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Help me, my family keep cheating!

Posted on December 20th, 2016 in brand PR,Consumer PR,PR Stunt,Stunt Of The Day,Toy PR,Uncategorized.

The fast-dealing property trading game, Monopoly is a classic. We can’t even keep up with how many versions there are now. There is also an impressive variety of themed Monopoly boards – from Disney’s Frozen, Simpsons, Pokémon and even One Direction…

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The game promises to leave greed and tension in the air; everyone loves good fortune and some people go to extreme lengths to win and get it. A survey found that 51% of Monopoly games end in a row and 13% admit to regularly lifting money from the bank when the rest of the family aren’t looking. Sneaky!
The most popular arguments include people being too cocky when they win, someone stealing from the bank and arguing over what the rules of ‘free parking’ are. Shocking! Other ways people cheat include moving your token more or less than shown on the dice, to your advantage, making up the rules that suit you (how selfish), to someone who doesn’t know and sneakily adding more houses/hotels than you’ve paid for. Is this your household in a nutshell? Fed up of your dad cheating or your uncle making up his own rules?

Well stress no more as Monopoly chiefs have set up an exclusive Christmas hotline. The hotline will be open to ensure drama-free festivities from 24th – 26th December 2016. Families will be able to seek professional help as experts will be on hand, armed with official rulebooks which means absolutely no cheating! Yes, this means families can have a peaceful Christmas – or at least one without a Monopoly war. People also have the opportunity to donate to ChildLine, the free 24-hour counselling service for children and young people, when they call. So what are you waiting for? Get your phones ready and your Monopoly boards out! The helpline can be reached on 0800 689 4903.

And, if you’re interested, the full list of the Top 10 Monopoly arguments went:

1. People making up rules
2. People being too cocky when winning
3. Someone buying a property you want, even when they don’t need it
4. People taking too long to take their turn
5. Someone stealing from the bank
6. Someone deliberately mis-counting their move
7. Who gets to be the banker
8. The property auction process
9. Choice over tokens
10. What the rules of “Free Parking” are

– @NaomiYazminn

It’s that time of year again…

Posted on November 10th, 2016 in brand PR,branded content,Consumer PR,Food and Drink PR,Online PR,Roundup,stuff we liked,Stunt Of The Day,Uncategorized,Viral Video PR.

John Lewis brighten up 2016 with their Christmas campaign

John Lewis released their long and hotly anticipated Christmas campaign today. In an attempt to put smiles on our faces this Christmas, the advert tells the story of Buster the boxer dog who is determined to beat six year old Bridget at enjoying her Christmas gift of a trampoline. The video also features a fox, badger and a squirrel who all have a go on the toy whilst Buster looks on from the window.

Christmas Roundup JL 1

The story of Buster does not stop there- the campaign has been extended to Snapchat, Twitter and VR for the first time. Shoppers at the John Lewis Oxford Street flagship store can virtually bounce with Buster and the other animals using the Oculus Rift headset, triggering the animal bounces with their arms.

Christmas Roundup JL 2

Additionally, Snapchat users will be delighted to hear that John Lewis have sponsored a Buster filter, which is available until midnight tonight (10th November), or in any John Lewis store thereafter. The retailer will also be one of the first British brands to experiment with Twitter stickers, allowing users to customise their photos with images of Buster and the other wildlife.

If you haven’t already seen the advert, you can watch it here:

Percy Pigs gifted with Santa hats

Marks and Spencer have gone the extra mile with their festive food this year, giving their Percy Pigs a makeover and (for the first time ever) providing them with Santa hats.

Christmas round up M&S

For a very merry Percy-mas, the bags are available now to buy at £1.50 – or two for £2.50!

Royal Mail Festive Stamps

The Royal Mail have released six festive designs ahead of Christmas featuring a snowman, a Christmas pudding, Christmas tree, lantern, stocking and the famous red-breasted robin which has become synonymous with the Royal Mail. The link dates back to the 19th century, when postmen sported red coats, and therefore were known as “red breasts”.

Royal Mail undated handout photo of the six 2016 Christmas Special stamps which were crafted by Manchester based artist, Helen Musselwhite, using paper cut-outs which were then photographed. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday November 8, 2016. The stamps are on sale from Tuesday. See PA story CONSUMER Stamps. Photo credit should read: Royal Mail/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

The return of seasonal Starbucks cups

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, when Starbucks release their latest edition of red Christmas cups. This year comes with a twist, as Starbucks have turned to their customers to design their latest cups.

Christmas round up Starbucks

Snowflakes, Santa and reindeer all make appearances in the 13 chosen designs, which hail from six different countries including the USA, Canada, UAE, Indonesia, Russia and South Korea.

‘We hope that this year’s red holiday cup designs express the shared spirit of the holidays as told by our customers,’ said Sharon Rothstein, Starbucks’ global chief marketing officer.

Festive Greggs Stop

Greggs launched their Christmas menu on Tuesday, creating new festive additions to their much loved sausage rolls and pasties. The menu features a festive bake, made from chicken breast, sage and onion stuffing and sweetcure bacon in a creamy cranberry and sage sauce, wrapped in a golden puff pastry with a crunchy crumb topping.

There is also a version of the sausage roll available for Christmas – a turkey, bacon and cranberry roll, which (as an added bonus) also only contains 200 calories!

Christmas Roundup Greggs

If these things don’t signal Christmas to you, we don’t know what will!

– @izzirichards

NOW TV open Naked Sun Terrace In Central London

Posted on August 10th, 2016 in Uncategorized.

With forecasts of a heatwave and celebrities shedding their clothes like they are going out of fashion…London’s first nudist roof terrace encourages people to embrace total freedom by going ‘clothes-free’

  • Terrace includes open-air bar, relaxing sun-bathing areas and even the opportunity to enjoy a bounce on a trampoline or a round of swing-ball
  • Stunning views include Westminster Abbey, The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and The London Eye
  • NOW TV trialled the ‘clothes-free’ sun terrace to mark launch of their new contract-free Combo

A naked rooftop haven with spectacular views overlooking Parliament Square in Westminster has opened to coincide with the forecast of a mid-August heatwave.

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The incredible new ‘pop up’ venue boasts an open-air bar, relaxing sun-bathing areas and even the chance for a quick work-out with a bounce on a trampoline or a round of swing-ball – and no need for any annoying clothes!

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The rooftop is the brainchild of NOW TV, who are encouraging Brits to try out being ‘clothes-free’ as well as contract-free, by opening the naked sun terrace to mark the launch of the NOW TV Combo – the UK’s first contract-free TV, broadband and calls bundle.

Gidon Katz, Managing Director of NOW TV, saysAs a nation, it seems we’re increasingly avoiding being ‘tied down’ in life – which is exactly what NOW TV is all about.  With the NOW TV Combo we’re offering people the freedom to get the latest and best TV, broadband and calls, all without a contract. And we’re not stopping there. We’re going to keep breaking away from traditional conventions; firstly contracts, and now clothes, with the NOW TV nudist terrace. We think the naked sun deck is a great way to promote our new “package”!”

The nudist terrace was opened following new research from NOW TV which revealed that young Brits today are truly the ‘No Strings’ generation, as they avoid being ‘tied down’ in life compared to their parents. On average, today’s under 30s are revealed to have had 38% less serious relationships, lived in 28% more countries and worked for 15% more organisations than those 30 years ago.

The naked roof terrace first opened in August and NOW TV is looking to open again on further dates this summer to encourage more people to embrace their contract-free ‘Now You Can’ outlook. The public can get ahead of the crowd and pre-register their interest now at nowtv.uk/comboterrace

The NOW TV nudist roof terrace is part of a series of ‘Now You Can’ activities taking place this week, including radio and social media competitions to win a ‘Now You Can’ experiences.

The NOW TV Combo offers the latest and best TV, broadband and calls without a contract – visit nowtv.com/combo for more details.

Images: https://www.flickr.com/gp/taylorherringpr/3HxUeg

Video for embedding:http://nowtv.uk/comboterracevideo

Video for download: https://vimeo.com/178229501/a5ce453251

Entertain or Die Trying

Posted on June 18th, 2016 in Uncategorized.

As we gear up for the 2017 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, 5,000-plus miles away Donald Trump finds himself a step away from a head-to-head contest to become leader of the free world – a proposition that would have been unimaginable to most of us just 12 months ago.

Trump has managed to connect with the rank and file Republican delegates at state primaries in a way which has left all competitors in his dust. He has achieved this despite spending way less on his marketing campaign than his key competitors.

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Fittingly for a man who has fronted US TV’s The Apprentice for years, Trump has let the media do much of the work for him. Indeed, analysis by Quant Media found he amassed a staggering $2 billion worth of “earned media” coverage in February 2016 alone.

$2 Billion Worth of Free Media for Donald Trump - The New York Times

 

Love him or loathe him, Trump is a man who has realised the power of entertainment and creative storytelling when it comes to getting his message across. He has entertained and delighted his audiences (if not everybody else) consistently with a seemingly endless supply of controversial and newsworthy soundbites which cut through the hubbub, drowning out challengers.

Many of the key elements which have characterised his campaign – entertainment, brand storytelling and earned media, although probably not walls along the Mexican border – are set to be hot topics in Cannes this year as agencies and creatives ponder the snowballing rise of “ad blocking” technology.

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The marketing industry is at a critical point in its history. As mobile phone networks market themselves as ad-free and time-shift TV viewers skip through commercial breaks, it’s becoming clear to the crowd sipping rosé at the Martinez that the good old days when media-spend equated to buzz and reach have long since gone; that beautiful setting sun is a metaphor for the traditional model of the industry.

But wait – it’s not all doom and gloom. Quite the opposite. It’s challenging, yes, but an exciting one for all of us as we embrace the need to stop simply interrupting and start entertaining if we are to cut through the noise.

Soon, all brands will need entertainment at their core – it will be unavoidable in an ad block-able world where the choice will be simply, “entertain or die”. If you think that sounds a little alarmist, consider a report by Havas last year which found that the majority of us wouldn’t care if three quarters (74%) of the brands we are familiar with disappeared tomorrow.

The remainder are the companies we like to spend time with, the ones who keep us engaged; brands described as “firms of endearment” by Hayman and Giles in their fascinating new book Mission – How the best in business break through.

Invariably, these are also the brands which have elevated entertainment and customer engagement to an art form in recent years. Airbnb and Uber are leading the charge, both companies have placed creative storytelling at the absolute heart of their marketing strategies.

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Uber has excelled at surprising and delighting by pulling off the challenging task of making the mundanity of delivery deliciously entertaining – despatching ice cream and Christmas trees, sending out kittens for a stress-relieving cuddle or taking a mariachi band on tour. Airbnb has caught the imagination by showcasing a dazzling array of enticing spaces – from igloos to shark tanks and all exotic points between.

These millennial brands have torn up the rule book and are shaping the future with their imaginative approaches. The days of force-fed, interruptive messaging are over. The winners in the next decade and beyond will be the companies with the creative storytelling skills that will inherently have people reaching for the “share” button.

This is nothing new, of course; telling entertaining stories goes back to marketing basics. Dale Carnegie’s best-selling tome, How to Win Friends and Influence People is as true today as it was when first published in 1936: “Merely stating a truth isn’t enough. The truth has to be made vivid, interesting, and dramatic. You have to use showmanship. The movies do it. Television does it. And you will have to do it if you want attention.”

Peter Mountstevens and James Herring will present Zen and The Art of The Publicity Stunt at the Debussy Theatre, Cannes at 1pm on Saturday 18 June.

[by @PMtStevens]

Easter PR Roundup

Posted on March 29th, 2016 in Uncategorized.

 

Chocolate. Rabbits. Eggs. When it comes to PR ideas at Easter time it can be difficult to escape the tried and tested. Some companies embrace the classics and execute the campaigns perfectly, others give those traditional elements a cheeky twist, while others eschew the expectations and approach Easter PR from the left field. This is a collection of the best Easter PR moments for 2016.

 

Cadbury

The Kings of Chocolate, Cadbury, have long been associated with The National Trust and, obviously, Easter. The challenge for PR when you’re associated with an annual event is how to mix it up to generate coverage, while maintaining the same message, each year. The annual National Trust Easter Egg Hunt has landed in mainstream coverage yet again thanks to a great campaign under the hashtag #eggseverywhere. The campaign has focused around a number of Cadbury Eggs being placed all over the country; a number of them in extremely iconic locations:

r-LOCH-NESS-large570

With great pictures the campaign was guaranteed good print and online coverage, but the inclusion of the hashtag (#eggseverywhere) has meant that National Trust sites up and down the country, in addition to normal people enjoying the hunt, can engage with the campaign; hiding their own eggs on their sites or sharing their own Easter egg hunts at home. All of those mark a successful campaign; great print coverage, engaging online content and a huge presence on social media.

 

Cumberbunnnies

Sometimes building on an already successful idea can create a second wind. Following on from the success of our ‘Benedict Chocobatch’ campaign last year the talented chocolateer who helped us design the sugary treat has released a range of her own, with Benedict’s luscious looks intact:

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A great idea, coupled with great execution and turned into a buyable product have ensured good coverage of the Cumberbunnies for both Jen Lindsey-Clark and Chocolatician.

 

Dr Oetker’s Giant Rabbits

Seizing on the principles of Easter in a big way, Dr Oetker’s campaign is loud and proud. These aren’t hidden eggs throughout the countryside, but rather huge activations in London and then Manchester.

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The 7tf edible rabbit was spotted at Potters Fields Park and took about 100 hours to create, incorporating 3000 bars of chocolate (about 450kg) to make it. The bigger the better, and that certainly worked here with people flocking to see (and take a piece of) the rabbit, with selfies galore flooding social media to ensure that this Easter PR moment was a hit.

 

Chocolate of Thrones

Game of Eggs might also have worked for this one as well, which featured on our pages a little while ago on its own. To celebrate the upcoming new series of the world’s biggest television show (Game of Thrones) Sky Atlantic commissioned this beauty:

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The internationally loved series has spawned all kinds of things in its time on our televisions; memes, arguments, fashions and even cook books. Food is such a key element in Game of Thrones that people even host Game of Thrones feasts in the comfort of their own homes. The egg, while technically edible, is just for display – melting the hearts (get it?) of Thrones fans everywhere! Coverage was far and wide and people managed to snap a few pictures of it while in display in Selfridges.

 

Fund Raising Fun Run

A sure way to secure a bit of coverage for your campaign is to have a likable celebrity fronting it. For more charitable occasions, though, it’s often patrons that we see getting involved. The Mary Hare School for Deaf Children was introduced to Pippa Middleton by a friend in 2013 and since then she’s been raising awareness, and funds, for the school. This Easter she was doing a fun run to raise a bit of money and the profile of the project, she also gave us this astonishingly good photograph:

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I know the rabbit was supposed to be there to tie it to Easter, but it hasn’t half made for a fantastic photoshoot with several extremely scenic photographs photobombed by the costumed person. As a result the existing pictures, while they would certainly have gathered a lot of attention, managed even more thanks to the comedic twist.

 

Chocolate Bar

When you’re looking for a hilarious PR moment you can usually rely on Carlsberg to produce something memorable. For Easter they have designed a chocolate bar under the label “If Carlsberg did…”

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Yes, that kind of bar! The pop up ‘Chocolate Bar’ is in Shoreditch for lucky people to experience and, as with most things Carslberg do, has made a massive splash online and on social media; proving that sometimes the simplest ideas are the very best ones.

 

Good Eggs

A classic turn of phrase even more applicable at Easter. Co-Op have seized on the phrase and created a great video to boost the spirits of everyone at Easter time:

Co-Op rewarded moments of kindness by handing out Easter Eggs to the “good eggs” out there. Nothing like spreading a bit of joy and rewarding kind hearted people to promote your brand; and it seems to have done the trick for Co-Op as the video still is bringing in views.

And that’s your roundup! Away from the stretched waistlines, debates over the word ‘Easter’ and endless hunting around your own garden for eggs there’s been a great selection of Easter PR moments; we already can’t wait for next year.