Synergy

Archive for the ‘Sales promotion’ category

Will Team GB’s Scarf Repeat The Success of Vancouver’s Red Mittens?

You don’t have to be an Olympic expert to be familiar with the unexpected success story of Vancouver 2010: the red mittens. Over 4 million pairs were sold, and they became the iconic symbol of the Vancouver Games.

Although marketing experts were surprised and somewhat perplexed by the mittens’ unexpected and instantaneous success, there were three really simple contributory factors: the design, the price, and the purpose.

The Design

The Vancouver Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (VANOC) design team initially created the mittens only with the intention of being worn by the 12,000 Torchbearers. However, when the mittens became a massive media hit at the February 2009 unveiling of the Torchbearers’ uniform, VANOC decided to market them more widely – and a media hit became a consumer hit too.

Not only were they practical, but their design – patriotic red in colour, with a Canadian maple leaf on the palm and, crucially, the Olympic rings and ‘Vancouver 2010’ on the face, made them the must-have item to show your support for the home team and for the Games.

The Price

More than just a simple economic equation of supply and demand, the red mittens’ success was also due in large part to their price point: at CA$10 (around £6.30), they were affordable for all, in contrast to previous official items that had been very much at the premium end of the price range.

The Purpose

Buying a pair of mittens had a very clear purpose. A percentage of proceeds from the sale of each pair went to support ‘Own the Podium’, a five-year programme designed to fund world class training and equipment for Canadian athletes. Over CA$14m was raised, some of which has helped to send Canadian athletes to London 2012 this summer.

All of which saw huge queues of locals and visitors outside The Hudson Bay Company (the official Team Canada merchandise store of the 2010 Games) from dawn to dusk during the Games.

The Hudson Bay Company store in downtown Vancouver during the 2010 Games (photo: Tim Crow)

A Repeat In London?

In an attempt to replicate the success of mittens, in February 2012 the British Olympic Association (BOA) introduced what it hoped would become the iconic memento of the London Games: a Team GB scarf.

The Team GB scarf as advertised on the Next website

With reports suggesting that sales of the scarf have so far been slow, all the signs are that a repeat of the red Vancouver mittens’ success is not on the cards in London.

Many would suggest this was always going to be the case. Unlike in Vancouver, the BOA did not have the opportunity to use the Olympic Torch Relay as a promotional vehicle, and this will made a tough challenge even tougher.

The red mittens also had a distinct role in Vancouver, and although the weather was unseasonably warm, fans were out in force with the mitten – especially up in Whistler.

The crowd goes wild in Whistler as Alex Bilodeau wins Canada's first gold medal of Vancouver 2010 (photo: Tim Crow)

Equally, given the vagaries of the British climate, predicting the must-have summer item was always going to be considerably more challenging, with, variously, umbrellas and sun creams both feeling like far more ‘must have’ items in the last week or so.

The other major challenge in Britain has been the Jubilympics. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee created a huge oversupply of Union Jack memorabilia, which perhaps satiated the nation’s appetite for even more of the same.

It was unquestionably the people of Canada getting behind the Games that made the red mittens such a success. 

Only time will tell whether the people of Britain finally get behind the Team GB scarf – or perhaps choose something else entirely.

By on July 30th, 2012

Tags: Art & Design, Beijing 2008, BOA, Default, Design, Diamond Jubilee, London 2012, New Product Development, Olympic sponsorship, Olympic Torch Relay, Olympics, Rio 2016, Sales promotion, Sochi 2014, Social Media, Team GB, Vancouver 2010, Winter Olympics

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Synergy loves…Ipswich Town’s kit launch

What Happened

With 19 league defeats so far this season, Ipswich Town aren’t going to win many accolades for their performances on the pitch. However, faced with the launch of their new kit, the Championship side demonstrated creative ability which should make any club sit up and take notice.

To publicise the kit launch, the Tractor Boys headed to Easton Farm to record a tongue-in-cheek viral that hugely entertained football fans across the country. In the film, goalkeeper Arran Lee-Barrett (who needs a bit of practice if their ‘goals against’ column is anything to go by) can be spotted diving around the farmyard and striker Jay Emmanuel-Thomas is filmed dribbling around milk containers. The club’s legendary attacker John Wark also makes a cameo appearance dressed as a farmer.

 

There’s obviously something in the East Anglian water, as their local rivals Norwich City took a similar approach in 2011, when they brought a bit of Italy to Norfolk with the launch of their Errea kit, through a viral that included Paul Lambert scanning the Gazetta dello Sport.

Why we love it

The football romantics amongst us will remember when kit launches were a rare event that would lead to genuine excitement. They’re now held on an annual basis, with most Premier League clubs producing three kits a year (has a third kit ever been worn?).

Despite plenty of opportunities to experiment, the majority of clubs still rely on a tried and tested way of getting mum and dad to part with their hard-earned cash. Chelsea recently displayed the usual activity undertaken by the majority of clubs, who rely on a photo with a handful of stars (normally including one who has been linked with a move away from the club) posing with the kit behind the club crest. Such launches usually incorporate a video, which in this case contains some particularly profound soundbites from Gary Cahill – “you’re used to seeing Chelsea in a blue strip innit” – and Juan Mata – “every team has a different kit.”

Ipswich Town haven’t taken themselves too seriously and have been willing for fans to have a bit of chuckle at their expense. The viral has been rewarded with over 124,000 views on YouTube to date with football fans quick to register their praise:

“Brilliant! Funny and engaging. Absolutely genius advertising and it doesn’t break the bank, very sensible of Ipswich. Well done!”

“I’m a Brighton fan, but I have to say this is quality!”

“Great idea and good to see a bit of humour instilled in football.”

The viral also received coverage across football forums and media outlets, with Ipswich Town’s retail manager Lee Hyde stating that it was another way to help the club interact with fans:

“It’s fantastic to interact with the fans through social media and social networking nowadays. The viral kinds of feeds from that.”

I won’t be heading to the Ipswich club shop anytime soon, but I definitely take my hat off to them and hope that one day my team Tottenham realise that marketing club merchandise doesn’t have to be quite so straight-laced.

By on May 1st, 2012

Tags: Barclays Premier League, Football, Sales promotion, Sport, YouTube

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The New Rules of the 4th Era of Sponsorship

Sponsorship is dead, long live sponsorship

 

Those of you who are regular readers of Synopsis may have spotted a pattern. The lead articles are not Synergy’s random musings but rather the building blocks of a bigger story about the new rules of sponsorship.

But before we get to the rules, a little bit of context. Like all marketing disciplines, sponsorship has evolved over time…but every now and then, there is a paradigm shift which generates an explosion of innovation and introduces a completely new way of acting. Excitingly, we have entered one of these new eras – the 4th Era of Sponsorship.

Below is a rough timeline of how the Sponsorship Industry has evolved. There is never a clear line in the sand to separate the various eras (and of course there are always sponsorship programmes that are ahead of their time), but to keep things simple, they can be broadly separated into decades.


1970s: The Dark Art

The very beginnings of the sponsorship industry were characterised by informal deals done on a handshake in smoke-filled rooms — often literally smoke-filled, as much of the early days of sponsorship were driven by cigarette brands putting their brand on the side of fast cars to circumvent advertising restrictions.


1980s – 1990s: Off-the-Peg

Patrick Nally is credited as being the founding father of modern sponsorship. His ground-breaking partnership deal with Coca-Cola for the 1978 FIFA World Cup effectively ‘invented’ the concept of a rights package. This has set the template for how sponsorships have been packaged and sold by rightsholders ever since.

2000s: Tailored

Brands started to become much more sophisticated and proactive in terms of how they approached sponsorship. No longer was it thought of as a collection of off-the-shelf rights or as a separate marketing channel, but rather as an asset that could be integrated into the overall marketing mix and used to increase the effectiveness of the brand’s marketing activity.

2010: Social

The 4th Era is the “Social Era” for two reasons. Firstly, it has been enabled by social media which has allowed people (and brands) with shared interests to engage with each other at a scale and depth that has never before been possible. Social also refers to a sense of ‘Higher Purpose’ – the ability of a sponsorship programme to connect with its audience by delivering something that really matters.

The Rules of the Social Era

 

Moving to the Social Era has changed the game of sponsorship and everyone can benefit from knowing the new rules. We have analysed hundreds of best practice case studies from the world of sponsorship and beyond to identify and codify the keys to success in the Social Era.

We have been examining these new rules one by one over the past 5 months but now it is time to bring them all together.

It’s as easy as ABCDE…

Rule 1: Authenticity

Endorses for Courses by Jon Izzard

The best sponsorship programmes, the ones that really resonate with the audience, feel completely natural. The brand simply feels at home in the space. Think of Red Bull and extreme sports, Cartier and Polo, Robinsons and Wimbledon, Unicef and FC Barcelona, Coca-Cola and the Olympic Games, Moët & Chandon and F1. There are loads of sources of authenticity: products, geography, heritage, brand message and simple longevity.

Some brands have to work hard to establish authenticity in a given space, but it is imperative that they do because the very audience that a sponsor is trying to connect with can see through an imposter straight away. Skoda’s sponsorship of the Tour de France provides a great example of a brand working hard to establish credibility in a space where its source of credibility may not be immediately obvious.  Brilliant:

Rule 2: Beyond your Brand

What Can Sponsorship Learn from Farmville by Liz Brown

Sponsorship is about a brand becoming a natural part of their customers’ lives — but the audience needs a reason to invite a brand into their lives.  Brands that view the relationship with their audience as a one-way value exchange and think only in terms of “what will we get out of it”, have no chance of forming the kind of relationship they want. Again, there are a number of ways that brands can demonstrate “Beyond your Brand” thinking, focusing on delivering benefits to their customers (O2 Priority), the property (Converse and London’s 100 Club) and society as a whole (RBS RugbyForce).

Rule 3: Content

Is Content Really King by Ben Wilkinson

Consumers want to learn, laugh, discover, share, be entertained and be inspired.  And they want to do all these things around topics that are of specific interest to them.  That is what sponsorship allows you to do: create relevant content around your audience’s passion points.  But brands have to be creative to capture attention — posting a video of “talking heads” on YouTube and hoping for the best is not enough.  Great content is about innovation.  It’s about finding something that connects and resonates with your audience and providing it how they want it, when they want it and where they want it.

Our favourite example of this is Converse Domaination — a campaign that not only puts great content at its heart but also shows a perfect understanding of its audience.  Enjoy.

Rule 4: Dialogue

D is for Dialogue by Carsten Thode

Talking to each other, sharing ideas, working together, creating things, discovering  new stuff,  having fun, laughing, crying, flirting, arguing – everything that makes life worth living is built on our ability to actively engage with each other. Why should that be different from the relationships we build with the brands in our lives?

Yet for most of its history, marketing has been pretty much a one-way conversation where brands tell you what they want you to know and the customer has no way of talking back.  However, the digital age, and particularly the social media age, has smashed through the barrier separating brands from their consumers.

Now it is possible to source brilliant ideas from your customers such as Pepsi Refresh and GE Ecomagination, or to tailor your marketing in real-time to reflect input from your customers. The Old Spice Man is a classic case in point of how much more engaging the conversation becomes if you give your customers a voice.

Rule 5: Entertainment

Passion Pointers by Tom Gladstone

Sport has a particular ability to evoke strong emotions through its personal stories of courage, inspiration and determination; through its inherent unpredictability, excitement and drama. Those emotions are an essential component of successful sponsorship – and are as relevant across other sponsorship platforms (music, film, fashion, art) as they are in sport. Harness the emotions correctly, and your consumers will add the catalyst of conversation.

But while simply being visible within a passion point might increase the chances of getting noticed, it doesn’t win a place in consumers’ hearts. There has to be active emotional involvement, not just proximity or presence — engagement not impressions. Whether brands capitalise on moments of high emotion or they tap into the core emotional sensibility of the passion point, anchored in anticipation, pride, patriotism, celebration, or even pain, they all need to exhibit genuine empathy and understanding.

This rule is articulated nicely by Mark Harrison, Chair of the Canadian Sponsorship Forum: ‘You can’t manufacture emotion. It’s already there. When you find it – just find a way to trigger it; tap into it; fuel it; and watch it grow into something remarkable.’

Using ABCDE

 

ABCDE is not a menu, where you can choose one or two elements to focus on. Rather, a great sponsorship programme will deliver against all the rules of the 4th Era.

Obviously, this framework isn’t rocket science, but at Synergy, we have found it to be incredibly useful as we advise our clients at every point of the sponsorship process.  We use it not only as a kind of checklist to diagnose where we are strong and where we need to work harder but also to ensure that all elements of the sponsorship programme - from creating the strategy and identifying the right assets right through to the activation – deliver the ABCDE.  So, before signing off, here are a few ways that it can be used to make your sponsorship programmes even more powerful:

1. Articulate specifically how you are using sponsorship to deliver all elements of ABCDE. Sponsorship strategies should use deep audience insight and a clear understanding of the business and brand to ensure that you are using sponsorship as effectively as possible in the 4th Era

2. When making the decision to acquire a new sponsorship asset, make sure that there is a concrete plan in place to deliver the ABCDE. Use it as part of the screening process and answer questions like: “What gives my brand authenticity in this space? How can I build or acquire authenticity?”  “What is the higher purpose of the sponsorship?  How are we adding value?”

3. When creating activation plans, be specific about which elements of ABCDE you need to focus on and how you will be able to deliver them.  For example: “How can we stimulate dialogue amongst our audience?  What role should our brand play in that conversation”

4. Factor ABCDE into your measurement. Create specific targets around each element and evaluate your success at achieving them.  Where do you have to work harder?

© Synergy Sponsorship a trading division of Engine Partners UK LLP 2011.  All rights reserved

By on September 1st, 2011

Tags: Advertising, Brand marketing, Branded content, Communications, community, Consultancy, Content, Default, Design, Digital marketing, Event management consultants, Event management service, Experiential marketing, Food & Drink, Football Sponsorship, Olympic sponsorship, Olympic sponsorship consultants, Sales promotion, Sponsorship, Sponsorship consultancy, Sponsorship consultants, Sport, Synergy, Synergy Loves, Synopsis, Twitter, Viral Marketing

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Synopsis, April 2011 – what can sponsorship learn from FarmVille?

Do you ever get that feeling that you’re missing out on something? Well I am unfortunately one of those people who often gets attacks of what a colleague colloquially terms “FOMO”…that’s a “fear of missing out” to you and me. And last week, whilst sat in a presentation from social gaming company, Zynga, FOMO struck!

However, this time it wasn’t a fear of what I was missing out on myself, it was more about the opportunities that brands were missing out on by not understanding the potential opportunities presented by social gaming, and what our clients might be missing out on by not exploring the driving forces behind Zynga’s success.

Zynga is at the heart of the explosive growth of social games. As well as producing Farmville, Mafia Wars and Frontierville, its latest game – Cityville, has garnered more than 80 million unique users in just under a month.

Considering it took radio 38 years to reach 50 million users and Facebook itself about 1 year, what explains this rate of penetration? Other than being strangely addictive (there is always another challenge tantalisingly close), Zynga is free (who doesn’t like a freebie?), simple to play (there are no instructions), social (things are more fun when you do them with friends) and it is primarily based on Facebook (a platform that people use every day).

However, from a sponsorship perspective, the most compelling aspect to Zynga’s story relates to the results achieved by their brand partnership campaigns. We aren’t at liberty to publish the precise statistics, suffice to say they are staggering: campaigns by brands such as 7-Eleven, McDonald’s and Farmers Insurance are off the charts in terms of engagement results.

The campaign mechanics are all similar: if you engage with the brand (in the game or in the real world), you get some form of benefit in the game. And while the benefits may seem trivial (for example, if you visit the McDonald’s Farm in Farmville, you get a cup of ‘virtual’ coffee which gives you more energy for the game), it is quite a revelation in today’s world where most brand communications are entirely one-way.

It is this two-way value exchange that brands can really take out of the Zynga success story. When the only time that we seem to be able to escape marketing is when we are asleep, why should we invite a brand into our lives if we are not getting something of value back from them?

But what does this mean for sponsorship? As Alexander Orlov would say, the answer is “simples”…If sponsors want to be invited into their customers’ lives, they need to think beyond their brand to ensure that they are giving something of value back to their customers, the sponsorship property or society as a whole. The brilliant thing about sponsorship is that there are loads of opportunities to do just that.

Sponsors that give something back to their customers

Mobile phone network providers provide us with some of the best examples of brands who give something of value back to their customers through their sponsorships; you only need to say the word “Orange” and Orange Wednesday springs to mind, and similarly, 02 are synonymous with their Priority programme and Vodafone with their VIP Club.

In a completely different sector (but with a similarly homogeneous product), British Gas have recently provided value to their customers through the provision of free swimming vouchers. Their recent announcement as winner of the Hollis Sponsorship of the Year Award leaves us nothing more to say about the results that this programme generated for British Gas. Schweppes Abbey Well has also been running a similar, arguably simpler Free Schwim (get it?) promotion since 2009.

Sponsors that give something back to the property

While slightly more subtle, sponsors derive arguably the most credibility with their target audience if they give something of value back to the property they are sponsoring. As we highlighted in last month’s Synopsis, for example, Converse has taken this approach with their sponsorship of London’s iconic 100 Club. Converse has literally saved it as a venue and can therefore look forward to a positive impact on its brand favourability from its core audience of music lovers.

Coca-Cola is another great example of a brand that has used sponsorship to give something back to a property. As part of their partnership with The Football League, the “Win a Player” campaign was an ingenious way for Coke to strengthen their credible association with football by giving something of value to Football League clubs who were desperately in need of funding. Crucially though (and the reason why it worked so well), the campaign was orchestrated to make fans feel like they were the ones who were giving something of value to their teams and not Coke. Clever!

However, perhaps the best example of a sponsor giving something back to a property is Red Bull and their sponsorship of extreme sports. Take yourself back a few years and extreme sports were, to put it bluntly, only for the extreme. Fast forward a few years though, factor in Red Bull, and extreme sports have mass appeal. Red Bull have also not done too badly out of the (often self-created) partnerships with 4,204 billion cans of Red Bull being sold in 2010 and their brand having developed into one that is synonymous with energy, adrenaline and excitement.

Sponsors that give something back to society as a whole

Aside from designated CSR programmes which have very defined objectives and workstreams, a brand can also increase the impact of its sponsorship through a two-way value exchange with society as a whole. One such example is Orange RockCorps: a scheme whereby the brand gives customers tickets to exclusive, money-can’t-buy gigs in return for them giving four hours of their time to community work. Over a two-year period, 13,000 people engaged in the scheme and Orange were able to offer local communities 52,000 hours of support.

RBS RugbyForce and NatWest CricketForce are two further powerful examples of brands using sponsorship to bring people together for the benefit of their own communities.

So, given the undoubted success achieved by the brands highlighted above and the logic of the two-way value exchange model, are there really any brands out there who still don’t subscribe to the notion of a two-way value exchange and who remain intent on using sponsorship as a one-way communication channel to build awareness of their brand?…I think we all know the answer.

As the success of Zynga has shown though, the message is clear: customers engage more and generally respond much more positively when they are given something in return. Sponsorship gives brands amazing opportunities to do this and to think beyond their boundaries – good sponsors will take advantage.

For those of you out there who are still not convinced by this argument though, why not visit http://www.farmville.com/ and discover for yourself? And when you find yourself going to 7-Eleven to buy milk just so that your Farmville cows become more productive, don’t say we didn’t warn you…

By on April 20th, 2011

Tags: Facebook, Sales promotion, Social Media, Synergy, Synopsis

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Mittens in Vancouver. What in London?

Those little red mittens came to symbolise the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. At $10 a pair, with half going towards Canadian athletes (though I’m not sure by which specific route), they were the must-have item for those attending the Games.

As I left the Air Canada lounge for the flight back from Vancouver last week, I fell into step behind a group of passengers who were debating the success of the mittens and what London 2012 should produce that might perform a similarly symbolic role. One of them thought it a good idea to produce a specially commissioned football shirt. I thought at the time that this was a silly idea; on reflection I think it would be borderline catastrophic. Here’s why.

The mittens performed a number of roles, some obvious and others less so, but all of which were entirely relevant to the occasion: they kept your hands wrapped in fleecy warmth; they branded the Games as they featured in their deep red multitudes in TV coverage of every Olympic event; and they allowed viewers to show their appreciation and applause for competitors as they clapped their mitten-clad hands together or held them to the sky.

I’m led to believe that the mitten is also a traditional Eskimo garment, which has positive cultural overtones relating to the native population; and they also supported a worthy cause, looked great and were priced accessibly.

Contrast these benefits with the message that a football shirt would send. It would reinforce (mostly) ill-founded foreign views of British sports fans as an ill-mannered rabble; its symbolic function is to divide us into tribes rather than unite us in support; it is unlikely to be cheap to buy; and it sure as hell won’t protect us from our weather.

I think the right souvenir garment – London’s version of Vancouver’s red mittens – is a stellar idea, but what should it be? Suggestions on a postcard please (or in the comment box below) as to what we might produce for London 2012.

By on March 2nd, 2010

Tags: Advertising, Football, London 2012, London 2012 sponsorship, Olympic sponsorship, Olympics, Sales promotion, Vancouver 2010, Winter Olympics

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It’s sponsorship…but not as we know it

Ever thought about naming a star? How about owning a nice plot of land on the dark side of the Moon? Fancy sponsoring a three-toed sloth in Costa Rica?

As PT Barnum famously never said, “There’s a sucker born every minute” – applying Newton’s Third Law (he’ll now be spinning in his Westminster Abbey sarcophagus) would suggest an equal and opposite reaction. After all, you only know you’re a mark once you’ve been conned, right? Therefore every sap needs a swindler, and in today’s society, there always seems to be someone out there ready to sell you something:

a) That isn’t theirs to flog

b) The customer can never really own

c) With strong virtual but low actual value

So it’s nice to see a company turning the tables on the snake oil salesmen and scammers: why buy something that’s worth nothing, when you can use something that costs nothing?

The company in question is Intel, whose 2009 ATL campaign, set to roll out over the next three years, sees the technology giant using the sign-off “Sponsors of Tomorrow”. I mean, who’s going to monetise ‘Tomorrow’…Annie?

It’s interesting that Intel should be using the collective plural ‘sponsors’ here, a move, in line with the content of their ATL, to both humanise the company and express the broad range of areas across which it – I mean ‘they’ – work.

Intel Rock Stars

Neatly turning things on their head, the campaign is less ‘Intel Inside’, and more ‘Inside Intel’. The execution below might aim at geek-chic, but it also emphasises who makes up the company, not just what the company makes.

You’ll notice that even the brand-defining/ubiquitous/maddeningly annoying Intel ‘chimes’ are now performed in the new ads by company employees (okay, the actors portraying company employees), reminding us of a company’s most important asset – its people.

As “Sponsors of Tomorrow”, the casual perspective of Intel being just a sticker on your PC may have had its chips.

By on June 12th, 2009

Tags: Advertising, Ambush campaign, Brand marketing, Branded content, Digital marketing, Employee engagement, Media, New Product Development, Sales promotion, Sponsorship, Viral Marketing

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London Tube Strike

There are few things more irritating than a tube strike – probably only Wales losing at rugby for me – but I do like to see a brand making the most of a bad situation.  My good friends at Streetcar, a pay-as-you-go car share scheme, have just sent a great little email to offer a discount to all members who may be stranded at work because of the latest tube chaos.

Streetcar email to members

A great piece of brand opportunism and I’m sure there’ll be some real sales benefit too.  What’s that old saying, strike while the iron is hot? Strike when the strike is hot (maybe).

By on June 10th, 2009

Tags: Ambush campaign, Brand marketing, Digital marketing, Public relations, Sales promotion, Viral Marketing

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Meet David Beckham

Certainly not a new topic in this forum, but yet again David Beckham is at the top of his marketing game. Tomorrow (11 June) he makes a rare public appearance in London, at Selfridges on behalf of Emporio Armani.  As Dom mentioned in his post on Becks, he’s a marketing certainty, and I have no doubt that tomorrow’s event will be mobbed.

david-beckham_hero

For me DB is a fantastic sponsorship opportunity.  He’s always been a gifted footballer, and it’s fair to say he’s a bit of a looker too, but he’s certainly not short of company in that bracket.  He has that little something that no-one can quite put their finger on, an aura that surrounds him that makes him appeal to so many different people all over the world.  This is what makes Beckham so unique and has seen him take footballers beyond being just footballers.  He has become his very own brand, but his brand is one that can be so powerful when used in partnership with others, just ask his current sponsors at adidas, Cabo Sao Roque, Coty, Emporio Armani, Motorola and Sharpie.

Armani’s use of Beckham should be admired, as the brand consistently leverages a very strong relationship between the brand and the icon.  Armani’s integrated approach drives consumers affinity with the brand, and importantly offers an emotional experience beyond the ATL campaign. For fans all over the globe the opportunity to meet Beckham is a once in a life time experience and this week some of those fans will get their chance in London.  The experience will also provide a great PR platform to extend the campaign into the all important column inches.

So tomorrow sees the man at Selfridges, and whilst it will be a small duty in the life of David, I’m sure it will provide incredible excitement for those that meet him.  May even help sell a few pairs of pants too.

By on June 10th, 2009

Tags: Advertising, Brand marketing, David Beckham, Experiential marketing, Fashion, Football, Football Sponsorship, Product placement, Public relations, Sales promotion, Sponsorship

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We’re celebrating 25 years in business today – quite a landmark

 

When we started out as Karen Earl Sponsorship in 1984 we had little idea what the future held, nor did we realise just how far sponsorship would develop as a global marketing phenomenon.

What a ride it has been. So many wonderful clients and sponsorships, so many great friends and memories. Lots of hard work too of course, but always great fun – and is still. I’m so proud of our work, our people, and the unique reputation we’ve built.

Looking ahead, we’ve never been in better shape. We have the most talented and committed group of people in our history, and a client list that’s unrivalled in the industry – and growing. Our international work has grown exponentially in the last few years. And as part of The Engine Group, we are ideally placed to continue to spearhead sponsorship’s unique role in modern marketing.

Easy to say, but let me explain.

We evolved into Synergy a year ago and moved into Engine’s new building just north of Oxford Circus. This meant that, as well as our three existing specialist units – Consultancy, Experiential and Communications – we were able to offer four new services: Branded Content, Digital, Employee Engagement and Sales Promotion. And all under one roof.

Our clients all tell us the same thing: they love it!

We now provide them with the broadest, most flexible and most relevant toolkit for 21st century sponsorship. Successful sponsorships are those which are truly integrated into brand marketing campaigns. Truly outstanding sponsorships are those which act as a catalyst for this integration using compelling ideas which both cut through the media clutter and effectively engage consumers.

We help our clients do that every day.

 

You can see numerous examples on our website. Two that immediately come to mind are the Guinness Premiership and the Powerade InnerGear campaign, each of which completed a clean sweep of the three major sponsorship awards in the last two years.

Our 25th year makes this a landmark year for Synergy, but there’s going to be a lot more to shout about. We’ve already announced, for example, that we’re now working with Philips on their global Formula 1 sponsorship and with Betfair to develop their sponsorship strategy and portfolio. There are more announcements in the pipeline – watch this space.

Here’s to the next 25 years!

 

Karen Earl, Founder and Chairman of Synergy

Karen Earl, Founder and Chairman of Synergy

 

Ed Kemp from Marketing spoke to Karen about the last 25 years – read his blog here

By on June 4th, 2009

Tags: Branded content, Communications, Consultancy, Digital marketing, Employee engagement, Experiential marketing, Guinness Premiership, Olympic sponsorship, Sales promotion, Sponsorship, Sponsorship consultancy, Synergy

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Wolves get promoted in style

No, not that Wolves.

In an unlikely turn of events, a single T-shirt, sold on Amazon.com has become one of the most popular items in the online retailer’s clothing section, experiencing a 2300% sales boost in a matter of months.

But what manner of apparel could be doing such incredible business? Is it a niche limited edition…? Is it the work of an up-and-coming Harajuku enfant terrible…? Was it worn by all four Beatles during their final tour of the US? I’m afraid not.

The item in question is in fact the ‘Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt’ – the kind of outerwear normally reserved for heavy metal concerts and sci-fi conventions. If you don’t believe me, have a quick look at it here.

Nothing special, you might think (if you do think it’s something special, you might want to stop reading). In fact, thanks to a jokey post from one satisfied (alleged) owner in the product’s ‘Customer Reviews’ section, with feedback on said T-shirt including “Pros: has wolves on it…attracts women…Cons: could probably have used more wolves on the ‘guns’…”, the item has become an internet hit.

Thanks to the wonders of viral email, the product now sports over 300 reviews from satisfied customers, ranging from the humorous to the mildly disturbing. At present, Amazon has not appeared to overtly censor user comments, perhaps content that the phenomenon is translating into an unlikely sales lift.

Whatever way you look at it, there’s no denying the power of a the odd well-placed, web-based witticism – even more so, given that this has led to hundreds of people parting with their hard-earned cash on the back of it.

N.B. Crushingly for UK-based lupine aficionados, the ‘Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt’ is not currently available on our shores. Amazon.co.uk are stocking a single wolf variant, however. I guess you could always buy three of them…

By on May 21st, 2009

Tags: Default, Fashion, New Product Development, Product placement, Sales promotion, Viral Marketing

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