Tag Archives: surprise

Let’s be Frank about Austravel’s PR stunt…

3 May

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If you walked down to Liverpool Street station this week, you were in for a PR surprise. But, you had to look carefully. If you blinked, you’d miss it (probably).

Frank PR teamed up with Austravel, a tour operator, to promote its holiday destinations by creating a hole in the ground to show consumers what they’re missing.

Unfortunately, it just didn’t have the ‘wow’ factor.

Here’s three ways it could’ve made the stunt better:

1. Take us away
Problem: The hole in the ground showed ‘real time’ footage of Bondi Beach.
Solution: The stunt would’ve been stronger if Londoners who looked into the hole were linked up to see Australians ‘show us around’ the area. We can all dream about a beach but it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going. People engage people, so connect the dots and strengthen the stunt in both countries.

2. Tidy up Twitter
Problem: Austravel’s Twitter account wasn’t ready for the campaign. It had less than 150 followers on launch day, which hasn’t steadily increased during the stunt period.
Solution: Tease the stunt to ‘lock people in’ to the hashtag – #LondonDownUnder – and engage with stakeholders to help them promote the campaign, to encourage it to snowball to success. Social media marketing is vital but it’s brands that have to put the legwork in – not the other way round.

3. Speak up!
Problem: There was a ‘builder’ on site to manage the stunt but when I walked past on a couple of occasions nothing was said (obviously people should have lots to say when I walk past, but you get what I mean).
Solution: You can’t rely on a piece of paper with a brand’s Twitter handle to drive the campaign forward – have a conversation. This could’ve seen more people stop by to see what all the fuss was about.

So, there you have it. Austravel may have wanted a ‘soft launch’ and Frank PR may say that its client didn’t have a decent budget. I say that the brand now has an uphill struggle to contend with.

Where does it go from here? Is this campaign quickly going down under?

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Macmillan strikes it lucky with tube tweet

30 Apr

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Relax. The tube strikes are over…for now. But, in the few days they caused chaos in the capital, they had a great publicist: front page of the Evening Standard, infographics and a hashtag! It’s a hat-trick that PRs like me can only dream of.

But, while you were complaining/celebrating/not caring (delete as appropriate) about how industrial action brought London to a standstill, some charities were planning a clever social media campaign.

Macmillan Cancer Support piggybacked off Twitter’s ‘tubestrikes’ hashtag to promote its services, accompanied with a simple graphic using the iconic London Underground key. Meanwhile, Save the Children put the disruptions into perspective by comparing the ‘madness’ in London to Syria.

Macmillan’s tweet may only have been retweeted 140 times, but it had wit, talkability and relevance on its side adding to its pulling power (despite it repeatedly tweeting the image to different media outlets in quick succession – a no no for me as mentioned in this blog.)

In the same fashion, Save the Children’s infographic scores highly on the shareability scale because it summarises an issue in an instant. So, it’s no surprise it’s caught the attention of BBC, The Independent and the Daily Mirror to name a few.

But, these tweets aren’t successful because they’ve been seen thousands of times in the last day. They’re successful because they’ve raised awareness of the charity at zero cost – a ‘quick win’ result that a PR, marketing or social media agency just can’t contend with.

With tube strikes set to land in London again next week, expect other organisations to jump on the bandwagon (remember all those #nomakeupselfie variations?) But one thing’s for sure – it won’t be as innovative the second time round.

What do you think of these mini campaigns?

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Phone boxes are a dead ringer for Lipton Ice Tea

19 Apr

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Have you noticed anything different about your local phone box recently? Of course not. No one gives phone boxes the time of day anymore. So, it’s surprising that Pepsi has used them as part of its latest marketing campaign.

Pepsi’s Lipton brand has taken over 5,000 ‘street kiosks’, close to convenience stores, to promote its Peach Iced Tea drink. And I must say, it looks good. But, I don’t think it’s enough to make me, or any other young person, buy a bottle.

That’s why Lipton’s partnered with KISS FM, to prompt interaction, by encouraging people to answer the phone inside a special ‘booth’ when it rings for a chance to win prizes. But, is this London-centric competition enough to give Lipton a good return on investment?

20140419-102015.jpgWhen growing up my friends and I would ring 118 500 to find out local phone numbers (exciting I know!) In more recent years the only time I’ve used one is after I was mugged and needed to ‘phone home’.

I’m not the only one turning my back on local phones. An average of just one call is made each day from the 58,500 phone boxes left in the UK. So, it’s no surprise BT is rapidly losing money from them.

Which leaves me to ask the question: id no one’s using them, is anyone noticing them and is it worth taking the risk?

The campaign’s saving grace is that Lipton’s supported it with a social media strategy, complementing KISS FM‘s, to widen its reach – with added value digital advertising on the side.

But, it doesn’t change the fact that its phone box stunt could be left on hold.

I don’t know. I could be wrong. Perhaps
more brands will leverage phone boxes’ appeal to create unique advertising opportunities. Time will tell.

What do you think – is it a peachy PR campaign or just immobile?

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