Tag Archives: brands

Once Upon a Time: Storytelling in Campaigns

Storytelling in an important part of any campaign. However, nailing the perfect angle for your story can be daunting.

Luke Mackay, associate director at PR firm Edelman said to PRmoment.com: ‘PR is all about looking for the story that will bring a brand’s messages to life.’ The messages help to spark conversation and inspire sharing amongst the target audiences. These stories are ultimately what helps your stories get sold to the media.

Nike has a model that is the centre of their campaigns called the ‘Fairytale Model’:


This model helps to outline the overarching story of the brand as well as the idea behind the campaign. Elements of the model can  change depending on the product.

Red PR has outlined a few storytelling formulas that have proven to be successful in their campaigns as well.

History– When Cadbury wanted to launch their new Bassett’s Red Liquorice Allsorts, they turned to their mascot Bertie Bassett. Red PR created Betty, Bertie’s new sweetheart, to be the face of the new candies. The challenge was to make Betty just as popular as Bertie and to get people to associate her with the Red Liquorice Allsorts. How did they do this? A wedding to remember. Betty was introduced to the world as Bertie’s sweet bride at a celebration attended by Cadbury factory workers and their families.

How– McVities were launching their new Milk Chocolate and Orange Digestives they took a more how-to approach. There was an old saying that the best biscuits make the most crumbs, so they wanted to see how they stacked up against the competition. They did this by ’employing’ a Crunch Test Dummy who ate biscuits with simulated human chewing. McVitie’s discovered that their Digestive range alone – Britain’s best-selling biscuits – produced an incredible 127.8 tonnes of crumbs.

Who– It’s obvious to tell target audience who the product is for, but sometimes it’s more intriguing to position the product with an unlikely client like Persil did. They sponsored the British Naturist Petanque Team to launch their new washing powder. They provided the team with sweatbands, towels, and hats. A spokesman for Persil said: “People might ask why a washing powder company is working with people who don’t wear clothes. However, even naturists have washing machines.”

Of course, as with all stories, there can be setbacks. You need to think critically about the medium through which the story will be presented and about the audience who will be receiving it. If thought isn’t put into this part of the campaign, then the story will render itself ineffective.

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The Cost: Celebrity-Cause Relationships

The Telegraph reported Jimmy Saville, Top of the Pops presenter and host of Jim’ll Fix It, raised over £40 million for charities including Stoke Mandeville Hospital, the National Spinal Injuries Centre and St. Francis Hospital.

In the U.S., Lance Armstrong raised over $325 million for cancer awareness and research through his charity organization Livestrong.

If we look at the numbers, it’s hard to argue that both of these celebrity endorsers didn’t do well for their charities. However, with such a favourable light so closely attached to each of these celebrities, charities need to carefully consider what it means to take on a celebrity endorser.

Not only do charities reap the benefits of fame and notoriety passed down vicariously through their celebrity, they also inherit any negative backlash that arises should the celebrity fall from grace.

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The Power of Simplicity: Vaseline

Our Consumer PR module started by talking about the power of brands. We are exposed to an amazing number of brands each day. A Consumer Report says we are exposed to about 247 images per day. We are exposed to brands on clothing, food, adverts, social media- everywhere.

What makes brands so powerful? One answer is simplicity.

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Brett Ashley Bridges

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