Lidl don’t waste any time, especially when it can make great PR

Zayn Maliks shock exit from One Direction caused outcry (and a lot of jokes) on Twitter, however, Lidl seem to have responded with the winning punch line. I often post blogs about creative PR, but I especially appreciate PR teams that handle situations with quick and witty responses. Lidl, upon hearing the news, tweeted a photo of the One Direction Easter Egg for sale in stores with the tweet reading, ‘#Awkward – looks like we’ll just have to knock a 1/5 off too. #AlwaysInOurHeartsZaynMalik #ByeZayn‘  Screen shot 2015-03-26 at 18.27.08

People’s tweets back to Lidl showed their support for the humorous reduction with one person tweeting, ‘Lidl are now offering 1/5th of their one direction Easter egg. That’s some genius marketing right there.’

Lidl Ireland even went on to make a hashtag #lidllaughs and tweet with it a photo of the easter egg with writing ‘*still featuring Zayn’

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The funny tactic has brought a lot of awareness to the brand over social media and potentially brought in new customers with one tweet in response saying, ‘This is hilarious, makes me want to shop at Lidl now.’

Screen shot 2015-03-27 at 19.00.18I always think that timing is very important when planning PR and marketing tactics and the can be very effective for gaining awareness. A similar case was in 2013 when Oreo tweeted in response to the Superbowl blackout as shown to the left.

Oreos clever and witty post received 10’000 retweets in the first hour alone and became one of the most rememberable ads from the 2013 Superbowl. It just shows how effective it can be to have a PR team on standby for whenever something happens that can be used as an opportunity.


Lidl used a similar tactic in response to Sainsbury’s slip up over internal communication:

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What do you think?

BirdsEye should be ‘inspiration’ to other businesses for Instagram campaigns

Instagram took off as ‘THE’ platform for sharing your visual insights through everyday life and companies are wising up to it’s potential for businesses. BirdsEye recently launched a new creative Instagram campaign as part of a multi-media campaign including TV, digital, POS and a three month sampling campaign for its new ‘Inspiration’ range.

Lemon-packetA pop-up restaurant called ‘The Picture House’ appeared at the Ice Tank in Soho, London and opened its doors to hungry diners who were eager to sample BirdsEye’s new ‘Inspiration’ range. The creative part of this sampling event was that the diners were able to dine for free permitting they uploaded a photo of their meal with the hashtag #BirdsEyeInspirations onto their Instagram profiles. Lets be honest, a free meal in exchange for a photo upload.. Who would say no?

Research by BirdsEye showed 52% of people ‘regularly’ take pictures of their meals and 11% take at least one picture of their food a week. The hashtag #BirdsEyeInspirations generated more than 400 photos on Instagram just two days after the pop-up restaurant opened. This measurement early on in the campaign allows the PR team behind the campaign to get their hopes up that the strategy will generate interest in the new range.

Taking photo of meals quickly became a popular trend on Instagram with the hashtag #instafood currently having 24,873,080 photo or video posts (11.52:11/06/14). BirdsEye marketing director, Margaret Jobling commented: “Taking photos of food enables people to show off and to share their mealtime moments – from the every day to the very special. We wanted to tap into this trend and create a new reason for people to talk about and sample our newest additions to the Inspirations range.”









The Picture House will visit Manchester and Leeds during June 2014 to continue the sampling events.

As I said before, who wouldn’t want to settle the bill by uploading a photo to Instagram? The tactic is very creative and shows how businesses can use visual social media effectively to generate awareness. There has only been one sampling event so far and there has already been a lot of interest in the hashtag tactic and the next pop-up restaurant is set to be even busier later in the month.

This use of social media as a way of generating interest in a product should be seen by other businesses as an example of how they can use Instagram in a similar way. ‘Visual’ is becoming more and more important and Instagram, being one of the most popular social media platforms around at the moment, gives many opportunities to reach out to existing and potentially new markets.

The Power of the ‘Ordinary’ Person

Ordinary is a funny word to use, I find. As is ‘normal’, as I have a big interest in the philosophical questions of what is ‘normal’ and who decides what is ‘ordinary’? However, by ‘ordinary’ I mean the non-professional, the average citizen, or the industry nobody. I mean the person who happens to be walking by as something phenomenal happens and they pull out their camera phone, send it off to a news corporation that then sparks off a viral news story.

I first learnt the basics of Citizen Journalism at A-Level when studying Media Studies. My tutor, Stephen Jones (who I will always give credit to for getting me to university) presented an interesting class where the students took to social media sites to find out what the ‘average’ person was talking about. At that point we all saw the twitter trends about Bin Laden and we all found out about his death via Twitter then and there in that class due to the power of the ‘average’ person. It was ideal and it was a real-life case study that we were learning from and it couldn’t have been any more current. After that I never really focused on Citizen Journalism again as the curriculum moved on and it hasn’t been presented to me again in any other studies, however, I am very interested in the impact it has upon the media, journalism and PR industry.

Twitter is a very popular platform for people to voice their opinions on and the hash-tag trends allow people to be up-to-date with the most popular and currents stories. For example, Worldwide, ‘Syria’ is trending (Monday, 26th August 2013). I had heard briefly about the news of a chemical attack against Syria on the radio but found out more of the ‘facts’ via the twitter trend. I say ‘facts’ in inverted comas as there is always the possibility of the news being exaggerated or misinterpreted by the ‘ordinary’ person. And of course the tweets that form the hash-tag trend are mostly a matter of opinion and can’t be expected to be the truth. So when looking at how much of an impact citizen journalism has on the media industry we first have to answer the question: Do people trust citizen journalism or is it being by-passed as opinion? Also, how much more trustworthy are the ‘proper’ news channels compared to the ‘ordinary’ person when it comes to bias or influential news reporting?

I created a short survey using to find out what peoples thoughts were. Below are the results.


Thank you to everyone who took part in the survey and the results have confirmed what I had thought: The majority will side-step Citizen Journalism due to it being fed by opinion. It was interesting to see that a few people were ‘not sure’ whether they had contributed to Citizen Journalism as this could show a lack of understanding in the area.

I would love to hear your views or answers to the survey so please do feel free to leave a comment.