Tag Archives: Houses of Parliament

Peter Andre serves decent coffee from a skip

12 Sep

Celebrity Peter Andre must be ‘Insania’ if he’ll attend the opening of a skip. But, hey we’re PRs; we can make it happen.

He turned up outside the Houses of Parliament yesterday to launch United Coffee‘s new campaign, called ‘Make Decent Coffee‘, encouraging people to throw their instant blends away into the skip in exchange for a decent cup of freshly roasted and ground coffee.

One of the country’s leading coffee providers, United Coffee is keen to spread the word that you don’t have to be a Starbucks, Nero or Costa barista to enjoy the taste of real coffee. And why should we? I lose all my self-confidence asking for a fancy ‘skinny grande latte’ under pressure in ‘those’ queues.

It’s not the first time that a coffee company has based a campaign on the experience of enjoying authentic coffee at home, but it is the first that I can think of asking people to trade their instant granules in. It’s a nice idea to directly engage with consumers, raise brand awareness and, depending on how much coffee is collected, generate some additional newshooks for the brand later down the line.

It’s good to have a simple, clear coffee message too. I’m surprised consumers aren’t more confused about coffee: ‘Is it good for me, is it bad for me?’ It generates masses of column inches each week amongst national and consumer press, with its powers changing every time.

Here are some of the most recent coffee stories that made the papers:

1) Coffee offers protection from bowel cancer: Research from the US National Cancer Research Institute has found that drinking several cups a day can cut the risk of developing a tumor by between 15% and 25%.

2) A coffee a day will keep your work pains away: Scientists from the University of Oslo in Norway found volunteers who had a latte before they tackled 90 minutes of intensive screen-based work suffered fewer pains in their neck, shoulders, arms and wrists than those who went espresso free.

3) Latte coffe a day will pile on 10lb: According to the fitness trainers’ body, the Register of Exercise Professionals, one sweetened milky drink from chains like Costa can have over four times the calories of an ordinary cup.

How does that make you feel? If that’s made you thirsty, United Coffee is giving away free samples at London Waterloo and London Victoria stations tomorrow.

Brands lighting up the sky

3 Jun

This post links back to my trip to Paris this week. As it was my first visit, I made sure I soaked up all the information I could about the landmarks I visited. It wasn’t long until I was hit by how French car manufacturer Citroen had the great idea of emblazoning its brand name on the Eiffel Tower –  using 250,000 lights – back in 1925.

I remember quite well when 90’s pin-up Gail Porter seduced the nation to find FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women on the Houses of Parliament. At the time I thought this was a brand new approach to marketing; a never-been-seen before stunt. But, to find out that landmarks were being used more than 70 years earlier (if not before)  just proves that some of the best PR campaigns don’t need to re-invent the wheel. Putting a new tyre on it works just as well.

Citroen’s bright idea remained in place until 1934 when the electricity bill became too much. But it did find some spare Euros to celebrate the company’s 90th birthday in 2009, to put on a 12-minute light show performance, complete with cars streaming live footage from webcams around the tower.

So, to salute this celebrated channel for brand advertising, I’ve listed my top three outside projections:

1. Buckingham Palace: Face Britain project, 2012. Created by Prince Charles’ foundation Children and the Arts, a giant image of Queen Elizabeth, made up of self portraits by school children, were projected onto her home.

In the year of the Diamond Jubilee, this was always going to cause a stir with the media.

2. White Cliffs of Dover: Carlsberg, 2011. To kick start its campaign ‘That calls for a Carlsberg’, the company projected an impressive 3D advert on the White Cliffs of Dover.

Great use of an ‘off-the-wall’ location that guarantees talkability.


3. Battersea Power Station: Natural History Museum, 2010. Giant frogs and dragonflies covered Battersea Power Station for the launch of the OPAL Water Survey, a national initiative to get people to explore England’s lakes and ponds, collecting valuable scientific information along the way.

Cute and clever…and possibly the only way to make the survey seem exciting. 

What are your favourite projections? What was it about them that made them so memorable?

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