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Christmas adverts: why are they so popular?



The much anticipated arrival of the John Lewis advert seemed to divide the nation, and definitely caused a stir on social media. Some viewers fell in love with the friendship between Moz the monster and the little boy, while others were of a different opinion and took to Twitter and other social media platforms to express their disappointment. One member of the public even went so far as to tweet, Worst #johnlewischristmasadvert I've ever seen.”

As we settle down to watch TV on these cold, dark and dismal nights, whatever time it may be, we are now bombarded with a variety of Christmas adverts. From supermarkets to department stores, as soon as November arrives, there is no escaping these overly sentimental ads.

Every year without fail, the adverts receive a huge amount of online recognition. From trending hashtags to articles, we are constantly reminded of the different adverts we should be looking out for. The M&S ad even made national broadcast news, simply due to some poor enunciation (I still believe he wasn’t saying ‘thank you little bear’). It really is amazing how much publicity these adverts receive and how they completely dominate social media for two months of the year.

Some people are now beginning to argue whether or not the huge power that these Christmas adverts have is getting a bit extreme. John Lewis spent £7 million on its latest advert and it seems it is turning into a competition between brands as to how much can be spent each year, with a variety of articles now being written comparing the latest ads and their budgets. One thing is for sure, the PR value achieved outweighs the initial ad spend.

However, it is indisputable that these Christmas adverts show how integral social media can be for a company’s marketing, showing how even the most popular companies rely on social media to be successful. Are you applying the same practice to your business?

If you think your business could use some assistance, get in touch with us on 0161 871 1188.

Tagged with: Creative Agency, Gifts, John Lewis, PR Agency Manchester, Public Relations

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Refresh PR's Christmas gift guide 2016



December is in full swing and it’s the season of giving, but we all know it’s not so easy to pick the perfect present for the loved ones in your life. Here at Refresh, we’ve compiled a Christmas gift guide with the help of our client Arbonne that not even the fussiest of family members could refuse.

 

1.      For the one waiting under the mistletoe

It’s hard to find the perfect red lip to enhance your look during the festive season, but Arbonne’s Smoothed Over Lipstick will leave your lips super soft and with the perfect pout, ideal for kissable lips under the mistletoe! Elle Magazine recommend Arbonne’s Smoothed Over Lipstick in Hibiscus, as the perfect deep red shade in its Christmas Gift Guide this month.

 

2.      For mum

Mums deserve extra love and attention at this time of year, especially after they’ve most likely prepared most of the Christmas dinner and done most of the shopping! Cosmopolitan thought the Olive Blossom & Eucalyptus Gift Set is the perfect treat for any mum underneath the Christmas tree.

 

3.      For the toddler

It’s sometimes difficult to find a gift for a toddler as they become more independent and want to take on the world, but their little hands aren’t quite capable yet! This is where Arbonne’s Leaf it to Me Gift Set comes in. Recommended by B Baby Magazine, the parent and child friendly bottles have larger pumps, giving children the confidence to use it on their own, and the clean refreshing scent is bound to be a hit with both parents and grandparents this Christmas.

 

4.      For the teenager

For the teenager that no longer springs out of bed on Christmas morning, a revitalising hair mask is just what they need.Treat their tresses after a lengthy lie-in; cotton pillowcases can dry out the hair, which can leave a serious case of ‘bed head’ - a big no-no for any stylish teen. Popular TV streaming service Hayu recommends Arbonne’s Pure Vibrance Hair Masque in its gift guide for reality TV lovers.

 

 

5.      For the vegan

More and more people are turning to veganism, not just for the health benefits, but also for their concerns about the environment and the treatment of animals. The experts on all things ethical, Veggie magazine, also included Arbonne’s Olive Blossom & Eucalyptus Gift Set as the ideal luxury gift set, which includes a cleansing body polish and body butter that will help keep dry winter skin at bay and you feeling good that it’s 100 per cent cruelty free.

 

 

Tagged with: , Christmas, gift guide, Gifts, Health & Beauty, Leisure, Lifestyle, Public Relations, Wellbeing

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Refresh-ing the ClaireaBella Classics



It’s been an exciting couple of weeks for the consumer team here at Refresh PR’s HQ in Manchester. Our client, personalised lifestyle brand ClaireaBella, has relaunched its popular range of classic jute bags and we’ve been drafted in to help spread the word!

 

Female fashionistas can now enjoy a suite of brand new outfits, accessories and hair styles, designed to bring out their true aspirational selves and reflect their day-today personas.

 

A project such as this one is so much fun to work on, so we’re never short on ideas from the team! As well as a high-impact press office, we’ve been liaising with our celebrity agent contacts to ensure the UK’s fan favourites are armed and ready to strut the red carpets and exotic beaches with a refreshed classic on arm.

 

We've had some lovely feedback in the first couple of weeks from the likes of Corrie's Samia Ghadie to Ex on the Beach starlets, Talitha Minnis and Jess Impiazzi.

 

The press also love the refreshed designs, especially our friends over at Love It! magazine!

 

Have a read of the write-up: http://loveitmagazine.co.uk/article/290/clairabella-relaunches-popular-bag-range. 

 

The ClaireaBella classic jute bags are available in two sizes, medium (£34.99) and large (£39.99) and can be purchased from toxicfox.co.uk.

 

 

 

Tagged with: Celebrity, Gifts, Lifestyle, Manchester, North West , PR, PR Agency Manchester, PR Manchester, Public Relations, Public Relations North West

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The Christmas Countdown – Top 12 Toys for 2011 Revealed!



It’s official – the Toy Retailers’ Association has announced its Top 12 Toys for Christmas 2011. Expect to see the list in your morning paper (if the Toy Retailers’ Association’s PR company has done its job properly) and prepare for the kids to turn up the pester-factor!

 

We’ve provided a breakdown of each product here so you can see what all the fuss is about and surprise the kids with how much you know about the coolest presents around this Christmas. You’ll see that Refresh PR’s client www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk stocks a few of the products on the list, which should help avoid any Tracy Island-esque scuffles on the high street…

 

  • Doggie Doo (£24) – the game where players feed a dog as they make their way around the board, collecting dog poo when nature calls. The player with the most dog poo on their shovel at the end, wins
  • Fijit Friends (£54.99) - cute interactive robot toys that giggle and dance when poked or squeezed. They have bright, multicolour face displays and inbuilt voice recognition. They react to 30 keywords and respond with over 150 phrases, and even tell knock-knock jokes! Get yours now at http://www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/fijit-friends-interactive-toys.html
  • Fireman Sam Pontypandy Rescue Set (£29.99) – everyone’s favourite fireman comes to the rescue in this ‘multi-disaster’ play set. Kids can help put out building fires with the hose, save naughty Norman when he traps his head in the railings, help Fireman Sam get the cat down from the tree! There's never a dull moment in Pontypandy...
  • Kidizoom Twist (£49.99) - gets budding photographers off to a good start. This 2 megapixel camera from VTech has a twisting lens so kids can take pictures and movies of their friends as well as self-portraits. The camera has a 4x digital zoom, built-in flash, colour screen, five games, and a variety of frames, stamps and effects so kids can get creative
  • LeapPad Explorer (£78.99) – this ‘iPad for kids’ is aimed at ages 4-9. Given that it saves around £320 on the iPad, it comes very well equipped with a still and video camera, voice recording, and motion-based accelerometer. Many of the interactive games use these features, and there are apps to help with everything from reading, maths and language to health and hygiene, the difficulty levels of which adjust automatically according to a child’s age. Clever!
  • Let's Rock Elmo (£69.99) – Sesame Street’s Elmo has gone all rock’n’roll on us, but only so he can help the kids learn through music. He responds to and interacts with his instruments, and comes programmed with a series of sing-along songs, too
  • Milky the Bunny (£59.99)the adorable interactive bunny rabbit that just loves being cuddled. Perfect for kids that pester for pets, Milky responds to touch, wiggles her ears, blinks, sleeps, eats and moves her feet! When she’s awake, she will blink, wiggle her ears and call for attention. Give Milky a good home by ordering from http://www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/interactive-toys-milky-the-bunny.html

·         Monster High Lagoona's Hydration Station (£39.99) – one for fans of the cult Monster High dolls, the Hydration Station comes with a new Lagoona Blue doll. The Hydration Station is basically where Lagoona sleeps at night; because she is part sea-monster she needs to rehydrate. Doubles up as a slightly morbid lava lamp thanks to its eerie blue glow

·         Moshling Tree House (£19.99) – playground craze Moshi Monsters are given a place to hang out with this tree house, which has a working basket lift for moshlings to play in too. The tree house also stores Moshlings to prevent them from cluttering up bedrooms

  • Nerf Vortex Nitron Blaster (£44.99) - propels a full-auto storm of foam nerf discs toward targets at extreme range for an all-out assault. One for outside methinks.
  • Ninjago Fire Temple (£89.99) – an immense Lego play set that gets kids saving the Dragon Sword of Fire from the clutches of the evil Skeleton Army. Intense.
  • Star Wars Ultimate Force Tech Lightsaber Assortment (£39.99) – this says it all, really!

 

So, what do you think of the Toy Retailers’ Association’s must-haves? Anything not on the shortlist that you think should be? Leave a comment below!

Tagged with: Christmas, Christmas presents, Fijit, Gifts, Milky the Bunny, PR, PR company, top 12 toys, Toy Retailers Association, toys

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Royal Wedding fever hits Refresh PR



Ok, I’ll admit it: I’ve caught the Royal Wedding bug. Big time.

I honestly didn’t think I’d get swept along in the national excitement in the lead up to the big day, but whether it’s because we get an extra holiday, because Kate Middleton is a becoming the epitome of a style icon before our eyes, or because all the Royal Wedding merchandise flooding the high street and online stores is so wonderfully kitsch, I can’t seem to get enough of it.

 

I also have a lot to thank the Royal Wedding for; Refresh PR’s clients are thriving as a result of the event that’s captured hearts the world over. Online retailer www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk has seen sales soar as people prepare for post-War style street parties with streams of bunting, flags, commemorative kitchen and homewares, and even some rather fetching Kate and Wills masks (modelled here by my good self and the lovely Laura):

 

The national papers have really got into the swing of things, adorning their pages with fabulously patriotic merchandise. www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk’s Royal Family Celebrity Masks have gone down particularly well with journalists at Grazia, the Daily Mirror and The Sun, and we’re hoping the This Morning sofa will soon be sporting a Union Jack cushion. And with The Royal Collection launching a Royal Wedding app – “the only app one needs” apparently – even our phones aren’t safe from infectious Royal Wedding excitement.

Another of Refresh PR’s clients, Photolink Creative Group, has also been able to make the most of the ever-burgeoning popularity of our future princess, producing video tutorials for its high fashion hair salon client, Regis, on how to get Kate Middleton hair. And what self-respecting young lady wouldn’t want Kate Middleton hair?

http://www.haveagreathairday.co.uk/2011/04/kate-middleton-hair-royal-wedding/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUcoWpkcXJE&feature=player_embedded

So, how will you be spending the day on 29th April? Are you avoiding the Royal Wedding at all costs, or street partying with the best of them? From a PR point of view, the Refresh PR team is really looking forward to the BBC’s clever take on covering the ceremony – they’re going to be filming at Grazia’s offices to capture the live reaction of a newsroom and its journalists as the day unfolds. I for one can’t wait!

Tagged with: bunting, Celebrity, Daily Mirror, Facebook, Gifts, Grazia, Kate Middleton, merchandise, patriotic, PR, Prince William, Royal Wedding, The Sun

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Love is in the Air at Refresh ahead of Valentine’s Day



We’ve spent the past few weeks spreading the word about the Valentine’s Day Gifts being sold online by our fab client www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk – in fact we’ve spent so much time cultivating Look Sheets and speaking to journalists up and down the country that we thought it was about time we summarised our favourite Valentine’s Gifts for those of you reading the Refresh PR blog too...and whether you love or loath the day, there’s going to be something in here to make you smile, I bet!!

 

PERSONALISED MAP JIGSAW – rrp from £25.99

http://www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/personalized-jigsaws-london-street-map-400-piece-jigsaws.html

These unique, made-to-order 400 piece map jigsaws centre on your place of choice – where you first met, got engaged, or tied the knot. The result is an intriguing street or Victorian puzzle that will draw on your local knowledge and map-reading skills. The box lid can also be personalised.

 

Love Rug SLANKET – rrp £24.99

http://www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/home-gifts-for-women-love-rug-sleeved-blanket.html

There’s one massive Slanket fan in the Manchester office, and she’s enviously looking at these latest designs that are being sent out to journalists next week...hands off!!  They do look mighty comfy though...and at the last look were on sale too.

 

SECRET MESSAGE ARROW – rrp £14.99

http://www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/gifts-for-men/personal-gift/secret-message-arrow.html

Hide a Valentine’s Day message inside this brushed steel arrow, which comes with five spare scrolls in case you don’t get your love note right first time round… or if you’re given to changing your mind!

 

Personalised Bottle of Champagne – rrp £34.99

http://www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/personalised-boxed-bottle-of-champagne.html

These Personalised Bottles of Champagne are fantastic. A sophisticated present that stands the test of time, www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk allows you to personalise the bottle with a name and message on the label, and a name on the smart presentation box it arrives in.

 

PERSONALISED VALENTINE’S DAY NOTEBOOKS – rrp £8.20

http://www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/personalised-notebooks-snuggle-monster.html

There’s a massive selection online which can be personalised for your Valentine.  We are fans and love the different designs.

 

HEART SHAPED PASTA – rrp £2.99

http://www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/heart-shaped-love-pasta.html

Cooking for two on Valentine’s Day? Use this heart shaped pasta to get a few extra brownie points!  It’s currently being tested by a famous Mum’s website and they love it!

 

CHOCOLATE PIZZA – HEAVENLY HONEYCOMB AND CRUNCHY MUNCHY – starting at £11.95

http://www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/10-inch-chocolate-pizza-heavenly-honeycomb.html

http://www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/12-inch-chocolate-pizza-crunchy-munchy.html

With a choice of Heavenly Honeycomb or Crunchy Munchy the pizzas come in three sizes (7, 10 and 12 inch). Each pizza comes with a personalised card with up to 50 characters – we are big fans...

 

PERSONALISED 400 PIECE JIGSAW: TIMES NEWSPAPER FRONT PAGE – rrp £27.99

http://www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/personalised-times-front-page-newspaper-jigsaw-400-piece.html

These 400 piece jigsaw puzzles feature the front page of either the London or The New York Times newspapers on a date of your choice. These fascinating jigsaws are individually created using high quality mono reproductions taken from original front pages dating as far back as archive editions from 1888.

 

HEART SHAPED UMBRELLA – rrp £18.99

http://www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/heart-shaped-umbrella-hot-pink.html

Brighten up rainy days with this funky umbrella, a must-have for any romantic. When it’s closed, it looks like a normal stylish brolly, but once opened it takes the shape of a huge heart. Choose between a red, hot pink and candy pink umbrella too

 

HEART SHAPED FRYING PAN – rrp £4.99

http://www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/heart-frying-pan.html

Heart shaped pancakes anyone?  Well, it’s going to make your partner smile if nothing else, and the beauty is it can be used time and time again.

 

Want to have a look for some more?  Just visit http://www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/valentines-day-gifts/ and browse to your heart’s content!!

 

 

Tagged with: Food & Drink, Gifts, Home Interest, Manchester, PR, Public Relations, Valentine's Day Gifts

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Refresh PR takes the panic out of Manic Monday for www.Find-Me-A-Gift.co.uk



Those of you working in the retail and gift industries will know that today, Monday 29th November, is ‘Manic Monday’ – the day when the great British public  all log on to do their Christmas shopping online, with sales peaking at a staggering £22.4 million per hour. One of Refresh PR’s clients, online gift retailer www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk is definitely experiencing the mania today, with unprecedented demand on its newly-revamped website, particularly for its Paper Jamz interactive electronic instruments, http://www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/music-toys-paper-jamz-toy-guitar.html, and its cult Slankets (blankets with sleeves) http://www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/zebra-slankets-fleece-blanket-with-sleeves-zebra-print-slankets.html. The find-me-a-gift team is busy processing over 400 orders an hour from its Leamington Spa HQ, and it really is all hands on deck as this will equate to around 10,000 orders in a single day.

Keen to maximise every opportunity for our clients, we were straight on the phones this morning, pitching the company’s MD in as a spokesperson for radio stations and newspapers running stories on Manic Monday. We’ve even come to the rescue on Twitter and Facebook, recommending thoughtful Christmas presents for the company’s fans and followers struggling to buy for fussy friends and family. It’s all going down a treat so far – the client has completed live interviews on BBC Radio (click here to listen – it’s at 2 hours 12 minutes in: http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/p00c9m8z/) and comment pieces for the biggest newspapers in its region. Knowing that we’ve got the PR covered has definitely allowed www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk to concentrate on the most important thing about Manic Monday: delivering on all those orders and watching the Christmas takings soar!

Tagged with: Facebook, Gifts, PR, Public Relations, Retail