This essay describes the most well-known charity organisation Age UK with the soft drinks company “The Innocent” which launched “A Big Knit” campaign in 2013. The “Big Knit” is a joint campaign between Age UK and innocent drinks to help vulnerable older people. The essay will follow the Kotler and Lee Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) campaign plan in order to show how Age UK achieved its objectives by implementing CSR in their business tactics.
- Identify points of inter-section between the business and society
According to the ONS (Office for National Statistics), during the winter 2012/2013, Age UK claimed 30,000 excess winter deaths in England and Wales, particularly among people aged over 75+. (Rankin, 2013) Since this shameful and preventable situation, the Age UK charity urged the government to lower energy bills so that elderly could keep their homes warm during winter season. The charity also launched a new campaign called “Spread the Warmth” asking people to help an older person to feel well and warm. A 3 minute commercial video shows some old ladies telling their severe and cold winter survival story; the Age UK representatives help such people by bringing wool clothes, helping to do shopping, fitting radiators and heaters and other home improvements. Their main website also provide donations buttons, volunteering opportunities in order to help elderly not to feel lonely. This commercial advertisement encouraged The Innocent Company to launch the “Big Knit” campaign with the aim to help older people during the cold winter months through befriending visits, emergency cold weather support, warm meals and other vital services. It is interesting to note, that Innocent Drinks Company is famous for its 100% pure fruit juices since 1999. This fact probably was the reason to launch a “Big Knit” campaign together with Age UK charity organisation in order to focus on the same message and reach a better result.
The joint project started with older people from Age Concerns around the UK‚ innocent consumers and Sainsbury’s staff knitting tiny woollen hats to place on the top of innocent smoothie bottles. Hats were knitted by knitting groups with the local Age UKs and knitting groups across the United Kingdom. (source:www.ageuk.org.uk) The smoothies with hats are sold nationally and for every one sold innocent donated 25p to Age UK. In 2012, innocent smoothies with hats were sold in Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Boots, Tesco, WHSmith and Asda stores. The raised money will go to funding local and national projects to help keep people warm and well in winter.
The Big Knit website also provides a scheme on how to knit a hat and an opportunity to knit a virtual hat online. This campaign allowed people to contribute and be involved in the marketing campaign CSR as well as to create a positive brand image among people of completely different age, job and social class.
- Measure impacts
Measurability links who saw the advertisement and then what specific action occurred in response (e.g. purchase intension, recall and brand awareness) linked back to marketing communication objectives. (Dahlen et al., 2010)
In 2013 Age UK raised over £244,000 by knitting over 1 million hats. (source:www.ageuk.org.uk) By 2014, the total amount of raised money reached £1.75 million in 10 years’ time. Also, the hat gallery of 2013 on social network Flirck shows almost 6 million knitted hats with the help of thousands of people across the UK. Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn helped to raise awareness and interest by “Share” and “Follow” buttons. Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube also play an important role in word-of-mouth communication and public relations.
- Rank & prioritise key issues
The key issues for this campaign are:
– High mortality rate amongst old people during the winter season in the UK that was the reason for Innocent Drinks and Age UK to join together.
– Old people are in a desperate need for care and help in order to keep their houses warm.
– Interest people in helping old people by doing donation in such a creative way (knitting hats) and make them trust this joint campaign.
- Establish small number of key initiatives.
The main key of establishing a small number of key initiatives is that it is something everyone can contribute to, that will advance the organisation. The bigknit.co.uk website provide an online tool where visitors can create their own version of the big knitter – the colour of drink, style of hats and other accessorises. By sharing the masterpiece on Facebook or Twitter, the Innocent Drinks will donate 10p to Age UK. Also, there are knitting patterns and how-to sections showing how to knit hats from beginner to expert level. Some video lessons are also shared on Youtube channel in order to raise awareness and interest among people.
- Set targets / KPIs
– to promote awareness and understanding of tough old people lives during severe weather in winter by creating a woolly art installation.
– to engage people to take care through the act of creating and through the social nature of knitting.
– to improve the mortality rate of elderly across the UK during winter seasons.
- Monitor results
Since this campaign started, Innocent has raised more than £1.3 million to help look after older people and four million hats have been knitted. In 2012, the Big Knit raised £115,000 for Age UK.
- Communicate externally
- Engage with key stakeholders
The Innocent Drinks created a dialogue with its customers and communicate with them directly through the donations, knitting hats techniques, competitions’ winners, involved them in social media life by sharing and following buttons. All this helped to have a positive effect on the brand.
If the organisation has a dialogue with their customers, that means they listen to each other. Innocent listens to its customers and gives them opportunity to choose the design of hats with all the needed information and knitting techniques. Age UK . in turn, listen to their elderly people and has a clear mission to make their life easier and warm.
- To be part of corporate identity and be part of the corporate brand
Innocent always has been promoting healthy lifestyle and 100% pure juices to their buyers. The joint campaign with Age UK charity organisation did not change the overall vision and beliefs of the Innocent Drinks. They both made their brands stronger, widen their audience range and became popular in social media.
[Anon]. ([n.d]). Social Media and Charities – The Innocent Big Knit. Available: http://www.bakedmarketing.com/site/social-media-and-charities-the-innocent-big-knit/. Last accessed 24th Apr 2014.
Dahlen,M et al. (2010). Marketing Communications: A brand narrative approach. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd. p. 474.
Rankin, J et al.. (2013). Winter deaths rose by almost a third in 2012-13. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/nov/26/winter-deaths-rose-third [Last accessed 23rd Apr 2014.]
The purpose of this essay is to discuss and critically analyse the differences between marketing and market orientation in a business context and demonstrate in what ways market-led strategies can help business drive growth and support competitive advantage. To support all these theoretical statements and arguments, a number of well-known USA, European and Far Eastern businesses examples are shown in this essay.
According to the British Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) marketing is the process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably. (Morris, 2012) Marketing adds value by building a positive brand image of the business company and its products in the minds of the customers. It also adds value by bringing to the company information about changing customer needs, expectations and preference that can be used to create user-friendly products. The American Express Company always use new media to stay in touch with its customers. The implementation of dialogue marketing helped them to make sure that the customer is heard, and helped to identify theirs needs and expectations. (Harter, 2007)
Market orientation is more than simply ‘getting close to the customer.’ An organisation can be market oriented only if it completely understands its market. Customer information must go beyond research and promotional functions to penetrate every organisational function. (Drysdale, 1999) In other words, market orientation relates to business approach or philosophy that concentrates on identifying and meeting the customers’ needs. In 2008, Audi car was announced as the best market-oriented company in the automotive industry. Product developments and customer service closely meet customer demand by making Audi a leader amongst other automotive companies. The strong market orientation, close collaboration between sales, marketing, research and development as well as closely related sales and service network lead to high customer satisfaction and loyalty. This has made the Audi brand number one of the world’s most successful manufacturers of quality cars. (Audi AG, 2008)
Being market-led is simply about putting the customer at the top of the management agenda. (Piercy, 1991) It is all about focus on the buyers and finding better solutions of doing what they value. A customer-driven focus should influence about everything that happens in marketing- from research and product development, to the choice of communication vehicles for staying in touch with the firm’s target audience. Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) is very well known for its consumer understanding; they interact with more than five million consumers every year. The thorough investigation in market research helped the company to identify opportunities for innovation and communicate with clients effectively. (Source: http://www.pg.com) To be successful nowadays, marketers must embrace the challenges of new media and try to connect with customers. Experimenting with the new does not translate to discarding the old. For example, the American Express advertising still stays on TV constantly as they want consumers to be in control of the storytelling by engaging advertising in different methods.
Superior performance comes from going to market better than competitors, not from marketing departments and publicity. The focus of going to market is choosing and managing a strategic pathway involving appropriate market choices, a robust and sustainable value proposition to customers, and a set of key relationships that underpin the value proposition. Also, long-term focus helps organisation to develop strategic plans that can go well for a three year cycle. By adopting a long-term focus, the firm can measure the growth, attempt to serve all customers, have an effective organisational performance in the market and implement new value added services as well as measure the success and satisfaction. (Drysdale, 1999)
Competitive advantage refers to an edge of superiority a firm enjoys over its competitors, emerging either from a powerful market position of from a unique internal competency. (Hoffman, 2007) Competitiveness is dynamic: an organisation’s competitive positioning may vary, sometimes radically and rapidly, as a result of external developments. Google Inc. operates in a very competitive atmosphere amongst Apple, Microsoft’s Bing, and Yahoo Search. However, Google has a superior infrastructure, powerful search engine, wide portfolio of services and tools which absolutely fulfil the criteria of being VRIN.
This essay discussed and analysed different authors’ standpoints and thoughts on marketing and market orientation as well as market-led strategies and competitive advantage within a business by providing some industry examples such as Audi, American Express Company, P&G and Google.
A crisis is an event, accusation or perception that seriously threatens the reputation- and, if not dealt with effectively- the viability of an organisation. There are essentially 2 main types of crisis. The first is what might be called a real crisis. Someone has been hurt or even killed. A product has failed in a way that is at best convenient to customers or others and at worst damaging. The second type of crisis is a reputational crisis. In this instance something happens, or is alleged, that lowers trust, respect and liking for the organisation.
The two main types of crisis can be subdivided into 4 categories:
1. Performance Crises (Fault, Fire and Theft): This is when an organisation fails to perform properly. Typically examples include when products have to be recalled, accidents and injury occur, laws have been broken or private data has been lost. Simplistically this category can be called Fault, Fire and Theft. Most of these tyoes of crisis can be foreseen, even if the timing and circumstances cannot.
2. Disaster Crisis: These are totally unexpected and virtually impossible to plan for. They include ‘one in a million’ crises such as a plane crushing into your building or a gunman running amok in your office or store. However, they may be difficult to plan for.
3. Attack Crisis: These occur when someone such as journalist, member of staff or activist is out to get your organisation. They may focus on internal disputes, poor management practice and controversial leaked documents. Noone may have been hurt and no laws may have been broken but the credibility of your organisation is under sttack.
4. Moral Crisis: Some industries are in the unfortunate position of facing criticism for being in existence. Tobacco companies are one obvious example but oil companies and fast food companies have also come under the spotlight. These are sort of companies and industries that often seem to have the word ‘evil’ attached to them, as as the example of fast food indicates, ideas on what constitutes ‘evil’ can shift over time, so vigilance is required. Whatever such comopanies do or say someone is going to hate them.
Please follow my professional blog which also contains Marketing, PR and Business studies information as well as my personal Adobe Photoshop creation!
The purpose of this report is to demonstrate and critically analyse how my company “PR 4 U” has applied an innovative approach to a world’s well known Toyota Company, particularly Supra 2014 sport model, by launching new plastic products glowing in the dark.
The campaign’s overall objective is to provide a full safety for drivers while driving cars at nights and the ability to express the uniqueness and individuality.
Public relations is all about strategic communication process which creates positive and valuable relationships between organisations and their publics. This report covers a variety of different tactics, methods and strategies which help PR initiatives to achieve a success in Toyota new campaign.
2.0 History of brand
Toyota originally came from Japanese industry and was invented by Sakichi Toyoda. In 1924, he presented Toyoda Model G Automatic Loom which patent was sold to a British Company in 1929. By the end of 1975, Toyota sold over one million vehicle and surpassed Volkswagen to become number one import brand in the United States. In August 1982, the Celica Supra model became available in the European market for the first time, and with supply to the UK limited to just 100 cars per month it benefited from an additional air of exclusiveness. The new Celica was launched in 1999 and the design had radically changed. Toyota designed the Supra model to fill the upper end of the sporty subcompact market. During its 20-year history the Supra went through four generations, plus a special 15th anniversary edition. (Source: http://www.Toyota.com)
3.0 Evaluation of current market
Toyota is trying to develop cars that meet the needs and expectations of their customers while at the same time achieving an ideal balance between consideration for the environment, safety, drivability, comfort and reliability. Toyotas are not particularly exciting or rugged but consumers regard them as sincere and competent. J.D.Power, an organisation that surveys car owners to evaluate levels of satisfaction, annually reports that Toyota is at or near the top of satisfaction ratings. This, of course, is due to the brand’s overall success and reliability. (Shimp, 2007) The Company’s automobile segment is engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of car products, including sedans, minivans, sport-utility vehicles ,2BOX cars and trucks, as well as the related car parts and accessories. According to “The Guardian” newspaper’s article, Toyota Company sold 9.7m cars and trucks worldwide in 2012, and it is still growing. Toyota kept its crown as the world’s best-selling auto maker for two years in a row in 2013, beating competitors like General Motors and Volkswagen after having sold 9.9m vehicles together with group companies Daihatsu and Hino Motors. However, Toyota Motor claimed that it would stop producing engines and cars in Australia by the end of 2017 due to the decreased sales rates by nearly half in the past decade. (NY Times, 2014) In the United Kingdom, the production has made Toyota a key player in the nation’s manufacturing business. In 2013, Toyota GB sold 84,563 vehicles which is up 14, 9%. (Hubbard, 2014) Toyota is planning to sell around 10.32m vehicles globally in 2014. (The guardian, 2014)
4.0 The Campaign
4.1 The new product description
The main idea of this new campaign is to produce a wide range of different plastic accessorises glowing in the dark such as number frame plates, bolts, side frames, caps on the nipple and arch liners. To start with, a number frame plate has a very useful and unusual feature, it is glowing in the dark without electricity, bulbs or LEDs. The principle is that during the day, the material from which the frame is made, collects daylight and then send accumulated lumens as a bright glow. Phosphorus, a non-metallic chemical element, has an ability to glow in the dark and is widely used in medicine, explosives, fireworks and toothpaste. While driving a car, the frame glows even more brightly due to the energy generated by friction with the air. Even with the fully dead battery, the car will be noticeable on unlit roads at night. Basically, the colours of plates are white or translucent during the daylight but it is possible to produce any frame colour. In this case, the brightness level is lower than the classic version. It is interesting to note that the brightest glow in the dark is green colour. The arch liners glowing in the dark will decorate any vehicle making in notable especially on sport cars like Toyota Supra. Also, the new phosphorescent caps for nipples will create a beautiful green halo around the wheels when driving more than 30 mph. Nowadays, there is no need to spend much money on painting the whole wheel with the professional glowing dye for automobiles.
4.2 The SMART objectives
For objectives to be effective they should meet the criteria of being Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound which forms the acronym SMART. (Gordon, 2011) The SMART framework will help to identify what is needed to successfully implement new products for the Toyota brand and meet the deadlines on time.
By May 1, 2014, implement the new outside phosphorus-glowing car parts for the Toyota brand market and to raise awareness amongst age group of 22-35 middle and high income drivers by using clear marketing and PR structure. Also, to update the http://www.toyota.com web site stock with new accessorises and start communication with the audience in order to promote the “glowing” campaign and attract new potential customers to the Toyota market.
The measurable objective in this campaign is to reach a high volume of noticeability. This includes five days a week advertisements in famous national newspapers such as “The Telegraph”, “The Guardian” and “The Times” which have millions of readers in the UK, also, in well-known auto journals and magazines, for example “Auto express” and “Car magazine”, three days a week radio ads will help to reach the audience’s ears while driving a car and some e-blogs publications will grab the attention of people who spend much time on the internet. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have a special influence on publics and their perception of the brand. For example, in 2013, Facebook reached 1.19 billion monthly active users. (Source: The Next Web, 2013)
The overall business objective is to make the Toyota the best-selling car in the UK market with the help of a new glowing products, and to help achieve that the PR objectives are to get all the key monitoring journalists and bloggers to write a review of the Toyota sports car event show. The aim is to achieve at least 10,000 online readers and followers as well as 100,000 sales in the first 10 months.
With the £1.5 million budget and a clear strategic business plan, the new innovative approach is more than realistic to implement. The major amount of the budget is going to be spend on the development of glowing car parts and its dyeing; around 1/3 of the rest budget is for the Toyota sports car open air race show which also includes rent fee, laser and music demonstration, catering facilities, glowing products exhibition and other equipment. Other amount of money is intended for advertising in press and TV channels, event leaflets, for reporters, journalists and photographers. The entrance fee to an event will be £5 per person; the money will go for charity organisations like “Save the Children” and “The Lullaby Trust” located in London.
The product development and all the organisational and promotional goals must be completed by May 1, 2014. The event will be held on 3nd May till 5th May which is Bank Holiday in the United Kingdom. The desired success is predicted within 6 months after the event days.
4.3 Target Audience
Knowledge of audience characteristics such as beliefs, attitudes, concerns, and lifestyles is an essential part of persuasion. It helps the communicator tailor messages that are salient, answer a felt need, and provide a logical course of action. (Wilcox, 2011) The “glowing” campaign is mainly aimed at females and males drivers of age around 22-35. The intended target audience for these products are middle- and high-income people who take care of their cars and are more likely to try these new glowing accessorises. People in this age range tend to be graduated students with stable salary and people with quite high income who can afford such a “glowing” and unique privilege. Audience profiling also depends on hobbies/interests and social values. This campaign expects to see sports and travel lovers, who treat their cars as a family member or the best friend. The selection of target segments is a critical step toward effective and efficient marketing communication. (Shimp, 2007)
5.0 Tactics and Promotional tools
Printed words can be kept indefinitely and can be reread. Messages delivered in that form through newspapers, magazines, and journals are fundamental elements in public relations work. (Wilcox, 2001) The new campaign advertisements are to appear in famous local newspapers and car journals. Magazines are also noted for their long life as kept around the home, salons, shops and offices for weeks. Magazines and journals provide both mass audience and highly selective vehicles to choose from. Newspapers have the value of natural timeliness and immediacy so important to achieving consumer response. (Parente, 2006) The new campaign also requires a television advertising. Television has the strongest emotional influence of all media. A 30 sec commercial video will be broadcasted on Eurosport, BBC, and ITV channels on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays as on these days people are more likely to spend their after-work-time watching TV. The billboards ads will be placed on the roads and streets. Eye-catching impact is the goal as the duration of viewing is short. (Appendix 4) The event leaflets will include the programme name, date and venue as well as entrance fee.
- The internet and social networking
The Internet is an essential element of many people’s lives. The online media are usually used as a supplemental method of reaching a generally well-educated, relatively affluent audience interested in new ideas and fresh approaches.(Wilcox,2001) Firstly, online advertising must be on http://www.toyota.com website with the online shopping tool. Display or banner ads can also be publicised in automobiles online magazines or e-blogs. Secondly, the social networks greatly excite marketing and PR people as they are made up of defined communities of people with some shared interests. (Morris, 2012) The social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allows target audience to share photos and information with their friends and connect to the new people with the same interests or hobbies. This is the best way for Toyota to receive a direct feedback from customers about their experience or thoughts about glowing car parts. In addition, web sites can expand a relationship between a company and the customer on a one-to-one basis.
- Promotional products
Promotional products, such as T-shirts, automobile sun protectors, key tags, calendars, iPhone cases and other stuff with company’s logo can help further the Toyota brand’s image if it is used strategically. All these products should appear during the event days. The visitors and intended target audience who like and drive Toyota automobiles will definitely purchase some of these products for themselves or their friends.
Shopping online has become a reality and a very popular B2B and B2C sales. The http://www.toyota.co.uk can provide online shopping tool which includes reservation, delivery and collection at your nearest Toyota salon. The convenience in implementing such a tool is that many car buyers shop online for information before they go to a dealership. (Parente, 2006) The items stock list will make the future customer aware about availability of glowing plate frames or arch liners, prices and other description can easily be accessed and understood by any client. The payment method will be through PayPal, Credit cards and Bank cheques.
6.0 Launch Event
Event hospitality is often seen as a part of the public relations’ information dissemination process. (Baines, 2004) The Toyota Sports Car Show will take place on Good Wood Motor Circuit in London on 3rd, 4th and 5th of May, 2014. The objective of the event is to raise awareness about glowing car accessorises among the target audience and to reach a high number of publications in press and word-of-mouth communications. Apart from the car show, the event will also include laser performance from Definitive Company, catering facilities and exhibition stand where visitors can make a professional photograph with races and body-art females. The massive decorations will greet the visitors and will show the directions to parking places. The money raised for the entrance (£5 per person) will be donated to charity organisations “Save the Children” and “The Lullaby Trust” in London. Photographers and journalists of different newspapers and TV channels are invited and welcomed to the event. The press will have special VIP seats in order to take the best photographs of the car race show. Some interviewing places will be provided for them so that the light and sound will match the high standard format. Lots of hospitality tents will meet potential clients with different snacks, hot food and drinks as well as entertain them of the Toyota’s promotional products.
The third day of the event will be announced as a public day where people can still have a look at the Toyota sports cars exhibition stand and glowing accessorises, enjoy BBQ and other catering food, different businesses companies can also come along to the exhibition and have a talk about future partnership or sponsorship with Toyota, the press can take interviews of top executives, managers, media gatekeepers and other influential persons in the industry. All the participants of various Toyota associations and clubs are welcomed to demonstration their sport cars and drift on the run. The image that the event portrays will have a direct effect on how visitors see the organisation regardless of the reality.
7.0 Media Timing/Scheduling
Timing is all about scheduling; decisions need to be made concerning when the ads appear to the publics, and the way these ads are scheduled over time. Timing is an important element of media strategy because when someone is exposed can affect that person’s receptiveness to the advertising message. (Parente, 2006) The Appendix 9 shows the frequency and time of using different media tools in order to achieve a high noticeability and raise awareness among target audiences. It is always important to integrate the marketing communication recommendations with the advertising plan so that the target audience gets a consistent message and “feel” from every contact it has with promotional activities. (Parente, 2006)
In conclusion, the new campaign for Toyota will definitely grab the attention of customers by its uniqueness and safety which phosphorus-glowing accessorises provide. Different tactics and promotional tools like advertising, social network and internet-commerce, PR, the event launch and word of mouth communication create a clear message for this campaign in order to meet all the SMART objectives.
My Company “PR 4 U” suggests this new campaign with a clear PR strategic plan for Toyota Company. Implementation of a public relations plan uses many different tactics applied in creative ways.
“PR is extremely important, and being able to use it in the right way means everything. You have to market your success.” – Lee Haney, bodybuilder and former Mr Olympia.
Baines, P et al. (2004). Public Relations: Contemporary issues and techniques. Oxford: Newgen Imaging System Ltd. p.199
Gordon, A.E. (2011). Public Relations. Oxford: Oxford University Press Inc.. p.176.
Hubbard, C.J. (2013). UK car sales 2012 winners and losers. Available: http://cars.uk.msn.com/features/uk-car-sales-2012-winners-and-losers?page=4. Last accessed 17th Feb 2014.
Morris, T et al (2012). PR Today: The authoritative guide to PR. London: Palgrave Macmillan Publishers Ltd. p.151
NY Times by Reuters. (2014). Toyota to Stop Making Cars in Australia. Available: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/11/business/international/toyota-to-stop-making-cars-in-australia.html?ref=toyotamotorcorporation&_r=0. Last accessed 17th Feb 2014.
Parente, D.E (2006). Advertising Campaign Strategy. 4th ed. Mason USA: Thomson Higher Education. p.191,225,278
Protalinski, E. (2013).The Next Web. Facebook passes 1.19 billion monthly active users, 874 million mobile users, and 728 million daily users . Available: http://thenextweb.com/facebook/2013/10/30/facebook-passes-1-19-billion-monthly-active-users-874-million-mobile-users-728-million-daily-users/#!utbb2. Last accessed 5th Feb 2014.
The Guardian . (2013). Toyota reclaims position as world’s biggest carmaker. Available: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/jan/15/toyota-world-no-1-carmaker. Last accessed 8th Feb 2014.
The Guardian. (2014). Toyota forecasts record annual profit as yen falls and Japan sales rise. Available: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/feb/04/toyota-record-profit-yen-japan-sales. Last accessed 8th Feb 2014.
Toyota Com. (2012). Product History:Celica. Available: http://www.toyota.com/about/our_business/our_history/product_history/pdf/celica.pdf. Last accessed 15th Feb 2014.
Shimp, A (2007). Intedgrated Marketing Communications in Advertising and Promotion. 7th ed. Mason USA: Thomson Higher Education . p.18, 40.
Wilcox,D et al (2001). Essentials of Public Relations. US: Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers Inc.. p.184,202,204
- GOOD Public Relations examples
‘Not so sweet’ Dubai marriage proposal fail – a failed marriage proposal – in which the proposee smacks the proposer around the head with a ukulele has thankfully been revealed as a fake to promote Cadbury’s new ‘not so sweet’ campaign.
Disney characters projected onto White Cliffs of Dover in visual stunt – Q. what’s cooler than 80 foot tall Disney characters? A. NOTHING. A well-recycled stunt, but one that did a good job of promoting Disney’s new gaming ‘universe’.
Sharapova to change name to ‘Sugarpova’ throughout US Open in PR stunt to promote sweet line – Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova has asked to change her name throughout the US Open to promote her own brand of sweets. The fact she’d be referred to as Miss Sugarpova throughout by the umpires is smart, but also highlights the fact there’s no such thing as an original idea!
Rentokil launch pop-up ‘pestaurant’ serving pigeon burgers and edible insects – a grim stunt by pest control company Rentokil. Post by Ticketmaster’s PR manager Katie White.
’3 Minutes in Italy’ with San Pellegrino Robot – a brilliantly brilliant campaign enabling members of the public to become an Italian tourist through a two-way Dalek-esque robot.
Non-league Football Club Farnborough FC ‘sign’ Messi, Pele, Zidane and Maradona – the first of this week’s two namechange PR campaigns saw bookmaking cunning stuntsters Paddy Power save a football team from administration with a six figure sponsorship – whilst at the same time turning them into the ‘greatest football club in history’. Post by Twelve Thirty Eight’s Inderdeep Gill.
Zoopla offers to help Wayne Rooney move to Chelsea in reactive stunt – property website Zoopla parked a van outside Manchester United’s home ground asking striker Wayne Rooney – linked with a move to West London-based Chelsea – if he’s looking for a house there in a simple stunt that will have you déjà vuing all over the shop.
Enchanting panda invasion in Berlin for WWF – to celebrate its 50th anniversary and also raise public awareness of the endangered animal’s fragile situation, the WWF are touring Germany with 1,600 mini pandas – one for every panda now in existence.
Coca-Cola ‘Mini-me’ campaign offers fans 3D printed versions of themselves – members of the public were invited to the largest coke factory – sorry, Coca-Cola factory – in Israel, where they were scanned and printed to promote Coke’s new mini bottle range. If the post doesn’t convey it well enough, I LOVE 3D PRINTING.
The world’s first Twitter hotel – a hotel in Magaluf has opened as the world’s first Twitter-themed hotel, complete with a number of cool digital additions.
- BAD Public Relations examples
There’s nothing more motivating than a gun to the head. Or so it would seem in the Haverfordwest Tesco store. The Welsh branch of the supermarket used a picture of a man holding a gun to his head as part of an attempt to boost morale amongst its staff, suggesting that suicide isn’t necessary after a bad trading week.
One employee took a picture of the poster on the notice board and complained. Mental health charities have objected and the employee responsible for the ill-judged poster has apologised. It comes just a few weeks after Tesco had to remove a ‘Psycho Ward’ costume from its fancy dress range too. Bad PR to you Tesco.
Another example.During one of the presidential debates, KitchenAid tweeted to its 24,000 fans that “Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! ‘She died 3 days b4 he became president’. #nbcpolitics”. KitchenAid immediately deleted the quote and tweeted an apology.
A spokesperson said that “The tasteless joke in no way represents our values at KitchenAid, and that person won’t be tweeting for us anymore.”
People were outraged when American Apparel used Hurricane Sandy — a storm that killed over 100 people and initially left 8 million without power — as an excuse to sell merchandise.
The retailer were offered a 20 percent off sale if they typed “SANDYSALE” in the online checkout “in case you’re bored during the storm.” American Apparel decided to ignore the PR disaster and didn’t apologize.Gap, on the other hand, also did a Sandy sale and then tweeted apologies for offending people.
Hours after the nation learned about the tragic Aurora shooting that left 12 people dead at a late night showing of “The Dark Night Rises,” American Rifleman, a magazine for the NRA, tweeted: “Good morning, shooters. Happy Friday! Weekend plans?”The tweet went up at 9:20 am EST and was taken down three hours later.
A spokesman for the NRA stated, “A single individual, unaware of events in Colorado, tweeted a comment that is being completely taken out of context.”PR lesson: be careful with pre-scheduled tweets.
One more bad PR example. When Apple banished Google Maps from the iPhone in September, consumers were concerned. Apple’s own maps app turned out to be riddled with errors, and didn’t even include public transportation mapping.
CEO Tim Cook had to issue a public apology, conceding that the maps “fell short” before suggesting users download competitors’ products from the Apps store. Cook specifically called out Bing, MapQuest, or going to Nokia and Google’s website. The product manager who oversaw the maps team was fired months later.
In July, a Burger King employee thought that it would be a fun idea to post pictures on 4Chan of him standing (shoes on) in two large tubs of lettuce. The caption read: “This is the lettuce you eat at Burger King.”Within minutes, other 4Chan members tracked down the culprit.
Burger King addressed the PR disaster in a public statement regarding the chain’s “zero-tolerance policy against any violations such as the one in question” and fired three employees for the incident.
Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was charged and later convicted of repeated counts of child molestation while at Penn State.
Although the scandal was unveiled in 2011, the university felt the full fallout in 2012 when the Freeh report stated that Joe Paterno and the administration covered up Sandusky’s abuses, Major companies pulled sponsorships of the program.
Part of the PR disaster was due to Penn State’s initial difficulty addressing the problem. Pulitzer-winning stories in The Patriot-News of Harrisburg initially uncovered the scandal in March 2011. But Penn State remained tightlipped. PR firm Ketchum was hired in November of 2011, and the school hired Edelman and La Torre for crisis management in April 2012. The school pledged to spend $208,000 a month for 12 months on PR support, but the damage was done.
1 . Introduction
This is a report outlining the current marketing objectives of the Ramada Hotel and consequently the succession with clientele in the current market. It is from this that a gap in the market has been identified and rectified with the proposal of a new marketing campaign to differentiate and re-establish the Ramada hotel.
2 Buyer Behaviour
Tourists are unlikely to revisit or stay in the same hotel on a second occasion due to variety-seeking behaviour that is very common in tourism and hospitality industry (Ariffin, 2008 and Bigne et al., 2009) known as novelty-seeking travellers. Affrin and Maghizi conducted a Research questionnaire with subjects being Malaysian and non-Malaysian guests in Kuala Lumpur. The findings illustrate men, local guests and holiday goers are more likely to have a higher expectation of hotel hospitality whereas women, foreign guests and business people have a lower expectation (Lashley, 2008). Moreover, Star rating plays a crucial role in the expectation of hospitality (Ariffin, Maghizi, 2012) whereas the level of ones education does not alter expectations.
Noticeably cost related issues are the main influencing factor in effecting hotel choice. A Mintel report shows 22% of 1,790 stated that sale promotions was the deciding influence upon purchase of a stay in a hotel (see Figure.1) here it is important to mention the universal inference to special offers as there influence does not differ through demographic groups. Furthermore the same research Mintel conducted portrayed a strong favour towards viewing the hotel and rooms online. Note that social Medias influence has grown from 2% to 4% since 2010, as 16-24 year olds are receptive to online recommendations. Furthermore one in ten have never stayed in a UK hotel in the past 12 months.
Figure.1 Factors influencing hotel choice, August 2012
Based 1,790 Internet users aged 16+, who have ever stayed in hotels in the UK
Figure 1.1 Mintel October 2012- Infographic
1 . Target Audience
The target audience for the service sector is highly segmented but this report investigates the segmentation of the hotel industry and its specific targeted audiences.
The relationship a consumer has to a product is not only essential in maintaining consumers but also capturing more of that population of interest. The Ramada hotel particular target audience is the business person evidence of this is commercial airing in New York 2002 illustrating their fun facilities with a voice over “when you go to hand in your expense reports, act tired” (Beirne, 2000) admittedly this an outdates commercial but it can be argued the Ramada have maintained their stance in the market by incorporating conference facilities. Additionally target couples by promoting wedding facilities.
Research has shown people aged 16-34 are likely to have made use of hotel facilities in their local area in the last 12 months without staying as well as the AB socio economic group. Furthermore it is families with children aged 0-4 who are more than likely to stay on a family occasion as is those aged 25-34.
The Ramada hotel is a chain of the Wyndham hotel group; in terms of success and popularity it is therefore arguable that Premier Inn; IHG and Hilton are the Ramada’s main competitors. As a service they all offer what are essentially the same products and services but differ dramatically in price, quality and their reputations in terms of trustworthiness. Looking at the brand-positioning map (see Figure.2) it is evident to see that the Hilton hotel stands as the Ramadas’ closest competitor measured by price and quality by star ratings and customer feedback. Comparing the two does not reveal a large gap in market share however it indicates a lack of emphasis on the quality of services illustrated in the campaigns on the Ramadas behalf or they are lacking staff training. The leader of the service market (see Figure.3)Premier Inn offer ‘My Premier Inn’ – an online service that enables the consumer to easily make and amend bookings, save details for a straight rebuy and store preferences differentiating themselves in what is a close nit market. Furthermore, they have established themselves firmly in communities with TV advertising starring comedian Lenny Hennery bringing many connotations to the brands identity. Next is the IHG chain including the Holiday Inn in which it is fair to say the Ramada exceeds in terms of quality and value for money, however the Holiday Inn positively match their competitor’s points and reward scheme with their IHG ‘priority club’ where customers can use points to book a stay including in one of their competitors hotels. This being said the Wyndham hotel group offers rewards such as points or airline miles if the customer stays at one of their hotels and resorts It currently is the world’s largest loyalty lodging programmed providing the Ramada quality and value surpassing its competitors.
1 . Existing Market Mix
The marketing mix consists of 7 P’s, which are imperative to the running of the service sector. As sales and promotions have risen due to the economic climate it is increasingly hard to pin point a specific standard price for rooms in the Ramada hotel which alters the buyer’s perception of value for money (see Figure 6.1), (Hoffman, Bateson, 2011) In 2002 (Beirne,2002) wrote in brand week ‘the Ramada is less about discounts and more about establishing its position in the middle.’ However sales promotions have become significant in peoples research before purchasing especially if it’s high involvement. Recent promotions are as such: 20% when you spend night in their accommodation and have linked a deal for a £20 a night deal through the independent newspaper gaining a proportion of their population of interest in the UK only which is a reasonable proportion of their 900 hotels in 57 countries (Ramada website) noticeably being MEDC’s (more economically developed countries). Figurers 4 and 5 connote the coloration of locations illustrating the emphasis on capital and large cities directly attracting their target audience.
Furthermore due to intangibility of services consumers lack the objective of sources to form evaluations so turn to the physical attributes. (Hoffman, Bateson, 2011, page 221) The Ramada combines: ambient conditions, space, functions and signs to create a holistic environment. (See Figure 8.3) A noticeable example of this is the ambient colour scheme throughout the décor; Red, white, and creams creating an emotional influence on both customers and employees generating a physically comfortable environment. (Hoffman, Bateson, 2011, page215) This adds to the brands identity creating recognitions with the Logo and personality differentiating the Ramada from its competitors establishing a halo effect (See Figure 8.5). Additionally, as a high-risk involvement purchase it is imperative for the brand to be trusted which as discussed the colours are warm and exciting but it is the staff that is acting as part time marketers to provide the customers with luxury service. Further products have been added to the Ramada service creating a halo effect such as free wireless conference rooms, international breakfast and a Ramada range of bathroom products that differentiates from the competition.
1. Campaign Objective
This campaign is combination of communication tactics to achieve a range of marketing objectives. (Dahlen, 2010) Through the research of the current marketing communications and investigations into the feedback of customers experience (see appendix number 1) results provided and overwhelming gap (Appendix number 2) in Ramada’s Customer Service satisfaction rate which is an integral part of the service being provided. The objective is to campaign to create awareness of The Ramada’s outstanding customer service skills using an integrated marketing communication externally on the proviso that staff training is provided internally to match the promise of the new campaign.
2 . Target Audience
The campaign proposed aim is to expand the current population of interest to younger couples aged 18 – 34 who would stay in the hotel as well as using the facilities whilst campaigning for a family market with our message of excellence customer service and facilities – all whilst maintaining the business clientele. A Mintel report suggested that 23% of people stay in ‘holiday centres’ for weekend breaks – a gap in Ramada’s market that could be accessed for romantic weekends away (see Figure.6)
Length of Last Holiday Centre Visit, August 2011
Base: 793 adults aged 16+ who have been to a holiday centre
1 . Campaign
Out of home is the desired primary channel of communication proposed to start in Westminster tube station following on through a chain of events to Trafalgar square. This would target the business community as they commute through the central streets of London maintaining their custom by affecting their awareness of Ramada as a brand and promoting the valentines weekend for them and their significant other. Additionally a Mintel report illustrates that the majority of people who want to travel in the UK will be interested in visiting London (see Figure 7). Based on that, Trafalgar Square was chosen for the campaign because it will target tourists, another population of interest.
Sales promotion is required to help the conversion of prospects (Dahlen, 2010). The valentines’ weekend promotion is an introductory package encouraging an early trial and eventual adoption of the Ramada’s services whilst encouraging increased usage from the Ramada’s current Target audience. A Mintel report shows that “Almost six in ten people agree that they research holiday prices more thoroughly since the recession/economic downturn began”(Mintel, 2011). Based on that, a promotion will be integrated in the campaign offering a package deal for 2 with full use of spa facilities at a competitive price made aware after the publicity stunt in Trafalgar Square.
The publicity stunt is targeted for the macro environment defending Ramada’s image and reputation. This campaign is a series of events leading up to the big stunt in Trafalgar Square. People will first see posters pinned up around the Westminster tube stations and catch screenings of the 30-second advert on the digital screens. As people leave the tube station mascot aliens will hand out balloons and leaflets of the sales promotion for valentine’s weekend with a message “With love from Ramada”. The theme of Aliens links into the theme of the advertisement staring an alien customer (See Figure.8). Finally the trail leads to Trafalgar Square where an alien flash mob will be held at the prime time of foot traffic through London city to generate a larger amount of awareness.
As part as an integrated marketing communication campaign, direct marketing has been incorporated with the objective of collecting customer data and building on long term customer loyalty and generating leads for future sales (Egan, 2007). An online competition will be launched along with the sales promotion on The Ramada website with links from Wyndham and Social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The competition is to post a picture and description of a romantic gesture this year to win the valentine’s weekend away in a Ramada resort of your choice in the UK for free.
Ariffin, A.A.M., (2008) Understanding novelty-seeking behaviour in meeting tourism: a measurement development approach. International Journal of Event Management 11(4), 170-190
Ariffin,A.A.M., Maghzi,A. (2012) A preliminary study on customer expectations of hotel hospitality: Influences of personal and hotel factors. International Journal of Hospitality Management 31 ,191-198
Bigne, J.E., Sanchez, I.S., Andreu, L., (2009) The role of variety seeking in short and long run revisit intentions in holiday destinations. International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research 3 (2), 103-115
Beirne, M. (2002). Ramada post stakes in middle ground. Brandweek. 43 (32), 10.
Beirne, M. (2000). Ramada aims higher, ups media push. Brandweek. 41 (3), 65.
ComplaintNow, (2013) Ramada Inn. Available from: Available from: http://www.complaintnow.com/?complain_session=forum&forum_show=board&opc=lookup&message_board_id=10811
[Accessed 24th January 2013]
CustomerServiceScoreboard, (2013) Complain Ramada Hotel. Available from: http://www.customerservicescoreboard.com/Ramada
[Accessed 24th January 2013]
Dahlen, M., Lange, F., Smith, T. (2010) marketing communications: A brand narrative approach. West Sussex, United Kingdom: John Wiley& Sons Ltd, page 429
Dahlen, M., Lange, F., Smith, T. (2010) Marketing communications: A brand narrative approach. West Sussex, United Kingdom: John Wiley& Sons Ltd, page 426
Egan,J., (2007) Marketing Communications. London, United Kingdom: Thomson Learning, page 290
Hoffman, K.D., Bateson, J.E.G. (2011)Services marketing: Concepts, Strategies &Cases. 4th ed. USA: South-Western Cengage Learning
Lashley, C 2008, Studying hospitality: Insight from social science, Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 8, (1), 69 – 84.
Mintel (2011) British Lifestyles, Consumer Expenditure, Infographic
Ramada worldwide website (2013). Available from: http://www.ramada.com/
[Accessed 29th January 2013]
Unofficial ad of AMT coffee shop
Made by Aliona Ziriukina and Viktorija Sorseva in 2013
p.s.Some video shots were taken from other ads on youtube.