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Weight Watchers’ café is fuelled by social media

17 May

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It’s not a case of bloggers’ block that’s kept me away for so long; it’s a lack of intriguing campaigns. But, just as I was about to give up hope… Weight Watchers opened the door to a very interesting concept.

The weight-loss company has launched its first ‘Feel Good’ café in London, and social media is the key to getting in.

In exchange for spreading the ‘feel good’ message, customers can pick their favourite healthy dishes – for free.

It’s a bold and brave approach to hospitality, but it’s not the first time we’ve been bribed with freebies for a Facebook update. Remember Special K‘s Tweet Shop?

Weight Watchers’ café, based in Hoxton Square, may only be open for a week, but it is something the the brand will consider rolling out nationwide if it’s successful. After all, tasting is believing and if people choose its meals when eating out, then they’ll definitely purchase as part of their weekly shop. It’s a win-win.

So, don’t be fooled. Even if you leave feeling good, the Weight Watchers’ empire will feel better.

Don’t get me wrong. This is a breakthrough initiative for the weight-loss industry, as Alex from Social Media Frontiers says. And, for a brand which already commands considerable shelf space in supermarkets, this really was the only direction to go in. Sure, it could’ve partnered with an up-and-coming coffee chain but where’s the fun in that?

Big brands don’t tag-along if they’ve got the pulling power to lead from the front.

My only critique is that the café launch should’ve coincided with Social Media Day (June 30), but Weight Watchers has a good excuse – new research which highlights the dieting challenges the UK faces, and the café is part of the answer.

The only other question is, how will Slimming World respond?

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Ibis bunnies storm the hotel

5 Jun

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It’s been a busy few days for me in the PR world, but when I saw this campaign I literally dropped my phone, picked it up and started writing this blog.

Warning: This PR campaign by Ibis Hotels almost tips the cute scale.

Ibis’ new campaign to promote its range of hotels – now featuring the chains’ most comfortable bed ever – stars bunny rabbits as part of a one minute promotional YouTube video.

Forty bunnies took leading roles in the video, and were given permission to enjoy a top-floor room at the company’s Blackfriars branch over two days, in a bid to find the most comfortable spot to sleep.

Although I’m not familiar with the music, which tends to help turn a good video into a viral one (am I the only person on earth that’s never seen Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?), it’s a brilliant video that reaches out to meet consumers’ needs. After all, when booking rooms – whether it’s for a business meeting, girls’ weekend or to break up a journey – what really matters is a good night’s sleep.

Ibis’ key competitors have previously marketed their small touches that make customers feel special – Premier Inn’s pillow wrap, which highlights the softness of the bedding, and Travelodge’s soft toy ‘Sleep Tight‘ campaigns have been successful, but it’s this gentle and inviting video that’s really putting the message across.

The outtakes video, also produced by BETC London, is stronger in my opinion because it brings the campaign to life by telling Ibis’ campaign story. For example, did you know that 571 carrots were used in the making of this video?

Overall, it’s great content that’s already making waves in the hospitality, travel and leisure press – it’s interesting, sweet and well executed. Here’s to the bunnies.

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