Tag Archives: magazine

Royal Mail fails as brands attempt to cash in on World Cup buzz

12 Jun

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Call me naive (although I’d prefer it if you called me Donna*), but I didn’t even realise until this week that postal officers could refuse to deliver mail that they deemed offensive. But they can, and they did, when they were handed the latest issue of marketing magazine The Drum.

The front cover included the F-bomb, in large font, as part of a creative design tying in with the World Cup which kicks off today. (Go Belgium, thanks to my sweep stake pick). But, context aside, according to the Royal Mail, the subscription-only trade publication failed to comply with the company’s T&Cs of avoiding ‘offensive, obscene or threatening language’.

So, knowing what I know now, I’m not sure why I was surprised to read again today that there are reports of postal staff – possibly Royal Mail, possibly not – refusing to deliver a special edition of The Sun in the North West. A blow to the UK’s largest newspaper after it invested in creating a one-off paper celebrating ‘Englishness’ to celebrate the launch of that football tournament. There’s a pattern emerging here, don’t you think?

Reaching 22 million people across the UK and not a Page 3 model in sight, The Sun had already pre-empted a negative reaction from Liverpool, so decided against distributing there, as a result of the newspaper’s Hillsborough football disaster coverage. But, reports are circulating that elsewhere in the North of England – including Runcorn, St Helens, Skelmersdale and Ellesmere Port – that postal staff wouldn’t agree to deliver in these areas if asked.

At a time when the print journalism industry is struggling to stay alive, because consumers are choosing to eat their news and views in more convenient digital bites, I’m surprised that delivery companies like the Royal Mail are turning their back on print partners. Surely, these corporate contracts – whether they’re one-off projects on long-term – are their bread and butter. And, without them they’ll just go hungry! Particularly if their hunger pangs come down to language preference, like in The Drum’s case.

It’s for the end consumer to make the complaint and, if they’re offended, the issue (no pun intended) should be taken up with the company responsible: the publisher, not the carrier.

FIFA has enough PR problems to deal with around this global event, besides whether its ‘brand’ can even be delivered to the right people. It needs to focus on protecting its image against rumours that half-built stadiums will be half empty, as well as the news that the Brazilian army has been asked to drive lingering drug lords out of local favelas.

Let’s hope these latest Royal Mail fails don’t reflect too badly on the tournament.

*That bad joke proves I am my mother’s child, just in case anyone was wondering.

The Drum editor says 'F@£! It' to Royal Mail over F-bomb front cover

The Drum editor says ‘F@£! It’ to Royal Mail over F-bomb front cover

Magnum (P.I) fans hunt for Holland dress

29 Mar

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I can’t remember the last time I had a Magnum. Lent aside, it’s a premium product for premium people. I’m more of a Cornetto girl.

But, to celebrate Magnum’s 25th birthday, Unilever – the company behind the Ambu-lunch PR stunt – has teamed up with fashion designer Henry Holland to create a limited edition ice-cream themed party dress.

Holland came up with a 60s-inspired patterned shift dress. But, don’t worry if you think it looks like a glamourous safari outfit. I thought the same at first glance. It’s meant to resemble the ‘iconic crack of Magnum chocolate, revealing the rich ice-cream beneath’ – not a giraffe.

The best thing about this £5,000 fashion collection is that Magnum’s made one of them entirely out of chocolate, handcrafted by three experts, truly making it good enough to eat.

As part of the promotion, Holland is giving away 25 dresses to Magnum (P.I) fans who crack the code by successfully following a set of clues across its social media sites.

It’s a great effective ‘quick win’ promo mechanic for the brand:

1. Celeb-studded launch event
Kimberley Garner, Vanessa White and Gizzi Erskine were just some of the famous faces at Magnum’s party, held at Home House.

Celebs guarantee coverage which is why the event secured ‘Daily Mail Showbiz‘ style coverage (crem de la crem).

2. Exclusive Giveaway
Who doesn’t love a freebie? Magnum’s decision to encourage fans to ‘crack’ the code to win one of the dresses is a no brainer and will see people flocking to follow, like and pin its profiles at the same time.

3. Advertising
It’s underpinned the campaign with TV ads, which is perfect timing as the sun pops its head out of the clouds for the first time in months. So, even if you don’t know about Holland’s design then you should know Magnum has something to celebrate.

The only thing I’d ‘bolt on’ to the campaign is bloggers.

Magnum could’ve recruited fashion bloggers, or even a top magazine, to collaborate with Holland during the creative process to secure additional coverage.

Alternatively, it could’ve asked them to design a dress that’ll represent Magnum in 25 years time and time capsule that bad boy. Then you’ve got a PR story and a 50th birthday present.

Happy birthday Magnum… and you’re welcome.

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Centrefold magazine uses Nokia for 10th anniversary issue

15 Mar

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Following the Oscars we know that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 can take a good photo, but just weeks after that filmie was taken the Nokia Lumia 1020 is already proving its worth.

Let me explain. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of fashion magazine Centrefold, all photos within the special edition have been shot using a Nokia.

This partnership has taken the phone brand to the next level, demonstrating that a Nokia boasts top camera qualities including: precision, depth and class. And the PR the stunt is generating is brilliant too.

Protein, an inspirational media agency, is behind the stunt and it plans to exhibit the unique fashion shots in London next week – which will open up the Nokia brand to an even bigger audience.

But, to sustain campaign momentum, and position itself as the leading camera phone, Nokia could do one of three things:

You can’t go wrong with a comp
Run a social media competition offering the chance for a customer to have professional photos taken on their phone, and run them in an advertorial placed in a fashion magazine, with behind the scenes content. Social media tactics, combined with traditional print media, will ensure the brand generates plenty of ‘OTV’ (opportunities to view).

Don’t worry, be appy
Nokia has created some strong content through its partnership with Centrefold so it should make the most of it by making a photography app for customers to download. Packed with top tips and advice on capturing the best ‘still life’, ‘people’ and ‘landscape’ shots, it can also include basic editing software – beyond Instagram – to help fans enhance their images.

Get on the curriculum
There must be hundreds of photography courses running across the UK, so if you can’t beat them – join them! Encourage and equip lecturers to use Nokias in class to inspire students to think outside the box when it comes to imagery.

So, there you have it. A good idea which could be made great if it is extended.

What do you think? Would you have guessed these were phone shots?

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