives people the chance to donate money to one of five charities every time they snooze the alarm.

That’s right. Ranging from 10p to a golden nugget, from now on an extra few minutes in bed could cost you (benefitting charities such as Parkinson’s UK, Prostate Cancer UK and Starlight in the process.) But don’t worry, donations are capped at £30 a month, so if you’re not a morning person you won’t have to remortgage.

I think it’s a really good idea – and it’s already got the PR coverage to prove with the Daily Star, Guardian and Charity Digital News under its belt – but not one that I’ll necessarily adopt.

If you’ve read my previous blogs you’ll get the impression I’m not very forthcoming when it comes to giving, despite working for a charity. That’s not entirely true. I just believe that giving should be a conscious decision – evolving into a long-lasting relationship between an individual and a cause they feel connected with. And, if this practice needs to be ‘masked’ through an everyday activity, is it really a gift?

iCuckoo isn’t the only recent initiative to encourage people to give little, but often, without thinking. Penny for London, whereby commuters can ‘micro donate’ a penny through contactless payment methods when travelling, launched in a bid to support vulnerable young people in the city last week.

I agree that it in our increasingly busy lifestyles, efficient and effective activities that make things easy for us will stand the test of time. In fact, having time to do anything is a luxury these days (so the fact that you’ve read this far means a lot.) But, if a charity’s supporters aren’t engaged then they simply won’t understand it in order to:

1) Make a decision to donate larger sums or more regularly
2) Become brand ambassadors and share their support, either through word of mouth or social media
3) Share ideas to shape its future and make it stronger

I don’t know about you, but I believe all of the these principles are vital in order for organisations to stand out from the crowd.

Overall, it’s great that charities are waking up to new fundraising ideas. But, if they’re looking for a robust long-term strategy they need to sleep on it.

What do you think? Would you sleep in and give more?

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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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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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