Tag Archives: tickets

Fill up on Dallas’ PR stunt

27 Feb

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I wonder how many PR agencies have come up with the idea to launch a petrol station – offering cheap fuel – to promote a prime time TV programme? Answer – one.

To celebrate the launch of Dallas returning to the small screen this week, US TV network TNT launched Ewing Energies – in honour of ‘oil man’ character JR Ewing – for Manhattan consumers to fill up their cars for just $1.98 per gallon.

Up to $2 per gallon cheaper than anywhere else in the area, it’s no surprise that motorists were queuing two blocks away to take advantage of the one day deal.

TNT launched the stunt with a video, where JR tells fans that the offer makes good business sense. And, as one of the most powerful people in America, he can make it happen.

What I like about it, is that the video is ‘on message’ with the soap, adding drama and intrigue around the new series, but interesting and fun at the same time. It’s also effective because it has a short shelf-life. It propels a call to action, with consumers knowing that if they miss this, they miss out. 20140227-075340.jpg The video, hosted on the Dallas’ Facebook page which has over 1.4m fans, generated over 1,000 likes. And images of the man behind JR, Josh Henderson, pushed that figure to more than 13,000.

It’s an active Facebook page that acts in the form of JR’s diary, encouraging people to comment on what they’ve just viewed and forthcoming teasers. It’s also completely different to the way it runs Twitter, so it was right to make the most of the stunt on that social media channel.

All in all, I think it’s a fantastic idea, engaging with new and existing soap fans by bringing TV to life. Although it’s not yet known how many viewers the PR activity brought in, TNT has many more tricks up its sleeve. Next month, JR is also set to launch a range of Bourbon.

What do you think? Does this campaign make you want to reach for the remote?

It’s a formula that we could see open up in the UK. Just think:

The Queen Vic opening up in Shoreditch
BBC bosses have recently been complaining that E20 no longer represents trendy East London. So, why not connect with new viewers by launching a cheap bar? Content could be used in its online mini-series, that runs alongside the show, giving customers the chance to be on TV.

Doctors to offer free check ups
Members of the show could chat to people who are in line for a free health check up – blood pressure or cholesterol etc – to make them feel at ease. Linking in with a medical brand or pharmacy, discounts could be offered on certain products.

Meet Mr Selfridge
To coincide with Selfridge’s next milestone anniversary, the cast from the hit ITV show could attend an exclusive party at the flagship store, of which part of it would be re-designed in the style from the 1900s.

ITV could then launch a competition giving viewers the chance to win tickets to the champagne reception, maximising coverage opportunities and generating talkability.

BBC and ITV – talk to me.

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The IOC is wrestling to drop this Olympic sport

15 Feb

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It’s been six months since the end of the London 2012 Olympic Games but the international sporting event is still generating plenty of coverage this week:

Leading the pack is South African Paralympic gold medallist and double amputee Oscar Pistorius who’s recently denied murder after his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was found dead at his home.

Secondly, ‘poster girl for London 2012’ Jessica Ennis has topped a poll, alongside the Queen, as one of the country’s most inspirational women.

Lastly, the International Olympic Commission (IOC) is facing criticism after it announced it wanted to drop wrestling as an Olympic sport – an event that dates back to the ancient Greek games and has been part of the modern programme since 1896.

There’s still a chance it could stay – if the IOC officially ratifies it at a meeting in September – but at the moment it’s competing against six other sports, such as baseball and squash, for one spot in the 2020 programme.

Of all the recent news the latter bothers me most. Why? Because those that have been with Prime Time from the beginning will remember that when I was a GamesMaker I helped to oversee the wrestling at the ExCeL centre.

The Olympic Games has such a unique history that it’s a privilege for countries to host this amazing centre stage to showcase talented athletes. (You only have to watch a snippet of Danny Boyle’s Opening Ceremony to see how much effort we put in.) With this in mind, I appreciate that to keep the Olympics current, occasionally it has to redevelop itself. And I’m all eyes and eyes for modernisation, but when elements of the event’s history and heritage are at stake then that’s a different matter.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a closet member of FILA – the wrestling federation. Until last August I’d never even seen a Greco-Roman match, but the fact that the IOC has deemed it a good enough sport, to recognise and reward athletes for demonstrating their skills and strength, for more than a century must worth something.

If it’s about ticket sales, the IOC should be supporting FILA with advice to raise the sport’s profile. After all, more athletes and more fans would benefit both parties. But, instead the committee bull-dozed ahead without talking to anyone. So, not only does the IOC look rash but also now appears defensive by saying:

“We knew even before the decision was taken whatever sport would not be included in the core programme would lead to criticism from the supporters of that sport.”

The backlash against the IOC has spread quickly and I’m glad I’m not the only one that feels surprised. ESPN’s Jim Caple highlights a range of other sports that could’ve been given the chopper which would’ve caused less controversy. (Trampolining anyone?)

Wrestling is an ancient sport. I mean that in the historical sense, not old.
It’ll be interesting to see what the outcome is as the wrestlers, and their fans, fight to feature in Rio and beyond.

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How to thank an Olympic GamesMaker

10 Sep

The perfect end to my perfect London 2012 Olympic experience was me furiously zooming my camera into the faces of our top athletes at the Athletes’ Parade. Ducking and diving to secure the best spot on The Mall, I was reminded of the success of the Games and how inspired the one million-strong crowds were by these new, and talented, celebrities.

Mo Farah, Nicola Adams, Zara Phillips, the Brownlee brothers, Tom Daley, Victoria Pendleton and Clare Balding (she did get very involved) all gave us a wave.

Unfortunately the GamesMakers were expecting a seat to watch the parade, after being invited by Locog as a special ‘thank you’, but instead we stood for four hours waiting for the athletes to reach us. There were mutters of ‘writing a letter of complaint’ and ‘we were meant to be involved, this parade is for us!’

I understood how they felt, but there’s no doubt the Olympic organisers have gone above and beyond for us. More than meals, transport and resources, we’ve been offered discounted theatre tickets, football tickets and qualifications courtesy of the Olympic sponsors. We’ve been thanked enough, or so I thought.

As I walked home this evening wearing my GamesMaker uniform for the last time, I realised we don’t need a parade to acknowledge the thousands of people who dedicated their free time to the Games. The simple thumbs up and smiles from people on the train reminds me how privileged I was to be a part of ‘the greatest show on earth.’

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