Thursday, 26 January 2017

Bravo Bodyform

For years, advertisers of feminine hygiene products have felt the need to beat around the bush. So to speak. Ahem.

Never before has such a company felt comfortable in honestly dealing with the somewhat uncomfortable subject of what happens ‘at that time of the month’. It’s a taboo subject deeply embedded in our culture – so much so, that when women actually talk about their periods, it’s usually in hushed tones and accompanied with an awkward look – and marketeers haven’t been brave enough to talk plainly about mother nature. (Oh, don’t remind us of those awful, patronising adverts for Tampax about ‘Mother Nature coming to town’… *cringe*).
It just hasn’t come naturally. Until now.

Last year, Bodyform broke free of the prudish constraints of feminine hygiene product promotion in a series of vivid, and some would say shocking, ads that show red blood – yes, that’s right – for the first time.
Because women don’t bleed blue liquid, as most the ads would have you believe. It wouldn’t surprise us if children today grew up thinking this were actually the case...
Working on the premise that ‘no blood should hold us back’, using straplines such as ‘women bleed in sports all the time, but it doesn’t hold them back – why should periods be any different?’, the messaging behind their #RedFit campaign is as simple as it is empowering.


James Martin vs. Mums

I originally wrote this blog post when at One Black Bear, just as Iceland first announced that they were ditching their celebrity fronted campaign format in favour of real people.
At the time, they were almost moving back to the long-established ‘that’s why mum’s go to Iceland’ strapline, announcing an exciting new partnership with Channel Mum.
For those not in the know, Channel Mum is a unique coalition of blogger, vlogger and entrepreneurial mums who have pooled their knowledge and content production to now be an enterprise that many a brand is clambering to be a part of. With the emphasis on ‘keeping it real’ and showing and sharing the real lives, interests and experiences of mums today, Channel Mum is the new focus for Iceland’s marketing campaign.
Driven with fresh ads that feature real mums, the emphasis was on being honest and realistic – giving the brand a makeover that aimed to show integrity – and drive sales as a result. It didn't seem to be a fleeting idea either, with significant emphasis on content since the get-go.


Around the same time, Asda unveiled their new ad campaign fronted by Saturday Kitchen’s James Martin. One of the first celebrity chefs to come onto the scene and make a household name for himself back in the naughties, James became the face of Asda’s ads, with the aim obviously being that he brings weight and credibility to the brand – and with the much needed desire to boost sales that had been dire at the time.
He’s an interesting choice too, not what you might first associate with Asda – the ‘saving you money every day’ chain. He has a more mature audience appeal and perhaps takes the brand to a new level, leaving the ads of gnomes in mankinis as seen last year behind.
But which supermarket had the right idea?


Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Ideas, views and news

The world of PR is filled with different perspectives - indeed, PR is all about perspectives, be it understanding them, forming them or influencing them. There's examples - good, bad and unusual - all around us as PR becomes increasingly embedded in our news culture, media consumption and exposure to marketing.

This blog is a space for lecturers and students alike to share, comment and critique PR in practice and to discuss  the issues and opportunities facing the industry today from our perspectives.


Various examples and ideas are discussed in lectures and will no doubt inspire further discussion within this forum and if you're a BCU student and would like to write a post then do so - the more ideas, the more we all have to gain. Just drop me an email, put your post together and we will share your thoughts.

We're also keen to invite guest posts and interview slots with professionals who live and breathe PR and who can offer up their time, experience and perspectives for us to build a portfolio of PR posts that will inform and inspire the professionals of today... and tomorrow.

Post by: Kelly O'Hanlon, Senior Lecturer in PR at BCU

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