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Refresh PR proves a success for start-ups



As an entrepreneur, launching a new business is an incredibly exciting time, but also one that carries overwhelming commitment and often, a lot of stress. It is therefore important for any entrepreneur to be working with companies that are equally excited and invested in the business’ success.

 

For new, often unheard of businesses, PR can play a significant role in raising awareness of a brand to their target market; introducing them to a potentially lucrative audience. Get it right, and it’s a worthwhile investment for the business owner and can help build the foundation for a successful future.

 

In order for PR to be effective for new businesses, the start-up and the agency have to be completely aligned on the business objectives. The start-up businesses have to be clear on what they want to achieve from PR – from listings and sales to brand awareness or improved SEO, while also taking the professionals’ advice on the best approach to achieve these goals and what will most benefit the wider business plan. An open and honest relationship from the start, as well as clear account direction, is required to deliver strong results.

 

Over the past few months, Refresh PR has worked with some impressive start-ups, including SkinnyBrands, the producer of Skinny Lager and Skinny Cocktails, and Calla Shoes, a bespoke shoe designer for women with bunions.

 

With each client, we worked to deliver results quickly and efficiently, understanding the client (and any investors) would need to see return on investment within weeks, not months.

 

For Calla, we carried out a press trip introducing the brand to some of the UK’s largest consumer magazines including Prima, Good Housekeeping, and newspapers including the Daily Express, all of which offer the perfect reader demographic for Calla.

 

Earlier this month Calla was included within the Daily Mail’s round up of brands that were set up by entrepreneurs looking to solve their own health issues. This feature went into the Daily Mail and the MailOnline, a combined reach of nearly 240 million, increasing traffic to the Calla website and resulting in a considerable increase in sales, a phenomenal and potentially pivotal achievement for a start-up brand.

 

For SkinnyBrands, trade press was a huge focus in order to secure listings in the UK’s major multiples, a target the brand quickly achieved. Buyers in Tesco and Morrisons, which now stock the product, expressed that they have been impressed by the brand’s unique product offering, as well as its strategic PR and marketing campaign running parallel to the sales success.

 

Seeing the tangible difference that a piece of coverage can make to sales isn’t always something you encounter every day in PR, but with start-ups, this impact is noticed and hugely appreciated.

 

If you are a start-up and would like to have a conversation on how we could support you, then please give us a call on 0161 871 1188 or email info@refreshpr.co.uk.

 

 

 

Tagged with: creatiive agency Manchester, Good product placement examples, Leisure, Lifestyle, Manchester, North West , PR, PR agencies Manchester, PR for start-ups, Public Relations North West, Wellbeing

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A taste of success for Chip Strips!



When a new snacking product like nothing we'd ever seen before landed on our desks, we jumped at the chance to represent the brand. After all, who doesn't love a good snack; particularly one that's obviously going to fly off the shelves?

 

With its unique proposition Chip Strips is a new snacking product from Mr Cookes Kitchen, a fellow Manchester-based company which has innovation and a focus on good quality food at its core.  

 

The company has boldly gone where no brand has gone before, launching with no less than 10 (yes, that's 10) different flavours to deliver taste twists for Britain's snack lovers, meaning there is something to suit everyone's potato penchant. And the brand is set to take over the shelves of a supermarket, or corner shop, near to you soon.

Chip Strips and Refresh PR

As experts in food and drink PR, the Refresh PR team was well aware of the potential for the brand: media outlets across the UK would go mad for Chip Strips and its flavours, which range from sour cream and onion, cheese and onion, sea salt and vinegar and sea salt to wasabi, bacon and onion, sweet paprika, tangy ketchup, chilli and paprika and smokey bbq.

 

So there was only one thing for it! We packed a few rather large suitcases full of product, booked our trains and headed to London for the biggest press trip to date. With no less than four representatives hitting the streets of London, we met with dozens of journalists and tasted more Chip Strips than we thought we'd ever be able to eat!

 

Meetings were held with the trade magazines, national newspapers, supplements, glossy magazines, bloggers, reviewers, vloggers and so many more!

 

As expected the journalists loved the brand, seeing and tasting how the potato snack is completely different to anything else on the market. With such positive feedback and the ball rolling with impressive coverage, Refresh PR successfully converted some of the UK's top food journalists to Chip Strips.

So what are you waiting for? Grab a pack at local One Stop shops and selected Tesco stores from 23rd November!

 

 

Tagged with: Food & Drink, Good product placement examples, Home Interest, Leisure, Lifestyle, Manchester, North West , PR, PR Agency Manchester, PR Manchester, Product Placement, Public Relations, Public Relations North West

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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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Product Placement: Things are about to get interesting!



With the announcement this week that product placement is to be allowed on British TV programmes for the first time from next year, PR agencies across the country are already vying for opportunities for their clients.  It means that from 28th February, paid-for references to products and services will be permitted in films, sports programmes, soaps and one-off dramas – and not forgetting reality TV - which is sure to be a massive money spinner.

 

It’s good to see that restrictions will remain on children's, religious, news and current affairs programmes – it seems the powers that be have taken a sensible approach. 

 

As the new rules state that product placement must be editorially justified, we’ve taken a look at some examples from across the pond where the laws have been relaxed for years – there are some good ones, some bad ones, and some downright ugly ones...and this by no means is an exhaustive list, just some of our high (and low) lights!

 

Twilight: New Moon – I still to this day cringe at the point in the film when Bella and Alice take off for Italy to save Edward.  In a film that I love, it’s very hard to watch a five second clip of a Virgin Atlantic plane randomly flying across my TV screen – so out of place and unnecessary in the context of the rest of the film (which was amazing!).  Thankfully there were no major plane journeys to be taken in Eclipse, so I hope Breaking Dawn doesn’t stoop to this level again when part one comes out next year!

 

Twilight Saga – Whereas Virgin Atlantic’s appearance in the film was annoying, I wonder how much Volvo has benefitted from the fact the whole world now knows that sexy vampires drive the brand's cars?  What a coup for Volvo, not known for being the trendiest car on the planet...sudden exposure to a whole new generation of teenagers undertaking their driving test as we speak: genius move!

 

James Bond: Casino Royale – For me the James Bond films are allowed to have major product placement, it just fits with the gadget story lines and adds to the credibility of this well loved franchise.  So whether its Omega watches, Sony gadgets or a whole host of fast cars, bring it on, it’s allowed and we love it.

 

Sex & The City – If what this programme (and subsequent films) did for Manolo Blahnik could ever be quantified, I’d love to see the outcome.  Built into the story lines, it’s another example of how product placement just works.  So whether it’s the storyline with Lucy Liu and the Hermes Birkin bag or it is simply the famous shoes themselves, a whole range of designers have done very, very well out of this fabulous show!

 

The Women – With far, far too many lingering close-ups of various Dove products, it seems subtlety is an art that was lost on the makers of The Women.  Apparently, the film deals with many of the issues that have been the focus of Dove’s 'Campaign for Real Beauty'.  It might just be me, but isn’t leading lady Meg Ryan a poster child for bad plastic surgery?  Not Dove’s wisest move.

 

Music Videos – The worst surely has to be Lady Gaga’s Telephone video?  In almost 10 minutes it plugs at least 10 separate brands, including Virgin Mobile, Diet Coke and Polaroid.  Although it brings in a lot of money for the star and her team, doesn’t it just really date the video? Technology is moving too quickly – don’t do it!!

 

Mission: Impossible - Apple paid a lot of money to have Macs pop up in the film and were right by his side whenever the lovely Ethan Hunt needed one – but does it do for Apple what the association for Sony does in Casino Royale...?

 

The Devil Wears Prada – A massively popular film, particularly with PRs like us, had the unforgettable connection to Starbucks.  And with the multiple mentions and sightings of the coffee giant, perhaps it was a cliché too far?  We’re on the fence with this one...mainly because of our allegiance to the film!

 

US X Factor - It has been reported this week that Simon Cowell has signed a £35 million deal with Pepsi for the US version of The X Factor.  The judges will be seen drinking Pepsi products during the programme, plus contestants and presenters will be shown with the drink on The Xtra Factor.  You have been warned!

 

So as commercial stations begin to prepare their product placement/sponsorship packages, PR agency after PR agency will be watching the outcome.  Manchester’s Coronation Street, London’s EastEnders and Yorkshire’s Emmerdale will be the ones I’m watching first – it’s going to be an interesting year!

Tagged with: Good product placement examples, PR, Product Placement, Public Relations, X Factor