Beige helped Häagen-Dazs celebrate its 50 year anniversary by creating a nationwide search to find a new Taste Tester to exclusively create new flavours, sample the finest ingredients and travel throughout Europe. Headed by Chief Taste Tester Alison Gray, applications open today – via www.facebook.com/haagendazs and close on 24 November 2011. Get involved!
Häagen-Dazs team @ Beige
After months of behind the scenes preparation, blood, sweat and tears, the Zumba® tour bus rolled into town for the UKs first Fitness Concert – a completely sold out event featuring an hour’s Zumba® class led by Zumba® creator Beto Perez, world music and a live performance by Grammy-winner Wyclef Jean.
An appearance on ITV’s flagship breakfast news programme Daybreak, as well as numerous other interviews and features, ensured that everyone was talking about the event and London was buzzing with excitement.
It’s not every day that you find yourself at a concert, surrounded by thousands of men and women dressed from head to toe in pink, where security staff actively encourage you to get up on your feet and dance, but that’s precisely what happened on Sunday when Beto took to the stage in front of 3,800 Zumba® enthusiasts for the UKs first Fitness Concert at London’s iconic Alexandra Palace.
When Beige first announced the Zumbathon event, no one quite knew what to expect. Anyone who is familiar with the Zumba® programme will tell you that it’s like one big party, but how does that translate into a concert setting? One thing was certain, as the excited queues started forming early on Sunday morning, it was going to be one almighty party where every attendee felt like the guest of honour.
Celebrity Zumba ® fans including Amy Childs, Rachel Stevens, Gail Porter, Charlie Brooks and Tameka Empson chatted happily with the assembled photographers, film crews and other media at a VIP reception before the event, all eagerly awaiting the arrival of Beto and Wyclef.
Once inside, everyone was treated to a visual and audio spectacle; amazing Zumba® dancers from around the world, a moving stage, Wyclef Jean and, of course, the main man himself, Beto Perez. The atmosphere was electric as Beto rose up from the stage and launched into the first routine, supported by live musicians and a DJ; the audience went wild, waving their arms in the air and screaming out his name.
After a fantastic hour of dancing, Beto was joined on stage by Wyclef, who treated the audience to a 40 minute set of all his best know hits including the soundtrack to the Party in Pink™ campaign, Historia (listen once and you’ll be singing it all day!).
The Zumabthon event, part of Zumba Fitness’ global Party in Pink™ campaign, raised an outstanding £130,000 for Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Cure Cancer @ UCLH and Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Global Promise Fund.
Everyone left the event smiling and the Beige team collapsed, exhausted but over the moon.
By Michael Hickson
The recent news that more agencies are ditching AVE in favour of cost per thousand people reached (CPT) and other metrics is to be applauded.
Evaluation fit for digital
The great thing about CPT is that it acknowledges the established importance of digital; getting coverage on a specialist website might not be worth a lot as an advert but if it results in reaching lots of the right people few would argue that it is not a cause for celebration.
But there is more to this evaluation shake-up than CPT and to understand why, it’s important to explore the reasons for setting objectives and evaluating campaigns in the first place. Fundamentally it is to understand what is required/ desired so that we know the degree to which success has been achieved. There are two elements here:
The role of marketing comms
If we take the first point, the problem with AVE is that it only makes sense if what is required/ desired is a cheaper way to buy advertising space. Whilst cheap ad space certainly has its appeal it is not the role of marketing comms which broadly speaking is:
Taking this definition, here are some of the metrics that allow us to evaluate whether comms are delivering:
This list is far from conclusive but starts to give a picture of the myriad of ways in which comms can be evaluated.
The case against AVE
So why no AVE? Surely it could be argued that AVE covers the ‘reasonable cost’ element?
The problem is that whilst AVE, when part of a range of evaluated metrics, should be relatively harmless it tends to dominate the focus of what matters.
Monetary ROI is important because PROs are hypersensitive to a perception that PR is somehow less commercially aware than other marketing disciplines. This means that they are also hyper-sensitive to making sure that monetary ROI KPIs are met. When the metric is AVE, this leads PROs to secure coverage that would have cost the most if bought as an ad. On the other hand, when the monetary ROI metric is CPT, PROs will focus on securing coverage that best reaches the audience. To paraphrase the old saying, ‘what is measured is managed.’
Within this context, we can see why so many agencies are ditching AVE entirely. We have been using CPT instead of AVE for years but have found the need for flexibility to ease some clients into the transition.
This is why even though the agency long ceased setting KPIs for AVE we still measure and report it if clients ask. The approach leaves us free to use CPT and focus on what is important but also give clients the AVE figure they sometimes need to provide internally (but with the caveat that not a great deal of store should be placed in it).
There is no doubt that the long-term future of evaluation is an AVE-free world but for the time-being at least it’s a compromise on the road to the Promised Land that many agencies find themselves making.
The importance of context
The second reason to set objectives and evaluate is ‘to determine if we have achieved success.’
In establishing which metrics to set we define ‘what is required/ desired,’ but to understand the degree to which we ‘have achieved success’ it’s important to understand why KPIs are set at the value decided and not just whether they have been hit.
For example, if Brand X desires the audience to believe that it is innovative, we might use Innovation Key Message Delivery as the metric and set 50% as the KPI. If 50% key message delivery is then achieved, how does anyone know whether that is good or bad? To someone without a PR background, only telling the audience that Brand X is positioned as innovative in half the coverage could be perceived as a poor result. However, if we add the why and reveal that the industry average shows anything above 40% key message delivery is ‘Excellent’* the results can be viewed in a clearer light. That isn’t to say that we shouldn’t always set our sights higher, just that it is equally important to understand what success looks like.
Context allows those without in-depth knowledge of a subject to have confidence in whether success has been achieved.
To illustrate this point, let’s take an example from a field we’re less familiar with. This is the Large Hadron Collider (LHC):
The LHC is a particle accelerator that is currently running at around half speed at a cost over £3bn and won’t reach full speed until 2014, over six years since it first began operating. Is that a good or bad result?
What if we consider that, even running at half speed, the LHC still set the world record for the highest-energy particle collisions ever made by man? Or that even at half speed the LHC helped make a new breakthrough that could lead us to understanding how the universe was created and why life exists? The context helps us to understand that reaching a 50% KPI is a phenomenal success and not an expensive failure.
So when we look at evaluation, the PR industry’s steps to focus on the right metrics are to be celebrated by all. But in order to understand whether the actual results are to be celebrated, let’s remember the importance of context and base KPIs on benchmarks that help everyone understand the degree to which success has been achieved.
*Beige works with independent evaluation agency Metrica, which sets benchmarks based on industry data and historical delivery.
Here at Beige, those of us who used to work on the left coast of the US miss our daily dose of Silicon Valley entrepreneurial, boot-strapped spirit and enthusiasm. So we are thrilled that TechCrunch has an outpost here in London and that they decided, yesterday evening, to hold the first London CrunchUp meet-up since 2008. Long overdue, guys!
With amazing sunny weather on the terrace of the South Bank, lots of folks in polo shirts and khakis talking apps, start-ups, APIs and venture capital, we almost felt like we were back in Palo Alto for a minute. Still, the laid-back community vibe was there and we talked to many interesting and brilliant people, all working on the kind of inspiring projects that have put London’s Silicon Roundabout on the map.
Great conversation, an intelligent, inspiring crowd and microbrews on a roof terrace – what more can you ask for? If you missed this one, you can find out more here and hopefully we’ll see you at the next one.
Thanks to @mikebutcher for putting on a great community event and a big shout-out to the CrunchUp sponsors:
• NHS.info – @dawson, Founder of Cambridge Healthcare
• Viadeo.com – @viadeo thanks to @waynegibbins
• Peoplebrowsr.com @peoplebrowsr “social analytics with 1,000 days of tweets”
• Corkbin.com – @corkbin, “your pocket wine memory”
One year ago, Virgin Active Health Clubs announced that the world’s biggest triathlon – IMG’s London Triathlon was to turn from blue to red and become the Virgin Active London Triathlon.
Since January 2011 Beige commenced the mammoth task of securing participants for an event that involved, at the very least, a 400m swim in the River Thames, a 10km cycle and a 2.5km run – and that was just the Super Sprint category. Despite the gruelling nature of the event, over 14,000 people took part. The fact that they made it across the finish line is testament to their commitment and enthusiasm.
Leading up to the event, celebrities and journalists, shared banter, advice and training tips online, all helping to build the anticipation. This momentum peaked on the day when the event even trended on Twitter.
When the day finally arrived, spirits were amplified by the nervous energy of those about to take part. The Virgin Active VIP wave commenced at noon and as quickly as it had started, it was over. Celebrities gathered for a sweaty and emotional picture at the finish line. Our participants and spectators then headed back to the VIP area where the room was filled with a new energy of pride and relief.
Despite feeling like we had taken part in the triathlon ourselves from spending a day running around ExCel, it was nothing compared to the achievements of those that took part. We’re super proud of everyone that took part. It’s also great to see the coverage continue to roll in.
A mini case study will be added to the website soon.
Beige PR team for Virgin Active
Image taken as part of ‘Virtual Reality Photography’ (VRP) project that uses videogames as a platform for everyday photography.
All the photographs here are basically screenshots from various games, composed just like “real world” photography.
Earlier this week some of us at Beige got together for PR quiz of the month.
We had a great time and thought we’d share to questions so you. Do let us know how you get on.
And we’d love to see your Owling/Planking/Beyonce pictures too.
Team quiz July ROUND 1 - NEWS AND PR
1. What was the UK circulation of the last ever issue of the NOTW thought to be?
2. Which brand was reported as the first one to pull their advertising from News of the World?
3. A Thomas Cook survey revealed the two names that are most likely to win an Olympic Gold medal, what are these names?
4. Which former US president was recently made into a statue outside the US embassy in London
5. Who was recently appointed as the new editor of the Independent, and where was he before (point for each)?
6. Who won Wimbledon this year? 1 point for each name (male and female), 1 point for each correct spelling?
7. Name the art installation of the top of Selfridges? What is it?
8. Which international company was recently forced to drop all of its air-brished advertising?
9. Oxford University recently claimed that Northerners have bigger brains, but why?
10. What is on the reverse of the official OMEGA Olympic countdown clock?
ROUND 2 - CULTURE
1. What is the name of the new Harry Potter website that will feature all 7 books as eBooks, as well as making previously unpublished material available?
2. Put these summer festivals in order: Latitude, Field Day, Love Box, Secret Garden, WOMAD, Wireless
3. Name the shortlist for the Mercury Music prize. One point for each correct answer. Minus a point for each incorrect answer.
4. Which UK rapper is to release a single for the Olympic games?
5. What was unusual about the show produced by theatre company, Duckie, at the Barbican and what was it called? Point for each
6. What is unusual about Jake and Dino Chapman’s new exhibition?
7. Who stepped in as the lead singer for the Faces reunion in the absence of Rod Stewart?
8. What is the name of the MIA demo single she posted and dedicated to Amy Winehouse
9. Which musical has been translated to Mandarin for the Chinese market?
10. Go outside and take a picture of someone Planking and someone Owling. One point for knowing what each of those things is. Three points for the best set of pictures
ROUND 3 - TECH RELATED
1. What is the name of the hacking group that has targeted Sony and the CIA among others? Additional point if you can name the Essex teen that also hacked them
2. Google+ launched earlier this month. What is it Google’s answer to? Bonus point for describing these key features; Circles, Sparks, Huddle, Stream
3. Which pop star bought MySpace? Bonus 2 points for knowing how much it was sold for in dollars
4. What is the name of the FarmVille and Cityville developer looking to float for around $1bn?
5. Microsoft has signed a deal with Baidu. What is it? Bonus point for naming each of the three record labels Baidu has signed with. Minus a point for each wrong answer.
6. How many pieces of original content has the BBC commissioned following Wimbledon?
7. What is this the logo for?
8. What were the last quarter profits of Apple and Microsoft to the nearest billion dollars?
9. Which electrical retailer is to open up shop in Harrods?
10. What is graphene?
ROUND 4 - CELEBRITY RELATED
1. Which UK comedian turned US TV star launched his first solo album this year and also recently became the face of a leading cosmetics brand?
2. Draw the outfit that Beyonce wore on stage at Glastonbury, including hairstyle – one point for each correct item including detailing the colour
3. Jo Whiley made a mistake when she was reporting on Beyonce playing Glastonbury, but what was the incorrect statement she made live on air?
4. Peter Crouch and Abbey Clancy finally tied the knot but what did Abbey insist Peter give up in order to get married after his infidelities?
5. Which supermodel is set to become the world’s first billionaire supermodel?
6. Mick Jagger has created a Super (heavy fusion) group. Name the other four members (1 point for each)?
7. Gwyneth Paltrow feels so strongly about ‘cheese in a can’ that she said she’d rather do what than eat it?
8. There has been a spate of celebrity weddings and also a rise in interest in famous sisters, which supermodel’s sister was the latest sibling to cause a stir, and what is her name (1 point for each)?
9. Who has been confirmed as the new presenters of Big Brother?
10. Lady Gaga recently revealed the person she learned her raunchy behaviour from. Who was this?
Emeka Njodi and Jessica Turner