Tag Archives: story

Alternative advent calendars give consumers food for thought

1 Dec

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I’d like to introduce you to someone – December. That’s right, get the advent calendar out and enjoy your first square of fancy cheap chocolate.

This year, more brands are attempting to give consumers food for thought by not only engaging with them in a creative way on the 1st December, but also every day in the run up to Christmas. Genius.

Here are some of the best:

The Big Issue
Street magazine The Big Issue has launched an online advent calendar, whereby users can log onto the website to read an inspirational case study of a vendor each day. Not only does this help people to emotionally connect with the brand, but also the individuals behind The Big Issue – making this a powerful relationship-building exercise between new and existing customers.

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The Economist
To ensure you’re not winding down at work too soon, The Economist has collated a range of maps, charts and data from the site over the last year. To an outsider, this looks like a novel idea. To a digital marketer, it’s simply a quick win to boost web traffic before the end of the year.

But, don’t worry. Its designers have created a brand new interactive infographic for Christmas Day. It’ll be interesting to see how many tune in for that!

BBC Sport
In a similar fashion, the BBC is giving sports fans a 30-second video each day showcasing a ‘shot of the day‘. It kicks off with a Wimbledon recap of Australia’s Nick Kyrgios teaching Rafael Nadal a lesson in the fourth-round matchearlier this year.

A very nice way to leverage fun existing content, while giving people a reason to keep coming back.

Battersea Cats & Dogs Home
The famous animal rescue centre has partnered with The Metro this Christmas to help their pets find a new home. Revealing a ‘pet for life‘ behind every window, prospective owners can search to see if their future companion is waiting for them.

Time will tell how effective the PR and marketing stunt is. Gizmo, the six-year old Staffy, is still there and it’s almost 10.30pm! But, it’s a good way to raise awareness and personalise the process for people searching for a new pooch over the festive season.

What calendar stands out for you? Do contemporary case studies, charts, clips and cats rock your boat, or are you looking for something more traditional?

Brucie bonus: Masters of Malt
Not strictly on par with the other brands, but I cannot deny how much PR this drinks company has inadvertently enjoyed over the last week since TV legend Phillip Schofield expressed his Iove for the Drinks of the Dram whiskey advent calendar.

Schofe received a backlash from the Meaningful Chocolate Company, a Fairtrade company which has launched a calendar that sticks with the original Christmas story. It’s a good spot of PR for the business, but the share of voice in a Daily Mail mention for the brand at hand is through the roof.

That’s because criticism always leads to headlines, and that’s why I advise smart and subtle approaches to getting your brand’s message heard. Social media silence is best.

The real advent calendar

The Prince’s Trust gets swept away with video campaign

29 Sep

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Today marks the launch of a new campaign at Prince’s Trust HQ. We’re celebrating everything Enterprise, as we look to encourage young adults to set up their own business. Dull, boring and disengaging? Wrong.

Working with creative agency Nonsense, and funded by RBS , we’ve created three spoof infomercials bringing to life a series of terrible business ideas. You know, the ones that wouldn’t make it onto the brainstorm flip chart – despite the mantra ‘no idea is a bad idea‘. And, it works. Take a look for yourself.

A toothbrush, hairbrush, toilet brush and broom all in one, there’s more to this video than slapstick comedy. Behind the scenes, the PR, marketing and digital teams have been working closely (even crossing over at times) to ensure our ‘outside our comfort zone’ multi-media content is working as hard as possible to reach the right people: 18-30 year olds. Here’s how:

Digital
The Brush it All video celebrates the start of a three-week digital campaign – our biggest push ever – and to make this possible we’ve strengthened our existing business content to sit alongside the videos. From Enterprise programme enquiry forms to business plan templates, we’ve made the collateral easier to find and use thanks to our new landing page.

PR
Making the most of our campaign news hook, the PR team has also created case studies of young people who’ve previously completed The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme and gone on to business success. To be featured on the website and sold-in to national, regional and local press, these stories will bring to life what we we’re trying to achieve and tick the box for peer to peer marketing.

We’ll also be sharing the stories of the Enterprise ‘heroes’ on the other side of the coin – The Prince’s Trust business mentors who provide two year’s support to every young person who seeks to develop their business idea- to maximise coverage opportunities.

Celebrity
This isn’t a category that I usually highlight when reviewing campaigns – especially when there’s still a debate as to whether it’s stats or celebs that people respond to more. But, with a host of celebrity ambassadors supporting The Prince’s Trust, the team has leveraged business tips from self-made figures to inspire young people. Think Kelly Hoppen , Jamal Edwards, Levi Roots and Jamie Oliver. As well as being rolled out online, this content will also generate consumer coverage.

Social Media
We’ll also be engaging with the celebrities on our social media channels. But, it’s not just a case of us, or them, pushing the video out with a campaign hashtag (although, not to leave any stone un-turned we’ve got one of those as well: #MyBigIdea), we’re using YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram Pinterest and Google+ to share exclusive ‘behind the scenes’ content and connect with followers by feeding into business-related conversations.

So, with all of this, a dash of digital advertising, e-marketing, and internal comms, we’ve come up with a recipe for success. What do you think? Does Brush it All inspire you to start your own business?

Drop me a comment with your thoughts and continue to check YouTube for the other videos in the series over the coming weeks. They’re awesome.

Brush it All

The Prince’s Trust presents Brush it All

What’s love got to do with it? Match.com partners with Mensa

30 Jun

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There comes a time when you have to admit that your blog life is better, and far more interesting, than your love life.

On Prime Time we’ve had a range of heart-shaped posts in the past. From wanting to break up with clients and top Valentine’s Day campaigns to Christian dating advertising slogans and kinky classifieds, there’s been lots to say and sadly it’s not got me anywhere.

But, now that Match.com has partnered with Mensa to connect geniuses (never underestimate yourself), perhaps my time has come.

Profile users can now add a Mensa badge to their profile to let prospective partners know that they’re looking for someone smart.

It’s a simple idea but it works – adding a fresh talking point to both brands’ bows, particularly Match.com.

I imagine that the dating service’s press releases and case studies are normally filed in journalists’ features folders, only allowed out for air in mid February when the media force feeds us with love stories.

But, this partnership provides the dating service and high-IQ society with an interesting news angle. It also complements our society’s increasing need to ‘pick and mix’ the type of people we want to get to know. Sticking a Mensa badge on your profile is as much a blockade as it is an invitation.

To add value to the partnership, Match.com is also offering users the chance to take a Mensa test for $1. Bargain.

So, while singletons are rushing to find out how smart they really are, I’d argue that Match.com actually has the highest IQ.

For a brand that’s synonymous with online dating (I dare you to ask the people around you what dating websites come into their head and I bet Match.com is first every time. If it isn’t, it’s because it didn’t work for them), its challenge is to continue pushing traditional marketing to one side and prioritising innovation.

Has this PR partnership got you head over heels?

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