Tag Archives: scheme

App brings new meaning to phrase ‘you snooze, you lose’

3 Nov

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If you didn’t already know, it’s November. Or, as most men will try and convince you, ‘Movember‘. But, either way, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s dark, cold and miserable – three factors that make me want to hug the pillow in the mornings. And I’m not the only one.

Chelsea Apps Factory has developed an app called iCuckoo, which gives people the chance to donate money to one of five charities every time they snooze the alarm.

That’s right. Ranging from 10p to a golden nugget, from now on an extra few minutes in bed could cost you (benefitting charities such as Parkinson’s UK, Prostate Cancer UK and Starlight in the process.) But don’t worry, donations are capped at £30 a month, so if you’re not a morning person you won’t have to remortgage.

I think it’s a really good idea – and it’s already got the PR coverage to prove with the Daily Star, Guardian and Charity Digital News under its belt – but not one that I’ll necessarily adopt.

If you’ve read my previous blogs you’ll get the impression I’m not very forthcoming when it comes to giving, despite working for a charity. That’s not entirely true. I just believe that giving should be a conscious decision – evolving into a long-lasting relationship between an individual and a cause they feel connected with. And, if this practice needs to be ‘masked’ through an everyday activity, is it really a gift?

iCuckoo isn’t the only recent initiative to encourage people to give little, but often, without thinking. Penny for London, whereby commuters can ‘micro donate’ a penny through contactless payment methods when travelling, launched in a bid to support vulnerable young people in the city last week.

I agree that it in our increasingly busy lifestyles, efficient and effective activities that make things easy for us will stand the test of time. In fact, having time to do anything is a luxury these days (so the fact that you’ve read this far means a lot.) But, if a charity’s supporters aren’t engaged then they simply won’t understand it in order to:

1) Make a decision to donate larger sums or more regularly
2) Become brand ambassadors and share their support, either through word of mouth or social media
3) Share ideas to shape its future and make it stronger

I don’t know about you, but I believe all of the these principles are vital in order for organisations to stand out from the crowd.

Overall, it’s great that charities are waking up to new fundraising ideas. But, if they’re looking for a robust long-term strategy they need to sleep on it.

What do you think? Would you sleep in and give more?

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Waitrose gets customers to ‘horse’ around

20 Jan

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Waitrose has been encouraging consumers to ‘horse around’ (been waiting for a good opportunity to write that) on its ‘Love Life‘ slide, which was installed at Westfield Stratford City shopping centre last weekend.

Named after the supermarket’s range of ‘good for you’ food, it offered people a fun alternative to walking down the escalators in East London.

At a time when the the UK’s obesity levels are bursting at the seams – currently one in four adults are classified as obese – it’s vital that well-known brands are seen to be doing their bit. Aside from the Government’s Public Health Responsibility Deal and latest Change4Life push, companies must help communicate that adopting a healthy lifestyle is vital to our survival.

OK. The mechanics of this PR stunt doesn’t jump out on paper but it’s a good alternative to get the message home (when accompanied by the fact that in January people are looking for a little ‘pick me up’.) Creative campaigns, to hammer home healthy eating, are key to stand out in the media and resonate with consumers. After all, no one enjoys being repeatedly told they need to move from their armchair and eat more carrots. You get my drift.

Up to 3,000 people were made aware of Waitrose’s healthy eating scheme and many more children will experience it now that plans have been made to relocate the slide to a playground in East London.

Seen other good examples of brands celebrating healthy eating recently?

Last year my client – Unilever Food Solutions – had a vibrant campaign idea to transform an ambulance into a unique ‘Ambu-lunch‘.

Why not leave a comment with others?

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Adverts don’t make nations fat, people do

20 Nov

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There was an interesting article from the Independent on Sunday yesterday on celebrities advertising junk foods.

Health campaigners plan to make a fresh attack on food and drink companies in an attempt to ban them from using celebrities to advertise their products. The finger isn’t just being wagged at celebrity ambassador veterans David Beckham and Gary Lineker, London 2012 Olympians are also under scrutiny for backing salty Subway rolls.

Journalist Paul Gallagher reports that the food and drink industry should be condemned for acting irresponsibly for fooling customers into thinking they can look like celebrities by eating the product they’re endorsing. RIDICULOUS. As clever as PR and marketing is, people are born with an innate detector that helps them to recognise ‘spin’ when they hear or read it. Who would fall into this ludicrous trap? Wait. I really don’t want to know.

Whilst I wholeheartedly agree that food and drink companies must act responsibly, they can’t think for people. Campaigners are hardly giving the Government’s Responsibility Deal for Public Health a chance. This voluntary scheme, which has new pledges thrown at it almost weekly, has attracted hundreds of businesses who want to make it easier for their customers to eat healthier, including Unilever Food Solutions.

If celebrities can grow food and drink sales by association, I say ‘well done’. I don’t call it demon marketing. Adverts don’t create fat nations, people do. And recession, according to rival paper The Guardian today.

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