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Anya Hindmarch’s cereal partnership is far from soggy

13 Oct

If you didn’t fancy a bowl of Kellogg’s finest before reading this blog, you will now.

Thanks to fashion designer Anya Hindmarch – the woman behind the ‘I’m Not a Plastic Bag’ campaign – the latest trend is vintage-inspired accessories that pay homage to big brands. From Ariel washing powder clutches and Custard Cream purses to Rich Tea baguettes and Coco Pops totes, this collection has hit the shelves at a time when demand for nostalgic kitsch has almost hit the roof.

And one in particular has caught my eye – Frosties.

With a fresh landing page, a strong social media presence and bold e-comms, this partnership is unique because both brands benefit from the added value. Here’s how:

Anya Hindmarch
Having been inspired to develop the limited edition Fashion Flakes range as part of her Counter Culture collection – inspired by her passion for making the ordinary, extraordinary – the bags are exclusive to her stores in London and Paris, instantly making it a sought-after product.

But, so not to put the products on a pedestal, Anya’s cleverly employed the use of social media to create a buzz – making these luxury items seem attainable to the average cereal eater.

Fans are being encouraged to post images or films on Instagram, tagging @anyahindmarch with the hashtag #cerealshopper for the chance to win a £1,350 bag.

With each Instagram post featuring the collection – or the Frosties-themed milk float, which formed part of a PR photo-call where cereal was handed out during London Fashion a Week – reaching 57,000 followers and generating in the region of 1,000 likes, it’s by far the best platform for the designer to show off.

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Frosties
But, what does Kellogg’s get in return for loaning out its family favourite brand I hear you ask? Well, whether you’re a collector or just like your cereal boxes with a pinch of class, you can get your hands on a redesigned Frosties box for a respectable £3 (the same calibre high-end creation at the snippet of the price).

Of course, Tony the Tiger is holding one of Anya’s bags as an extra plug, but on the whole the metro (modern vs retro) interpretation looks good and gives Kellogg’s some new content for its comms channels – something a 100+ year old brand must be desperate for. It’s also been able to share the love with Waitrose where the chic cereal will be available for a short period.

So, as you can see, two totally different brands from different sectors and with different audiences (the proportion of women with Anya’s luxury handbags who eat Frosties is considerably small, or so I assume) can successfully work together.

It’s simply a case of sharing key assets – in this case it’s Tony – and making it relevant to each other’s customer base using the right comms channels. It’s like a formula and this one has been well executed:

 

Photo-call launch + global news hook + exclusive product + competition + social media = brand awareness + recognition + engagement = sales

Do you agree? What element of the partnership do you think tastes grrreat?

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How Decoded is on a mission to make everyone feel comfortable with coding

6 Sep

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I don’t tend to make a habit of being in Central London before 9am on a Saturday, but I chose to break my own rules as part of my quest on learning how to code.

International technology school Decoded has generated a bit of a buzz in recent months. From Brand Republic‘s Editor in Chief Danny Rogers giving it a thumbs up to founder Kathryn Parsons ‘selling it’ in Stylist, my colleague and I were eager to check it out. On a Saturday. Have I mentioned that already?

Wooed by the appeal of a continental breakfast, we made our way there. But, on the way, I made a mental note of what I wanted to get out of the day. After all, at more than £400 a pop (and that’s just the weekend rate), Decoded needs to deliver results.

So, how did it do?

1) I’ll be able to read code well enough to understand when, and where, there is a problem within the text
Going through the fundamental principles of HTML, CSS and Java Script, in theory I should be able to read and write in code. It helped that Decoded’s system underlined errors in red, but going forward this is a case of practice makes perfect. If I keep at it, and focus just as much on the coding – opposed to just the visuals – it won’t be long before I’m fluent.

2) I’ll be able to simplify the fundamentals in order to make recommendations or flag issues to clients
The demonstrators did a great job of breaking the complex content down for us. And, like the above, if I can truly understand the basics then I’ll be well-equipped to explain it to others. But, in the meantime, I can always rely on Decoded’s follow-up resources pack to ensure I become a savvy wordsmith.

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3) I’ll get to know what elements generate the best call to actions and how to input these into my projects
Because this is a starter course, we didn’t delve into techniques that manipulate websites to increase engagement, interaction or sales etc.

Instead, we spent the day working on an app that allowed customers to check-in from a single geographical location, in order to collect rewards. That in itself was definitely more than I bargained for – teaching me the ‘not so subtle’ differences between the front and back end of websites.

4) I’ll be able to code an aspect of the projects I work on without simply rewriting existing templates
Yes and no. Using the foundations of coding, technically I can create content from scratch. But, whether I could do this within my company’s house style is yet to be tested. We remained very much in the safe territory of Decoded’s web design editing system. And, after nine hours of intense learning, I was grateful for that.

Overall, I was highly impressed by the professionalism of the course. It was relaxed and informal, but very effective. It’s definitely empowered me to carry on pushing myself to learn new things. After all, I can’t have primary school pupils showing me up in a few years time now that coding is on the curriculum.

Having these skills now will help a budding brand storyteller like myself profit in the future.

And, I must admit, it felt darn good to be sat around a big table carving out a digital masterpiece on a MacBook Air.
Very New York.

Have you been ‘Decoded’? What did you make of it?

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Secret Cinema drove at 88mph… and stalled

24 Jul

Thousands of angry Back to the Future fans took to social media to express their frustration at the late cancellation of Secret Cinema‘s launch event this evening – and who can blame them?

It’s a serious PR fail which was always going to end badly. Yes, the organisers have said sorry and used social media to disseminate the message to attendees quickly. But, unlike Sainsbury’s, Coca-Cola and Costco (brands which made epic mistakes but used social media to their advantage to make amends), Secret Cinema just let the cat drop out of the bag.

Here’s how:

What’s your problem?
Secret Cinema apologised, but I think it should’ve given a little more information away as to why so many people’s nights were ruined.

*Technical difficulties?
*Health and safety issues?
*Missing DeLorean?

My point is if you’re not transparent about why you’re making these decisions, then people will just start speculating. And that speculation will be plastered across Twitter and Facebook. Oh, and in this case, the national news.

There’s no nice way to say this, but…
Secret Cinema’s news broke on social media and, after just a few moments, went viral. Although, I’m still questioning why 26 people opted to ‘like’ the Facebook post.

What I also don’t understand is why the organisers ran the risk of involving its 201,000 fans in an issue that only affected a small percentage?

Ok, I may be contradicting my point about transparency. But, in the first instance, if it affected me (and they’ve got a week to sort themselves out before I get down there) I would’ve appreciated a personalised e-newsletter or text message breaking the news, rather than running the risk of finding out through my friends.

Ok, if negative press is going to get out, a brand can do little to stop it. But, this could’ve ring-fenced the problem for a short while – if Secret Cinema had the resources to pop down contact details encouraging people to call them with questions (rather than posting on social media.)

Actions speak louder than words
One thing’s for sure, Secret Cinema cannot afford for this problem to continue looming this time tomorrow. With a second round of ticket holders already panicking that they might not even make it to Hill Valley, my recommendation would be for organisers to shift from apologies to olive branches and start making amends sooner rather than later.

I was always expecting big things, but I’m expecting professionalism from Secret Cinema more than ever now.

Watch this space.

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