Tag Archive for brand

Top Tips: How To Avoid A Social Media #Fail

Katie Wadsworth Senior Account Executive Acceleris

Katie Wadsworth, Senior Account Executive

All too often companies are worried about ‘looking boring’, or being overshadowed in their sectors, but this doesn’t mean you should necessarily jump on the latest trend or shoehorn your product into whatever hashtag is currently circling the internet. You don’t want to be forgotten about, but it’s important that you get noticed for the right reasons.

From the Kendall Jenner Pepsi debacle, to Crocs tweeting about David Bowie’s passing, the internet is full of examples of how brands can humiliate themselves, or worse, with just one ill-advised post.

 

1. Beware the hashtag

#nowthatchersdead

A clever hashtag can be a great way to encourage consumers to engage with your brand or share memories, thoughts or even suggestions, but you need to be careful about your choice of wording. Hashtags don’t have any spaces, which can lead to miscommunication or inappropriate interpretations.

Following the passing of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, people began using #nowthatchersdead – a lack of capitalisation and with no room for spaces meant that many people thought pop icon Cher had died – leading to lots of confusion online. While this wasn’t connected to one brand, it shows how careful you have to be – there are also several not safe for work examples we could have used to show just how things can go wrong…

While there are pitfalls to creating your own tag, it’s equally important that you’re careful if you’re going to use someone else’s. Check the context! While the Thatcher/Cher dilemma left people confused, sticking your brand messaging onto a hashtag without researching it can cause offence and damage to your reputation.

Frozen pizza brand DiGiorno made a fundamental blunder back in 2014 when it failed to look into #WhyIStayed before putting out a ‘witty’ tweet.

DiGiorno Pizza Tweet

The tag was in fact being used by domestic violence survivors and campaigners to raise awareness. While the brand did not intend to cause offence, within minutes it had been inundated with comments from those who were outraged by the tweet. DiGiorno swiftly removed the post and issued personal apologies to everyone who tweeted them, but the damage was already done. Even three years later, a simple Google of the brand’s name brings up news stories about the debacle – it was a hard lesson to learn, but they will certainly be doing their homework before jumping on any hashtags in the future.

 

2. Be sensitive to your surroundings

Kendall Jenner Pepsi advert

What seems like a good idea in a creative meeting may rapidly fall apart when put in the real world. The news agenda is constantly changing so be careful that you read the room properly before issuing your advert.

Pepsi fell foul of a poorly thought out advert which showed Kendall Jenner stepping away from a modelling shoot to join a protest, she then passes a police officer a Pepsi and he smiles. The advert was widely criticised as it appeared to trivialise social justice demonstrations taking place in America at the time, suggesting that a fizzy drink could help restore peace between protesters and the authorities.

Unsurprisingly, many took to social media to express their outrage, with prominent figures satirising the video including Bernice King, daughter of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr who tweeted:

Bernice King Pepsi Tweet

The advert was eventually removed from YouTube and Pepsi was forced to issue a statement saying: “Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly, we missed the mark, and we apologise. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue.”

 

3. Make sure your activity is ‘on-brand’

David Bowie Crocs Tweet

Practical shoe brand Crocs decided to tweet about the sad passing of David Bowie in 2016.

While in itself this isn’t a bad thing, the decision to use a croc with a lightening bulb across it – echoing the lightning bolt painted over the face of Bowie’s alter-ego Ziggy Stardust – caused an immediate reaction on social media.

Although this act didn’t cause an angry backlash like Kendall and Pepsi, it did lead to a lot of people poking fun at the brand, long after the tweet was removed from Crocs’ social channels.

A number of brands paid tribute to Bowie, however their messaging and choice of imagery was more appropriate.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with a brand sharing memories of a beloved celebrity who has passed away – perhaps the person who controls the Crocs social media account was a big Bowie fan and meant well by the message – but the choice of image suggested that Crocs was trying to capitalise on the popularity of the tag. So even if you’re trying to be respectful, ask yourself, should we be commenting on this? If the answer is yes, make sure you really think about what you’re going to post so you don’t become a laughing stock.

One brand who did manage to walk the line between topical posts and sensitivity is American car manufacturer Chevrolet who put out this tweet following the death of beloved singer Prince.

 

chevrolet little red corvett Prince tweet

The reason this post was embraced by social media is because the brand had a genuine link to the singer and is the maker of the ‘little red corvette’, the title of one of Prince’s most well-known songs. The post is also simple, classy and respectful.

If you’re stuck for ideas, don’t worry, that’s our job! We’ve got lots of experience creating award-winning campaigns for clients in various sectors and we’ll make sure your brand reputation keeps growing and everything works smoothly. Take a look at our work for other clients to see what we can do: http://www.acceleris-mc.com/pr-portfolio-case-studies.html

At Acceleris we do a lot of work on issues and reputation management for clients in a variety of sectors and our focus is always on championing your reputation, because ultimately it is the thing which makes or breaks you.

 

Brand Ethics: Is It All Just A Waste Of Time?

Emily Atkinson, who joined Acceleris for a work experience placement

Emily Atkinson, who joined Acceleris for a work experience placement

Did you know that 300,000 tonnes of clothing was sent to landfill sites in the UK last year; seven million coffee cups are disposed of each day, and by 2050, the ocean is set to contain more plastic than fish? In a recent article from The Guardian, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation expressed its concern over the perennial question: ‘Who will halt this tidal wave of waste?’

 

Indeed, each year sees an increase in the number of UK and worldwide businesses that are prepared to jump onto the eco-friendly band wagon with the aim of attaining a brand image that evokes transparency, sustainability and ethical behaviour. To mention only a few; Coca-Cola, Tesco, H&M, and Stella McCartney are all companies which, in the last couple of years, have made a significant attempt to refresh their reputation by working towards a more renewable world.

 

Businesses are recognising the increase in consumer demand for more ethical and sustainable products – a revolution that is taking social media by storm. For instance, NARS cosmetics recently took to Instagram to announce that they wanted to put an end to animal testing, stating: “We want you to know that we hear you. The global elimination of animal testing needs to happen.”

 

Social media has become a platform on which anyone, anywhere can have their say. The likes of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube not only allow people to criticise but also for businesses to respond to criticism and relaunch their brand as one which satisfies consumer demands.

 

Coca-Cola

Take Coca-Cola for instance, its most recent campaign shows an epic love story between Coke and Fanta; the idea that they are both contained in recyclable plastic bottles means that they are able to meet over and over again, and eventually fall in love (how sweet!). Lucy Barry, a Berlin-based artist, used ALL recyclable materials, including 1,500 bottles, to create the masterpiece. Accompanying the ad is a short YouTube video showing ‘A Timeline Tour’ of change in the production of Coca-Cola bottles.

Coca-Cola has high hopes for its campaign, with a similar piece last year generating around 37,000 pledges.

H&M

Both high street and high end fashion labels have also joined forces to save our planet. As a self-confessed shopaholic and fashion enthusiast, I think it’s great that clothing brands have entered into this craze. Last year, H&M launched its first eco-friendly campaign, collaborating with singer M.I.A to create a song and video called ‘Rewear It’. The campaign secured 500,000 views within a week of being released and, since the launch of its garment collecting initiative in 2013, H&M has acquired over 32,000 tonnes of recyclable clothing.

And H&M aren’t the only ones! Stella McCartney recently chose a landfill site in Scotland as the backdrop for her fall 2017 collection launch. The lead image of the campaign features a model surrounded by a mass of cast-off clothing, accessories and so-called ‘rubbish’. Again, McCartney proves that a great picture/ video never fails when it comes to making your brand stand out.

stella mccartney model in landfill

 

But does it work?

The answer is YES! As an agency, we are no strangers to the process of brand rejuvenation and the promotion of environmental sustainability as a less commercial way of building a relationship with consumers. Back in 2015, we were tasked with launching the UK’s first website dedicated solely to upcycling: Remade in Britain. The company focuses on the restoration of furniture, home accessories and gifts, targeting those who seek, ‘ethical, sustainable, and waste-reducing products’. We even created our own recycling stunt, creating room in a skip using furniture from the site.

Remade in Britain Founder Donna Fenn in the 'Skip Room' - press

Remade in Britain Founder Donna Fenn in the ‘Skip Room’

To read more about this campaign and find out more about what we do, head to http://www.acceleris-mc.com/.

Rule one in the PR handbook 2017 – don’t follow the example of the US’ Press Secretary, Pepsi or United Airlines

The Pepsi ad fiasco of last week paled into insignificance when United Airlines found itself at the eye of a proverbial **** storm this week. Somehow, it even overshadowed the gaffe from Sean Spicer (The White House Press Secretary) who proclaimed, ‘even Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons’… In a cost saving gamble, the United Airline’s…

Why it’s so important to get a rebrand right

Rebranding is all about establishing a new, uniform identity – to refresh and unite a business or to signal a new direction for a company.

But when Haringey Council’s rebrand was unveiled this week, it was met with backlash online, with residents and locals labelling it childish and a waste of money.

Just so you know, this is the new logo devised by Haringey Council…

BS1995_Haringey_TapeType_RED_RGB (002).jpg-pwrt3

… which was met by a few tweets from disgruntled residents…

haringeytweet1

haringeytweet2

Local newspaper The Haringey Independent got in on the act, running an online poll to find out readers’ views – where more than 50 per cent of visitors branded the logo ‘terrible’.

haringeyvote

At a time when councils and local authorities are feeling the pinch from the Summer Budget and are having services stretched, many are calling out Haringey Council for wasting money on a rebrand. Yet rebrands are a part of a wider campaign – in this case to attract people to the borough, boosting the local economy and ultimately generating a greater income for the council.

Out of context, the logo may not inspire, but as part of a wider campaign, supported by video and an online campaign (#IminHaringey) to encourage people to take pride in their community, the message is one of unity and Haringey being a place to be proud of. The image was leaked to the media ahead of its launch, so the council was unable to control the aim and reason behind the campaign and the logo itself.

Remember the 2012 Olympic logo? There was outrage and indignation online when it was first launched, but as soon as the OIympics started, it was touted as a symbol of national pride.

olympics

Here at Acceleris we’ve worked on a range of rebrand projects, from the UK’s leading fabricated steelwork company Severfield to an innovative new housing model, Rentplus. With all our projects, we work hard to really understand a company’s ethos and identity and establish a brand that fits a business’s visions and values.

You can’t always rely on everyone to like a logo – we’ve had a few arguments amongst ourselves when brainstorming ideas – but at the end of the day, it’s about the wider message it sends, and #IminHaringey is an important campaign for a borough that has seen some tough times.