Tag Archives: one direction

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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A perfect World Cup tweet gone wrong

18 Jun

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I’ve decided that when Taylor Swift first sang the words ‘I knew you were trouble when you walked in’ she was talking about one of two things: 1D’s Harry Styles or the perils of social media.

Social media is a bear trap for brands and the latest honey to lure them in is the World Cup. Put simply, if a tweet misses the net the person behind the shot will end up paying the price.

Playing the hand you’re Delta
On Monday night Delta Airlines decided to keep its 690,000+ followers updated on the final score of the USA (2) vs Ghana (1) match with this tweet.

20140618-103129.jpgAn ignorant stereotype
On the outside this looks like a great tweet. It’s factual, engaging and makes the most of iconic photography.

Look a little closer and you’ll see that it was all going so well until the company decided that the photo that best defined Ghana was a giraffe.

Moments later, experts quickly pointed out that giraffes don’t live in Ghana (If you didn’t already know this go straight to jail. Do not pass go and do not collect £200.)

In fact, with a bit of digging the experts discovered that this stock image had Kenya written all over it. (Well, you know what I mean.) So, there’s no reason, or excuse, for the Delta team to have got this one wrong.

Not only does it make the brand look a little unworldly – believe me for a travel company that’s not the adjective you want to be associated with – but also a little uncaring.

Cue the apology
To right its wrong, Delta did the only thing it could do in this situation: issue a public apology.

But, I can only imagine that its community manager was trembling with fear because it added an unnecessary step to its sorry note. It made a typo by referring to its ‘precious’ tweet (opposed to previous).

20140618-114716.jpgI’ve previously said that if a link between a brand and an event isn’t obvious then they shouldn’t be wading into the conversation at all.

Global events, like the World Cup, are not only notoriously difficult to generate cut-through, but when brands do get noticed it’s often because a mistake’s been made.

Destroying the evidence
Not that you’d ever know Delta had been issued a yellow card. The offending image has disappeared from the timeline and the airline has spent the last day ‘doing a Sainsbury’s‘ by directly apologising to its critics.

Perhaps I’m not giving Delta enough credit. It may have been completely in control of this risky stunt. But, it’s not one that I’d ever recommend.

Would you Google women’s rights? You will now

22 Oct

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The last few posts I’ve written have covered fun and quirky PR campaigns. From One Direction launching its own day to Aflac letting a live mascot ride the New York subway, these brands have generated talkability. But this stunt, by Ogilvy & Mather for UN Women in Dubai, tackles an important global issue in an effective and sensitive way.

Taking over one of the world’s most popular search engines, Ogilvy ensured that every time someone used Google last month that they were given suggestions relating to attitudes to women – such as ‘women need to be…controlled‘ and ‘women need to be…put in their place‘.

The agency produced a compelling story to attract interest in the campaign but they didn’t have to think for too long. The suggested search terms are all real examples of what people have used Google for. It’s surprising, shocking and disappointing. In a world where I thought my challenge was being mixed race, it’s been highlighted that I’m getting ahead of myself. It’s being a woman that I have to worry about first.

I can only imagine that when the brief came in to the advertising agency that there were a few overwhelmed executives in the office. This is no mean feat on any budget. Forget the opportunities to see, website traffic and return on investment, UN Women wants to generate behavioural change. But by rooting the campaign within one of the world’s most popular websites (pipped to the post by Yahoo in the US this week) and using striking photography, Ogilvy has successfully made people stop and think.

It’a taken a little while for the news to spead – the Huffington Post has only picked it today – but the campaign is continuing the conversation on Twitter.

It’ll be interesting to see if this replicated by the UN across the world on International Women’s Day (8 March 2014). They’d be missing a trick if the opportunity wasn’t seized to make the world listen to its sound argument.

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