Choose me or lose me!

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There are some advertising campaigns that people will always remember – Nike’s “Just do it” slogan, Coca Cola’s “Share a Coke with” campaign.. I have the feeling that Walkers latest PR drive will be as memorable as these.

While studying CAM, I have started to become more aware of PR campaigns from many kinds of companies. I have started to see the meaning and reasoning behind some of ways they advertise products. A lot of the theory we study can be directly related to what is happening in these campaigns, from the message to the way it is showcased through design.

Putting its faith in the British public, Walkers Crisps asked people to “Choose me or lose me?” by voting for their favourite flavour in the campaign. Walkers have many classic flavours which people love, my favourite without doubt being the Prawn Cocktail.

Each of the classic British flavours is being challenged in the campaign by a new internationally inspired flavour. American Bacon and Cheddar challenges the popular Smoky Bacon, Spanish-inspired Paprika went against Prawn Cocktail and the classic Salt and vinegar versus lime and black pepper from Australia. The campaign attracted all the necessary attention that they set out to achieve. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were all targeted and people began to worry that their beloved crisp flavour may cease to exist soon. Short television adverts would flash up with the words “Choose me or lose me” to keep the campaign in the public eye without over playing it. Walkers did some simple research and chose the flavours up for choice because they were the more regularly bought variants in the UK and their own countries.

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“The campaign is based on the importance of snacks to British consumers and the opportunity to have their say. (Thomas Barkholt; marketing director at PepsiCo)

“Our consumers feel passionately about their favourite Walkers flavours and we wanted to give them the opportunity to vote in regard to which flavours will be staying on shelves.

“We know consumers love our flavour campaigns and retailers benefit enormously from the buzz they generate. We are confident that by bringing back the voting element, this campaign will really capture consumers’ interest, stimulating demand and driving growth in the savoury snacks category.”

This was a great marketing style to use as it was very easy to spread the word about the product. People would happily share the “vote post” with their friends on social media platforms hoping that they too would vote. The simplicity of the idea behind it is so refreshing from a PR perspective. There would be so many people talking about it, and depending on what option they voted for determined if they talk was positive or negative!

The campaign ran from 14th August until the 22nd October.

BUY MORE CRISPS

An interesting aspect of this campaign was that the outcome would be determined 80% by the packs of crisps bought in store, and 20% by the online vote. This is possibly the type of information that they haven’t publicised all too well. Walkers is not in fact allowing democracy to have the final say, instead favouring the invisible hand of the market. The underlying message behind this whole campaign may well be “buy more crisps”. The more crisps that are sold, the happier the company. The simple fact that there was more publicity around Walker’s crisps should have in turn resulted in more people being swayed to buying their crisps.

 

The Walkers marketing team will be hoping that its latest PR trick fares better than the 2017 champions league final giveaway which invited football fans to send in photo of themselves which was then inserted into a video with one of their leading advert stars, Gary Lineker. Social media users responded only as social media users would, sharing videos of the Walkers lead man with images of people from the past who were surrounded by controversy. In my opinion the coverage this gained will have done the company no harm at all! As the saying goes, “there is no such thing as bad publicity

They will however be hoping that this “Choose it or lose it” campaign will be remembered for all the right reasons.

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Daniel Lewis is a final year CAM student at Ulster University. He can be contacted at: LinkedIn

Coffee dependant lifestyles

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As a final year student I am not alone in saying that coffee is an essential part of my day…

Whether I am in uni and about to go to a lecture or I am in the library trying to make a start on an assignment, I NEED a coffee. Anyone who drinks coffee will understand the feeling. Everyone associates coffee with one word – Caffeine.

Caffeine is one of the most widely consumed drugs, noted for its ability to promote wakefulness and provide energy. 

It seems over night that the coffee culture has exploded into life. While there are so many international coffee chains spread across the UK and Ireland, there is also more and more local start up coffee shops which is refreshing to see. The next time you are grabbing a coffee and not in a rush, look out for one of the local coffee houses instead. Your custom may actually be helping to pay for a youngsters pair of football boots, or dance lessons. It makes a change from giving your money to a multi-million pound established organisation!
It is more common now than ever before that people will go to coffee houses with friends for a social experience. It is a meeting point and routine for some people. Then there are people who go alone- maybe to get some work done, maybe just to relax and for a change of scenery.

Traditionally tea-drinkers

The UK and Ireland were traditionally known as tea drinkers. For a long time Ireland were second only to Turkey in terms of tea consumption per person. (This probably explains why every time you go to a friend or relatives house you are asked 4 or 5 times if you would like a cup of tea).
The coffee drinking craze is largely down to the amount of cafes available to people in towns and cities. In 2013 there was almost 4000 tonnes of coffee consumed in Ireland alone, that is a staggering amount for a country so small. The coffee shop market in Ireland for 2015 was valued at around £85 million and was continuing to grow every year.

The next step in order to keep up globally is to increase the amount of speciality coffee houses which may lead to more in-home coffee brewing. Many countries around the world take coffee very seriously and have cafes that only offer certain types of coffee depending on the time of year, mainly down to growing conditions.

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Coffee in Italy

Italy is a fascinating country when it comes to coffee. It is like a religion to them. They drink coffee every day and very often more than once. In the summer months you can find men sitting outside a coffee shop chatting and sipping on their drinks as if they were in a beer garden. It was while holidaying in Italy that I became curious about coffee and the culture behind it. I became curious about how it is made and why people are so dependant on it. The Italians believe that you should only drink a cappuccino, cafe latte, latte macchiato or any milky form of coffee in the morning and never after having a meal. They would seriously frown upon the thought of milk touching the stomach after having a meal during the day. Maybe you will be more Italian and consider this the next time you are ordering a caramel latte while evening shopping!

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Saying as you have made it this far, have a look at how to make the perfect Irish Coffee! (Ingredients and preparation from The Irish Times)

Ingredients:

40ml Irish whiskey

120ml freshly brewed coffee

20ml demerara sugar syrup or demerara sugar, to taste cream

Freshly grated nutmeg

Preparation:

Preheat a glass with some warm water and discard. Add the whiskey, demerara sugar syrup (or sugar), coffee and hot water and stir to combine.

Warm a large spoon and gently pour the cream over the back of the spoon to float on top of the coffee. Garnish with a light dusting of grated nutmeg.

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It is absolutely fine if after reading this you feel you need a coffee, or some alcohol… whatever you are in to!

Daniel Lewis is a final year CAM student at Ulster University. He can be contacted at: LinkedIn

 

Donald Trump – Leader of the United States?

Donald Trump – Leader of the United States?

Whether Americans agree with it or not, Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States.

 

Growing up, I had always known Donald Trump to be this multi-millionaire business man. He had travelled around the world creating Trump resorts, golf courses and many other vastly expensive ventures. He was seen as “out there” and a bit OTT! From very early on, you knew that Trump would bring a very different approach to politics.

 

Things would undoubtedly be interesting for the rest of us…

Much of the election campaign for his presidency was surrounded by controversy. To this day he continues to shock the world with some of his interviews and tweets which offend people on so many different levels.

 

•Sports and America•

 

As many people know, Sports is such a massive part of everyday life and culture in America. In the last few months there have been controversies involving the biggest sporting organisations in America and Donald Trump, dragging him into the limelight for all the wrong reasons- (you could solely blame his twitter account!)

Donald trump rally

 

•Trump collides with sports stars•

 

The NFL (National Football League) is America’s most powerful sporting organisation with TV deals and sponsorships worth hundreds of millions of dollars. It has fans in the States and across the globe who religiously follow their teams, while it also has casual fans (myself included– the annual SuperBowl game may just be an excuse to stay awake drinking with your friends into the wee hours on a Monday morning!)

 

Most of the star players in this sport come from African American backgrounds and are prime examples of what many believe to be “The American Dream”

 

Recently some of these stars have taken it upon themselves to use their high status and fame to showcase what they believe is right by protesting. What could be wrong with this? Everyone has a right to stand up for what they believe in… See the next paragraph for this brilliant pun!

•San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick “takes a kneel”•

 

During the 2016 season Kaepernick chose not to stand during a pregame playing of the national anthem as a show of protest against police brutality and racism in America. In some quarters he received praise for this, however it was unpopular with the NFL’s more conservative favouring fan base. It prompted many back and forward debates about whether sports stars should be using their stature in order to protest a point of view.

Colin K kneeling

 

The most important thing from this was that it then prompted other sports stars from across America to realise they could also use their position of social influence to protest for what they believe in.

 

•Trump’s response•

 

At a rally in Alabama, Trump took the opportunity to address the predominantly white crowd about his thoughts on the NFL.

“You know what’s hurting the game,” Trump asked, “when people like yourselves turn on television, and you see those people taking the knee when they are playing our great national anthem.”

What was quite shocking about this was the social divide he had immediately created. It was almost as if he liked the idea of the “us against them” mentality. While he used the “people like yourselves” phrase to address the rally crowd, he also branded “those people” – the African American sports stars.

Trump unbelievably went on to advise fans to boycott the NFL and speculated the idea that the NFL club owners should actually fire those players who feel they can protest during the playing of the national anthem.

 

Steph Curry’s White house snub

 

The NBA is the next major sporting organisation that has seen Trump involved for all the wrong reasons. In Basketball, it has for a long time been seen as a tradition for the winning team from that season to get an invite to the White House to formally meet the President in office. However this year, Golden State Warriors player and MVP Steph Curry (in other words the player of the year for that season) decided that he did not agree with the President’s views on African American citizens and would not be attending the White House with the winning team.

This led to a huge backlash on Twitter. It was so fascinating to see the president of a country getting involved in a confrontation via a social media site!

Trump tweeted:

“Going to the White House is considered a great honour for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!”

 

LeBron James who is arguably one of the greatest basketball players to play the game replied to Trump with an instant classic which received over half a million RT’s;

LeBron J tweet to Trump

 

PR and Trump

Looking ahead to the future it will be interesting to see if Trump continues to publicly say whatever he wants about a certain topic. He famously is known to personally tweet all of the tweets off his account which is rare with someone who has many millions of followers on the platform. You may think that after all of the controversial moments he has had that he may tone it down online and really take care of the matters which America needs taken care of. In my eye’s it is hard to see how Donald Trump can be a genuine leader of the United States while he evidently shows he does not support everyone who is indeed an American citizen.

 

Daniel Lewis is a final year CAM student at Ulster University. He can be contacted at: LinkedIn