Creativity in Public Relations » Creative Creativity, marketing, great ideas, smart thinking, public relations, insights, inspirations, innovations and more. (Formerly known as Ryan's View) Wed, 05 Aug 2009 00:52:54 +0000 en hourly 1 Smarties Colors For A Cause Charity Campaign Tue, 23 Jun 2009 00:23:46 +0000 Ryan Peal Yes, I’m a big fan of Smarties – I used to eat them all the time and lick them and stick them on my face to make colored circles on my nose and cheeks (you know you did it too).  Those little candies have just launched a new campaign called “Colors For A Cause” that makes it fun and easy for people to help Smarties decide where to direct donations to some great organisations doing their part to help the world.

When you visit the campaign site you first see six Smarties candies (in six different colors) spinning around, each representing specific causes like the environment, arts, sports, health, humanitarian and animal protection.  By clicking on a Smartie you learn more about each specific cause area, including easy ways you can help make a difference (like building a bird feeder to help animals or playing frisbee to help with your health) along with some interesting facts (like the worlds fastest tennis serve was 249 kms and the artist who designed the Rolling Stones lip logo was only paid 50 pounds).

Next up, the fun part, telling Smarties where you’d like it to donate the 10 cents donation it is making on your behalf.  There are two ways you can decide how to donate – one is an easy one, simply click on the interactive big Smartie and allocate specific percentages to each cause (it takes a bit to get used to how it works but keep trying), 100% could go to animal protection or you could divide a percentage equally to each cause.  If you aren’t sure, there is a 10-question quiz that offers you some multiple choices and uses your answers to get a sense of the kind of person that you are and suggests a specific percentage breakdown to each cause.

Once you’ve made your donation choices there’s an easy way to invite your friends to help make a donation with a Facebook application.  The Colors For A Cause Facebook app (you’ll need to accept it to check it out) has a nice visual overview of where the money thus far has been directed by visitors – today the leader is the environment – and shows how much you have donated (you can come back every day to vote during the campaign perioid) as well as how much your friends have donated (based on them seeing the campaign in your Facebook feed).  And the page also includes a runny tally of how much Smarties will be donating based on people who have participated – with the total just clearing $20,000 – showing how quickly 10 cents can add up.  And there’s also a Colors For A Cause store where you can buy hoodies or t-shirts or posters to raise even more funds.

What can we learn?  For one thing, everyone loves to help the world, and this campaign provides a natural “feel good” vibe to it.  I know it’s only 10 cents per visit but those ten cents can add up quickly and by being able to visit the site every day during the multi-week campaign you can help drive the totals up.  It’s sort of like a virtual water fountain, the ones that people throw coins in that are collected for charity.  I also like the easy way to integrate with Facebook and to see how much money you and your friends have contributed.  And the content and easy way to browse through different causes and also learn what you can do to help (beyond making a donation) is also a great way to keep the authentic voice high for this effort.

How can we make it better?  Not sure what’s being done off-line (as the campaign is taking place in Canada and I’m in Australia) but would love to see some giant Smarties costumed people out and about where the youth are playing this Summer in Canada – handing out smarties and directing people to the website.  It also would be nice for people to be able to add a “why I’m supporting a specific cause” to make it more personal and to feel like their voice could motivate others.  And I’m also a big believer that people like to see their name – so some type of scrolling leaderboard of people’s first name and last initial could have been nice too.  And just saw that the Facebook feed about the campaign shows up but there isn’t a link that someone could click on to get to the campaign to participate.

All in all, I love it, it works on so many levels and positions Smarties as a brand in touch with the interests of its young fans and has a lot of fun in the process.  Now, go vote, the campaign is over in 2 weeks!

]]> 0
Canon Photo Competition Zooms In On Charities Wed, 03 Jun 2009 07:34:34 +0000 Ryan Peal We all know a “picture is worth a thousand words,” but thanks to a new campaign from Canon Australia and New Zealand, a picture could be tens of thousands of dollars for your favorite charity. The new “Canon, Creative For A Cause” campaign launched today, grounded in the notion that a single photograph can represent the hopes, dreams or concerns of an entire community or nation or race. (Full disclosure: Canon is a client of H&K)

The campaign is a simple one (the best kind) on multiple fronts. Here’s how it works: visit the site, register (name/email), upload a photo, provide a title and a short description, and now the twist, select a charity you believe is visually represented by your photo and submit. A photo of a homeless person connected to the Hutt Centre working with the homeless definitely grabs your heart strings. And a cute dog reminding us all dogs need a home that Doggie Rescue could provide is another great one. Each definitely showcases the power that one image can have to tell a deeper, broader story.

Once registered you can browse photos and read stories that will make you laugh or cry or anything in between. And the fun part, you can vote for ones that really grab you and stop you in your tracks. The votes go toward awarding the related charity to the winning photo with some big bucks – $60,000 to an Australia one and $25,000 to one in New Zealand. Public votes select the final 24 and a celebrity judging panel picks the winners.

You can share your participation via Facebook, invite friends to vote for your favorite charities/photos and nominate new charities to be included on the site.

What can we learn from this campaign? One thing is certain, simple campaigns work. Everyone has a camera, knows how to take a picture or already has one they probably love – so it’s easy for everyone to enter. Next up, the charity component isn’t just a bolt-on to the effort, it’s grounded in the overall foundation of the campaign – there are lots of photo competitions but Creative For A Cause and the charity connection to each photo definitely sets it apart. Third, it’s easy to share the story of the campaign with your friends, so driving word-of-mouth to increase participation is natural.

It’s also important to note that the campaign directly connects to Canon – a company grounded in photos and making/sharing memories/emotions. Some campaigns can come across as a bit disconnected to the brand or a bit too “try hard.” And of course, my favorite part of this effort, there’s no sales job, no “buy this” no “check out the latest Canon product.” We all know brands need to “sell” products. With that said, the smart and confident brands know they also need to entertain and engage too. Thankfully Canon knows how to balance both needed areas, and thus, brought to life one of my favorite campaigns this year (again, I’m biased, but I think its true).

]]> 0
“Reject The Recession” Scores For Small Business Thu, 14 May 2009 03:26:22 +0000 Ryan Peal Australia’s top morning news program – Sunrise on Network 7 – recently unveiled an extremely clever campaign that grabs the GFC by the neck and body slams it to the ground with their rallying cry of Reject The Recession.” As with lots of countries around the world Australia has been impacted by the global financial drama going on and is having or is about to have (depending on who you talk to) some type of recession.  But providing yet another example of Aussie’s optimistic and “give it a go” attitude, the new campaign by Sunrise empowers and encourages the country to get out there and beat the recession out of Australia.

The campaign – Reject The Recession – makes it extremely easy for businesses to get involved and for consumers to benefit.  It goes something like this – if you are a small business (those with under 20 employees) you sign-up to a directory of companies rejecting the recession and pledge to provide a 10% discount to any member of the Sunrise Family that comes into your store.  The Sunrise Family consists of people who sign-up with their name and email to get info from the program and special offers from advertisers (a type of club).  Once companies sign-up they are listed on the site along with any type of information or special offer they want to include (and contact information).  They also download from the campaign site a “Reject the Recession” poster that they display in their store (with Sunrise branding and the mention of the 10% discount for Sunrise Family members).  Genius on all fronts.

Why I love it?  Lots of reasons.  First up, the campaign positions Sunrise as a program that supports the local small business, the heroes of the country (and there are lots of them).  Second, Sunrise looks like they are offering the 10% discount to consumers.  Third, huge word-of-mouth happening as the amount of businesses participating is already at more than 7,000 (it was about 4,000 last night), so the word is out there and people are listening.  Fourth, Sunrise gets free advertising space everytime a company signs up and prints out a poster to display in their business.  Fifth, huge database builder for Sunrise – who wouldn’t want to get 10% off stuff just by signign up to a club.  Sixth, low environment impact – no mass mailings, no brochures, etc.  And finally, Sunrise uses their national broadcast reach to keep driving participation and awareness.

A brilliant campaign across the board.  One of those “I wish I had thought of that” campaigns.  A great one to think about when developing your next campaign.  Go Sunrise!

]]> 1
Hot Rugby Guys Getting Naked Wed, 13 May 2009 11:39:32 +0000 Ryan Peal This one is for all of the ladies out there who need a hump day pick me up (you are welcome in advance).  We all are quite aware of the theory that “sex sells,” and I think the team at adidas in New Zealand has just proved it with their new campaign site called “Jersey Swap.” It’s a simple idea (again, always the best) that has been brought-to-life masterfully by the adidas team — pick one guy wearing one jersey and pick another guy wearing another jersey.  They exchange glances and take their shirts off – unveiling their athletic bodies in the process – and throw their jersey to the other.  That’s it – jersey swap, brought to you by adidas.

The campaign site – beyond the jersey swap element – provides a fun way to create a personal poster of any of the players (with the ability to write your own message on it) and the chance to buy a jersey and win a ticket to a game and the possibility to really swap jerseys with one of the stars.  Love it!

Yes, it works for several reasons.  The first, sex sells.  The second, a subtle reminder that adidas is behind some of the greatest athletes involved in some of the biggest sports in the world.  The third, the pass-along factor is extremely high, especially in the circle of ladies in my office.  Fourth up, the subconscious effect it has on women watching, that maybe the men in thier lives need a new adidas jersey (that they can take off) for their next birthday.  And finally, as mentioned before, it’s simple.

A great example of creative, smart thinking in action.

]]> 0
Bed Jumping Around The World Mon, 11 May 2009 23:22:07 +0000 Ryan Peal Bed jumping – I was a rock star at it when I was little and its lucky that a four-city event called the “World’s Biggest Bed Jump” wasn’t in Australia as I would have stolen the show.  The event took place last Thursday to raise awareness of InterContinental Hotel Group giving away a bunch of free nights, and bunch in this case means 5,000,000 free nights in 4,000 hotels in 100 countries.

The campaign went visual – creating huge, giant worthy beds with built-in trampolines and placing them in New York’s Brant Park, Convent Garden in London and locations in Shanghai and France.  And, to drive some additional media interest, InterContinental rounded up some Olympic gymnasts and trampolinists (is that a word) to grab the attention of people walking by, and then invited people to come on and have a jump for themselves (and if you did jump you also got an iTunes gift card for 10 free songs – nice touch).  And yes, the Pointer Sisters “Jump” was played loud and often throughout each event.

People who came to the event were directed to two campaign sites (that link to each other) one is GetAFreeNight and the other is WorldsBiggestBedJump.  On the Free Night site you can register to get up to four free nights by staying at a number of the groups hotel destinations.  And the website is worth having a look at for more reasons than just seeing people jump on beds.  It’s a great example of a social-media driven site, with multiple videos from YouTube on the home page, updates via Twitter and a Flickr photostream – a multimedia smorgasbord of content.

Overall the campaign ticks the boxes of a success effort on multiple fronts – going to the people with something that is fun and entertaining (the huge beds); leveraging social media to extend the campaign effort and visuals; having some type of free offer to drive added interest; bringing in some level of celebrity (with the Olympians); and a fun twist of a simultaneous, multi-city event.  Definitely worth getting out of bed in the morning to check out.

]]> 0
Music Lovers Celebrate “We Are Hunted” Sun, 03 May 2009 23:00:28 +0000 Ryan Peal Let’s kick off the week with an amazing example of creative thinking in action that also is extremely simple and will have you wondering why you didn’t think of it first.  Today’s focus:  a new website called “We Are Hunted” that rocks in multiple ways.

As Madonna once sang, “Music makes the people come together” and more and more these days the people all meet up online, searching for their favorite new artists or for up and coming bands, for the music that everyone will be listening to tomorrow (we just want to hear it first).  There are millions and millions of pages online that talk about music and artists and what is hot and what is breaking and it can all be extremely overwhelming, not to mention time consuming.  The amazing people behind We Are Hunted have answered the prayers of music lovers everywhere, providing a simple and fun way to find and celebrate new music all around the world.

The site at its core is an online music chart.  But the creative brilliance of the site is actually its an online music chart that listens to what is happening in online music across blogs, social networks, forums, Twitter and P2P networks to chart the top songs online.

Most of us are used to charts based on number of albums sold or more recently, number of downloads, and the likes of Ryan Seacrest in the US and Kyle & Jackie O in Australia counting down the hits.  Most likely the hits on the radio are ones you’ve heard, and heard, and heard.  Now, with We Are Hunted, we can actually look for music based on online buzz, passion by fans and overall pockets of excitement around the world around new music.  The charts (singles and bands) are updated hourly, as close as real time as you can get (for now).

The site is extremely simple and to the point – simply scroll through visuals of bands and click on links to band sites, fan pages or how to buy their music.  And, thankfully, each song is streamed on the site in its entirety so you can quickly hear what just may be your next favorite song.

Readers of my blog know that I’m a big believer of ideas that are simple but powerful.  A lot of time we think of big, complex campaigns that turn out to have so many moving parts that it’s easy for something to fall down and ruin the whole thing.  Thankfully, efforts like We Are Hunted are alive and well, reminding us to keep it brilliant but simple.  Music to my ears!

]]> 0
Videos “going viral” latest marketing hope (Beyonce, Trident, Gillette) Tue, 28 Apr 2009 12:44:11 +0000 Ryan Peal Seems like everywhere you look a brand is trying to be connected to the next (or the current) viral video madness that is entertaining the world.  Sometimes brands do it well while sometimes they seem like they are just tagging on and don’t exactly mix in right.  All are just new ways to entertain people enough that hopefully they want to share it with a friend for instant credibility and endorsement (versus straight product advertising focusing on features).  Now its all about driving conversations, talkability and buzz.  And the best part, the ideas for entertaining short videos that could “go viral” can come from anyone – all that is needed are companies willing to experiment and see what happens.

For today’s class we’ll take a look at two different approaches to video entertainment by two different brands (and two different size budgets).  First up, Trident, who recently jumped on the Beyone “Single Ladies” worldwide phenomenon, which shows no signs of stopping.  Recently Trident hired 100 ladies to slip into leotards and hit the strees of London at Picadilly Circus, performing the Beyonce dance number for unsuspecting crowds.  The focus, however, was just getting the content filmed and then posted on YouTube – with some strategic placement on some forums and blogs to drive awareness.  I just one week the video is nearly the magic 1,000,000 views number.  The performance was connected to Trident giving away tickets to an upcoming free Beyonce concert – and has a reference at the end of the video, directing people to visit a campaign site to win tickets.

Next up, some supermen starring in a new Gillette video – the supermen being Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and Derek Jeter, all spokespersons for the razor megabrand.  The brand brought the three together, dressed them up in some stylin’ 70’s outfits, dropped some “staying alive” music into the background and away they went.  The success of the video depends on the “look at what they got these big sports heroes to wear” factor, hoping it is enough to get people to tell a friend about it.  The idea doesn’t have the same talkability as Beyonce (just because that one already has a life of its own online) but the brand does a good job at directing people to a campaign website where people can try and win one of 500 free Gillette razors given away every day for 30 days.  You have to enter your name/email/address to enter and you can enter as much as you want (but only one razor per person).

For me I think both are great efforts, driving buzz for both brands and not doing any type of hard sell.  I wish the Trident Beyonce dance would have had some connection to the chewing gum – like all of the dancers putting in a stick of Trident at the beginning of the routine, or blowing a bubble in the middle of it, or some connection back to the brand.  It looks like a classic “sponsorship” instead of creating something new or putting a little twist on it.  It works with regard to being fun enough that people want to pass it along to friends, but think it was a missed opportunity to add something new to it. With regard to Gillette, I wish it just went a bit further on the “on my God” factor to motivate people to watch it again and send it to friends.  It’s fun but, in my opinion, a funny plot twist (beyond the platform shoes) or visual or something could have ensured it was a huge success.

Hats off to the people behind both videos, as the more brands experiment and try new things we all actually win – people get a new kind of entertainment, more free stuff is up for grabs, imaginations get bigger and hopefully boring ads of the past are gone forever – and true brand engagement is here to stay.

]]> 2
Creativity Interview: Cranberries Mon, 13 Apr 2009 21:20:31 +0000 Ryan Peal My mission to speak with some of the smart marketers around the world today leads me to the cranberry bogs of the United States, where I recently had a chance to speak with Michele Silbey, international Account Manager for the US Cranberry Marketing Committee and client of H&K (full disclosure).  Michele is responsible for enticing more people around the world fall in love with the great taste and healthy benefits of cranberries.

As with previous guests Michele tackled the “Big 5 Questions of Creativity.”  Here we go:

1.    Is creativity important to your business?  Definitely.  We rely on creativity to jumpstart and/or expand exports of cranberries in each market.  Creativity also goes a long way to maximizing our budgets.  If we can use a creative idea that may cost less than a standard promotional campaign but delivers more results, that’s an ideal situation.

2.    Why is delivering or having creativity important for your efforts?  Smart and creative thinking helps us stretch every dollar.  In many markets cranberries are competing with local fruits which means it’s tough for our fun little red cranberry to break through in some aspects.  Creativity is a tool we use to break through the clutter.

3.    How do you define creativity?  For me creativity is thinking outside the box for ideal ways to reach consumers or the trade, whomever you are targeting.  Creativity is taking a normal, often used idea and turning it on its head to come up with a different angle to a common theme that would draw more viewers or eyeballs.

4.    What’s the latest campaign you came across that you think rocked on the creative scale?  I have to say the way the Australia team leveraged the Sex and the City movie last year was very creative – they identified an opp for cranberries to piggyback on the launch of the movie – given the heavily featured cosmopolitan which was throughout the series and in the last scene of the movie. As a result, cosmos were very much back on the bar menu and featured in every magazine. They were even able to get some of Sydney’s  top mixologists shaking up their own rendition of the cosmo to add some spice.  And on a global scale I have to say I love Apple’s recent campaign when they went head on with Microsoft as part of their “I’m a Mac” effort – great, simple, lighthearted and memorable.

5.    On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 not important, 10 very important) how important do you think creative thinking/approaches are to solving business challenges?  I think it does depend somewhat on the actual challenge you’re facing.  If it is a timing or budget challenge, then creativity is maybe not as important as plain old strategic thinking.  However, when it comes to marketing/increasing awareness, creativity can make or break a product.  I give it a 9 in those situations.

So even the little cranberry relies on creative thinking to raise its profile and get people to, well, eat it.  For more on cranberries check out where you can find great recipes, health benefits and more – you’ll never guess so much good can be packed in something so small.

Get Creative!

]]> 1
Art From Old Cassette Tape Wed, 08 Apr 2009 22:08:08 +0000 Ryan Peal Sometimes you just need to look at things around you in a new way, pretend you are a little kid and discovering them for the first time and let your mind wander a bit.  I’m guessing this little exercise may have been the driver behind Erika Iris Simmons‘ latest bit of recycable art – using old cassette tape, the tape inside, to create some visuals.  Previously she’s used old playing cards, magazines, credit cards and old books – repurposing the materials and breathing a whole new life into them.  Check out her Flickr photostream for more examples.

When I came across this (thanks to my friends at Environmental Graffiti) it was a great reminder to always look for ways to surprise people with a new twist on an old thing, and the power of visuals and imagination to engage people in a deeper way.  We all need to constantly reach out to people who think differently from us “marketers” and let their perspectives on things mix with ours.  The output has the potential to be incredible, to be that bit of instant pop culture possibility that brands need.  It’s finding the right balance of when brands “market” and when brands “entertain” as I think brands need both equally.

So, challenge your brain more, reach out to more people from different worlds to come play in yours for a bit and see what happens.  Worse case nothing, best case, something incredible, buzz-worthy, something that makes you want to come back the next day to do better.

]]> 0
Creativity Interview: Positively Wellington Tourism Thu, 02 Apr 2009 21:52:46 +0000 Ryan Peal My dream/mission to speak with some of the smartest marketers around the world leads me today to Wellington, New Zealand, where I recently had a chance to speak with Sarah Peacock, the Australia Marketing Manager for Positively Wellington Tourism and client of H&K (full disclosure).  Sarah is responsible for enticing more Australians to spoil themselves and head a bit farther down under (and to the right) to visit the capital of New Zealand, a vibrant boutique city close to the some of the best wine and scenery in the world.

As with previous guests Sarah tackled the “Big 5 Questions of Creativity.”  Here we go:

1.    Is creativity important to your business?  Extremely important – across the board (domestic, international, corporate, etc.).  Getting the word out about Wellington in Australia is priority #1 as we compete with lots of destinations in the region . . . but of course we are a stand out destination with a huge amount to offer.

2.    Why is delivering or having creativity important for your efforts?  You need creative ideas to cut through the noise and get people and the media interested in Wellington.  We can’t just say “hi, we’re wellington,” you need to engage with consumers,  build a relationship with them, get them interacting with you and add something to their life.

3.    How do you define creativity?  For me it’s about innovation and having a unique voice that’s different (and more entertaining) then our competitors.  And in the end, being clever and smart.

4.    What’s the latest campaign you came across that you think rocked on the creative scale?  It has to be this funny video I saw called “Beached As” which is a funny take on New Zealanders by Australians.  It’s a great example of clever thinking that didn’t cost a lot but got people talking.  It has the right authenticity to it and “went viral” as many people also thought it was great and passed it around.  There’s nothing more powerful than friends and family sending something your way.  And my back-up favourite was a simple commercial by Cadbury with the gorilla playing the drums – nothing to do with chocolate but such a great way to add some fun to their brand.  (link to video)

5.    On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 not important, 10 very important) how important do you think creative thinking/approaches are to solving business challenges?  Of course I’d say a big 10.  In today’s fast paced world you need to have an emotional connection with consumers, and to do that you need to think of the right and smart way to engage with them.

It’s easy to see that creativity is alive and well in Wellington as Sarah and her team continue to develop campaigns that motivate people to discover this amazing city waiting to be explored.  And if you now have visions of the wonders of Wellington in your head join the Wellington Facebook group or sign-up for the Wellington e-newsletter and start planning your trip.

Get Creative!

]]> 2