Tag Archives: soft

Coca-Cola: Call me anything, just not ‘gay’

29 Jan

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Coca-Cola or Coca-Cock up? It’s hard to tell when this global brand keeps making marketing mistakes.

After asking fans to share a personalised coke, Coca-Cola’s sub brand – Vitamin Water – fell foul of calling one unlucky US customer a ‘retard’. And now, according to BBC Trending, the South African coke microsite has banned people from calling their can of coke ‘Gay’.

‘Computer error’ I hear you ask? Well, technical glitches don’t tend to read:

Oops. Let’s pretend you didn’t just type that. Please try another name.

The brand has since apologised and resolved the issue by clarifying which names can be used on its social media led channel by listing them on the site. But, if Coca-Cola thinks it can move on swiftly it’s highly mistaken.

With the 2014 Winter Games around the corner – featuring Jamaica (probably the most exciting thing about the event) – rightly or wrongly this has definitely become a gay rights issue.

Although the Games wouldn’t happen without its sponsors, it’s down to all marketeers, regardless of what country they’re based in, to communicate with one another to ensure they have an integrated approach. Remember that word? In this industry it doesn’t just look pretty on paper, it means something.

Sure, some might agree that Sochi shouldn’t be punished for South Africa’s mistakes but the truth is a quick phone call could have ensured the brand isn’t tarnished in every time zone. With Russia attracting attention for the wrong reasons since it passed legislation banning propaganda of ‘non traditional sexual relations among minors’, it’s important that businesses know which side of the fence they’re sitting on. Otherwise you’ll have international media, bloggers and entire communities hating on you, including Gay activist John Aravosis.

It’s time for marketeers to take responsibility for their actions because, with this company in particular, ‘sorry’ is wearing thin. If you’re going to put consumers in charge, then you have to be prepared for the consequences.

If in doubt, leave it out! What do you think?

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Curiosity Cola stands up to the big guns

24 Jun

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I know, I know – I only blogged yesterday but this brilliant advert by Fentimans Curiosity Cola is good enough for me to break protocol.

Not many everyday brands have the size, weight or wit to disrespect super brand Coca-Cola, but Curisity Cola – a natural drink – has launched a campaign with the slogan: Buy a weedy drink with your friend’s name on it or buy a proper cola with our name it.

I heart it. It’s a mass put down to Coca-Cola and the new Irn-Bru campaign.

Phew! Someone else believes me when I say personalised drinks are so noughties and sometimes it’s the product that matters, not the packaging.

What do you think? Had you heard of Fentimans Curiosity Cola before this ad? (I admit I hadn’t, but is this enough to put it on the map?)

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Ibis bunnies storm the hotel

5 Jun

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It’s been a busy few days for me in the PR world, but when I saw this campaign I literally dropped my phone, picked it up and started writing this blog.

Warning: This PR campaign by Ibis Hotels almost tips the cute scale.

Ibis’ new campaign to promote its range of hotels – now featuring the chains’ most comfortable bed ever – stars bunny rabbits as part of a one minute promotional YouTube video.

Forty bunnies took leading roles in the video, and were given permission to enjoy a top-floor room at the company’s Blackfriars branch over two days, in a bid to find the most comfortable spot to sleep.

Although I’m not familiar with the music, which tends to help turn a good video into a viral one (am I the only person on earth that’s never seen Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?), it’s a brilliant video that reaches out to meet consumers’ needs. After all, when booking rooms – whether it’s for a business meeting, girls’ weekend or to break up a journey – what really matters is a good night’s sleep.

Ibis’ key competitors have previously marketed their small touches that make customers feel special – Premier Inn’s pillow wrap, which highlights the softness of the bedding, and Travelodge’s soft toy ‘Sleep Tight‘ campaigns have been successful, but it’s this gentle and inviting video that’s really putting the message across.

The outtakes video, also produced by BETC London, is stronger in my opinion because it brings the campaign to life by telling Ibis’ campaign story. For example, did you know that 571 carrots were used in the making of this video?

Overall, it’s great content that’s already making waves in the hospitality, travel and leisure press – it’s interesting, sweet and well executed. Here’s to the bunnies.

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