Tag Archives: market

Usher confesses his love for Cheerios in new campaign

13 Nov

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There’s no denying that breakfast is big business. We’ve just seen fashion designer Anya Hindmarch give Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger a grrreat makeover and Shoreditch is awaiting the launch of its first Cereal Killer Café next month.

So, it’s no surprise that celebrities are chewing their right arms off to be associated with the most important meal of the day – becoming part of everyone’s morning routine in the process. And, the king of R&B, Usher, is no exception.

He’s partnered with Cheerios and Walmart in the US to give away his latest track – Cluelesswith every box of Honey Nut Cheerios.

Just add milk
On the outside looking in, this brand partnership doesn’t seem to make any sense. 36-year old Usher, who has come a long way from his You Make Me Wanna days, doesn’t fit Cheerios’ target market – a cereal championed by a bee called Buzz.

But, once you’ve swallowed this fact and digested the promotional video that accompanies the PR and marketing stunt (don’t knock it before you’ve tried it – it’s already secured 820,000+ views), it becomes the entire reason why Usher has taken this on.

With super fans downloading One Direction and Justin Bieber tracks left, right and centre, how does an ‘experienced’ singer steal back sales and kudos? By ending up in the hands of millions of young digital eagles across the country, giving them a unique code to download a fresh track of course!

No added sugar
Essentially, it’s a win-win situation. Usher gets the downloads he needs ahead of an upcoming album launch and Cheerios gets to negotiate premium shelf space with Walmart, while producing some crunchy content for its communications channels.

But, how could this partnership develop in the long-term?

Free gift inside
Some ways that Cheerios could maximise its partnership with Usher include subtle branding in his next video; utilising his 9m+ followers by hosting a Twitter takeover and running a competition to meet the star himself; or creating a series of educational videos on the importance of breakfast with Usher’s children, linking in with Cheerios’ Family Breakfast Project.

So, it’s a good start, but there’s lots more Cheerios could be doing to transform this fleeting stunt into a considered campaign.

What do you think?

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What a day for a lovely campaign!

13 Feb

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V… Va… Val… Valentine… No. I can’t quite finish that sentence but we both know what this blog post is going to be about don’t we? That’s right. Friday, 14th February.

You know the score. That time of the year where companies don’t just sell those holidays, razors or games. It markets love too. Here’s a round up of some of the best:

Virgin whistles for attention
Virgin is invading customers’ inboxes via a disruptive e-marketing campaign that uses flirty language and wolf-whistles when opened.

One word – amazing. Great job Lida. It complements the fun and cool appeal the brand has built up through TV campaigns. Compared to competitors, which are forced to focus on pricing and customer service, Virgin can afford to sit back and say ‘where can we take you?’ because it’s a brand consumers want to connect with.

The email’s tongue-in-cheek approach cements this and will hopefully see plenty of people take up its offer of a Caribbean holiday this Valentine’s Day.

But, if not, it can be sure the open rate will be high. I’d do anything to be on the receiving end of a wolf whistle. Virtual or not!

Freeview’s three in one romantic ready meal
With a recent survey revealing that 25% of couples will be shunning a session of public Valentine’s Day PDA for a night in on the sofa, Freeview has created a three in one ready meal.

The Valendines meal, by MHP Communications, is a quick and dirty PR stunt which will generate coverage but, arguably, it won’t be memorable. But, with a client like Freeview – for those who cant afford cable (not knocking, just describing myself) – it doesn’t need to be.

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Wilkinson Sword has a smooth approach to the big day
Unlike Freeview, leading razor brand Wilkinson Sword has really thought about its campaign.

With the tag line, ‘This is not the day to irritate her’, from far away an image of a man on a billboard looks as if he’s sporting stubble. But, on second look, it’s rose stems. It then disappears and the brand wishes people a smooth day.

This is a great idea that can work across multiple channels: advertising, marketing and social media. It has real shareability and should definitely have a hash tag.

‘I’m Game’ underwear
I know the point isn’t for Game to sell its his and hers underwear, which is currently on sale in its Stratford store, but I’d be interested to know how much it makes on it after the weeked.

The company developed the idea after its research revealed that one in four gamers will slink away this Valentine’s Day for a quick fix on a console.

It’s tacky and unnecessary but with coverage already on Digital Spy and Metro, it’s adding value to the brand at low cost.

Which of these lovely campaigns stand out to you?

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Our survey says… more please!

7 Jan

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Welcome Prime Timers – to the first blog of the new year.

If you’re struggling with the thought of the five-day working week, then this blog probably won’t help. I’m going to get underneath the skin of a recent survey and debate the PR-Journalist-Consumer relationship. That’s right folks, we’re exploring a three-way relationship.

The Energy Saving Trust has commissioned a survey which reveals that more than half of consumers prefer to see advertising claims backed by facts and figures. A further 41% are more likely to believe ideas supported by a third party expert organisation.

‘This is interesting’ I hear you say. But you’ll be even more surprised when I say just 1% said celebrity endorsement would increase their product loyalty.

So, judging by this report, big brands such as Nike, Pepsi and L’Oreal should scrap Ashley Cole, Beyonce and Kirsten Dunst and re-invest their budget elsewhere, because apparently it doesn’t work!

PR
From a PR point of view, what avenue you go down to get coverage depends on who your target audience is. Top titles such as the Metro and the Daily Mail are packed with survey stories, but you can’t have a conversation with a lifestyle journalist without a celebrity partner as back up.

That’s because celebrities don’t just push product, they market an experience. Are the research respondents actually telling me that when they’re looking for trainers they’re turned on by Which? statistics rather than the thought of looking like a model?

Which sectors should prioritise stats?
1. Financial
2. Technology
3. Healthcare

Consumers
I’m not expecting consumers to believe everything celebrities say. We’re in the middle of a sponsorship era. Do well in youe field, you get offers. Lie, cheat or fail to perform and those offers are taken off the table. So, media savvy readers will know that celebs will agree with almost anything as long as it pays well. These endorsements are PR through and through.

In some cases, celebrities can’t even uphold an exclusive sponsorship deal. In the Evening Standard tonight I saw that in an interview with the Radio Times, actor Ben Miller has admitted to fancying Typhoo Tea opposed to PG tips. He’s rocked the boat and put his personal opinion above his cash cow.

Which sectors shouldn’t prioritise stats?
1. Fashion and beauty
2. Arts and culture
3. Media

Journalists
But, when it comes to securing coverage, it takes far longer to explain your headline stat and sample size, compared to uttering the words ‘Gwyneth Paltrow‘. And, more often than not, she adds more weight.

I’ve actually had a journalist put the phone down on me, not because he wasn’t interested in my pitch but because he simply didn’t believe the figures.

There’s a time and a place for numbers and percentages. When they’re unusual, fool-proof and complement the product or service, they sit well with all everyone involved. But, if in doubt, find someone who will communicate your messages without the hassle.

What do you prefer?

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