Tag Archives: statement

Fila gives Banksy a run for his money

5 Jun

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I was late to the party when the world-renowned ‘graff-art-i’ father Banksy first hit the scene. But, when I did, I went through the same stages we all did. From ‘is that legal?’ and ‘who is he?’ to ‘what’s he trying to teach us’ and ‘I wish he’d give my house a makeover’, love him or hate him, he’s making statements and hard cash.

So, it’s no surprise that people trying to get in on the action. Remember the masterpiece that was removed from a shop wall in North London? The point is, we’re used to people trying to remove Banksy’s to sell them on. And we know that brands, like Lego, will shamelessly piggyback off his success by making mock-ups. (For those of you new to Prime Time, I love to hate Lego. It’s stepped to its game in recent months and I just can’t keep up). But, we’re not necessarily used to brands adding to an existing piece of his artwork – cue Fila.

To me, Fila is an old school brand. Quite literally, the last time I wore a pair of its kicks was at school. So, I’ve already conjured up an idea that this vigilante brand has nothing to lose by slicing pairs of its trainers in half and strategically placing them at the foot of Banksy’s across London (as if to worship his approach).

But the story doesn’t end there. Here comes the science. Advertising agency GREYGermany used Google Ad Words to lead consumers, searching for answers to what this sporting statement actually meant, to shoe retailer Deichmann.
Nice touch, but I would’ve much preferred a link through to an ‘undercover’ (i.e. subtly branded Fila site) that encourages people to upload their Instagram pictures of the stunt for the chance to win a free pair of trainers.

The key is to convert your audience from interested consumers into brand ambassadors – and get them to tell you the next stage of the story. Who will they influence next? What do they want to see from the brand? What content do they need to share with their friends?

I just don’t believe a shoe shop can offer this because have to work twice as hard to a) assure people they’re involved in Fila’s PR stunt and b) keep people interested in the brand, rather than pushing them to buy.

But, I won’t be too hard on the Fila. It’s a great quick-win for the brand and, judging by the agency’s YouTube video, it has set the path open for others to hijack street art to create a new movement. But, I won’t get too excited until I hear that Banksy’s requested some more shoes for his next piece.

What do you think – is Fila running in the right direction?

Fila gives Banksy a run for his money.

Fila gives Banksy a run for his money.

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Costco begs for forgiveness after being caught out on Twitter

25 Nov

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I’m normally an advocate for social media silence, but national retailer Costco was quick to repent for its sins with a statement – after the brand was caught out last week.

To put it into context, a Californian pastor noticed that a stack of Bibles were labelled as fiction in one of its stores. Now, you might not believe that this book contains the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but there’s no need for the brand to potentially offend the 246m Christians in the US.

So how did Costco respond after the pastor blasted the company on Twitter? With a watertight crisis management statement that followed the classic ‘get out of jail’ formula:

The formula
Shift blame + Take blame + Olive branch solution = Peace is restored

What Costco said
Costco’s distributor mislabelled a small percentage of the Bibles. However, we take responsibility and should have caught the mistake. We are correcting this with them for future distribution. In addition, we are immediately relabelling all mislabelled Bibles. We greatly apologise for this error.

By the time this was issued it was too little too late. Pastor Caleb Kaltenbach’s tweet had already shocked his congregation, who questioned if Costco was guilty of religious discrimination. And 1,466 followers, 253 retweets, 88 favourites and a flurry of national news stories later, it got so out of hand the pastor had to calm his flock down by claiming he wasn’t angry, just interested.

The one thing Costco didn’t do was use its social media channels to defend itself. Perhaps it was trying to bury bad news or take the approach that what its customers don’t know won’t hurt them (or the business). But failing to maximise its 1m reach on Facebook seems strange, especially when its Twitter pages are such a mess.

Well, at least Caleb has a pinch of inspiration for his next sermon and has successfully engaged with his audience. But the moral of this story is that if you’re truly sorry for your actions, God will forgive your mistakes.

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Cineworld indulges in childish insults

26 Apr

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Cinema brands get my goat. Why? Because they clearly don’t understand social media, but continue to put people in charge that either say too little or far too much – to the point where they insult their customers.

A few months ago I blogged about Odeon, which failed to respond to a Facebook status complaining about ticket prices. Hours became days and days became an entire weekend where nothing was done, allowing the post to gain momentum through more than 170,000 ‘likes’.

Now it’s Cineworld’s turn to commit social media suicide, although this time the brazen brand has no remorse. The tweets that you’re about to see are still on the company’s Twitter page.

Let’s start this story with a quiz. If a customer complained about costs to you on a social network would you:

A) Apologise that they feel that way and use a pre-approved policy statement to explain why costs have risen before directing them to special offers that you’re currently running etc

B) Ignore the statement, after all you’ve got so many other tweets to respond to

C) Antagonise your customer and explode into a flurry of insults and childish backchat

I’m sure you can guess by now that Cineworld took option ‘C’. The backchat included:

Well you ‘say’ we’re definitely going bust in 1-5 years. If you’re psychic can you tell me the lottery numbers.

For someone that doesn’t like talking to us, you’re certainly persistent. Excuse me I have homework to do :]

And my personal favourite:

Fine OK we’re just evil millionaires who are trying to destroy cinema, you’ve blown it wide open. Enjoy Odeon :]

Shocked? I’m guessing (and hoping) that this approach has lost Cineworld more than one customer since its 42,000 followers witnessed the feud with customer Alan Bishop.

But, what’s more frustrating about this story is that The Drum questioned whether brands should be engaging with Twitter trolls.

Let’s be clear – Alan is not a Twitter troll. He had an opinion which the company failed to recognise. Instead it was belittled and mocked in the public domain which won’t do Cineworld any favours. Perhaps the big bosses need to remind the social media managers that they’re being paid to have some manners.

Am I overreacting? Or should brands be sticking up for themselves like Cineworld? Let me know!

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