Tag Archives: Starbucks

Smirnoff embraces the spirit of same sex marriage

27 Mar

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I assumed some smart brands would try and make a story out of the US Supreme Court considering legalising same sex marriages this week, but I didn’t expect vodka to be crossing the inner circle.

Absolut and Smirnoff have shown their support by posting bespoke images across their social media channels, and Diageo’s Smirnoff did it incredibly well.

Showing different drink pairings, it runs the slogan ‘every pairing is perfect’. Quite simply, it’s smart, sophisticated and brand-led. I’m not offended or left wondering why my favourite vodka is even getting involved in this equality issue. Instead, I feel thirsty. Exactly what they want me to think.

In less than a day it’s generated almost 6,000 Facebook ‘likes’ and the number’s growing.

Other companies, such as Starbucks and Amazon, are trying to jump on the bandwagon and do their thing, but I doubt they’ll come close to this stunt.

Is your favourite drink making a stand?

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Peter Andre serves decent coffee from a skip

12 Sep

Celebrity Peter Andre must be ‘Insania’ if he’ll attend the opening of a skip. But, hey we’re PRs; we can make it happen.

He turned up outside the Houses of Parliament yesterday to launch United Coffee‘s new campaign, called ‘Make Decent Coffee‘, encouraging people to throw their instant blends away into the skip in exchange for a decent cup of freshly roasted and ground coffee.

One of the country’s leading coffee providers, United Coffee is keen to spread the word that you don’t have to be a Starbucks, Nero or Costa barista to enjoy the taste of real coffee. And why should we? I lose all my self-confidence asking for a fancy ‘skinny grande latte’ under pressure in ‘those’ queues.

It’s not the first time that a coffee company has based a campaign on the experience of enjoying authentic coffee at home, but it is the first that I can think of asking people to trade their instant granules in. It’s a nice idea to directly engage with consumers, raise brand awareness and, depending on how much coffee is collected, generate some additional newshooks for the brand later down the line.

It’s good to have a simple, clear coffee message too. I’m surprised consumers aren’t more confused about coffee: ‘Is it good for me, is it bad for me?’ It generates masses of column inches each week amongst national and consumer press, with its powers changing every time.

Here are some of the most recent coffee stories that made the papers:

1) Coffee offers protection from bowel cancer: Research from the US National Cancer Research Institute has found that drinking several cups a day can cut the risk of developing a tumor by between 15% and 25%.

2) A coffee a day will keep your work pains away: Scientists from the University of Oslo in Norway found volunteers who had a latte before they tackled 90 minutes of intensive screen-based work suffered fewer pains in their neck, shoulders, arms and wrists than those who went espresso free.

3) Latte coffe a day will pile on 10lb: According to the fitness trainers’ body, the Register of Exercise Professionals, one sweetened milky drink from chains like Costa can have over four times the calories of an ordinary cup.

How does that make you feel? If that’s made you thirsty, United Coffee is giving away free samples at London Waterloo and London Victoria stations tomorrow.

Odeon Facebook rant breaks box office ratings

30 Aug

It was a good weekend for Odeon Cinemas until Friday evening when Mark Pledger posted a comment on the cinema’s Facebook page about the poor customer service ,which instantly generated more than 170,000 ‘likes’ and over 15,000 comments.

I’m sure we call all remember a time waving goodbye to a £20 note after handing it to a cinema sales assistant for a ticket to a film, a drink and one or two individual pick and mix. We can also probably remember shedding a tear when we received no change. Or, remember the time you were insulted by having to pay for a pair of 3D glasses when the special effects in question were simply an after-thought. (Was that ship coming out of the screen or did I just have something in my eye?) We all acknowledge that cinema customer service is poor, but why now is the argument gathering pace?

  1. Although Odeon says it responded to Mark directly by email after the comment was posted, it didn’t publicly acknowledge the thousands of additional comments until at least a day later. The business allowed the storm to brew in its own tea-cup. Bank Holiday weekend aside, social media is 24/7 and someone has to be, at the very least, monitoring its sites out of hours. See my blog: Finding Time to Tweet for more. When questioned, Odeon simply said: “We responded to him directly via email for the experience.”

     

  2. Although Odeon privately, then publicly, responded to the comment, it has not made the effort to publicly manage the expectations of the thousands of additional comments that followed. Neither has it issued a blog / statement that empathises with its customers. I have not added my 10p worth into the mix (yet), but feel strongly about the issue. How do I know Odeon will continue to make their experience better for me? Odeon told me that it  simply “responded to every post that warrented a customer service response.”

     

  3. Lastly, the business made the (fatal) mistake of not holding its hands up and admitting that its service occasionally slips below par by saying ‘we’re sorry’. I firmly believe that if it had taken this approach, it would not be in as much hot water as it is now. I tweeted Odeon commenting on how poorly they phrased their response, but they ignored this and simply told me: “he [Mark] was responded to privately to address the service by the cinema manager, as this was a local issue.”

No that the furore has reached The Guardian, The Wall blog and endless other forum sites (just type in ‘Odeon Facebook rant’ on Google and you’ll see what I mean), there’s little doubt that this has become a national issue now. How long now before Odeon focuses on its messaging to communicate some, clearly needed, changes that it’s making. What’s more, it’s an opportunity for the likes of Cineworld and Vue to produce some well-timed marketing that says ‘look at us’, we’re giving our customers an improved experience, always. Cineworld is already trying this with plans to boost its snack offer by partnering with Starbucks.

Whatever happens, with a run in with the ASA over a 15% off promotion,the marketing team at Odeon will have to paddle a lot harder in future to keep its head above water.

Have you had a poor cinema experience recently?

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