Guinness adverts sell more than a ‘pint of black’

Guinness adverts sell more than a ‘pint of black’

Have you ever been to the Guinness Factory? I can now successfully say I have after convincing the girls into taking a trip down last weekend. (above- the must do Dublin Guinness Factory picture). It was a great day out and of course, we did not pass up the opportunity to go into the city and treat ourselves to dinner and drinks. BUT, the factory itself was, in fact, really interesting and definitely something I would encourage everyone to do. As part of the tour we went into a room with huge screens showing the Guinness adverts playing on repeat. This sparked an interest with me into the Guinness adverts themselves and I soon realised that, despite there being hundreds of diverse adverts, they all have one thing in common… A storytelling technique, which creates an effective emotional appeal.

Take the ‘surfer’ commercial (I’m sure you will immediately visualise this, but if not I have inserted it below) which tells the story of the surfers waiting with anticipation to catch the perfect wave. The surfer waiting symbolises the slow pour of the Guinness pint and how we should feel when we are waiting on the pint. This advert was released in 1998, and really was the first of its kind to UK TV. I remember watching the advert as a kid, completely unaware of the symbolism it carried. I simply just watched the surf and the galloping white horses, no concept of the legacy this PR technique has left, allowing many to become hooked on a ‘pint of black’.

 

 

Another commercial shown, entitled “Empty Chair” caught my attention. This showed a group of young men playing basketball in wheelchairs. This advert adopted an unusual, unique technique as it deliberately withheld information from the audience. The abstract setting of the advertisement initially led me to question: “what has a game of wheelchair basketball got to do with my choice of drink in the pub on a Friday night?” The hidden gem of information in this advertisement was that all but one of the men were actually able-bodied and capable of walking thus capable of playing a game of basketball without the aid of a wheelchair. This was intelligently revealed only at the end when the game drew to a close. The message to this particular story was about friendship and loyalty with the theme of inclusivity also featuring prominently. This further relayed the brand’s key message that Guinness is a drink to be enjoyed by all, regardless of who you are. No matter how many times I watch this advert, I am still filled with a sense of happiness and content as I can appreciate the message being portrayed.

 

 

A final commercial I want to mention is the ‘Sapeurs’ one (again linked below). What I loved most about this advert was the positive message it portrayed about Africa, something which is rarely shown. With most adverts about Africa being those of charities, focussing on pity and promoting a call to action to donate, it was nice to see this was different. The message, however in this advert was this ability to defy your set circumstances and live beyond boundaries. Another dimension to this advert I observed was the focus on globalisation of the Guinness Brand. When someone mentions Guinness, a lot of people immediately and jokingly make reference to leprechauns and pots of gold. However, this advert shows the famous stout being enjoyed in a very contrast setting than to that typically associated with the brand. Again, this highlights the fact that the Guinness brand is recognised and enjoyed by those of various races from many different countries and cultures.

There is also a subtle reference to the poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley. Two lines are quoted from the poem: “I am the master of my fate, I am the Captain of my soul”. The title of this poem translated from Latin to English means “unconquerable” or “undefeated”; portraying the lasting legacy of the famous Guinness brand worldwide.

 

 

These three adverts have no direct link. If you removed the Guinness branding and played these adverts you would have no idea that they are from the same company promoting the same product. But, what they all do is tell a story and engage us in feeling something whether it be anticipation, happiness, inspiration or positivity or even all of these things. What they all do is make us emotional and make us feel something. It is these feelings that they want us to associate with Guinness. They want us to believe that waiting the 120 seconds (fact learnt at the factory) to enjoy the perfect pint is worth the wait. Personally, I am yet to become hooked on the Guinness product itself but I do appreciate their creative advertising.

 

Niamh Webb is a final year BSc in Communication, Advertising & Marketing student at Ulster University. She can be contacted on Twitter @1234niamh, and on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/niamh-webb-2b5260107/

My best investments of 2017 : Lock-It Foundation, by Kat Von D

My best investments of 2017 : Lock-It Foundation, by Kat Von D

Since Christmas and the new year are on the way, I wanted to do a reflective series of blogposts. These will be my first ever entries, so to introduce myself, I am going to base them around something that I would claim to exceptional at – spending money.

The first of the three best investments I have made in 2017 (in no particular order), is the Lock-It Foundation, by Kat Von D.

I wanted a high end and high coverage foundation that I could wear on nights out and special occasions. After hours of online research and various applications of different foundation samples (which any makeup counter in Debenhams and House of Fraser are sound about handing out), I finally made my decision, and I am yet to regret it.

So, here are the reasons why the Lock-It Foundation, by Kat Von D is the most worthy beauty investment I have made this year, and quite possibly my life.

• It only takes ONE PUMP. That’s right, ONE pump to achieve a full-face application with full coverage. I was cynical when I read this claim on the packaging, but I can safely say now that it proved to be true.

• The coverage is FLAWLESS, and it has never failed to hide any blemishes for the entire night. Kat Von D states that it is “so long-wear, you can go a full 24 hours without re-applying“. Now, I can’t speak for this claim, but I can say that it never fails to last me a full night out – from the pre, to the club, and even to the post-club McDonald’s visit. I never have to even so much as check if it is still in place.

“Technology must replace animal testing, and animal testing must be banned by governments worldwide” – Kat Von D

• Another huge advantage of the Lock-It Foundation (and all Kat Von D products), is that it is certified by PETA as being “cruelty free”.

• The Lock-It Foundation is OIL FREE, but also hydrates the skin – need I say more?

• There is no flashback in photographs. For once, I don’t have the face of a ghost beside my mates in nightclub photos anymore.

• The packaging is beautiful. If you are big on your aesthetics like I am, you will love the box that the bottle comes in – almost as much as the product itself.

• It is available in 32 shades, from “41 light – neutral undertone”, to “81 deep – cool undertone”.

• The bottle itself has been designed to prevent contamination and to preserve its rich consistency, with its “innovative, airless chamber”.

As you can, tell my experience with the Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation has been a great one. It genuinely is the best high-end foundation I have tried, and I have tried a LOT (e.g. Giorgio Armani – Luminous Silk Foundation and MAC – Studio Fix). I ordered mine from the Debenhams’ website, at £27. If you have been considering this foundation, I hope this post will act as that little push you might need to make the investment – which I promise, you will not regret.

Kat Von D website: https://www.katvondbeauty.com/face/foundation
Kat Von D @ Debenhams: http://www.debenhams.com/beauty/kat-von-d
To sign PETA’s “Pledge to be Cruelty-Free”, follow the link: https://support.peta.org/page/1405/petition/1?locale=en-US
Rachel Reilly is a 2nd year student on BSc in Communication, Advertising & Marketing at Ulster University. She can be found on LinkedIn at: www.linkedin.com/in/rachelreilly98

Kylie Jenner – PR Nightmare or Publicity Princess?

Kylie Jenner – PR Nightmare or Publicity Princess?

Whether you love her or love to hate her, it’s impossible to ignore Kylie Jenner’s success. At just twenty years old, she became the youngest celebrity to feature on the Forbes 100 list earlier this year, with a staggering net worth of $41 million (£31 million.)  To put that in context, I’m a year and 8 months older than Kylie and would probably place my own net worth at around minus £20,000, thanks to the Student Loans Company.  That’s a little bit of a bitter pill to swallow!

But how did Kylie manage to go from being the baby of the Kardashian-Jenner Klan, to perhaps the most successful of all the sisters – including Kim?  It would be easy to dismiss Kylie’s rise to the top as being the result of a perfect PR storm.  We often imagine famous celebrities and their multi million pound endorsements being carefully manufactured behind closed doors by scheming PR managers with dollar signs in their eyes.

But when you really think about it, Kylie’s career would send any sane PR practitioner running screaming in terror.  Forget the modern definitions of public relations that talk about ‘managing reputation’ and ‘creating mutually beneficial relationships’ – Kylie’s empire is built on publicity rather than PR, and her success is definitive proof that it’s still a relevant method today.

As the first of Grunig and Hunt’s Four Models of PR, publicity or ‘Press Agentry’ involves purely one-way communication from Press Agents to the public. The aim is to create publicity by any means, including by telling half truths or downright lies.  One of the classic quotes which just about sums up press agentry is, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity,” which is probably the Kardashian family motto.

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“That’s why her lips are so big – they’re full of bad publicity”

Let’s go back to the rumours that started it all.  In 2014, when a few Insta selfies of Kylie’s lips looking plumper than usual began to make tabloid headlines, the question on everyone’s (normal sized) lips was: has she had fillers?  Kylie denied any surgical enhancement, instead attributing her newly plump pout to using particular shades of MAC lipliners and lipsticks. Many of these shades sold out internationally almost immediately.  I would know, because I was one of the many trying to buy them.

Even after Kylie eventually came to admit to having lip injections, it didn’t stop fans rushing out to buy whatever lip colour she recommended. It also led to lip augmentation topping the list of most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatments in the UK in 2016.  Any product that Kylie Jenner’s lips touched seemed to turn to gold, and perhaps this is where she had her lightbulb moment – what if you could package up Kylie Jenner’s lips and sell them?

And so Kylie Cosmetics was born.  The first batches of Kylie lip kits sold out in minutes, despite conspiracies surfacing online that her $29 lip kits contained a virtually identical formula to US makeup brand Colourpop’s $6 liquid lipsticks.  Videos and pictures comparing eerily similar shades began sprouting up across the internet in a Kylie vs Colourpop showdown.  You may think a PR nightmare like this would be enough to destroy the Kylie Cosmetics brand before it had even begun. But you would be wrong – in the 18 months since, it’s raked in roughly $420 million.

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Just as before with her lip fillers, Kylie eventually addressed the accusations, promising her fans that while they shared the same manufacturers, her products used an “exclusive” formula that she “created herself”.  Yeah, sure, I buy that completely…just like I bought her Holiday Collection and Vacation Collection Lipkits later that year.  (Another classic quote of the press agentry era is, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”  I am that sucker.)

So we’ve established that Kylie is clearly gifted at working bad publicity to her own advantage, but earlier this year when possibly the biggest rumour of her career hit the headlines, she showcased just how gifted.  In case you’ve been living underneath a soundproof rock without Wi-Fi for the last few months, in September 2017 TMZ reported that Kylie Jenner is allegedly pregnant with rapper Travis Scott’s baby.  When I first read this news on my Facebook timeline, I gasped so loudly that my sister ran into my room to check if I was okay.

At the time of writing this, almost two months on, Kylie has neither confirmed nor denied that she is with child – but she continues to benefit from daily tabloid coverage as journalists analyse her every prenatal (or not) move.  Meanwhile, posts to her social media accounts appear as normal, promoting her Kylie Cosmetics Autumn collection and new Velvet Lipkit Shades.  Despite hiding possibly one of the biggest events of her life from even her most loyal of fans, her products continue to be snapped up by her followers without hesitation.

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Preggerz? Kylie and BFF Jordyn Woods test out the new Kylie Cosmetics Autumn Collection in a recent Youtube video

Kylie’s career breaks every rule in the PR handbook, with reputation and Two Way Symmetric Models of the communication going out the window long ago.  So how does she continue to be such a success?  As an unashamed Kylie fan, I think that keeping somewhat of a smokescreen between her and her fans is what keeps the Kylie brand thriving.  While many brands and celebrities become increasingly tangible and relatable as they open up every aspect of their lives to us through social media, Kylie Jenner remains an untouchable force in an A List celebrity world far, far away from our own, and by buying a little piece of her exclusive, sold out cosmetic line that she “created the formula for herself”, maybe we feel like we can buy into just a little bit of her untouchable world. Either way, I think Kylie will continue to build her booming career on half truths, downright lies and bad publicity.

And when she releases a Limited Edition Kylie Cosmetics Baby Shower Collection, I’ll still be snapping up all the shades.

 

Una McHugh is a final year BSc in Communication, Advertising and Marketing student at Ulster University. She can be contacted on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/una-mchugh-a11956106/ and Twitter @unamickq

Shine bright like a Trophy Wife

I am a massive makeup collector.  New collections are my cocaine, new products get my heart pumping and when a new brand drops, you’ll be sure I am there on the launch date.

My latest obsession is Rihanna’s new brand Fenty Beauty. Named after her family’s name, our RiRi has teamed up with the massive makeup creators Kendo to produce a makeup line “so that women everywhere would feel included” according to the website. Kendo’s portfolio of brands today consists of Kat Von D Beauty, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Fenty Beauty and Bite Beauty.  Hence why they call themselves “an innovative brand incubator”. Continue reading “Shine bright like a Trophy Wife”

Burger King Tackles Bullying

When someone says the name Burger King what do you think of?

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Fast food, unhealthy food, convenience? But what about anti bullying?

It is not a connection that I would have originally made myself however, as part of anti-bullying month Burger King did a PR stunt in an undisclosed restaurant in LA where hidden cameras where used and Burger King employees served beaten up Whopper Jr. hamburgers whilst at the same time paid teenage actors are physically bulling another teenage boy.

What is the spot about?

The spot is called “Bullying Jr.,” and was created in honour of National Bullying Prevention Month which took place during the month of October in the US to raise awareness that 30 % of students are bullied each year.

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The stunt was to highlight the sad truth of bullying that in many cases bystanders will not get involved and in this instance it turned out to be true, with only 12% of customers reporting the bullying of the child whilst a staggering 95% of customers reported the ‘bullied’ Whopper Jr. Burger.

The campaign has been viewed more than a million times on YouTube and been retweeted hundreds of thousands of times.

Burger King partnered with US anti-bullying organisation No Bully and the CEO and Founder Nicolas Carlisle had this to say about the ad:  “We know that bullying takes on many forms, physical, verbal, relational and online. But the first step to putting an end to bullying is to take a stand against it…our partnership with the Burger King brand is an example of how brands can bring positive awareness to important issues. You have to start somewhere and they chose to start within.”

Link to the video on YouTube:

Why I think it worked:

Although the ad received some criticism due the obvious product placement and the fact it only confronts one element of bullying, physical bullying, I think that the ad worked very well for a number of reasons:

  • Real Life Situation

It was a real life situation that any of us could find ourselves or have found ourselves in so the relatability factor had you questioning what you would do in that situation and by the end of the ad it may have you questioning what you might do in the future if you are ever in a similar situation. The fact the situation is real life reactions emphasises the figures presented at the end of the experiment.

  • Support Of A Recognised Charity

As the campaign is supported by an anti-bullying organisation, No Bully, this helps ensure that the message gets across without it seeming like another ploy to promote a fast food chain. It further adds authenticity to the facts and figures provided during the ad increasing the strength of the message. By partnering with an anti-bullying organisation this highlights the good that globally recognised brands can do to shine a light on important issues.

  • Emotive

The ad is very emotive as it shows a child getting bullied in the video and that can be hard to watch. Combined by the fact very little people stand in to helps further heights how distressing bullying can be if you are in need of help but people chose to ignore your plea.

The comparison of people’s reactions to the bullying and their ‘bullied’ burger increases the emotion as it is hard to comprehend that people would be more concerned with food being bullied than a child.

The ability to involve people’s emotions and possibly draw on their own experiences is very powerful as it adds an extra dimension to the ad and helps ensure that it is memorable, thought provoking and engaging.

Final Thoughts:

Burger King says it wants its position to be clear.

“The Burger King brand is known for putting the crown on everyone’s head and allowing people to have it their way. Bullying is the exact opposite of that,” the company said.

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At the end of the ad when they speak to the people who intervened when the child was being bullied it was interesting to see their reasoning behind helping – many of them had been bullied as children and wished that someone would have stepped in to help them. Does this then raise the concern that ignorance is bliss? Are we living in a society that if you have not been directly affected by bullying that it is easier for you to choose to ignore it even if it is happening right in front of you? In my opinion the ad does make you consider your own actions and how you might act in the future.

In order for any campaign to be successful the message needs to be clear, memorable and with a call to action and I think that Burger King managed to do all three within this ad.

 

Caoimhe Fitzpatrick is a final year BSc in Communication, Advertising and Marketing student at Ulster University. She can be found on Twitter: @caoimhef_95 / LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caoimhe-fitzpatrick-0b8682110/

Flight Centre UK find PR potential in a mundane scenario

As I passively scrolled through my Twitter feed, I stumbled across a post regarding a situation that initially appeared somewhat passive. A few clicks later and I’m intrigued by a simple, yet subtly clever, PR move. For me, it is the fitting reminder that we, as PR practitioners, need to make the most of every opportunity regardless of whether it’s big or small. We shouldn’t overlook the potential within simple monotonous day-to-day situations that we all encounter.

The scenario: A young guy, George Armstrong, goes on a night out, gets drunk and loses his ID card. Standard. The outcome: A travel agency, Flight Centre UK, find his ID, return it to him and then some. You may ask yourself, how have these two managed to cross paths? Very simply. The travel agency had found his ID outside of their premises. They then took it upon themselves to post it back to George and most likely gave him a slight scare in the process of doing so.

Upon opening the letter, George was welcomed with his nicely laid out travel summary. It appeared that he had treated himself and booked flights from London Heathrow to the Maldives (#treatyoself). The following page thanked him for his custom and gave a subtle reminder that his rather modest balance of £5,289.87 would be due by the end of the week. However, he was finally put out of his misery when he came to the last page. It stated that the entire thing was just a joke and that they had simply found his ID outside of their premises. (Note the lovely ‘Just make sure you consider us for your next holiday. Take care!’ at the end).

Those who are inherent sticklers when it comes to grammar, can’t quite seem to get over the faux pas that was the incorrect use of the word you’re instead of your. For the rest of us mere mortals who saw past this faux pas, it was simply a kind act and an imaginative move all in one by the travel agency.

Flight Centre UK has somehow eloquently mixed humour with fear – not quite the same fear that George thought he’d suffer from after his night out on the town. Facts are boring; playing on emotions will spark true reactions and grab people’s attention. This example backs up that statement. Imagine if Flight Centre UK had have returned George’s ID and attached nothing else. Well, you don’t have to imagine because that passive act would have been just that. Dull. Boring.

Having just clicked back on the post, it appears that George has paid a visit to Flight Centre UK to meet the guy who made it all happen – Steve. Instead of robotically signing off the letter as an unnamed member of the team, Steve took the personal approach and simply used his first name. Everyone wants and appreciates that personal touch when dealing with corporations and particularly with bigger corporations. George appreciated his gesture so much so that he even got his photo taken with his new-found friend Steve. A happy, humorous ending to a simple mistake.

Louise Harvey is studying for an MSc in Communications and Public Relations with Advertising at Ulster University. She can be found on Twitter: @louiseharvey_ // Instagram: @louiseharvey93 // LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/harveylouise/ 

Online Money Saving Secrets

For the first time ever, shoppers are going to the web for most of their purchases. According to an annual survey conducted by comScore (SCOR, +0.62%) and UPS (UPS, -0.44%) shoppers now make 51% of their purchases online, compared to 48% in 2015 and 47% in 2014.

Because of this major fact I thought why not share my online money saving secrets with you!

When I shop online I now expect to get discounts and offers because it’s built in my head “I can get this cheaper online”. And it’s true I can! I always use cashback websites mainly Quidco and Topcashback.

You’re probably wondering what the hell is a cashback website and why would I even use it?

Well cashback websites are basically sites that pay you when you click through them, go to a retailer’s site and spend money. Using Topcashback or Quidco to shop can build you £100’s over the year if you use them right, and they let you cash out and pay instantly to your bank, PayPal or they’ll send you an amazon voucher. (If you choose to take a voucher instead of cash you will usually get an extra 8% on top: more savings) As a customer of their site I can personally confirm they are 100% safe and reliable.

Why do they give cashback?

Topcashback  and Quidco  give cashback to us because they receive a commission from the merchant for directing you to their website. Basically they get paid and pass a proportion of their commission onto us ‘the shopper’.

So, how do you use it?

You simply shop your favourite brand. E.g. ASOS and boom 12% cashback on your spend.

However, some of the biggest savings are on “essential” buys…such as Mobile phones, sims, Broadband, electricity & gas. These often offer up to £100 cashback.

As a student I would always use it for my WIFI, buying clothes, shopping on ebay, amazon and all the other retailers. I also recently planned a trip to Paris for my boyfriend’s birthday and used it for hotel bookings (lastminute.com), flights (EasyJet) and of course Disneyland tickets! BOOM over £30.00 went into my account just for clicking through their site, it’s that easy.

Quidco also has a feature that allows you to register your bank card with them and it gives you cashback when you use that card in selected stores (only the shops on their list of retailers), allowing for more cashback on your spending.

ClickSnap is another way to earn cashback. You simply shop in participating supermarkets and keep your receipts to redeem the grocery offers that Quidco provides. For example, if you go to Tesco and buy PROPERCORN perfectly sweet 90g you get 90p cashback (A current offer they have on their website). A point to note is that the ClickSnap deals change regularly, meaning they have a time limit but there will always be something to your taste that you would like to buy and get cashback on.

I personally have added the two websites Topcashback and Quidco to my browser so even when I’m on google or a retailer’s site the cashback sites can tell me if the website I’m currently on has cashback, meaning I’m never missing out on a cashback deal. This happens by giving Topcashback and/or Quidco permission to have pop ups to inform you on the cashback of ‘New Look’ for example. The pop up will ask you to click through them to their site then they will re-direct you back to New Look and track your spending to give you cashback.

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Qmee

Another useful website is Qmee, it pops up ads based on the keywords you search into Google. For example I could search hats and on the left of the screen several websites pop up in a sidebar that sells hats. By clicking on these Qmee gives me 10p and 15p per click as well as offers and money saving coupons. So after 3 years using this extension I have now £11.00 built up with Qmee which required no effort at all. Easy money, a site that I’d highly recommend.

Student Discounts

And last but not least don’t forget Unidays, Student Beans and Student Money Saver, all great student sites that you should definitely have a look through for finding great discounts, offers and voucher codes. All of these sites offer constant discounts on your favourite brands, helping your money go that bit further, to buy mostly useless stuff and more clothes that we all don’t need.

So, to sum up if you’re a discount, money saver, code finding student like me who wants to save some cash online, then I suggest you check out all the recommended sites above and find out what suits you. Trust me you’ll save a lot of money online with these sites, because we all have our inner shopaholics who just can’t stop themselves from buying. But who can blame us? All these tailored Instagram and Facebook ads make it impossible for us not to spend, so beat the system and check them out.

Shannon (The wanna-be money saving expert)

Shannon Doyle is a final year BSc in Communication, Advertising & Marketing student at Ulster University. She can be contacted on Twitter: @shannond_761 and Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/shannon-doyle-28b827109