This has to be the most successful marketing coup of all time.
As the world witnessed on the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners earlier this month, a moment described as “tremendously inspirational ” by Barack Obama, American glasses maker Oakley also got in on the action. Muscling in on ‘the most feel-good storiy of 2010′, the sunglasses firm kitted each miner out with a pair of their sunglasses.
Having spent over two months underground each miner of course was going to need protectection for his eyes at the surface. Step in Oakley, who donated 35 pairs of their Radar glasses – complete with Black Iridium lenses – especially for the miners. Reportedly with a retail price of $180 per pair – the shades provided them with crucial protection from ultraviolet light. And provided a very valuable branding opportunity for Oakley - these glasses each displayed the famous Oakley “O”, on the side.
Oakley acted quickly, and in doing so secured what could be described as the marketing deal of the decade. One sponsorship evaluation company calculated that Oakley received $41 million in equivalent advertising time when taking into account the live coverage, the recaps and a rough estimate of the audience watching around the world. Broken down by country – Oakley were getting the most exposure in China ($11.7 million), $6.4 million in the United States, $898,000 in the United Kingdom and $703,000 in Chile.
Not only was Oakley’s gesture seen as a noble and positive one (even though the news of its eyewear donation was leaked to the media a few days before the actual rescue), but from a marketing and PR point of view it was also spot-on as this break-down demonstrates:
Story: The feel-good story of the year.
Timing: When we see a new miner stepping out of the Fenix capsule, the first thing we spot are the sunglasses.
Circumstances: Miners have to wear (any) sunglasses for their own protection.
Audience: Millions of people around the world.
Execution: No ads, just the product and logo.
Oakley themselves apparently said that they were approached by a Chilean journalist who was covering the rescue efforts and had recommended them to the Chilean private health insurer(ACHS).
Either way they managed to get inon one of the most widely-celebrated rescues of our time.
Gemma Carey www.bluewoodtraining.com
- bespoke media and presentation skills training -
Some much-needed good news came for Nick Clegg last night when he was awarded ‘Communicator of the Year’ at the PR Week awards.
Judges praised Clegg for “his smart general election communications campaign that positioned him as a fresh alternative to the other political parties.”
It could be argued that Clegg’s communications have taken a turn for the worse since the coalition government formed. But nonetheless, his sterling performance at the first live leadership debate – a performance that overnight propelled him to pole position in the opinion polls – is not something to be forgotten.
This is a well-deserved award if ever these was one.
Read the story here: http://www.prweek.com/news/bulletin/UKDaily/article/1035994/?DCMP=EMC-UKDaily
The Independent made another step forward in the preservation of the print media today when it announced that it is to launch a cut-price daily national newspaper called i.
It will will launch as a spin-off version of main newspaper, with a cover price of just 20p, in a bid to target “readers and lapsed readers of quality newspapers”.
What they’ve tapped into is the fact that commuters especially, a) may well have little time to read a full-size newspaper cover-to-cover on a daily basis, and b) are unlikely to want to pay the £1 cover price when the likes of The London Evening Standard and City AM are going for free.
Something that readers are likely to appreciate with i is the quality of journalism that they will find under the journalism banner compared with that of, perhaps, The Metro. In that vein, a statement from The Independent reassured that it would combine “intelligence with brevity, and depth with speed of reading, providing an essential daily briefing.”
On the subject of the future of the priting presses, Evgeny Lebedev, chairman of the owner of The Independent (Independent Print Ltd), said: “My father (Alexander Lebedev) and I believe that a free press is a fundamental tool of a democracy, and we believe that newspapers still have a future, and a very important one. We have shown by our investment in the London Evening Standard that, even in these highly competitive times, it is possible to revive a brand, and we aim to do the same with The Independent by the launch of i and the improvements to the parent paper.”
The Independent’s managing director, Andrew Mullins, added: “Quality newspapers provide a highly valuable audience for advertisers, but recently print circulations have been in decline and the average age of the audience has been increasing. Time-poor newspaper readers, and especially commuters, have been telling us for years that they are inundated with information and just don’t have the time to read a quality newspaper on a regular basis. We are creating a newspaper for the 21st century that is designed for people who have a thirst for information and entertainment in the limited time that they have available. i is a reader-led newspaper with broad reach and intelligence.”
The Independent newspaper itself meanwhile is undergoing a redesign and will stay priced at £1.
Gemma Carey, Bluewood Training Ltd – media and presentation training
Does Andrew Marr have a book to sell? A programme to promote? A product to push perhaps? Not to my knowledge, but why else would anyone make such alienating remarks about such a wide group of people?
The broadcaster won’t be welcome on the internet again, according to yesterday’s press, after dismissing bloggers as “socially inadequate, pimpled, single, slightly seedy, bald, cauliflower-nosed young men sitting in their mother’s basements.”
In an interview at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, discussing the growing influence of citizen journalism and blogs, he claimed that most bloggers, were “very angry” people. The BBC presenter apparently said the that citizen journalists will never replace real news, dismissing their contribution as ’spewings and rantings of very drunk people late at night’. Nice.
“OK – the country is full of very angry people. Many of us are angry people at times. Some of us are angry and drunk. But the so-called citizen journalism is the… rantings of very drunk people late at night. It is fantastic at times but it is not going to replace journalism.”
His words unsuprisingly prompted an angry response online: “Andrew Marr is a dinosaur who needs to come into the 21st century”. Political blogger Paul Staines, who runs the Guido Fawkes site, hit back by describing Mr Marr as a “jug-eared old man sitting in Auntie’s basement.” Others said Marr was wrong to tar all blogs with the same brush.
One thing that adds fuel to this fire is that the BBC itself has more than 100 blogs on its own news website and encourages readers to send in their thoughts. Sunny Hundal, of the political blog Liberal Conspiracy, said he was “projecting his own biases rather than reflecting the breadth of [bloggers]. “It’s a curious remark coming from a journalist who used the ‘rumours on the internet’ excuse when asking Gordon Brown if he was popping pills. Marr clearly reads political blogs and even absorbs the rumours. So it’s absurd to turn around and caricature them now.”
Anyone who has published their thoughts online will know that, unrestrained by anonymity, bloggers and comment board regulars can be a notoriously aggressive bunch – present company excluded of course. But he must have been on the receiving end of some serious criticism to make comments like that.
That’ll be nothing compared to this backlash…
Gemma Carey, Bluewood Training Ltd - www.bluewoodtraining.com
Image and perception are important; there’s no doubt that our judgements are based on how people project themselves.
Whether it’s David Cameron at his first Tory Conference as Prime Minister or the trapped Chilean Miners (who have apparently already received some form of training to handle the media when they are rescued), our public presentation is always being measured, evaluated and scrutinised.
Along with the more technical side of the training we deliver, we are often asked to help our media or presentation delegates with their ‘personal impact’, which is far less about the colour tie you wear (in case you are interested; purple is apparently the ‘in’ colour these days) or how you make an entrance into a room, it’s actually giving people the confidence to face their audience with authority and assurance. While there are very few ‘natural presenters’ it’s very rare that delegates can’t discover this strength or ability within themselves when coached.
Gordon Brown’s poor public speaking/communication skills are still criticised (not least in training sessions) and it almost seems unfair to compare his style to Cameron’s – however, many credit Cameron’s talent for public speaking with gaining votes – and this was certainly true for Nick Clegg who surged in popularity after his performance in the Leaders Debates (the jury is still out on Ed Miliband, but so far he doesn’t quite seem to have the personal impact of his brother).
People often think that the same abilities aren’t so important in the business world, they think that little or no preparation will still allow them to get across their messages to an audience who probably sits through dozens of similar ‘presentations’ on a weekly basis and in reality just can’t wait for the next one to end. Those ‘in the know’ understand how much difference even a little personal impact can make, you don’t necessarily have to have the talents of Bill Clinton to communicate but with a little thought (and perhaps some training!) any presentation can benefit from an injection of personality and become memorable.
One technique run through with our Bluewood delegates is called “Perfecting the Soundbite’ which might sound like we are trying to prepare people for a pitch on Sky News, but is actually a process that helps them learn to concisely AND clearly communicate their key messages. Once you can do this, you can communicate to your audience, whatever the subject, medium or scenario. This is hugely valuable for all fields of life, not least the business world, and you never know when that 2 minute intro in a bar will translate into a business opportunity….
Will Edwards – www.bluewoodtraining.co.uk – October 2010
When driving on the A12 a few months back I came across a real treat.
It was the new Hollywood Hills-style sign welcoming me to Basildon.
Yep, B-A-S-I-L-D-O-N – in huge white letters.
Amusing as it was though, it struck me as a sad waste of resource in an area that could have done much more with some funding towards regenation.
But the latest spending splurge knocks that one for six.
Apparently an Essex Hospital has splashed out £421k on ‘modern art’ – while trying to cut £40m from its budget. It makes for difficult reading and no doubt even trickier PR handling.
A piece in last week’s Daily Mail noted that $421,000 has been spent on artwork for the new wing of Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford (also in Essex). This is at a time when Mid Essex Hospitals Trust is apparently attempting to cut £40million from its budget in light of government belt-tightening.
A local GP and health campaigner from South Woodham Ferrers hit the nail on the head: ‘The people making these decisions and spending money on gormless projects live in a dream world.’
The trust has apparently commissioned eight artists to create works for the new £148million building, including the two steel and fiberglass human statues, white figures adorned with silver, for the lobby, plus another 150 pieces of art, such as paintings, stained glass, textiles prints and mosaics.
As to what the locals think of the splurge, well actually it’s had mixed reviews: from ‘It’s ridiculous and that money should be better spent, like improving the cleanliness of the hospital,’ to ‘The things outside look like lolly sticks. Some of the paintings are nice though.’
According to a trust employee, the staff were originally told the bill could be as much as £3million – at a time when they are facing job cuts. ‘We couldn’t believe what we were hearing because in the next breath we were being told that we had to cut back on spending. To splash out that much money on artwork is just ridiculous. The money would be better spent on improving services.’
One of the artists, Steve Downey, from Braintree, noted on his website that he was managing a budget of ‘over £3million’ in relation to the project. But later said the bill had been cut to a ‘cheap’ £421,000.
£421,000 on art when the hospital is trying to slash £40m from its budget to meet Government cutbacks?!
The new wing is funded by Bouygues UK under a private finance initiative and the trust will pay back the cost over a number of years with interest. A spokeswoman for the Mid Essex Hospitals Trust said: ‘The art is part of Bouygues UK contractual commitment to the ‘Art in Health’ initiative, so this money could not have been spent on mainstream NHS services.’ And in a joint statement with Bouygues UK they said:
‘The project aims to contribute to the overall aim of providing excellence and effective models of care by enhancing the environment for everyone who uses the hospital and helping to reduce stress, speed up recovery and aid the healing process.’
Emma Boon, of the Taxpayer’s Alliance, said: ‘This art purchase looks like madness to locals and hospital staff who are being told that there must be spending cuts, it just doesn’t make sense. I think patients and taxpayers would much rather have healthcare from their local hospital instead of expensive art. ‘Broomfield Hospital needs to take the serious state of public finances seriously and start getting value for money for taxpayers.’
I’m pretty sure the locals would agree. And I’m pretty sure the trust is going to need some media and presentation training in order to deal with all of the attention it’s likely to generate!
Perhaps we ought to get in touch…
Gemma Carey, Bluewood Training Ltd