Tag Archives: Tower of London

You’re going to need a bigger budget! Tara’s tacky PR stunt

4 Aug

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Not all PR stunts are equal.

A recent PR stunt to rave about is the 888,000 ceramic poppies that have been ‘planted’ at the iconic Tower of London to commemorate the servicemen and women who died during the First World War. As part of a stunning art installation called Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, by Paul Cummins, it’s succeeding in its mission to echo the importance of the 100th anniversary of the war.

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On the flip side, an example of bad PR is US actress Tara Reid launching her own perfume, The Shark, to celebrate the release of Sharknado 2 (Yes, we’re biting on sequel territory here).

This innovation, which comes from the woman who thought her career was going to be over when she started filming the first movie, actually makes me feel seasick.

According to Tara’s website, Shark’s sensual ‘light and refreshing’ scent is ‘perfect for day-to-day wear’ and ‘incorporates a plethora of lavender coloured flowers’ – which means this overpriced idea (almost $25 a bottle) blurs the line between tacky and tragic.

However, if I was getting paid to market this monstrosity I’d do more than bounce off the fact that the latest Syfy film has attracted 183% higher ratings than the first. I’d get creative:

Secure a predator partnership
I’d put a spin onto the perfume and market it as a scent that attracts sharks. By organising a photo-call at a leading aquarium, and asking a shark trainer to spray the fragrance on them before heading into the tank for feeding time, I’d generate some striking imagery to sell-into the media – National Geographic style.

Secret scent
Alternatively, I’d strip the perfume bottle of any labels and send it to a selection of high-end beauty writers to review – with a note including a web address. Journalists would then be encouraged to log onto the website and share their feedback – the good, the bad and the ugly. All the positive ones could then be leveraged across the film’s marketing materials (using the star rating often found on movie posters) to promote it further.

Failing that, I’d just ask Tara to jump into a shark tank, kiss a great white or dress up as a shark because, let’s face it, she’ll do anything.

What do you think – can any ‘fin’ make this stunt better?

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Dancing on ice for Children in Need

13 Nov

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All brands get to a stage where they have to stop and think of others by running, what we call in the industry, a ‘charidee’ campaign.

One of my favourites this week is the Tower of London’s link up with Children in Need. To celebrate the BBC’s corporate charity – that helps more than 2,600 projects in the UK to provide support to millions of young people – it’s donating up to £7.50 per person from three skating sessions. My guesstimate is that it’ll raise well over £1,500. And, it’s a partnership that’s obviously beneficial to both parties because it’s the second year in a row that they’ve done this.

It’s topped my list for three reasons:

a) – This is pounds, not pence, being donated which makes a difference to charity and the media
b) – The Tower of London Ice Rink gets to launch its skating season with a bang with some TV coverage that’ll deliver a strong ROI
c) – Someone’s going to have to dress in a Pudsey costume and skate at the same time so the chances of that person falling over, making for s classic live TV moment, is high

Celebrities are also backing the charity’s 34th appeal – which is set to raise the bar by topping last year’s £26m fundraising total – in various ways. From Ellie Goulding’s charity single, which’ll donate 20p from each downloaded track, to Sir Paul McCartney designing his own Pudsey Bear, the campaign’s approach is evolving all the time.

What are your top charity campaigns?

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