Tag Archives: list

Dancing on ice for Children in Need

13 Nov

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All brands get to a stage where they have to stop and think of others by running, what we call in the industry, a ‘charidee’ campaign.

One of my favourites this week is the Tower of London’s link up with Children in Need. To celebrate the BBC’s corporate charity – that helps more than 2,600 projects in the UK to provide support to millions of young people – it’s donating up to £7.50 per person from three skating sessions. My guesstimate is that it’ll raise well over £1,500. And, it’s a partnership that’s obviously beneficial to both parties because it’s the second year in a row that they’ve done this.

It’s topped my list for three reasons:

a) – This is pounds, not pence, being donated which makes a difference to charity and the media
b) – The Tower of London Ice Rink gets to launch its skating season with a bang with some TV coverage that’ll deliver a strong ROI
c) – Someone’s going to have to dress in a Pudsey costume and skate at the same time so the chances of that person falling over, making for s classic live TV moment, is high

Celebrities are also backing the charity’s 34th appeal – which is set to raise the bar by topping last year’s £26m fundraising total – in various ways. From Ellie Goulding’s charity single, which’ll donate 20p from each downloaded track, to Sir Paul McCartney designing his own Pudsey Bear, the campaign’s approach is evolving all the time.

What are your top charity campaigns?

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Coca-Cola loses its fizz after insulting customer

22 Sep

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Have you heard the one about Coca-Cola calling one of its customers a ‘retard‘ via its latest promotion?

Ok, maybe you haven’t because it happened in Canada. But here’s what happened:

Blake Loates bought home a bottle of Coca-Cola’s Vitamin Water earlier this week and she was in for a shock when she unscrewed the cap, which read ‘You Retard’ on the inside. Some people may have found it funny (personally I don’t, and even less so coming from a global brand) but Blake certainly didn’t because her sister suffers from cerebral palsy.

Her father wrote a letter of disgust forcing Coca-Cola to own up to its politically incorrect mistake – which it did quite well. But the reason the brand manager (or PR) cited for the inappropriate wording was a language mix up (‘retard’ meaning ‘delayed’ or ‘late’ in French), which relates a wider promotion the brand was running.

The fact that more people may have or will continue to open up the phrase before the manufacturing process is discontinued is shocking – and the fact that Coca-Cola has undone its apology to the family, by not noticing the mistake long before it went public, is dumb.

There’s some small-scale crisis management to be done now, in my opinion, because consumers won’t remember the story being a water bottle lid ‘lost in translation’, it’ll become ‘Coca-Cola calls cerebral palsy teenager a retard’. But for some reason the drinks company has put this issue to the bottom of its ‘to do’ list as it looks to push ahead with its international obesity campaign.

Of course a stunt like this won’t damage a brand like that, but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t show empathy. I’d have liked to have seen Coca-Cola show some personality by making the Loates family feel like a valued customer and sending some freebies. Essentially, the company needs the family to publicly say the right things to override the negative comments so everyone can see that the situation was dealt with.

This time, Coca-Cola might not have lost its bottle with the complaint, but it’s certainly lost its fizz.

Would this bad PR put you off your favourite soft drink?

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There’s no confusion with this campaign

10 May

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It’s been a while but I’ve seen a campaign I actually like – thanks to Confused.com.

The insurance comparison site has kept its latest PR and marketing push simple, by setting out to answer the crazy questions that consumers have on their mind but have never been able to ask.

At the top of the list, according to new research, is ‘what’s the fuss with the Kardashian’s?’ Fair enough – I’m not sure either but it doesn’t stop me going crazy trying to keep up with them.

So, to help the nation out Confused.com is answering a series of random questions through short YouTube videos, featuring a mad scientist character, and inviting people to tweet questions next Wednesday using a special hashtag.

It’s an interesting campaign and works well because consumers get something useful out of it – knowledge. The fact that confused consumers will be looking to Confused.com for clarity is brilliant, making it a thought leader in its sector and everything else as well! To me, it’s very clever and well executed. My only issue is with the scientist who through looks suggests that the brand had no budget for Stephen Fry, so got a poor look-a-like instead.

But, you can’t win them all. But remember folks, in PR it’s necessary to die trying.)

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