Creativity in Public Relations » facebook 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 Dress Like A Cow For Free Food At Chick-Fil-A Sat, 11 Jul 2009 05:04:42 +0000 Ryan Peal Today in the USA is the annual “Dress Like A Cow” day at Chick-fil-a, a great fast food chicken restaurant.  The company hosts its “Cow Appreciation Day” each year in cow style, rewarding customers who come in dressing like a cow with free food (the amount of free food is based on how much cow you are wearing head to hoof).  It’s a nice subtle reminder that people should be eating more chicken (especially at Chick-Fil-A) and be more like friends in India who treasure the sacred cow, and wouldn’t dare think to have a hamburger.

You can visit the campaign site to learn more about the day and see how you can download cow spots and masks and other cow essentials.  And if you really love chicken, one lucky adult and one lucky kid who is dressed as the best cow will win free chicken for a year.  This year there is also a nice Facebook page too.

This is a great example of how a brand builds on its everyday tagline and mission (to get people to eat more chicken) in a fun and buzz-worthy way.  And also provides an easy way for people to participate on the fun, with easy to apply cow spots on the website giving everyone a simple way to participate.

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Samsung’s 24-Hour Dance-Off Tue, 07 Jul 2009 00:34:51 +0000 Ryan Peal 24-hour Dance-off – love it!  On July 7th in London 100 competitors will take their positions on the dance floor, slip on headphones, turn on their Samsung BEAT Edition DJ music phone and start dancing . . . and dancing, and dancing for up to 24 hours as they compete in The Last Call to win €10,000 and a date with Swedish pop star September.

Last month Europeans in 9 countries entered for the chance to win a trip to London to compete in the finals, embedding a competition widget to their blog, Facebook and MySpace pages.  The widget was active for only 24 hours, so contestants had to encourage friends and family to cast their votes quickly.  The widget had a built-in leader board element so you could see if you were in the race fairly quickly.  A few weeks ago the 100 lucky winners got the call that they won a new Samsung mobile and a trip to London to compete in the grand finale.

Now this week the 100 contestants will compete at nightclub “Matter” at the O2 arena in London – each dancer has one square to dance in, and stay in.  The trick is that if anyone receives a text or a call during the competition they are out.  So the contestants have been telling their friends via their social networks that they are in the finals and to not call or text on July 7 – a natural way to talk about Samsung, the new mobile and the competition.

For the last few weeks each contestant has been working on a campaign page, adding photographs and videos (connected to the campaign’s YouTube site) and links to follow them on Facebook, MySpace and of course Twitter.   Each was interviewed answering a few questions and talking about the competition.  Everyone has some fun stories on what they are doing to make sure no one calls or texts them on that day.  And on the site you can suggest music tracks to be added to the playlist.  The whole fun will be streamed live on the campaign site, worth watching and seeing how it all plays out.

What can we learn from the campaign?  As always, having an simple concept always works – dance for 24r hours, last one dancing wins.  Doesn’t get any easier than that.  Next up, integrating the product into the campaign.  That works here naturally as the Samsung mobile provides the music at the event and people have to tell friends/family not to call/text because of the competition- a natural way to talk about the product and for it to be a part of the fun.  Leveraging social media to spread the word.  This too is built into the competition, using widgets to drive awareness, creating fan profile pages, etc., all scoring major points.  And finally, great visuals/content and a way for all to participate – 24-hour streaming of people dancing in little squares to music on their headphones, you can’t help but be a bit curious about the whole thing.

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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!

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Reebok, Cirque du Soleil Fly With Jukari Mon, 11 May 2009 00:58:33 +0000 Ryan Peal “Just got back from flying around at the gym, me loves jukari.”  This is the tweet I read from a friend of mine in Los Angeles the other day which had me scratching my head and immediately tweeting back – flying around, jukarti, explain? Turns out there is a new fitness craze, well, a craze that the good people at Reebok are hoping takes off and moves the brand that brought the world Step Aerobics back in the spotlight.

The name Jukari has something to do with “to play” in Italian, and after watching some of the videos of it in action it looks like a bunch of fun.  It works with a trapeze type swings with a 360-degree swivel point that provides a sensation of flying through the gym (with the greatest of ease).  Jukari was brought to life by the amazing brains at Cirque du Soleil – a brand that provides instant credibility in the world of flying and probably helps in convincing people to give it a go.

Since I’m living in Australia, where Jukari hasn’t landed yet, I couldn’t try it out firsthand, but I definitely was able to find lots of places to find out about it.  Reebok has gone hard on the social media front, with Jukari flying across YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.  I couldn’t seem to find out if there was any type of national unveiling/launch – like setting up Jukari above the ice skating rank at Rockefeller Center (what a visual) for a Today Show appearance – so not sure how it made its debut.  My friend in LA said it just showed up at her gym one day and of course she had to try it out (and is now getting addicted to it).

Time will tell if Jukari takes flight, but the campaign definitely is working its social media muscle and provides a great example to share on how a campaign can work these new channels.  At H&K we call it the Octopus Approach – put your brand and activity out where the people are online already (the tentacles) and give them a reason to come back to your site (the head).  Now, get flying!

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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!

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Skittles Changes Entire Website to Social Media Mania Mon, 02 Mar 2009 10:11:09 +0000 Ryan Peal For me this is a big one – a milestone in the Twitterdom and social media in general.  Skittles today ditched its what-you’d-expect website to a twitter-skittles-search website, with a small little popup window with a shortened version of their website with all the regular stuff.  If you are already on Twitter then you know what a Twitter search page is; if you aren’t on Twitter (besides starting) you need to check out the Skittles website to get an idea what a Twitter search page is all about.  It basically shows in real time how Skittles are a part of someone’s day in real-time, when they decide to “tweet” on Twitter about Skittles – i.e., just had a Skittles and I love them so much.

Now the fun part.  Tomorrow the Skittles site may be the wikipedia entry, or the company’s Facebook fan page, or maybe a flickr photo album or Skittles YouTube channel.  Things will be constantly changing and rotating, simply providing a whole new look at Skittles through the social media world.

This is true creative thinking.  Hats off to the people behind the decision to go all-out social media and show how Skittles do naturally add a little bit of fun and color to our lives every day.  I’m betting more brands will do something similar or exactly the same.  Next time you are working hard to get something totally crazy off the drawing board and into reality show someone standing in your way this new site and say “take that!  crazy things can and do happen, now lets make our own brand history.”

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Have Your Facebook and Eat Pizza Hut too Fri, 20 Feb 2009 22:05:23 +0000 Ryan Peal Trying to find examples of brands that have really shined with their entrance on social media networks has led me to one of the best – Pizza Hut on Facebook.  The company launched their own Facebook page a bit over a year ago but this past October things really took off when the company added an application that lets people order Pizza Hut right from Facebook.  The company connected to a specific consumer insight – they love Facebook and are on it for hours.  So Pizza Hut made it really easy for anyone to have their Facebook and eat Pizza Hut too.

Now the company is up to more than 800,000 fans – a massive social media database ready for engaging in the long-term.  The company is now running a “Passport to Italy” contest related to a new product launch.  So running competitions is nothing new but Pizza Hut automatically enters anyone who is in a member of the Pizza Hut Facebook page in the contest – and then of course anyone who joins the page also is entered to win.

And of course a nice indirect result of this Facebook page is the closeness Pizza Hut can have with its fans/customers.  They are encouraged to upload photos and videos, make wall comments and more, so a plethora (love that word) of good insight to tap for future campaigns.

So if you are working with a company who is curious about social media, have them take a look at the Pizza Hut Facebook page.  The company has found a nice balance of knowing when to market and when to entertain their fans, and ensuring they are always giving them a reason to come back to the site and not just be a one-time sign-up fan.

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