Blog : Social

Planning, managing and celebrating #TheMoment with Glasgow 2018

Planning, managing and celebrating #TheMoment with Glasgow 2018

After 11 days of incredible sporting action, the inaugural multi-sport European Championships drew to a close on Sunday evening. Titles were won and lost, world records smashed, and we were right in the thick of it.

Stripe’s work on Glasgow 2018 started way back in February last year. Our first task after being appointed as the Championships’ digital agency was to set out a unique strategy to reach sports fans, families and the local community in the run up to the Championships, to generate awareness and help people understand what this new event was all about. With a focus on organic and paid social we set this strategy in motion, engaging these audiences and encouraging them to help us bring #themoment to life, starting with the first of our key milestones: 500 days to go.

In the 500 days that followed we delivered some amazing work: created thousands of assets; planned and published posts across Glasgow 2018 profiles; produced films for online and TV; launched the official mascot Bonnie the Seal; recruited volunteers; live streamed with athletes and ambassadors; ran over 200 hundred social ad campaigns; measured and reported on all digital activity; and a whole lot more besides.

With Glasgow 2018 marking the first time that the six featured sports have come together to hold their European Championships, we needed to constantly analyse, evaluate and evolve our approach. Established multi-sport events like the Olympics or Commonwealth Games and recent single sport events here in the UK like London 2017 offered insight into what can work to engage sports fans and non-fans alike, but a new format presented new challenges.

We knew that the awareness and understanding piece of our work was going to be a much bigger challenge than that faced by other events and we weighted our strategic focus accordingly. This meant conducting a detailed research piece at the outset, really digging in to the conversation about other events, Glasgow as a host city, and the individual sports. We profiled our domestic and international audiences, segmenting our tactics for each based on all our findings to help us tailor both organic and paid social activity.

We also developed a bespoke measurement framework specifically for Glasgow 2018 that allowed us to evaluate activity in terms of not only the awareness and engagement benefits, but also hard metrics such as sales for ticketing campaigns. By combining in-built social platform insights, website analytics including UTM tracking, social listening tools, custom attribution modelling and enhanced ad reporting thanks to employment of the Facebook pixel, we’ve been able to accurately measure everything we’ve done and consistently deliver results.

Throughout the journey to the Championships, our priority was balancing of great creative with great insight: delivering brilliant ideas and content that really resonates whilst ensuring we were able to measure the value of what we do and provide genuinely useful insight that helped the combined Glasgow 2018 and Stripe team push things forward. As the Championships themselves kicked off two weeks ago, our day to day activity changed but not the way we worked.

On the 1st August we changed gear and moved to near round-the-clock measurement and monitoring of conversation surrounding the Championships, seven days a week. For twelve days we tracked key conversations, influencers, opportunities and issues. We watched Adam Peaty break another world record and set Twitter alight, we shared the home crowd’s disappointment when Ross Murdoch just missed out on a medal by the narrowest of margins, and we celebrated when Laura Kenny’s comeback led to a well-earned gold (and a mention from Elton John).

The Stripe team was responsible for gathering data and insight on all online discussion in real time and delivering reports at regular intervals each day, as well as spotting and working up reactive content and creative opportunities to maximise impact during the Championships.

Now that the event is over, all that’s left is to reflect on an amazing 18 months of preparation and hard work that resulted in one heck of a payoff. We’re still pulling together our wrap up report of everything that’s happened since that first milestone campaign, but we already know for sure it’s going to point to a hugely successful event and we’re so proud we got to be a part of it.

Roses are red, Violets are blue, Valentine’s Day stunts, are they for you?

Roses are red, Violets are blue, Valentine’s Day stunts, are they for you?

It’s nearly that time of year again that fills so many of us with dread – Valentine’s Day. We all know that brands love to hijack seasonal events for their campaigns (think John Lewis Christmas) and Valentine’s Day is no exception. For some it’s a natural fit, a match made in PR heaven, but there is nothing worse than brands jumping on board the bandwagon just for the sake of it. House of Fraser? I’m talking to you.

The strongest brands know what they stand for and stick to what they represent irrespective of seasonal events. They stay focused on their core brand messages and drive towards clear brand objectives.

With that in mind and with V-day fast approaching, I took a look at some brands who have stayed true to their identity and created campaigns to make us weak at the knees. Saying that, I have to name and shame the brand which left us bitterly disappointed.

 

House or Fraser’s #emojinal disaster

03 Valentines- Article ImageThis week, House of Fraser has been ridiculed on Twitter after their newsfeed was transformed into an ‘Emojinal’ campaign featuring high-profile celebrities. The social media drive has left many of the brand’s 306,000 followers confused – with one user claiming the person in charge of the brand’s Twitter account must have ‘entrusted a 12-year-old with the password’. To make matters worse, they created and 1 minute video telling Will and Kate’s love story using nothing but emoji’s…the reaction? Not good. Many believe Emojinal is a masterclass on how to ruin a century-old upscale brand with one terrible social media campaign. House of Fraser, I think we need to go on a break.

We know House of Fraser got it wrong, but here are a few stunts we love…

 

Ikea offers a free cot…in 9 months

04 Valentines- Article ImageIn 2013, The Swedish homeware emporium offered the nation’s most efficient parents-to-be a free cot, just so long as their baby arrived nine months to the day from Valentine’s Day. The ad declared a limit of ‘one cot per baby’ with ‘delivery not included’. The campaign proved to be a success featured in the Daily Mail and shared over 10,000 times on social media.

 

Armed forces – going commando for Valentine’s Day

The Royal Navy kept the love alive for Valentine’s Day despite being thousands of miles from home. In a bid to boost their social media following, families used the ship’s Facebook page to post photos and letters to their loved ones – perhaps proving that distance (and a good campaign) can make the heart grow fonder.

01 Valentines- Article Image

 

Parisian Love by Google

02 Valentines- Article ImageThis heart-warming ad shows a man moving to Paris, falling in love with a French girl, getting married and starting a family – except you don’t see any human beings. The whole ad is conducted via Google searches. The video has had over 7,600,000 views and has been shared worldwide. You can watch the ad here.

So a word of advice this Valentine’s…don’t hijack calendar dates, news events and trends to follow the crowd because you could end up breaking up with the followers you have spent years building. Stick to what you believe in and never lose sight of your brand values and objectives. If it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t, take a step back and save yourself getting too #emojinal.

Love, Emojis and Heroes – What’s Rockin’ 2016

Love, Emojis and Heroes – What’s Rockin’ 2016

2016 is the year of the consumer. Through all platforms, across all trends, the customer is claiming back their mind and their body and is in full control of their media space. So adapt or die.

Digital comes of age. It’s still the media juggernaut, but this year we’re digging deeper into the analytical matrix.

The consumption of digital content is through apps and is fully mobile. Our desire for portability and our rejection of always digesting information in real time is set to continue, so we must continually maximize content to match and strive to work out where, how and when.

What’s new this year is the way we’re evaluating our digital data and its impact on strategy, which aims to make social more viable and valuable. Businesses want ROI and so ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ aren’t enough. Although they demonstrate awareness, in 2016 we’re looking for love.

Creative virility is super for vanity, but advocacy now reigns supreme. Excellent consumer experience converts consumers to brand activists and thus maximises social connectivity. The focus is on follow through, so perpetuating the circle of client happiness and truth. Even our beloved emojis, (now used more than not) are to be scrutinized for the data they can yield. (Insert happy face with wrinkles, drinking a nice Riesling).

Content will see a further move away from static to video. Interactivity will keep your customers clicking in the appropriate direction. Understanding the right degree of personalization and making content relevant is crucial too. Know your platforms, be ready to pounce on the new. But the big technological trend that will impact content is virtual reality, already popping up on Facebook and YouTube with the emergence of 360 Video.

It’s an Olympic year, so sport and our pursuit of a healthy lifestyle are on the podium. Keep up with the gurus and influencers in this spectrum; the frontrunners will be worth their weight in gold. And let’s not forget there’s an American election in November so corporate and financial businesses should be on high alert with their spin on this.

Creativity, our stalwart, is always about the story leading the customer through the media jungle, entertaining and delighting them on the way and delivering them a happy ending. A campaign with a conscience is a seasonal vogue, but if there’s one thing that’s always in style, it’s an honest to goodness, strategically grounded, fantastic idea.

Our affection of all things seventies has been turbo boosted into the stratosphere with the sad death of David Bowie. As music is fashion and fashion is music and Bowie’s creative brilliance is the embodiment of both, never has he been so culturally pertinent. See his genius penetrate through both artistic mediums and long may it continue.

And that’s it, health and prosperity (with a bit of strategy, innovation, creativity and integration) for 2016 from Stripe HQ.

Crisis communications: preparing for the worst

Crisis communications: preparing for the worst

“You just have to deal with the situation. It’s not until afterwards that you realise how much it affects you emotionally” said one participant at an event Stripe was hosting this week.

In the wake of a tragic accident at a primary school, she was the local authority’s communications specialist – briefing councillors, consulting with emergency services and arranging plans for the school’s memorial. She was following protocol and process in the midst of a community’s grief.

This is surely the dark side of PR and comms if ever there was one: planning for worst case scenarios, considering how an organisation could respond, and pre-empting the emotions and sensitivities involved. Nothing prepares you for the reality of being at the centre of a real crisis, but having communications plans in place can be the difference between offering heartfelt condolences and being swallowed by your own emotions and negative media coverage.

Last week, CIPR Scotland hosted an event on ‘using digital channels in crisis communications’. The speaker talked about research from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer that showed 40% of organisations don’t have plans in place in case of a crisis.

The CIPR event focused on developing digital procedures for crisis situations. This included:

  • Act immediately – even if you need time to develop a public response.
  • Push pause on all planned content, including scheduled social media posts. Ask yourself “is this content suitable in the current circumstances?”
  • Integrate all parts of your communications structure into the crisis plan. This should range from social media and website content to SMS services, telephone hotlines and email bulletins.
  • Review your organisation’s tone of voice and spokesperson – sometimes the response needs to come from the CEO. No one else.
  • Start monitoring online discussions immediately – you need to understand what people and saying and why it’s being said.
  • Ensure internal communications is included at all stages. Getting your staff to understand the situation and how to correctly respond is vital.
  • Update your website. Add relevant information and check the tone being used on the homepage.
  • Engage your stakeholders and keep them updated. We develop these relationships and networks for a reason.
  • Always remember the emotions involved and act appropriately.

These considerations apply to brands not directly involved as well, as was demonstrated on Friday evening as the world watched and mourned for Paris.

As news poured in about the atrocities, many brands continued to post scheduled or automated content. The public reaction was disgust, even by those in the communications industry itself. Ad Week has run an article on how brands showed support without being insensitive. Facebook, Airbnb, Google, Skype and Verizon have been recognised for their appropriate support.

We can’t always predict when a crisis will occur, but real-life dictates that it will happen. It’s up to us to know how to respond, react fast and hope we never have to.

Halloween brand watch

Halloween brand watch

Whether you’re the person that puts on a pair of mouse ears and calls it a costume, or goes all out to hand-make a 3D cupcake costume that looks great but means you can’t sit down all night (yes, I am the latter), we can all appreciate good Halloween jesting.

It’s the one night a year when every brand, no matter what they’re selling, can show their creative and personable side by giving a nod to All Hallows Eve. Social media is the perfect platform for pushing these out and driving traffic, and Twitter in particular has been rife with spooky videos, pictures and hashtags.

These are some of my favourite contenders from this year.

Google
Google Halloween 2015
Always a fan of a Google Doodle, in the name of research this morning I spent a solid five minutes playing their Halloween flying game. Aimed at either children or bored office workers, it’s an interactive winner. I racked up a high score of 350. Beat that.


Cadbury Chocolate
Cadbury Halloween 2015
For excellent use of a hashtag and for uniting the nation over some of our favourite fallen (confectionery) heroes, Cadbury have made the list for #CadburyCraveyard. This social competition features cute stop-motion and animated videos and gives people the chance to win a limited edition rerun bar of Fuse or Marble. But what about Creme Egg Twisted, Cadbury?! When will it be making comeback? That’s the real question.


Tesco
Tesco Halloween 2015
Up next it’s Tesco’s social campaign – ‘Introducing Spookermarket’. Torn between wanted to see this in my local branch and knowing that I would definitely be the person who loses the plot, mows down fellow shoppers with my trolley and bolts after even the tamest of scares. It’s a great, family friendly one and the hidden cameras capture the hilarity.


Chipotle
Chipotle Halloween 2015
Americans generally put us to shame when it comes to all things Halloween and this is no different. Purveyors of fine Mexican food, Chipotle have expanded on their usual #Boorito costume competition to create the Endless Line video. This is tongue-in-cheek, Halloween with a heart. Poking fun at tasteless, processed fast food, it’s dry, hilarious and well worth a watch.


Adobe
Adobe Halloween 2015
Hands down winner of Halloween from now and until the end of time is Adobe for their #ScaredSheetless campaign. As a company that I get weekly updates from on my laptop, but aren’t entirely sure what they do, I am so impressed by this camp and hilarious video. It’s a great take on their mission to rid the work-place of paper. Love!

Just for good measure here’s a video of a pug dressed as a ghost. You’re welcome.

Happy Halloween!

Stripe secures Midori UK digital & PR brief

Stripe secures Midori UK digital & PR brief

We’re raising a glass here at Stripe after being appointed by Maxxium UK to handle digital and PR services for its melon liqueur brand Midori.

Fact: the distinctive green liqueur was first launched in 1978 at the legendary Studio 54 – arguably the world’s most famous nightclub in its day.

We’ll be shaking up a cocktail of digital and social strategy development, community management, CRM and influencer outreach as well as traditional consumer and trade PR and communications.

It’s all aimed at building awareness among the core consumer targets to strengthen the brand’s emotional connection with fans.

Maxxium’s Nick Barker, who is Brand Manager – liqueurs, had this to say about us: “Stripe’s pitch demonstrated a thorough understanding of the Midori brand and target audience. They have created a compelling digital and comms strategy to help us deliver, and it’s great to have them on board”.

It’s an exciting brief – cheers!

A Whopper of a stunt from Burger King’s PR team

A Whopper of a stunt from Burger King’s PR team

A round of applause for the Burger King comms team please. I’ve been following Burger King’s recent stunt like a hawk and boy have they done good.  A quick recap if you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past week; with World Peace Day around the corner, Burger King invited McDonald’s to join them in the ultimate peace treaty – a joint burger. *Takes a moment to ponder the deliciousness that is a combined Big Mac/Whopper*. McDonald’s said no; in a move which could have killed Burger King’s stunt dead. But no, today Burger King made the ultimate move and invited a number of other burger chains to collaborate.

Burger-King-OpenLetter

So why is this so great? Well for a start, this part of their activity was simple and relatively inexpensive, other than some design time, web build and some paid media, it probably cost Burger King nothing at all and imagine the ROI. And they have certainly reaped the rewards; they’ve gained global coverage and positioned themselves as the fun, maverick friend to McDonald’s corporate conglomerate banality.

Now the stunt hasn’t come without critics. It’s been debated and slated by many deeming the activity insensitive and adding that it draws the attention away from an important cause. I’m not sure I agree, I’d be interested to know how many people had World Peace Day at front of mind before Burger King reminded us…

And McDonald’s, oh McDonald’s, what a wasted opportunity. In case you hadn’t noticed, social media users love nothing more than a witty repartee between brands. By all means we don’t imagine for a second that you’d allow the burger to happen, but here was your chance. Surely there’s a community manager with a quick sense of humour and some sass somewhere deep in McDonald’s HQ who could have come to the rescue. There’s a time and a place for the corporate comms team, and this was not it.

 

A toast: Stripe to deliver digital & PR services for Burn Stewart malts

A toast: Stripe to deliver digital & PR services for Burn Stewart malts

We’ve a hugely exciting brief here at Stripe after securing the account to deliver digital and PR services for Burn Stewart Distillers’ malt whisky brands.

Burn Stewart Distillers is part of the Distell Group Limited, Africa’s leading producer and marketer of spirits, fine wines, ciders and ready to drinks. The company owns and operates three malt distilleries: Bunnahabhain (Islay), Tobermory & Ledaig (Mull) and Deanston (Doune, near Stirling). It has a blending and maturation facility in Airdrie, a bottling hall and dry and finished goods storage site in East Kilbride, and operates a sales and marketing branch in Taiwan.

We’ll be working with the team at Burn Stewart to deliver global digital and PR activity across its Bunnahabhain, Deanston and Tobermory (including Ledaig) brands.

Our remit will cover: digital and social strategy development, web optimisation, design and e-commerce, community engagement, CRM and influencer outreach and management of traditional PR and events.

Activity across the three brands will centre on showcasing each malt’s personality and optimising owned channels to create a compelling user experience for domestic and international markets.

As our Digital Director Darcie Tanner put it: “Each Burn Stewart brand is rich in storytelling potential, making this a really exciting brief.”

Serving up Happier Mealtimes

Serving up Happier Mealtimes

Healthy, tasty food is something of a passion for us here at Stripe so we’re very proud to have helped launch the Scottish Government’s ‘Happier Mealtimes’ campaign.

It’s all about championing the sourcing and eating of fresh, in-season food which is nutritious, tastes delicious and also has environmental benefits.

We kicked it off with a taste test of delicious samples at a pop-up food kitchen in Edinburgh’s Festival Square.

The four-week campaign offers advice on how to find and use fresh, in-season foods as well as easy to make, tasty recipes from some of Scotland’s leading chefs and food organisations.

The pop-up food kitchen is also on the road to spread the ‘Happier Mealtimes’ message across the country so keep your eyes peeled!

Find out more at Greener Scotland.