Sunday, 20 November 2011

It's Christmas, Jim, but not as we know it...

Embracing the Christmas spirit, numerous administrative and retail bodies have come together to treat the people of Hull to a magical cavalcade of Yuletide activity!

Brought to you by Hull BID and with sleigh-loads of support from Hull City Council, eskimosoup have created a one-stop resource for all things festive in the City Centre:

Participating venues include Hull City Hall, Holy Trinity Church, Hull Museums, Hull Truck Theatre, Hull New Theatre, Hull Arena, Bonus Arena, Hull University and the three shopping centres, St Stephen's, Princes Quay and the Prospect Centre. And the events are even more varied, from an abseiling Santa to real-life reindeer, Dickensian street characters to traditional fair rides, all surrounded by the warm glow of festive illuminations and the alluring aroma of roast chestnuts and mulled wine. 

This is the first time that so many individual departments and firms in Hull have pooled their resources to create a one-stop online diary of events, news and essential Christmastime information, so make sure to keep checking the website and follow the Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep up-to-date with this Advent calendar of excitement!

Oh, and don't forget that the City Centre Lights Switch-on is this Thursday, the 24th November!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Good Healthy Marketing

When it comes to websites, blogs, brochures and things like this, it’s quite easy to talk-the-talk, though often this doesn’t provide the reader with any real substance. With this in mind, I thought it would be better to show you how when it comes to working with the NHS we walk the walk through an overview of eskimosoup’s recent experience and examples of creative solutions to some pretty tough challenges!

If you’d like to be sent our portfolio of work with the NHS, including profiles on 20 projects and campaigns we’ve delivered, please email or call 01482 223866

In the meantime and for quick reference; here are 10 recent achievements to give you a flavour of our work:

1. Midwife Hull
We worked with NHS Hull to develop "Midwife Hull" the first interactive Facebook profile from the NHS. As well as achieving healthy lifestyle behavioural change amongst young pregnant women, the campaign achieved significant TV and press coverage. We even took a call from Facebook’s marketing team who wanted to use it in their PR!

2. No Smoking Day
We developed a programme of activities for No Smoking Day in Hull by setting members of our company an Apprentice-style challenge to come up with innovative and engaging ways of spreading important messages. We generated events with Hull City football club, Hull FC rugby club, a shopping centre, a brass band and even a group of student zombies out promoting health messages – crucially, the activity contributed to a 21% increase in stop smoking services accessed that month.

3. How's Your Business Feeling?
Along with NHS Stoke and partners we developed "How's Your Business Feeling?"; an interactive self-assessment and training resource helps managers and organisations to create a mentally healthy workplace that is inclusive and supportive of people with experience of mental health problems.

4. 365 (Annual Report)
Working with NHS Hull’s communications team we developed 365; a way of breathing new life into the Trust’s annual report through an attractive magazine-style design. The report received the Award of Excellence at the Association of Communicators in Business Awards in 2010.

5. Health Central
eskimosoup were appointed as marketing lead for the launch of Health Central; the UK’s first integrated healthy lifestyles centre on the High Street. The diverse launch programme of events was hailed a success and achieved the target of services being accessed within the first 12 months.

6. Throat Cancer Campaign
Humber and Yorkshire Coast Cancer Network commissioned eskimosoup to run a 3 month marketing campaign to raise the awareness of symptoms of laryngeal cancer and lead to behaviour change amongst men aged 45+ in wards of Hull and Grimsby. Still in progress at the time of writing this – the campaign has seen a healthy direct response through high impact communications at events, in press, radio and TV.

7. Blokes Jokes
eskimosoup partnered with NHS Hull to use Hull Comedy Festival as a vehicle to connect with men in Hull living in areas of deprivation on issues surrounding physical health. Working with local comedians and bars, we developed the innovative "Bloke Jokes" programme which independent researchers reported scored very highly in terms of recall and attitude change. This was followed by a second phase "For Better, For Worse" which is still in development.

8. Working for Mental Health
eskimosoup developed "Working for Mental Health" which is our first project used centrally by the Department of Health.

9. Peter’s Story (Suicide Prevention)
We were appointed by NHS Hull to roll-out a key aspect of their suicide prevention strategy. This involved targeted distribution of a DVD resource called "Peter’s Story" along with an events and PR programme which included TV, radio and press features. Due to the great work by NHS Hull, Peter’s Story is cited as a best practice case in the national suicide prevention strategy.

10. Path to Success
Working on behalf of Earning & Learning at the NHS we developed a programme called the "Path to Success" which was rolled out across all secondary schools in Hull and was facilitated by Britain’s Got Talent Finalists and martial arts duo, Strike. The programme received 100% positive feedback from all participating schools.


We recently began working on some interesting projects for the teams at NHS Nottinghamshire and NHS Leeds, so hope to be able to report on more great results in 2012!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Remember, remember... What's the number one brand on Guy Fawkes Night?

Celebrations and festivities are big business. Christmas is obviously a time of increased commerce, but Easter, Mother's Day and Halloween are also times to cash in, as people pay out to make the special day even more special.

Companies look to make the most of these days, often launching specific campaigns aimed at the market, maybe giving adverts a spooky theme in the run up to All Hallows Eve or have them show Dad enjoying his new power drill, in the weeks before Father's Day.

Brands may even try to forge an association between the Holiday and what they sell, with the Holy Grail being them becoming synonymous with one another to the audience.

A famous example is Coca Cola at Christmas time. It's something of an urban legend that Coke actually invented Santa Clause, or at least the modern red and white version. In fact, this was already a standard look for the jovial gift giver before Coke adopted him into their advertising in the 1930's. But their campaign did get the word out and consolidated this image, along with the association with the soft drink, in the minds of millions.

And it still does. Every year, Santa is still central to Coke's advertising. They even use their original 1930's design by illustrator Haddon Sundblom, where Santa's enjoying a sip, and they always see a boost in their already massive sales.

So what about the fifth of November? What about Guy Fawkes Night?

What associated brand makes the most?

The photo above might give the game away, but I'll carry on regardless.

Fireworks sales are obviously up, but mainly in England. They celebrate in a few other places, but it's not an international holiday. Wood sales might be up. Perhaps toffee apples. Booze and party food too. Maybe scarves.

But all just in England and nothing particularly surprising or worthy of an article on the topic.

What about a film brand?

Like an advertising campaign, films can also be tailored to the time of year

There's been countless Christmas, Easter, Independence Day, Father's Day, Mother's Day, Halloween themed movies. If they're liked, they pack them in at the time and continue to sell on a yearly basis, through DVD's, Blu Rays, downloads and TV.

Even without a direct relevance, Star Wars made a mint at Christmas time, when their toys often dominated and made George Lucas a billionaire.

But there really aren't that many films associated with the fifth of November.

Again, it's an English celebration, on a single day, where most people are more likely to be outside enjoying a firework display than going to the cinema. There isn't a worldwide market, so Hollywood would never, ever make a film about the subject. Even Mel Gibson hasn't.

But Hollywood did make a film about a different 5th of November, inspired by the original, where a masked vigilante/anarchist/freedom fighter/terrorist succeeds where Guido Fawkes failed, and blows up the Houses of Parliament.

Released five years ago, V for Vendetta didn't do particularly well at the box office. It doubled it's production costs, but didn't set the world alight. It's perhaps a cult hit at most now.

But it's merchandise is a different story. It's merchandise has taken on a life of it's own, perhaps making sure the 5th of November will never be forgot. More next week...