Tag Archives: hash tag

What a day for a lovely campaign!

13 Feb

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V… Va… Val… Valentine… No. I can’t quite finish that sentence but we both know what this blog post is going to be about don’t we? That’s right. Friday, 14th February.

You know the score. That time of the year where companies don’t just sell those holidays, razors or games. It markets love too. Here’s a round up of some of the best:

Virgin whistles for attention
Virgin is invading customers’ inboxes via a disruptive e-marketing campaign that uses flirty language and wolf-whistles when opened.

One word – amazing. Great job Lida. It complements the fun and cool appeal the brand has built up through TV campaigns. Compared to competitors, which are forced to focus on pricing and customer service, Virgin can afford to sit back and say ‘where can we take you?’ because it’s a brand consumers want to connect with.

The email’s tongue-in-cheek approach cements this and will hopefully see plenty of people take up its offer of a Caribbean holiday this Valentine’s Day.

But, if not, it can be sure the open rate will be high. I’d do anything to be on the receiving end of a wolf whistle. Virtual or not!

Freeview’s three in one romantic ready meal
With a recent survey revealing that 25% of couples will be shunning a session of public Valentine’s Day PDA for a night in on the sofa, Freeview has created a three in one ready meal.

The Valendines meal, by MHP Communications, is a quick and dirty PR stunt which will generate coverage but, arguably, it won’t be memorable. But, with a client like Freeview – for those who cant afford cable (not knocking, just describing myself) – it doesn’t need to be.

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Wilkinson Sword has a smooth approach to the big day
Unlike Freeview, leading razor brand Wilkinson Sword has really thought about its campaign.

With the tag line, ‘This is not the day to irritate her’, from far away an image of a man on a billboard looks as if he’s sporting stubble. But, on second look, it’s rose stems. It then disappears and the brand wishes people a smooth day.

This is a great idea that can work across multiple channels: advertising, marketing and social media. It has real shareability and should definitely have a hash tag.

‘I’m Game’ underwear
I know the point isn’t for Game to sell its his and hers underwear, which is currently on sale in its Stratford store, but I’d be interested to know how much it makes on it after the weeked.

The company developed the idea after its research revealed that one in four gamers will slink away this Valentine’s Day for a quick fix on a console.

It’s tacky and unnecessary but with coverage already on Digital Spy and Metro, it’s adding value to the brand at low cost.

Which of these lovely campaigns stand out to you?

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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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More brands suffer at the hands of social media

11 Sep

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First there were hurricanes, and shootings. Then there was horsemeat and a Royal baby. What have these events got in common? They’ve all prompted (foolish) companies to jump on the bandwagon to promote their brands. But, more often than not, the PR and marketing team’s rushed efforts lead to a grovelling apology after a consumer backlash.

Let me explain.

Today, the world remembers the innocent victims from the tragic 9/11 event in New York. And, like clockwork, brands have used the 12-year anniversary for self gain. Unfortunately, it’s all too transparent and US site Fast Company has created a round-up of the worst social media stunts. Take a look – it’s really interesting.

Telecommunications company AT&T shamelessly featured the new Blackberry in its commemorative corporate tweet – which went down like a lead balloon despite the brand realising its rookie mistake and deleting from its Twitter and Facebook accounts.

That’s not all.

Marriott Hotels – which has a unique connection with 9/11 in the sense that one of its branches sat at the foot of the Twin Towers and collapsed with it on the day – tweeted an image of a plate of pastries and a sign reading that it was giving them away between 8.45am and 9.15am. People lost their lives. So, needless to say that pastries aren’t really a consolation prize to shout about.

First of all, social media managers / interns / robots that are running the game must sense check with the wider marketing teams and get key messages signed off. That way if the update blows – you’re all idiots.

Secondly, an event like this shouldn’t even be viewed as a commercial opportunity. Yes, if done in the right way, it can curry favour with consumers. But, brands shouldn’t make light of 9/11 in anyway. Ok, a #neverforget hash tag can put your tweet in the centre of the online community, but images? Risky. What picture can possibly connect with thousands of people directly associated with the event, and the millions more who were touched by it. As we’ve seen, brands can be on top of the world one minute and at the bottom the next. And clicking delete doesn’t mean a thing once it’s been seen.

Brands must keep it simple. Nappy company Huggies is a good example of this by remembering the victims and the brave people who risked their lives to save others. But, even then, you’re left thinking ‘why are you getting involved?’

So, lastly, unless your brand has a direct association with the event in question and you have something that will add value to ‘the’ online conversation, say nothing at all.

Silence is golden in situations like this. Agree?

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