Tag Archives: health

Fill up on Dallas’ PR stunt

27 Feb

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I wonder how many PR agencies have come up with the idea to launch a petrol station – offering cheap fuel – to promote a prime time TV programme? Answer – one.

To celebrate the launch of Dallas returning to the small screen this week, US TV network TNT launched Ewing Energies – in honour of ‘oil man’ character JR Ewing – for Manhattan consumers to fill up their cars for just $1.98 per gallon.

Up to $2 per gallon cheaper than anywhere else in the area, it’s no surprise that motorists were queuing two blocks away to take advantage of the one day deal.

TNT launched the stunt with a video, where JR tells fans that the offer makes good business sense. And, as one of the most powerful people in America, he can make it happen.

What I like about it, is that the video is ‘on message’ with the soap, adding drama and intrigue around the new series, but interesting and fun at the same time. It’s also effective because it has a short shelf-life. It propels a call to action, with consumers knowing that if they miss this, they miss out. 20140227-075340.jpg The video, hosted on the Dallas’ Facebook page which has over 1.4m fans, generated over 1,000 likes. And images of the man behind JR, Josh Henderson, pushed that figure to more than 13,000.

It’s an active Facebook page that acts in the form of JR’s diary, encouraging people to comment on what they’ve just viewed and forthcoming teasers. It’s also completely different to the way it runs Twitter, so it was right to make the most of the stunt on that social media channel.

All in all, I think it’s a fantastic idea, engaging with new and existing soap fans by bringing TV to life. Although it’s not yet known how many viewers the PR activity brought in, TNT has many more tricks up its sleeve. Next month, JR is also set to launch a range of Bourbon.

What do you think? Does this campaign make you want to reach for the remote?

It’s a formula that we could see open up in the UK. Just think:

The Queen Vic opening up in Shoreditch
BBC bosses have recently been complaining that E20 no longer represents trendy East London. So, why not connect with new viewers by launching a cheap bar? Content could be used in its online mini-series, that runs alongside the show, giving customers the chance to be on TV.

Doctors to offer free check ups
Members of the show could chat to people who are in line for a free health check up – blood pressure or cholesterol etc – to make them feel at ease. Linking in with a medical brand or pharmacy, discounts could be offered on certain products.

Meet Mr Selfridge
To coincide with Selfridge’s next milestone anniversary, the cast from the hit ITV show could attend an exclusive party at the flagship store, of which part of it would be re-designed in the style from the 1900s.

ITV could then launch a competition giving viewers the chance to win tickets to the champagne reception, maximising coverage opportunities and generating talkability.

BBC and ITV – talk to me.

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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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Waitrose gets customers to ‘horse’ around

20 Jan

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Waitrose has been encouraging consumers to ‘horse around’ (been waiting for a good opportunity to write that) on its ‘Love Life‘ slide, which was installed at Westfield Stratford City shopping centre last weekend.

Named after the supermarket’s range of ‘good for you’ food, it offered people a fun alternative to walking down the escalators in East London.

At a time when the the UK’s obesity levels are bursting at the seams – currently one in four adults are classified as obese – it’s vital that well-known brands are seen to be doing their bit. Aside from the Government’s Public Health Responsibility Deal and latest Change4Life push, companies must help communicate that adopting a healthy lifestyle is vital to our survival.

OK. The mechanics of this PR stunt doesn’t jump out on paper but it’s a good alternative to get the message home (when accompanied by the fact that in January people are looking for a little ‘pick me up’.) Creative campaigns, to hammer home healthy eating, are key to stand out in the media and resonate with consumers. After all, no one enjoys being repeatedly told they need to move from their armchair and eat more carrots. You get my drift.

Up to 3,000 people were made aware of Waitrose’s healthy eating scheme and many more children will experience it now that plans have been made to relocate the slide to a playground in East London.

Seen other good examples of brands celebrating healthy eating recently?

Last year my client – Unilever Food Solutions – had a vibrant campaign idea to transform an ambulance into a unique ‘Ambu-lunch‘.

Why not leave a comment with others?

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