Tag Archives: writer

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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Weight Watchers’ café is fuelled by social media

17 May

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It’s not a case of bloggers’ block that’s kept me away for so long; it’s a lack of intriguing campaigns. But, just as I was about to give up hope… Weight Watchers opened the door to a very interesting concept.

The weight-loss company has launched its first ‘Feel Good’ café in London, and social media is the key to getting in.

In exchange for spreading the ‘feel good’ message, customers can pick their favourite healthy dishes – for free.

It’s a bold and brave approach to hospitality, but it’s not the first time we’ve been bribed with freebies for a Facebook update. Remember Special K‘s Tweet Shop?

Weight Watchers’ café, based in Hoxton Square, may only be open for a week, but it is something the the brand will consider rolling out nationwide if it’s successful. After all, tasting is believing and if people choose its meals when eating out, then they’ll definitely purchase as part of their weekly shop. It’s a win-win.

So, don’t be fooled. Even if you leave feeling good, the Weight Watchers’ empire will feel better.

Don’t get me wrong. This is a breakthrough initiative for the weight-loss industry, as Alex from Social Media Frontiers says. And, for a brand which already commands considerable shelf space in supermarkets, this really was the only direction to go in. Sure, it could’ve partnered with an up-and-coming coffee chain but where’s the fun in that?

Big brands don’t tag-along if they’ve got the pulling power to lead from the front.

My only critique is that the café launch should’ve coincided with Social Media Day (June 30), but Weight Watchers has a good excuse – new research which highlights the dieting challenges the UK faces, and the café is part of the answer.

The only other question is, how will Slimming World respond?

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Can Brit bloggers turn on the BBC?

15 Oct

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US bloggers are hogging the limelight right now – broadcaster CBS has bought the rights to transform Tumblr blog Hollywood Assistants into a TV comedy series called 20-Nothings, according to digital and social media newsfeed Mashable. If you’ve not had a look before, do – this video and picture led blog is very tongue in cheek and lends itself to comedy.

It’s not the first time this has happened. Comedy S*** My Dad Says, featuring William Shatner, started life as a Twitter feed which hit the silver screen in 2010. Across the pond, us Brits have also had a fair crack at turning our blogs into books and series: Secret Diary of a Call Girl, most notable.

But, with more blogs grabbing producers and writers’ attention, their authors are the key to producing the subtlest form of reality TV – one that the audience doesn’t even know they’re watching. A programme motivated by an average individual’s life, passions and motivations.

From PC to TV, this is a fantastic achievement for social media. Not only can this medium raise brand awareness, it also raises ratings.

All I need to do now is continue pitching in to the BBC the concept of a twenty-something PR ready to take over the world from an office in Croydon.

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