Tag Archives: praise

X-rated car advert gets tongues wagging

31 Jul

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It’s a brand’s worst nightmare – an advert appears in print complete with a big mistake. No, not an incorrect spelling or wrong call to action. Either of those could easily be resolved with the help of a PR agency. Car hire firm Enterprise has had to deal with something much worse: an advert in the Pembrokeshire Herald, published last week, suggested that the firm offers inappropriate sex acts for customers. See the advert here.

To add insult to injury, the advert went hand-in-hand with the company’s Twitter launch. Although, this might be its saving grace. When the incident was spotted yesterday, Enterprise only had 61 followers – all of which were told that the service is ‘not offered at any of its branches.’

Twenty-four hours later that number has only risen by 13 – and the brand has responded to everyone that commented offering its single crisis-management message.

Of course, it’s not like the age old saying ‘if a tree falls in a forest and no-one’s there does it make a sound?’ Customers – existing and potential – are likely to hear about this via social networks or friends (the Mirror has already published the story too) But, when it comes to Twitter, I think people are less likely to get involved if they don’t think they can directly link with the brand. After all, that’s one big reason we make comments online isn’t it? To humiliate, complain or praise companies that we’re engaging with. The fact that few people knew about Enterprise’s Twitter page at that time has curbed the majority of comments.

I think the brand handled the process well. Although, I’d have suggested that they tailored their responses to show personality and a sense of humour. After all, the advert is clearly a joke.

At the time of writing this, I asked the Pembrokeshire Herald what its thoughts were and whether the error was from their side. According to reports they maintain the artwork was tampered with after it’d been signed off – and other brands were affected.

Surely, Enterprise will want an apology from the team if it was the paper’s fault – not to mention free advertising space to overright the problem.

However it progresses, this faux pas has certainly worked in Enterprise’s favour – in terms of PR and talkability. After reading this article how many hire car companies can you really think of?

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Rightmove bids on Apprentice star

18 Jul

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Leah Totton may have won the ‘The Apprentice‘ last night after Lord Sugar decided to back her beauty business, but that’s not the story. It’s Neil Clough, who was in the final five, that’s clocked a big opportunity.

He was told repeatedly during his televised interview that his DIY estate agency website would fail. Why? Because he was asking for estate agents to advertise on a site where they weren’t needed by readers. Lord Sugar, quite rightly, didn’t like it one bit.

But, in a PR twist for the books, national estate agency website Rightmove is arranging an interview for Neil to find out if he’s ironed out the creases in his business plan.

Whether it’a successful or not, it’s a brilliant example of proactive PR by Rightmove. The business saw an opportunity and acted on it – creating an interesting story that’s gaining traction on websites such as The Sun and Digital Spy.

Brands get one chance to make an impression and this opportunity was first come first served. It could have easily been Zoopla or Prime Location that I’m praising. But it just goes to prove that the PR team that identifies, plans and delivers wins big every time. It’s rewarded in brand awareness, thought leadership and a juicy PR value.

Great work Rightmove. And keep Prime Time posted on how you get on Neil!

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HMV calls for help as Twilight ends

12 Mar

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I can’t read about failed music retailer HMV without feeling sorry for the brand and picturing Poppy Rose Cleere – the woman who gave the world live updates as the big bods culled staff in a mass firing.

So, when I saw this well-received PR stunt my instant reaction was: ‘it’s great that they’re still making a go of things’. That’s right – pity praise.

This is the story of what HMV did:

To celebrate (or commiserate – whatever you’re into) the release of the final Twilight film on DVD, HMV has installed a telephone box in its Westfield store that has the film’s national helpline on speed dial to support troubled fans.

Featuring 30-second pre-recorded messages from the main cast, all people need to do is pick up the phone to be transferred to the comforting sound of the actors’ voices, including: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner. The helpline, as a whole, has been so successful it received more than 2,000 calls on the first day.

HMV has done well to capitalise on Twilight’s multi-million dollar industry by adding to the experience of the final chapter, while giving people an extra reason to buy in-store.

I hope we see another fresh PR trick by HMV in the coming weeks – it sends out a strong message during troubled times.

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