Telling it straight: Live Events

March 10, 2014 by  
Filed under Blog

Live events, who needs them? We live in a digital world now. A world of online co-creation and social media interaction; an extravagantly connected world awash with information and exciting content. Who wants the cost and hassle of staging something that brings a brand face-to-face with the public when exponentially more eyeballs are to be found in cyberspace?

Innovative brands, that’s who. It’s not just premature to write an obituary for live events – it’s foolish.

The digital revolution has created more opportunities for smartly-conceived events than ever. From live streaming, to social media ‘likes’; from blogging appeal to generating fresh content to be snapped up by a still ravenous and significant traditional media; a great event can be, well…a great event.

Consider the amazing impact of the record-breaking Red Bull Stratos, Felix Baumgartner’s intrepid skydive from the edge of space in October 2012. The live webcast attracted an astonishing 52 million viewers and as social media went crazy over the bravery and technical accomplishments of the jump, the online buzz generated helped Red Bull boost sales worldwide by 13%.

In a different vein, June 2013 saw Procter & Gamble organise the largest consumer event in its 175-year history. The Everyday Effect, held at multiple locations across New York City, was designed to demonstrate how the FMCG giant’s product portfolio improved daily life for people (http://www.pgeveryday.com/article/behind-the-scenes-of-the-everydayeffect) .

Of course, it delivered a powerful branded experience and sampling opportunity for consumers who encountered P&G’s marketing might on the street. But from head to toe, this was an event designed to be leveraged online, accompanied by webcasting and a massive social media drive.

Clearly, not every client can call upon consumer marketing budgets on the scale of Red Bull or P&G. But event marketing does not need to be epic to be highly effective. Finding and engaging a wider audience can be achieved through clever planning and skilful execution.

Long gone are the days when journalists had enough time on their hands to turn up at an event in the hope that there just might be a story to stumble across when they got there. Time-constrained hacks need more than a ‘maybe’ to be persuaded out and about.

For media to attend there needs to be a very strong hook; a world-first, participation of an A-list celebrity or radical product innovation. Editors are spread thinner and are harder to impress these days, and wherever possible they demand exclusive content. All of which creates obvious challenges.

Yet these obstacles are outweighed by the upside. The digital space has a voracious appetite for content, and good content generates excitement and traction. Put an event together in the right way and it acts as the focal point for a compelling story. Prime influential bloggers, serve up event-related content that is easily shareable via social media, give people something fresh to get excited about . . . and the buzz gathers momentum.

Plenty of examples spring to mind. In London, Selfridges teamed up with ‘food architects’ Bompas & Parr to open a temporary crazy golf course on the famous department store’s roof, featuring impressive icing sugar-clad models of landmark buildings (http://style.selfridges.com/whats-in/bompas-parr%E2%80%99s-rooftop-crazy-golf-selfridges-london) . The Big Rooftop Tea and Golf Party gained plenty of coverage from traditional media and bloggers alike. Incidentally, Selfridges has a long history of devising events that succeed in getting people’s tongues wagging. Over 100 years ago, in 1909, the department store pulled in the crowds through the coup of displaying the monoplane flown by Louis Blériot in the first flight across the English Channel. Imagine the social media reaction to something comparable today!

Back in the present day and also in London, the innovative eBay Social Shopping experience in Covent Garden (http://blog.ebay.com/ebays-social-shopping-experience-pops-up-in-london/) gave Christmas shoppers the chance to buy the most in-demand gifts at any given moment, all powered by algorithms which read conversation across social channels. Consumers used the eBay app to buy items on ever-changing video walls.

In San Francisco, jeans brand Levi’s supported a workshop in which local artists and visitors experimented with retro printmaking techniques, using skills in line with Levi’s traditional brand attributes. The San Francisco print shop attracted 31,000 visitors in a month and far greater interest online – with Levi’s adapting the community-based collaboration model into different formats and rolling it out as temporary events in other cities, such as Levi’s Photo Workshop in the heart of Manhattan, fanning word of mouth excitement as they did so.

Far from sounding the death knell for PR events, the digital media revolution has brought new opportunities. Once you give consumer brands the stage and story they deserve, the audience will follow.

Richard Brett, Group Managing Director, Pulse Communications

http://www.bandt.com.au/opinion/telling-it-straight-live-events


InterContinental Sydney Appoints Ogilvy Public Relations

February 17, 2014 by  
Filed under News

Sydney, February  17, 2014: InterContinental Sydney has appointed Ogilvy Public Relations as its retained agency of record. Secured following a competitive pitch against six other consultancies, Ogilvy Public Relations commences work immediately.

InterContinental Sydney’s appointment of Ogilvy Public Relations is driven by its business ambition to differentiate itself from Sydney’s competitive luxury hotel market; to drive greater awareness and preference for its accommodation, dining, events and entertainment offerings, and to build affinity for its venues, Cortile Lounge and Café Opera.

Via a targeted media relations and influencer strategy and the creation of engaging social content, Ogilvy Public Relations will further cement InterContinental Sydney’s positioning as one of the city’s premier venues for business and leisure travellers, as well as Sydney residents.

Partnering with the hotel marketing team, Ogilvy Public Relations will execute strategic campaigns that will help the hotel achieve key business objectives as measured by increases in revenue and attendance.

“We are truly excited about Ogilvy Public Relations joining our team,’’ said Joerg Boeckeler, General Manager, InterContinental Sydney.

“As the flagship property for InterContinental Hotels Group in Australia, it is essential that InterContinental Sydney’s leading reputation as one of Sydney’s, and indeed Australia’s top hotels is not merely maintained, but strengthened.

“Our 19th Century, Heritage listed façade and unparalleled views of the world’s most stunning harbour already set us apart, but coupled with Ogilvy Public Relations’ strategic and creative approach, we look forward to generating awareness and loyalty for InterContinental Sydney throughout Australia, and abroad,” Boeckeler added.

Richard Brett, Group Managing Director, Consumer, Ogilvy Public Relations, welcomed the appointment.

“To work with InterContinental Sydney is a privilege for Ogilvy Public Relations and dovetails perfectly with the work we do with parent company, InterContinental Hotels Group, as well as for other major organisations in the travel and tourism industry, including TripAdvisor and Carnival Cruise Lines,” Brett said.

“The team is highly passionate about the brand and the hotel itself, and is gearing up for a year filled with exciting campaigns,” he added.

ENDS  

For further information please contact, Sophie Moll, Ogilvy Public Relations:

M: 0411861933

E: sophie@pulsecom.com.au

About InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts: The InterContinental Hotels & Resorts brand has over hotels located in more than 60 countries with local insight that comes from over 65 years of experience. As a brand, we believe that superior, understated service and outstanding facilities are important, but what makes us truly different is the genuine interest we show in our guests. Our desire is to help guests make the most of their time. We connect our well-travelled guests to what’s special about a destination, by sharing our knowledge, so they enjoy authentic experiences that will enrich their lives and broaden their outlook. For more information, visit www.intercontinental.com, https://twitter.com/InterConHotels or http://www.facebook.com/intercontinental

About Ogilvy PR Australia:

Ogilvy PR Australia is the country’s largest PR and public affairs agency with offices in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.  It is 51% owned by WPP and 49% owned by STW.  For more information, visit our Web site at www.ogilvypr.com.au or follow us on Twitter at @ogilvypraus.

Ogilvy PR host Fostering NSW blogger Summit

November 21, 2013 by  
Filed under News

On November 20, Ogilvy Public Relations worked with Fostering NSW to host a discussion about the important issue of foster care. The Fostering NSW blogger Summit brought together bloggers, industry experts, agency representatives and foster carers to talk about the critical need for 900 new foster carers in New South Wales during the next two years. This need is being driven by the fact that there are in excess of 18,000 vulnerable children in our State in some form of out-of-home care.

The event boasted four speakers, including Andrew McCallum, CEO of the Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA), who spoke about the out-of-home system, the changes it is facing and the important role foster care plays within it.

In addition to discuss the changing face of foster care, Judith Cashmore, Associate Professor at the University of Sydney, drew on her experience as an expert in child welfare research. She spoke about the need for society to recognise the important work carers do, and the impact a positive family environment has on children who have had a difficult start in life. Judith reflected on some of the heart-breaking stories she had heard from children during the course of her academic life, and informed those gathered about the options available to potential carers, from respite to long-term care solutions.

The final two speakers were two foster carers who joined the event to talk about their very personal journeys with foster care.

David Sim, a school principal, spoke about the nearly six year journey that he and his partner Christopher have experienced as foster parents. Now with  four children, David and his partner recently built a new home to accommodate their beautiful family. David spoke of his oldest son, who first came to their home with a speech impediment and had been diagnosed with an intellectual disability that put him in special classes. Today, under the care of David and Christopher, their son is thriving – his speech impediment is a thing of the past and he’s currently in mainstream classes at his school.

In addition, Louise Smithson spoke of her journey with foster care, which began as a young girl. Upon the realisation at the age of eight that there were some people who lived in homes they weren’t born into, Louise made a commitment to open up her own home to a foster child one day. When she reached adulthood, she shared her feelings with her partner and he agreed it was something they should review. Several years and many discussions with a local agency representative later, Louise’s family welcomed a six-month-old boy who is now a happy and vivacious seven-year-old. And, earlier this year, their  family was joined by a 13-month-old boy. Louise encouraged people to ask questions and seek advice and guidance about foster care to see if it was something they could open their hearts to in the future.

In the last six months, Fostering NSW, an initiative currently being implemented by the Association of ACWA, has been encouraging NSW residents to “open their hearts” to the idea of foster care. The messages have been well received with a campaign that’s seen:

  • More than 12,000 people join the discussion on Facebook
  • More than 30,000 visits to the Fostering NSW website, representing an increase of around 300 per cent on the same period last year
  • Increased traffic to the Fostering NSW enquiry line, and jumps in online enquiries and direct enquiries to agencies

To learn more about foster care, please visit www.fosteringnsw.com.au or call 1800 2 FOSTER. You can also follow the discussion on Twitter and Instagram via #FosteringNSW.

Expensive lesson in crisis control

October 21, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog

Sam North, Media Director Ogilvy Public Relations

As usual, Warren Buffett has the right advice. Talking about handling a crisis, the Sage of Omaha once said: “One’s objective should be to get it right, get it quick, get it out, and get it over. You see, your problem won’t improve with age.”

It’s one of the first rules of crisis management and it’s the one that Tony Abbott should have heeded when the stories about politicians’ dodgy expenses first surfaced. Instead he did nothing and the extended political honeymoon that should have accompanied a thumping electoral victory over an unpopular government disappeared with unprecedented speed. So much so that now, a bare six weeks post-election, the brand new Abbott government has an old and second hand feel to it and the expenses story continues to get traction.

Crisis management is a much studied art and the new world of social media has changed the rules completely. People now have a voice, and they have no problem in exercising it. Just as on-line comments over the past three years were filled with an unending diatribe against Julia Gillard’s ‘carbon tax’ so will the next three years be preoccupied to the point of nausea with questions about probity and dodgy expenses. Every time Abbott takes part in one of the many athletic events for which he is famous, questions will be asked whether the taxpayer is paying for his recreation.

Social media has also added to the professional media’s armoury. Apart from the obvious benefits of news tips, on-the-spot reporting and feedback, crowd-sourcing was responsible for one of the biggest story in the never-ending expenses saga – WA MP Don Randall’s claim which related to a trip to Cairns for he and his wife, ostensibly for electoral business but co-incidentally at the same time the Randalls purchased an investment property in the city. Randall eventually repaid the disputed amount. Through readers with time on their hands, Fairfax was able to enlist a number people to trawl through the publically available data on political expenses claims, resulting in the  bones of the story.

Politicians in power also need to ask themselves the question: ‘Did they vote the other mob out or did they vote us in?’ The last Federal election was certainly an anti-Labor vote, rather than a pro-Coalition vote; the same is true of  the last NSW State election which delivered a huge electoral majority to Barry O’Farrell.  That lack of positivity gives governments an even shorter honeymoon period because the problems that the other guy had are now your problems and without the cache of charisma things quickly turn sour – as O’Farrell found with the 27 per cent swing against his government in Saturday’s Miranda by-election.

Governments and companies regularly face crises, and the majority of those crises start from within. The public understands that problems arise and they normally judge on the effectiveness of the response, not on the crisis itself.

Trust is something that good crisis management stresses. Another study – by The Oxford Executive Research Briefings, Templeton College, Oxford – found that the share price of companies judged to have mishandled a crisis had fallen by an average of 15 per cent a year after the crisis, while the share price of those judged to have handled a crisis well had risen 7 per cent on average at the same time.

A Monash University study, Mapping Social Cohesion, released this week shows that trust in the Federal Government has fallen dramatically in recent years – from 48 per cent in 2009 saying that the government could be trusted ‘almost always’ or ‘most of the time’ to just 27 per cent this year.

With that study in mind,  Buffett has another quote which politicians should remember: ‘It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.’

Skylanders SWAP Force: Influencer Kid’s Party

October 14, 2013 by  
Filed under Activision, Case studies, Consumer

Skylanders is the number one kid’s toy and video game franchise in the world– a franchise that was only launched in 2011, delivering a whole new category of gaming for kids, where for the very first time they could bring physical toys to life in a video game.

In September this year, we showcased the brand new, yet-to-be released Skylanders SWAP Force game to a range of influencers in Sydney and Melbourne, giving them (and their kids) a sneak peek into the next evolution of the Skylanders world.

Our insight was that Skylanders had become a key theme for birthday parties amongst our core demographic. So we gave our guests an entirely immersive Skylanders birthday-party-esque experience, complete with face painting, cash booths, colouring stations, spinning wheels and of course, extensive game play.

To help give back to the kids who have supported us so far, we worked with Activision’s ongoing charity partner, The Sony Foundation, providing a $25k donation in each state which would go directly towards their youth charity, You Can.

We had a number of celebrities attend with their family, including:

  • Jaynie Seal (our MC in Sydney and Melbourne)
  • Rebecca Gibney
  • Nathan Hindmarsh
  • Brad Fittler
  • Michael Klim
  • Kylie Gillies
  • Chrissie Swan

From a social perspective, we reached over 150,000 people across their combined networks, and could follow their live tweets, Instagram pics and Facebook posts using our official event hashtag.

Ghosts Multiplayer Reveal

October 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Activision, Case studies, Consumer

This year Activision is launching the latest edition of the world’s biggest gaming franchise, Call of Duty: Ghosts on November 5th. To drive excitement amongst key media and influencers, Pulse helped Activision bring the hype Down Under with an exclusive hands-on reveal event at the Carriageworks venue in Sydney.

24 LG screens, 24 consoles shipped in from the US, and Activision’s US developer flown in to deliver a gaming experience only Call of Duty can provide. Two sessions gave media, YouTube influencers and the online community the chance to explore all-new game modes and maps, in the dark surrounds of the Carriageworks theatre. Game developer, Derek Racca from Raven Software was on hand to give attendees the low-down on how the latest installment in the evolution of COD came to life.

Call of Duty is the biggest entertainment product in the world. The latest iteration of the franchise, Call of Duty: Black Ops II was launched in December 2013, netting $1 BILLION in sales within 16 days – a current world record.

 

 

Award-winning PR practitioner takes helm of Pulse after global search

October 9, 2013 by  
Filed under News

Sydney, October 09, 2013: After an exhaustive global search, Richard Brett this week takes the helm of Ogilvy PR’s leading brand and consumer agency, Pulse Communications.

Brett starts at Ogilvy in the newly-created role of Group Managing Director Consumer, having just re-located from the UK where he headed up Shine Communications, which was shortlisted PRCA and PR Week Agency of the Year 2012, as well as being named Sunday Times Best Small Company to work for in 2012.

Brett arrives at Pulse in a time of high-growth for the agency, which recently added the Intercontinental Hotels Group and Tourism NT to its impressive client roster.

Ogilvy PR Australia’s CEO Kieran Moore said Brett’s innovative, creative approach teamed with his proven leadership skills made him the perfect candidate to lead Pulse.

“Consumer PR is highly competitive in Australia and dominated by just a handful of agencies.   Richard will bring fresh thinking, ideas and most of all passion and commitment to ensuring Pulse is the very best agency it can be,” she said.

Moore said Brett’s initial focus would be on accelerating the agency’s growth, spear-heading thought leadership initiatives and developing the fantastic talent that already exists within the team, which has had two of its best years on record.

“Richard brings strong skills in strategy and planning which he has successfully teamed with innovative creativity; delivering proven outcomes through a range of channels; not just traditional earned media,” she said.

“He also brings best practice insights to the agency across HR, innovation and programs from his award winning agency, Shine.  A major focus for his role will also be on the integration of earned, owned and paid media, and importantly for our clients, how PR can impact the bottom line – not just be creative for creativity’s sake.”

Brett said he was looking forward to applying his wide experience with a leading multi-award winning London agency to the Australian market.

“I’m incredibly excited to be joining the team at Ogilvy PR and Pulse, and look forward to working closely with Kieran and the broader leadership team.  I’ll also be looking to combine a collaborative and inclusive leadership style, living my own personal values to inspire the team, and to further build a culture at Pulse that reflects what a brilliant, fun and creative place it is to work.

“This will be combined with a disciplined excellence in client service, a rigorous fusion of irrefutable strategic thinking and fresh creativity to achieve measurable business results for our clients. Plus thought leadership and industry insights that will benefit our clients and the broader profession.”

Brett also joins Ogilvy PR’s leadership team as part of his new role.  More information about Pulse Communications can be found here:  http://www.ogilvypr.com.au/companies/pulse-communications/

Ogilvy PR Australia is a joint venture between WPP and STW, Australasia’s leading marketing content and communications group.

Ends.

About Ogilvy PR Australia:

Ogilvy PR Australia is the country’s largest PR and public affairs agency with offices in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.  It is 51% owned by WPP and 49% owned by STW.  For more information, visit our Web site at www.ogilvypr.com.au or follow us on Twitter at @ogilvypraus.

For more information contact:

Rebecca Tilly

STW PR

Ph: +61 410 501 043

Ogilvy Public Relations Australia, has bolstered its strategy department

October 3, 2013 by  
Filed under News

Ogilvy Public Relations Australia, has bolstered its strategy department welcoming Strategic Planner, Sarah May.

Sarah will work across all Ogilvy PR Australia companies, including Howorth, Impact Employee Communications, Ogilvy PR Health, Parker & Partners and Pulse Communications. Under Kaz Scott, Ogilvy PR’s Strategy & Planning Director Sarah’s role creates a traditional planning structure enabling her to be proactively embedded with clients.

Ogilvy PR’s Strategy & Planning Director, Kaz Scott said: “As the PR planning discipline evolves we too have to adapt and provide fresh new thinking from the worlds of visual storytelling, consumer movements and digital innovation. With Sarah’s addition we’ve up-weighted our strategic offering outside of traditional PR boundaries”

Sarah brings a diverse strategy background to Ogilvy PR, having spent two years introducing strategy to leading experiential agencies Urban and Play before holding strategic planning roles at pharmaceutical agency Ward6 and social agency TCO (STW Group). Prior to this, Sarah spent seven years client side in senior marketing roles at Coca Cola Amatil (CCA) and Ernst & Young.

Sarah has worked in a vast range of industry sectors earning a reputation for adding value both to brands and agencies, achieving exceptional results and building strong relationships. Clients include: Coca Cola South Pacific, Havaianas, Intel, EA games, Logitech, Optus, iNova pharmaceuticals, Reckitt Benckiser, Charles Darwin University, Coty (Addidas, Sally Hansen & Rimmel) and Volkswagen.

Based out of Sydney but servicing Ogilvy PR offices in Canberra and Melbourne, Sarah will focus on campaign development for new and existing clients, supporting the increasing demand for multidisciplinary programs which focus on audience insights and engagement, creativity and channel strategy and integration.

Holiday Inn promotional launch

September 23, 2013 by  
Filed under News

This morning, InterContinental Hotels Group team launched a new brand campaign for Holiday Inn, an integrated campaign with Ogilvy & Mather, Neo and Mindshare. The aim of the event was to bring to life the campaign’s tagline, “Little things, Big difference”. At Holiday Inn hotels and resorts, kids always eat and stay for free – just one of the little things they do to make a big difference to their guests.

The event saw Sydney’s Customs House Forecourt transformed into a huge kids’ playground complete with coloured building blocks, face painting, mini egg and spoon race tracks and of course, a free breakfast for all the kids. The event’s centrepiece was a giant six-metre tall egg sculpture, and everyone who had their picture taken with the egg and shared it with their social networks went into the running to win a family holiday at Holiday Inn Resort Phuket.

To top off the day, Olympic champion, Sally Pearson smashed the Guinness World Record for the fastest 100-metre egg and spoon race, captured live on Channel 9’s TODAY, who broadcast the morning’s weather crosses from the event.

The breakfast attracted hundreds of families and kids, resulting in a great vibe, strong vision opportunities for capturing video content, and very happy clients.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZ4cdIjrU7M


My Little Oats campaign

September 20, 2013 by  
Filed under Case studies, Consumer, Nestlé

Challenge

In 2013, UNCLE TOBYS tasked OPR with getting the new range of Quick Sachets Oats back on mums’ morning agenda and into their kids’ breakfast bowls.

Strategy

Mornings are a busy time for mums, with kids to get to school, lunchboxes to pack and of course hungry mouths to feed. So how could UNCLE TOBYS Quick Sachets help and how could we communicate to mum that this nutritious breakfast option was ready in just 90-seconds flat?

The answer, a ‘My Little Oats’ campaign to share tips and tricks to put the fun back in the morning routine.

A targeted blogger programme recruited influential mums to spread the word amongst their prolific networks. A bespoke outreach approach celebrated mornings, with activities to enjoy in 90 seconds and plenty of Quick Sachets oats to fuel their family’s mornings. We called on our bloggers to share their morning time tips and tricks and in turn ask their readers to do the same.

Result

8 top blogger ambassadors were recruited, landing 17 pieces of coverage, exceeding KPIs and driving engagement with over 1,800 consumers via competition entries. 100% positive sentiment was achieved across all posts.


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