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Refresh PR attends STYLEetc Spring Party



Refresh PR attends STYLEetc Spring Party

 

Manchester has long been established as a hub for the creative industries, with music playing a huge part in capturing the vibrancy and true spirit of the city in recent decades. 

With the Hacienda transformed into apartments, Oasis separated by feuding brothers and The Smiths long defunct, it appears that Manchester-born fashion is the next big thing!

With that in mind, the Refresh PR team went along to the STYLEetc Spring Party at Harvey Nichols this week, welcoming the magazine’s new editor Gemma Latham with a glass of champagne, whilst also taking a peek at the latest edition of the free quarterly glossy.

The magazine is a fantastic opportunity for Manchester-based designers and boutiques to get in the spotlight, and I would urge you to pick up a free copy of the magazine or visit the website to check it out for yourself!

In attendance were Manchester Evening News’ Diary Editor Dianne Bourne, stylist Matthew Moxham and TV presenter Michelle Eagleton.

I was a bit surprised that there wasn’t a Coronation Street cast member in sight, nor was there an appearance from Manchester designer Nadine Merabi.

Despite Manchester Fashion Week being postponed for the foreseeable future, it still remains an exciting time for Manchester fashion and it’s great that it is finally starting to gain the recognition it deserves.

If you have a fashion or lifestyle brand that you would like to see grow, why not get in touch with the award winning Refresh PR Team here.

 

Tagged with: , Celebrity, Coronation Street, Dianne Bourne, Fashion, Food & Drink, Gemma Latham, Harvey Nichols, Lifestyle, Manchester, Manchester Evening News, Manchester Fashion Week, Matthew Moxham, Michelle Eagleton, Nadine Merabi, Networking Event, North West , PR, PR Agency Manchester, PR Manchester, Public Relations, Public Relations North West, Retail, STYLEetc

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The Dog Bowl Launch Party



Refresh PR began the bank holiday weekend by attending the launch of Manchester’s newest bar.

The Dog Bowl is a new bar and restaurant complete with a bowling alley on Whitworth Street fronted by I’m A Celebrity star Helen Flanagan.

Decorated with dark wood and featuring the brand’s dog Bruce the Patterdale Terrier at every turn – on the toilet signs, menus and even in the bowling ball dispensers - the Dog Bowl is more stylish than your average bowling alley.

Food wise the Dog Bowl offers a Mexican inspired menu featuring everything from nachos to barbecue wings (which smelt amazing).

Adding to the Mexican flavour that evening were the mariachi band from the Doritos advert. Their Latin flavoured rendition of Don’t You Want Me Baby went down very well (especially after a few mojitos) and the band had several encores.

The members of the team who enjoy a celebrity spot (ie. all of us) were not disappointed. Coronation Street cast members past and present including Tina O’Brien, Jack P Shepherd and Paula Lane were in attendance along with Helen Flanagan who opted for an eye-catching hot pink ensemble.

Refresh PR even managed to snag a quick chat with John Miccie (aka Corrie arsonist Karl) and he happily posed for a snap.

Best bowler of the night goes to Gemma Cannon. A less impressive performance came from Kimberley Bull (pictured top) – she blames the free cocktails.

Tonight the bar officially opens to the public – it’s the perfect mix of food, drink and fun.

Tagged with: Black Dog Ballroom, Coronation Street, Dog Bowl, Doritos, Food & Drink, Helen Flanagan, Jack P Shepherd, John Miccie, Leisure, Lifestyle, PR Agency Manchester, PR Manchester, Public Relations North West

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Facebook starts work on using Twitter style hashtags



Until now, the hashtag has mostly been the preserve of Twitter, however a report in the Wall Street Journal says Facebook is working on adding hashtag use to the site. Posts by users would be grouped by hashtag into personalised newspapers.

 

For example, if tonight we’re all talking about the Rovers Return burning down (will Sunita burn!?), then Facebook would create a special update listing everyone’s posts together.

 

However, it wouldn’t be just your friends who’d see your posts. In a drive to make Facebook more and more public, the entire network of users would appear on a hashtag post unless you changed your privacy settings.

 

It began its move towards more public facing content when it added the subscribe option to each member’s page. This option allowed people to follow selected posts without being friends with them. Celebrities including Victoria Beckham and Jessica Alba were quick to pick up on this feature.

 

Facebook and Twitter are already fierce rivals, and Facebook hopes to increase its lead by adding this element to the site, although it will be quite a while until this feature is added.

 

Personally, I’m not thrilled by the idea – isn’t Facebook about sharing things with family and friends?

 

In other hashtag news, Will.I.Am has released his latest single, a duet with Justin Bieber called #thatpower. Our opinion: #epicfail

Tagged with: Coronation Street, Facebook, hashtags, Jessica Alba, Justin Bieber, Manchester, North West , PR Agency Manchester, Public Relations, Public Relations North West, Social Media, Twitter, Victoria Beckham, Will.I.Am

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Sainsbury’s takes over entire show in massive product placement stunt



 

Product placement has been routine on US TV for years; Carrie Bradshaw was never far from her Macbook on Sex and the City and even a minor star like Jessica Simpson managed to rake in $400,000 by promoting a few products during a music video.

 

It is only now however that it’s begun to make a mark on our TV screens, as up until February 2011 it was illegal in the UK.

 

This Morning was first to jump on the bandwagon. The daytime show placed a Nescafé  machine in the background during kitchen segments. Since then, the show has added more and more placement opportunities, the kitchen now comes courtesy of B&Q and the sofas where Holly and Phil perch are provided by DFS.

 

Hollyoaks followed suit soon after -  it’s no coincidence that most of the characters use a Nokia phone – Nokia has paid for them to be there.

 

But the biggest example of product placement comes from Channel 4’s newest daytime show: What’s Cooking? From The Sainsbury’s Kitchen.

 

Presenters Ben Shephard and Lisa Faulkner hold cue cards bearing the Sainsbury’s logo, the chefs are seen to shop for and cook with Sainsbury’s produce, the recipes all form part of the Sainsbury’s Live Well For Less ethos and the show is even filmed live at a studio attached to a Sainsbury’s store.

 

That’s a lot of Sainsbury’s. It’s even in the programme’s title.

 

The show is basically a Sainsbury’s advert, without Jamie Oliver feeding children and chucking fresh herbs everywhere.

 

It does however show what can be done with product placement; you can co-produce and dominate a piece of TV while indirectly advertising to an audience of your choosing.

 

Studies by groups such as Thinkbox suggests the effectiveness of traditional TV advertising, while still strong, continues to dip.

 

Could product placement and the control of entire TV shows be the answer for advertisers looking to showcase products to unsuspecting audiences?

 

Oh and as a viewer, look for the ‘p’ symbol during the opening sequence of a show. That way you’ll know whether or not it’s a massive coincidence that Coronation Street’s Dev has a Nationwide cashpoint in his shop these days. 

Tagged with: B&Q, Ben Shephard, Coronation Street, DFS, Good product placement examples, Hollyoaks, Lisa Faulkner, Manchester, Nescafe, Nokia, North West , PR Agency Manchester, PR Manchester, Public Relations North West, This Morning, What's Cooking? From The Sainsbury's Kitchen

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Everyone’s talking about it...and that’s Corrie, not EastEnders



As Coronation Street pulls in massive viewing figures (14.6m for the ‘tram crash’ episode) and reports in the media suggest advertisers are paying more than £100k per advertisement during the live episode due to screen tonight (9th December) Refresh PR has been looking at the 50th Birthday celebrations and, quite frankly, admiring the PR effort that’s gone in to providing the nation with news stories that have spanned six months and are still not tiring.

 

The sheer volume of news stories generated by the Coronation Street press team is staggering – it’s been difficult to open a newspaper, supplement or glossy over the past few months without seeing news of a story line, a feature or an interview with a star of the Street. The news angles have been well thought out and placed with target audiences and readerships in mind, and the fact that the press team has been able to bring old faves like Betty Driver and Julie Goodyear out of retirement to support the media effort speaks volumes for the team atmosphere at ITV.

 

It brought a smile to my face when I heard Chelsea on Key 103’s breakfast show speaking non-stop about the 50th birthday and to see the Manchester Evening News produce a special edition of the Weatherfield Gazette shows what can be done when a PR team works carefully with the local media as well as with national journalists.  It’s fantastic that our local media in Manchester are supporting a national institution! 

 

Combined with ‘crash’ news reports on ITV Granada, a Facebook game (Corrie Nation - think Farmville but less annoying) and constant trending on twitter this week, the PR has well and truly embraced all forms of media.  It’s a great campaign with tremendous attention to detail which has kept many media contacts happy and ensured the soap has got everyone talking – none more so than the Refresh PR team!  Well done everyone!

 

Tagged with: Coronation Street, Facebook, PR, Public Relations