Blog : social media

What if The Great British Bake Off refuses to go with the dough?

What if The Great British Bake Off refuses to go with the dough?

There are three things guaranteed to get the British public hot under the collar: Jeremy Clarkson, a political expenses scandal, and The Great British Bake Off.

Since the show first hit our screens in 2010, it has undergone its fair share of scandal. From the infamous Baked Alaska #bingate of 2014, to the custard stealing antics of the series 3 contestants, and even a flurry of bet-rigging accusations. There was nothing however that could have prepared us for the announcement made on Monday that the BBC’s posterchild programme will be moving to Channel 4.

The BBC was balanced, measured and generally very BBC in the way it broke the news:

bbc-tweet-bake-off

Channel 4, on the other hand, was slightly more excitable:

channel-4-tweet- bake-off

Within minutes, #GBBO was trending across the nation as fans voiced their indignation. Most were horrified by the idea of the show featuring adverts, a sentiment that anyone who has been attempting to follow the Paralympic Games in Rio will no doubt echo.

There’s an additional catch. The £75million, three-year deal cut by Love Productions with Channel 4 only includes the rights to the show, not the all-important quartet of presenters and judges.

Yesterday, a blow as hard as an unexpected soggy pie bottom was dealt to Channel 4. In typical pun-filled style, presenters Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc announced that they will not be leaving the BBC:

“We made no secret of our desire for the show to remain where it was. The BBC nurtured the show from its infancy and helped give it its distinctive warmth and charm, growing it from an audience of two million to nearly 15m at its peak.

“We’ve had the most amazing time on Bake Off, and have loved seeing it rise and rise like a pair of yeasted Latvian baps. We’re not going with the dough. We wish all the future bakers every success”

The immortal Mary Berry, stalwart of British baking television and someone you would definitely want as your grandmother, has yet to comment on the move, but I have a feeling that at 81 she doesn’t have time for this nonsense.

For all her diplomacy, kindness and compassion in times of cake-based crisis, Mary definitely isn’t someone I would mess with. At 13, she contracted polio which left her with a twisted spine and weakness in her left arm. She was told at school she would never amount to much, but look at her now: she is currently filming for the US version of Bake Off and has published more books than JK Rowling (a true fact!).

Paul Hollywood is harder to read. A Liverpudlian with a penchant for expensive cars, he can be forgiven for wanting to have his cake and eat it. At the end of the day though, he’s a smart cookie. Without the softness of Mary and the innuendo-laced moral support of Mel and Sue to balance his blunt manner, the show would be sorely lacking.

The Great British Bake Off is British television at its finest: a quintessentially twee hour of weekly escapism amidst a schedule full of ‘gritty realism’, chilling thrillers and police dramas. The battle for the rights to the show is set to be piping bags at dawn though, and I can’t wait to see the drama unfold.

How useful is the introduction of Snapchat Memories for brands?

How useful is the introduction of Snapchat Memories for brands?

Snapchat recently introduced its Memories function to the photo messaging app. Users are now able to create and save snaps and albums. One key feature is that you will be able to log memories and not just from new snaps. People can now compile retrospective memories from existing saved snaps and camera roll images. This update signals the next chapter in Snapchat’s evolution moving away from the short-lived disappearing image messages and giving users a wider choice of content posting formats.

HOW DOES THIS IMPACT BRANDS?

The big plus for brands on Snapchat is that Memories allows you, for the first time, to access your camera roll, and use a wealth of existing content. Over the past few weeks we’ve found it especially useful for sustaining momentum after a big brand event and getting more value from the exclusive images and video captured there. Telling a behind the scenes story after people have seen the end result often has more impact and gives much more flexibility in how and when you distribute content before, during and after a special event or campaign. With Memories, brands can present any relevant existing content or plan out future opportunities rather than having to dedicate time to creating content solely via the app, a great step in broadening the scope of content that brands can present to their audiences.

Interested in understanding more about Snapchat for brands? Have a look at our recent campaign with the Scottish Youth Parliament where we ran Snapchat geo-filter ads to target young people.

A few of our favourite Twitter moments

A few of our favourite Twitter moments

Today our favourite microblogging platform turns 10. It’s become part of our everyday and to celebrate the milestone birthday, here are a few of Stripe’s favourite Twitter moments.

When the power went out during the Super Bowl 2013, Oreo was super quick to respond and became the out-and-out winner of the annual advertising frenzy – impressive considering the mega budgets of the TV commercials during a Super Bowl.

 

When the news broke that Jeremy Clarkson had punched a producer because he was hungry and had subsequently been suspended by the BBC, Snickers sent him this care package. Well played Snickers, well played.

 

The 2014 Oscars. Ellen DeGeneres was hosting. Selfies were on the rise. Cue the most retweeted tweet by an absolute mile: The Oscar Selfie.

 

JK Rowling has no time for internet trolls and knows how to nail the perfect shutdown. For that we salute you.

Her tweets also feature the odd rap lyric.

 

28 April this year will mark the fifth anniversary of Ed Balls tweeting his own name. He has since become an internet phenomenon. 

 

A witty exchange between Tesco and a customer portraying the British sense of humour at its best.

 

Talking of the Great British sense of humour, we had to include James Blunt. He wins at Twitter.

 

When hashtags go bad. To launch Susan Boyle’s 2012 album, the team went for this… #susanalbumparty.  How did they not notice this?! Or did they realise and just let it slide, knowing the hilarity that would unfold?

#susanalbumparty tweet

 

This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the long-suffering John Lewis who regularly gets mistaken for retailer John Lewis. Easily done I know, but his witty responses never fail to raise a smile.

 

Here’s to the next 10 years – we can’t wait to see what’s next…  #LoveTwitter

Brands going for gold in sport

Brands going for gold in sport

Whether you gushed at the sight of sausage dogs gleefully running around in hot dog buns towards humans dressed as giant bottles of Heinz Ketchup, or winced at the unborn baby shooting out of its mother to snatch at a bag of Doritos, it was hard not to sit up and take notice of what brands were doing for Super Bowl 50.

My personal favourite brand involvement wasn’t an advert. It was a stunt (shockingly!). Airbnb OWNED it with theirs. They offered Super Bowl fans the chance to stay in the home of Carolina Panthers star Roman Harper – complete with pool table, sky lounge and yoga room – to watch the game while he battled for the big prize against the Denver Broncos. At a heavy cost of $5,000, Airbnb gifted the money to charity too, which was a really nice touch (down) from them.

The Super Bowl is a worldwide phenomenon and one of the biggest sporting events of the year. Reuters claimed this year’s game attracted over 111 million TV viewers in America alone. With these colossal off-the-scale viewing figures, it’s no wonder some of the world’s biggest brands are paying $5 million for a 30 second window to push their latest products to win the ‘brand battle.’

This is obviously a budget which can go a long way towards creating a fantastic campaign, but to global consumer brands such as Snickers, Budweiser and Pepsi, it’s a drop in the ocean.  Considering over 111 million people watched Super Bowl 50, the cost of $45 to reach one thousand people doesn’t seem that much for them. What would be the impact of NOT advertising or pulling off a stunt?

If we look at brands involving themselves at major sporting events closer to home, it’s worth noting the increase in sales Tunnocks Tea Cakes and IRN-BRU experienced on the back of the 2014 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony. The giant tinfoil covered cakes and cans of Scotland’s favourite soft drink took to the stage as Glasgow welcomed nations from across the world to the city for Scotland’s biggest sporting event of the century, with over 9 million people in the UK tuning in to watch the show.

Whether we agree or disagree with the money spent by brands that are pushing product awareness during big sporting events, it’s hard to argue against the return on investment.

It remains to be seen what the best form of association is for brands looking to put themselves out there before, during or after big sporting event, whether it be advertising, sponsorship, joining the discussion on social media or turning round a cool and funny stunt to spread the word. What’s clear is that if a brand’s objectives fit well with a particular sport and they have the budget to be involved then it makes perfect sense to take advantage and increase their exposure. But, it does have to be done right and in line with their brand values.

With the Euro 2016 Championship in France just around the corner, I’m looking forward to seeing how far brands will go to get noticed. Watch this space.

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.

Influencers: keeping up with the kids

Influencers: keeping up with the kids

As a communications agency it’s our job to ensure clients and their products reach their audience. It’s also our job to ensure they embrace all channels available to help reach that audience. The way we consume content has changed immensely over the past five years, print newspapers are shifting to online and social media has given us 24/7 access to global news (and cat videos), but there is one other platform that has been around since before Facebook and doesn’t seem to be slipping – that platform is blogs.

Bloggers have become an integral part of online life and yet many brands are still reluctant to collaborate with this breed of media. Their value can’t be measured with the same formula as print, their influence goes beyond their readership and surely people aren’t just paid to review the latest skincare products? It seems so.

Are 18-24 year olds buying newspapers? Are they as influenced by advertising? It seems not as bloggers are not only reviewing beauty products, they’re discussing lifestyle trends, from wedding planning to party wear and cocktail making to home décor, so it’s only right we embrace this new age platform.

We work regularly with some of the UK’s top influencers to help promote many of our clients. From Glasgow’s golden girl, Forever Betty to London’s Pinterest Queen, Temporary Secretary and Instagrammer Mike Kus. Over the years we have established great relationships and are now in awe of not only their Instagram-esq lives, but the professional level in which they have grown to operate in the social space.

As for the future of media, we hear time and time again the world is changing, everything is online and print is dead, so to stay current and continue to reach our chosen audience we have to change tactics, even if grudgingly, but this doesn’t mean forgetting about the tried and tested approaches, but it’s ensuring we work with our clients to come up with the best solution for their needs.

Stripe expands digital skill set

Stripe expands digital skill set

To strengthen our integrated communications offering we’re excited to announce some new players that have joined the team.

Stripe has appointed a Digital Strategist, Designer and Digital Account Manager to further enhance the digital experience for our clients across all sectors and specialisms. Reporting into Digital Director, Darcie Tanner, the new roles are a strong mix of adding both new digital expertise to the mix, as well as increasing the skill set within the current team.

Emily Puddephatt joins Stripe as our Digital Strategist. Emily was previously at DigitasLBi/Lost Boys, bringing five years’ experience working on award-winning cross-digital projects, ranging from community management, influencer outreach and social operations through to full social and integrated strategy for clients such as Nissan, Interactive Investor, SAB Miller, BBC Worldwide and UGG Australia.

Hannah Murray joins Stripe as a Digital Account Manager, also from DigitasLBi where she spent three years working across the search (SEO) side of the business, with a focus on social search campaigns for UK and international clients such as Danone, Europcar and award-winning work for Premier Inn.

Rachel Patrick, designer (with digital design expertise), joins the team after working in the Digital Directorate of The Scottish Government, prior to which she worked agency side and has experience working with IRN-BRU, The Royal Mail, Glasgow 2014 and Nandos.

Our digitally integrated accounts have more than doubled in the last 12 months and there is no doubt in what direction the market is going. These new appointments allow us to continue to exceed client expectations and deliver a strong, creatively driven approach that builds upon and broadens our capabilities in today’s increasingly competitive and connected world.

Stripe’s expertise in digital has been recognised most recently with shortlistings in the Social Buzz Awards and UK Social Media Communications Awards and our addition to The Drum’s Digital Census.

You can see a full list of the Stripe crew on our Stripe People page.

Two days of daylight with VELUX

Two days of daylight with VELUX

Three Edinburgh Stripes packed their bags and headed south last week all in the name of daylight. No, we weren’t just fed-up with the dreich Scottish ‘summer’, we were off to attend VELUX’s 6th Daylight Symposium.

Tobacco Dock, East London
The biennial, two-day event brought together over 350 people from across the globe to discuss and debate.

I know what you’re thinking – how could you possibly discuss daylight for two whole days. From health, to architecture, to learning, to sleeping patterns, to nature, the lists goes on. Daylight influences and plays a role in everything we do.

Tobacco Dock Interior
Experts in architecture, design, engineering and building congregated in the Tobacco Dock – one of the most Instagram-able buildings in East London – to hear 35 daylight themed lectures.

Having set up in a seat in the back row, team Stripe unpacked all manner of cameras, Dictaphones, videocameras, notebooks and laptops and set to work. Amongst hosting media our job on the day was to man the social media channels. Four in total – Twitter and Instagram for VELUX UK & Ireland and Twitter and Instagram for The Daylight Project.

Flipping between all four, searching hashtags and scrolling through newsfeeds, we live tweeted during the talks. We had to be on the ball to draft instantaneous creative content. We pulled out nuggets of information and quotes from the speakers, overlaying them over stand-out pictures or did a quick Google search to source pictures of the buildings the speakers were talking about.

Trying to negotiate complex daylighting data into 140 characters was a bit of a challenge, but as the engagements rolled in I loved the buzz.

One of the many highlights for me was at dinner on the first night. We got chatting to a building surveyor from Holland who told us how excited he was that VELUX had retweeted him during one of the talks. There was a bit of a jazz hands moment as we owned up.