Tag Archives: hotspot

A child Picasso gives Waitrose a helping hand

26 Aug

20140430-231008.jpgThey say the ‘kids are all right’. But, the phrase should be the kids are always right. Earlier this year a little girl wrote a letter to Lego complaining that boys had all the fun because they got the chance to play the hero, whereas female figures had limited prospects sunbathing on the beach or relaxing at the beauty parlour. Lego listened and promptly launched a limited edition set of inspirational female scientists that have sold out in stores in the US.

Now, seven-year old Harry Deverill, from Dorset, has taken it upon himself to redesign Waitrose’s bottle of brown sauce. He couldn’t work out what the current picture was meant to be, so supplied the supermarket chain with three alternatives. And, as a result, it’s replaced its essential range’s brown sauce label with one of his images.

It was always going to be a success.

Up-market supermarket Waitrose, which previously slid to PR success, has not only shown that it listens to its customers’ suggestions (note suggestion, not complaint), but that it’s also open to change. And, in doing so, has proved that it understands good PR.

I’m sorry Harry but, in the foodservice industry, updating packaging that has existed from the beginning of time is not high on its list of priorities. After all, it’s got shelf space, profit margins and new products – such as Curiosity Cola, Birds Eye Mas#Tags and Warburtons – to contend with. But, in spite of all this, it knows that putting a call into its printing factory is worth generating content for its own publications (Waitrose Kitchen and Waitrose Weekend) and national consumer titles such as the Daily Mail, Daily Express and the Metro.

Although, this wouldn’t be Prime Time if I couldn’t find a way to critique the perfect PR stunt.

Taking a proper look at the previous label’s artwork I can conclude that it’s bad – really bad. Why Waitrose has been precious about it for so long is beyond me. So, why not extend the opportunity and launch a competition for other children to submit their designs for its essentials range? I appreciate that redesigning the entire collection might be a bit much, but it could start with the condiments and table sauces and work it’s way through the shop slowly.

This will generate even more content for the brand to roll out across its:

a) Social media channels
Competition entry galleries where fans are encouraged to vote for their favourite image.

b) Marketing magazines
Features on the children behind the winning designs.

c) TV shows
PR through cookery demonstration discussions.

A competition would also lend itself to a local PR campaign in hotspot areas, with the results transitioning into advertising slogans.

It’s come this farand I salute Waitrose for its willing gesture. But, it doesn’t have to be a one-hit wonder. Keep the momentum going by involving more customers and sit back and enjoy the results.

What do you think?

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lastminute.com is behind the times with copycat campaign

9 Nov

Competitions are PR gold because they drive engagement with your target market. I’ve launched a few of them in my micro career – from the Best British Roast Dinner to the Best Dressed Pub – and it’s safe to say there’s no campaign that won’t allow you to bring out consumers’ competitive streak.

But the one that the PR industry remembers – which broke all the rules, offered a top prize, won awards and international coverage – was Queensland’s 2009 ‘Best Job in the World‘. So, when I saw the lastminute.com was looking for a ‘spontaneity champion‘, to indulge in luxury mini breaks across the world and share their experiences with the brand, I was a little disappointed.

There’s no shame in being inspired by other campaigns, but if it doesn’t take it to another level then have you really done your job? (#JustSaying)

lastminute.com’s competition has already been talked about by almost every UK national newspaper, but to add some extra sparkle, I’d promote it in the following ways:

Pack a suitcase
Package the competition up as part of a wider feature with top tips for frequent travellers; travel blogger profiles; and ‘how to…’ articles on spending 24hours in the most popular cities. The content can be run as part of an advertorial within a magazine like Time Out or pitched into a range of websites.

Pin it to win it
lastminute.com is on the right track when it comes to social media, by encouraging the eventual champion to share their experiences, but it could take it one step further by utilising Pinterest.

This story is great, but there’s nothing worse than reading about a competition you didn’t win, so why not continue the celebrations by giving people a chance to win a trip to the destination on a picture they ‘re-pin’?

Talk to the experts
If you’re sending someone on a ‘trip of a lifetime’ every weekend for a year, they’re going to become experts in destination hotspots, hidden culture and emerging trends. So leverage their expertise by hosting a press event at the end the year for a campaign round-up. lastminute.com could go it alone, if they have the budget, or partner with a well-known travel conference and secure a speaking opportunity as part of a sponsorship package.

By inviting journalists and bloggers to hear the stories, and also do a ‘big reveal’ for next year’s campaign, they can keep the brand in the news.

So, there it is. Three ideas to better organise the campaign around the spontaneity champion. Are you up to the challenge?

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This PR stunt is a little abstract

29 Jan

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Do you ever wonder how often the art world crosses over into PR? Let me explain:

An artist from Milton Keynes, Tomas Georgeson, has hidden the majority of his life savings in his local gallery. Why? It’s an artistic statement to boost numbers and interest.

Through an advert placed in his local paper, local residents are being encouraged to visit their local hotspot to see if they can find it. Whoever does will be able to bank it. No terms and conditions just a potential ‘life- changing’ sum.

There’s no doubt about it – this is a great story. But is it genuine or do I smell a PR rat? One thing’s for sure, if Georgeson ever wanted to jump careers, PR could be for him. But, he’d have to learn a few lessons first to ensure his campaigns don’t fall flat in the long-run:

Think long-term
For someone who’s evidently passionate about bringing artistic culture back to Milton Keynes and reinstating the integrity of the gallery, who is Georgeson doing this for?

I’m not sure how many people are going to return after the ‘New Year egg hunt’ is over. Yes, the visitor numbers are likely to increase over the coming weeks, but what next? Arguably, advertising could have done the same.

Although Georgeson’s gone one better and created a buzz through a ‘PR stunt’, how is he going to fund the ongoing campaign and keep giving people reasons to come back?

You don’t get many surprises at my age
It would have been risky, but Georgeson could have kept his cool and played the game a little longer – and not gone to the press before the stunt had even launched. Call me cynical, but does a rare Robin Hood in the 21st century really make such a public announcement about their endeavours?

An element of mystery would have given the ‘campaign’ a better grounding and positioned Georgeson as more of a hero if he’d waited. Think Banksy.

I’ll give him this though – the timing is spot on. Every day, we’re being told how households are still feeling the pinch and money is a language everybody speaks.

Be realistic
Georgeson says: “It almost doesn’t really matter what happens, it’s the fact that it’s there.”

Serious? We live in a ‘give to get’ society. PRs especially. If you’re not hungry for the PR value or questioning the return of investment, you’re not going to excel. Georgeson should have thought more about his messaging – didn’t he want to bring the gallery to the centre of the community?

Keep your clients informed
According to the gallery’s press office, who have not been told of the cheque’s location, the team have carefully searched for it but cannot find any trace.

A careful ploy to encourage more visitors who believe they still have everything to play for I wonder?

This part of the story just makes us wonder how hard they were looking.

This will be a campaign to watch – especially when it comes to how much the artist and gallery benefit.

What are your thoughts?

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