Tag Archives: guru

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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Are you ready at the drop of a hat?

4 Feb

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For a Monday morning, I was more prepared than a boy scout. How? I wore my emergency client dress for a potential awards lunch – Sustainable Restaurant Association Awards at the OXO 2 restaurant.

I thought I was going to be filling in for my most senior client, the managing director, but I should have known she’s made of stronger stuff. However, within your events party, you can always expect up to 10% of guests to drop out. So, when you’re thrown into a situation at the last minute that you’re not prepared for, here’s how to make the most of it and shine:

1. Ice, ice baby
Have an icebreaker under your belt and bring it out to everyone you meet.

As I’d only met my client’s leadership team a handful of times (and they won’t remember me even though I email them good news most days i.e. coverage), I used:

“Looks like my boss has finally let me out of the office!”

Corny I know. But I can laugh about it and so can they. It opens up about what I actually do and puts the attention on me for as long as I want it – until I turn the tables back on them.

2. Be honest
I was fortunate enough to be meeting my CEO at the event. I found her amongst the crowds and asked her to introduce me to some key influencers. I could have saved face and attempted to network on my own, but this method was quicker and she really appreciated my honesty and the challenges I was up against.

If this isn’t convincing enough – she set me up to shake celebrity chef Raymond Blanc’s hand. Enough said.

3. Check in
If you’ve been involved in the logistics of the event at any stage, check with your client and the organisers that everything is on track. It’ll show you’re in control and see tasks from beginning to end. It takes just one question and once you’ve been given the green light you can operate for the rest of the day on cruise control.

It goes without saying to make an effort with everyone – especially those on your table. Think of the five golden rules of journalism: who, what, why, when and how? Find out the answers from those closest to you and take the conversation from there.

4. Mission statement
As I was ‘invading’ a sustainability event for food and drink operators, I was understandably the odd one out. If you think your PR aura is sticking out like a sore thumb too, be prepared to summarise what you and your company does in one to two sentences. It succinctly helps the guests understand your role. Who knows – it might lead to a new business opportunity?

5. Find your niche
I was introduced to most people I met as my company’s social media guru. This gave me the flexibility to get my phone out without feeling rude and also handed me a free pass to doodle on my phone when conversations had come to a natural end.

6. Be aware
You can lose all sense of time at events. Don’t be caught out and over do it on the champagne at 11.30am! You do need to have some wits about you in front of your peers and clients.

What are your top tips on surviving
industry events win your clients?

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