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?

CrossCountry Christmas Creativity

Whilst on the train home today I was handed two Santa shaped chocolates and a leaflet reading ‘A Christmas treat from CrossCountry.’ I thought I would write a quick post about this as I believe that the little things really do matter and not just in personal life but with regards to campaigns and building a brand’s reputation. IMG_0319 IMG_0321 The leaflet simply reminds you that booking tickets for the holiday season in advance could save you money and promotes the free App to purchase the tickets via. I thought that this was a simple but affected way of direct marketing for a brand I never before had considered to be creatively communicating with its consumers. CrossCountry’s slogan is ‘going that bit further’ and even though it’s something small I think the festive tactic is definitely proving so. Of course, there are many complaints to be made about the train service within the UK (late again, are we?) but when looking at it as simply a tactic for the brand I think it’s very effective. Well done, CrossCountry and Merry Christmas to you too.

Solent PR Graduate Conference

Last Thursday (6th November 2014) was the first ever Solent PR Graduate Conference organised by my course leader Sally Holland. The day consisted of industry expert speeches followed by a networking lunch.

Having just started my third year of university I am being given many opportunities to meet with potential future employers. However, I must say that it is rather scary to be able to attend ‘graduate’ conferences as it feels like first year was only last week. The day began with an introduction from Sally Holland and a brief outline of how the day would run. The keynote speaker was Ilona Hitel, MD and Founder of CommsCo with a talk about how to get and keep a successful career in PR. The main piece of advice that I’m positive most of the students will take away from Ilona’s speech was that ‘It’s all about work experience.’ Ilona also offered tips of how to get noticed by using creative applications, such as a video CV.It was interesting to here how Ilona carried out a Google search of Solent University before coming on the day and found that that latest story was of a drunken Solent student getting her head stuck in a bottle bin. ‘You are only as good as your last google result’ says Ilona when raising the importance of what we have on the internet that potential employers can see. Another piece of advice given from the founder of CommsCo was to know the news agenda and said “Journalists will only respect you if you understand a good story and are not just interested in getting your clients in the press.” ILona’s speech was full of useful advice for all PR students across the 3 years of the course.

Tomasz Dyl, founder of GottaBe Marketing was the next industry expert to share is experiences and advice with the cohort and told the inspiring story of how he started his PR Agency at the age of 17. The agency grew into GottaBe Marketing and Tomasz emphasised the opportunities available through LinkedIn when it comes to future employers. He said that it is important for us as third year students to identify which agencies and/or companies we want to work for after graduating and to start connecting with them via LinkedIn. He also pointed out that it is vital to give the person a reason to accept your connection by telling them a bit about yourself and why you think you would make a good connection for them to have. Tomasz shared with us that the most rewarding part of working within the PR and Marketing industry is seeing your work and the good that it’s doing.

Beth Ansell founder of Lemon Squeezy was up next to deliver her speech about what it’s like being a freelancer. Beth is a graduate from Solent herself and is only four years ahead of the current final year students on the course so it was good to see how much can bee achieved after graduating. The key points that Beth mentioned were being able to have control over your work timing but having the pressure of working until it’s all complete. She pointed out that as a freelancer there isn’t any other employees that will pick up the project and complete it for you. Being a freelancer sounds tiring but Beth pointed out that being your own boss means you can take afternoon naps whenever you like, which i’m sure has convinced many students to potentially take the freelance route.

The next industry expert to speak was Emma Hazan from Hotwire who gave advice about how to stand out and get the job you want. Emma is a great communicator and gave an inspiring presentation giving tips on first impressions and how to sell yourself.  Emma was very confident and it was clear that communicating with others is a key strength of hers and she emphasised the importance of knowing what you’re good at and to build them into a personal brand for ourselves. Own the room was a good piece of advice given from Emma as first impressions are important to future employers.

Mark Stretton, MD, and Michelle Williams, Account Director from Fleet Street Communications were the final industry professionals to speak to the Public Relations students, where they gave inspiring advice about how ‘you can really effect change through trade PR’ (Mark Stretton). Michelle discussed how it’s important to decided which PR path is right for you, however, don’t be afraid to try other paths. Mark told the group how he started Fleet Street Communications four years ago with only 3 people and how it has grown. For many students travelling is a big factor for their career choice and Michelle explained how bigger agencies could often give employees the opportunity to travel abroad to head offices in places like Dubai, Florida, and Hong Kong.

All of the industry professionals provided inspiring stories about their experiences and useful advice tips for us PR students trying to gain graduate job offers. It was good to see the students actively tweeting about the event and using the #PRconference to gain awareness of the first ever Solent PR Graduate Conference. The day was a success and a great opportunity for all of the students that attended. The talks were followed by a networking lunch where students could ask the experts questions and make professional contacts.

Here are some photos from the speeches during the day:

Ilona Hitel, MD and Founder CommsCo

Ilona Hitel, MD and Founder CommsCo

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Beth Ansell, Lemon Squeezy Marketing

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Emma Hazan, UK Deputy MD Hotwire

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Mark Stretton, MD, Michelle Williams, Account Director, Fleet Street Communications

The best of the beautiful game campaigns

Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently you wouldn’t have been able to escape the lead up to the 2014 World Cup. Having said that, there’s been so much hype about the 20th World Cup that it would probably find its way under the rock anyway.

(I must say that I have never watched a football game before so I can’t say that I’m not a fan of the sport. I do like watching sports so perhaps I would enjoy it, however, my only dislike with the game is the over-the-top hooligan fans that come with it. The ones that get into fights when their adored team loses or starts riots in a town centre pub when they disagree with a refs decision.. This type of football crazy fan makes me think negatively about the sport and therefore have steered clear. But what I have been interested in is the overload of football themed campaigns that have been released this summer.)

Many companies have jumped on the opportunity to release a timely campaign that fits in with the build up to the World Cup. Brands like Nike and Pepsi have pushed the boat out, so to speak, and have created some extravagant campaigns, whilst others have simply paddled in the shallow waters with a more simple approach.

Here’s a look into some of the campaigns that have launched to coincide with the 2014 World Cup:

Pepsi

Kristin Patrick, Pepsi’s global chief marketing officer, told Bloomberg in April: “It’s the first time we’ve rolled out a global football campaign to this magnitude. It’s in 130 countries, and we have a large body of content from television, short films and digital content. We have events happening every single month leading to up to the summer.”

Nike

Nike’s ‘Winner Stays’ ad, the second in its ‘Risk Everything’ 2014 football campaign, has attracted more than 70 million YouTube hits so far.

Beats by Dre

Adidas

Adidas, an official partner of FIFA has 17 million Facebook likes and one million Twitter followers.

The advert creation isn’t the only element of the campaign as Adidas promises to have 50 people in its Rio ‘war room’ located at the home of Flamengo FC. “Our target is to be the most talked about brand at the World Cup,” says Rob Hughes, senior global football PR manager, adidas global football. “We will have our legal, marketing and FIFA teams to help expedite approvals, to ensure we are best placed to publish content and drive media spend, no matter what the time, day or time zone.”

It is clear, however, that a company doesn’t need to be an official partner or sponser with FIFA. Coca Cola’s campaign has been over-shadowed by Pepsi even though Coca-Cola is an official partner and sponsor.

CocaCola


Twitter also got involved by creating ‘hashflags’. This new feature turns a hashtag and 3 letter abbreviation into a colour icon of the countries flag.

shakira

 

So to sum up the campaigns, it is clear that a visual and interactive approach has been used by many big-name brands as way of establishing themselves within the World Cup. Social media has, of course, hit the ground running with new features and engaging ways for fans to communicate throughout the World Cup. There is a lot more that could be said about new campaigns and features but I feel like this post is now rather long, so here are a couple of links for you to use if you wish to read more about this.

Tech Giants Play The Game

War Rooms

Paddy Power PR stunt that was hated by everyone is now loved by Greenpeace

Paddy Power posted an image of what appeared to be the Amazon Rainforest with the words ‘C’MON ENGLAND PP’ hacked out of the trees, which later caused chaos and outrage on social media, in particular Twitter. The PR stunt is now being praised by Greenpeace, the well-known environmental activist group that uses similar controversial tactics to get publicity.

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People took to Twitter to share their ‘disgusted’ views on the PR stunt that at the time seemed very real and very ‘shameful’. One tweeter saying ‘think your PR person will get sacked in the morning’ (@richbyronbyles), which in fact is the complete opposite of what happened next.

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The stunt had many people fooled and gained a lot of publicity from across all platforms, including national publications like the Mirror. Paddy Power reportedly lost hundreds of followers within the following hours of the original photo being released but has seen a larger increase of followers now that truth has come out and they’re actually ‘the good guys’.

Paddy Power let the drama play out for a little while before releasing another photo that showed the original was a fake and it was all a PR stunt to gain awareness of deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest.

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The new photo humorously played with the word ‘Brazilian’ and also showed a green banner at the bottom promoting the statistics of deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest. The banner was aimed at football fans who otherwise might not be seen as a large market for an environmental campaign.

Paddy Power confessed all in a blog post that stated, “Greenpeace told us that in the Amazon an area the size of 122 football pitches is chopped down every 90 minutes, which is shocking. Paddy Power’s #Shavetherainforest stunt helps to haul this issue into the public light, with our own little mischievous twist.” Greenpeace have said that they had no involvement in the campaign but are praising the stunt by saying,  “It’s very reassuring that people were outraged when they thought Paddy Power had destroyed tropical rainforest for advertising – but it’s just as outrageous to chop it down for garden decking or flooring.

“Efforts to help raise awareness of the crisis facing our rainforests are always welcome, and we hope that the World Cup bringing the eyes of the world to Brazil will lead to a lot more attention being paid to this issue.”

A lot of companies are using The World Cup to their advantage and creating campaigns to fit in with the event, however, it’s safe to say the Paddy Power’s stunt may be one of the most memorable. A statement by the creators of the stunt said: “We knew we’d drop off a fair few Christmas card lists yesterday, but we couldn’t resist a bit of fake Twitter mischief to highlight an important issue to football fans as our World Cup warm-up.”

I personally think that the stunt was a brilliant PR tactic. No trees were actually cut down but the campaign generated a lot of publicity and awareness for the issue. Controversial (but legal, I must emphasise) tactics are known for getting people talking and this is a great example of how to do so without actually doing anything wrong. I’m sure the PR pro(s) behind this stunt had a little giggle at some of the reactions.

Quotes and images found here

WSPA who?

The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has launched a rebranding in an attempt to stop confusion over the charities name and to increase awareness, globally.

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Despite 50 years of charitable experience with animal protection, research involving nearly 6,800 people revealed fewer than 7% thought of the charity when asked to think of an animal protection organisation. The rebranding efforts consist of the charities name being changed to World Animal Protection.  International director of comms at World Animal Protection, Pippa Rodger said the purpose of the charity, which worked with consultancy Wolff Olins for the rebrand, was “not clear” and the acronym WSPA “was meaningless in many languages”. Rodger added, “World Animal Protection is clear, distinct and memorable. Changing the name to World Animal Protection brings our name in line with what we are trying to achieve – protecting the world’s animals.”

The aim of the rebranding is to create a clear and easily-understood strategy worldwide that allows people anywhere in the world to understand the charities core aims. The rebrand will roll out across the organisation’s 15 offices worldwide by the end of June.

0_414_0_http___offlinehbpl_hbpl_co_uk_galleries_ORP_WPA_picWhilst reading through the latest news this morning on prweek.com, I found the article ‘The World Society for the Protection of Animals tackles “great confusion” with rebrand’ quite engaging; as I am a PR student who is interested in environmental charity work and campaigns. I personally think that the new name for the charity works a lot better and as the saying goes, it rolls of the tongue a lot better. I also like the logo change (pictured above) that incorporates the brands iconic orange colour but also introduces a compass style design that embeds the charities global strategies. The statistics mentioned above show the lack of awareness that people have of WSPA making it clear that change needed to happen. The new design gives a more confident and globally-appealing theme to the charity, making their presence within animal protection charities stronger and smarter. There are currently two separate websites running throughout the transition but World Animal Protection should be in full swing by the end of June.

Images found here

Nescafe puts on its [3D printed] thinking cap

Nescafe have taken a creative approach at a new design for their signature jar lids by turning them into alarm clocks. However, that isn’t the only cool thing about it; The lids have been 3D printed.

I came across this new design by Nescafe a few weeks ago whilst doing some Social Media work for a 3D printing company called Isodo3D, in Southampton. The idea behind the alarm clock lid is that you have to get out of bed and unscrew the cap in order for the alarm to stop. This is an attempt from Nescafe to encourage people to start their day with a cup of Nescafe coffee. The 3D printed lid emits flashes of lights and a choice of 7 different alarm tones.

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Nescafe-Alarm-Cap-2

With the help of Publicis Mexico’s Innovation Lab, NOTlabs, the creative studio of Los Angeles based, design inspiration company, NOTCOT Inc. and illustrator Charmaine Choi, Nescafe was able to creatively rebrand their signature jars whilst using innovative technology.

After looking into what 3D printers are capable of, I was amazed at the developments that have already been made and the possibilities it could bring in the future. Some developments are life changing where as others are simply sparks of creativity. Have a look at some amazing 3D printing Pinterest pins here

Nescafes’ creativeness:

Images found here