#EpicFail: Secret Cinema takes secrecy too far


Looks like it’s back to the drawing board for Secret Cinema, which is reeling from the repercussions of its 11th hour cancellation of Back to the Future –  its biggest and most highly anticipated event to date.

To the horror of fans and guests, some of whom had travelled from as far as the US for the opening event last Friday, the cancellation of said event was also a well-kept secret. Customers were notified of the cancellation on Secret Cinema’s Facebook page a mere 90 minutes before the iconic 80s outdoor movie event was due to start.

Screenings this week have now been cancelled till further notice.

According to the event organiser, Fabien Riggall, the reasons behind the cancellation were a “very complicated myriad series of challenges.”

Unsurprisingly, legions of disappointed and angry customers, who had paid at least £53 per ticket, took to social media to vent their wrath – kicking up a viral storm. Failure to jump on this with a meaningful response turned a social media fail into a more epic fail in crisis management. The information given by the event organisers was not sufficient to reassure their customers. To add salt to the wound, a promise to issue a second statement at 11am the following day was not met, enraging customers further. In terms of compensation, customers were offered either a full refund or an alternative date from mid-August onwards, which doesn’t work for the majority that already have plans in August or who have travelled from outside of London.

Rufus Hound, on the other hand, was quick to turn bad news into good – he offered Secret Cinema ticket holders the chance to see his show Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Savoy Theatre for free! However, it is surprising that more event organisers didn’t jump on the bandwagon to attract visitors with alternative offers:

Rufus Hound tweet

As thousands of mocking tweets about the cancelled event come flooding in (still)… here are a few that made us giggle:

Funny secret cinema tweets

Secret Cinema is yet another reminder of the investment organisations must make in crisis management and communications. The saying “no news is good news” does not apply to customers who deserve an explanation as to why they cannot attend an event and news on what will happen next. Keeping your customers in the loop is essential to good customer service and social media should help rather than hinder the situation. Fingers crossed that current ticket holders will get full reimbursement and compensation for the disruption.

Back to the future: Do you think that Secret Cinema will be able to recover from this..?

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onechocolate loves…

Our weekly round-up of the most inspiring PR and digital marketing campaigns, smart new apps, cool events, ventures and happenings that have caught our eye…

#1 #ThisParrotIsDead


Well, there’s certainly nothing like suspending a 50 foot giant dead parrot above London to capture people’s attention, and this week we saw just that! As a nod to the most famous Monty Python sketch, television channel Gold, used a crane to suspend a 50 foot fibreglass parrot, which featured in its live-screened farewell show ‘Monty Python Live (mostly)’. Treat yourself to a look at the classic Python sketch that inspired it here.

#2 Campaign honey!


To celebrate the release of the Paddington Bear movie this winter, the NSPCC, visitlondon.com and StudioCanal present the London Trail! From October, Londoners and tourists will be able to spot 50 Paddington statues dotted around the city. We are looking forward to following Paddington’s footsteps and tracking the travelling bear’s favourite places in London! Head to visit london to find out more…

 #3 Coining it in 


We just love this quirky idea by the Royal Mint to mark the launch of its shiny new £5 coins! As the new commemorative coins feature the Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace and other London landmarks, the Royal Mint put an extra spin on the campaign – unveiling a creative photoshoot, incorporating the coins into the Capital’s iconic skyline. These cool pictures caught the media’s attention across the country, generating a jackpot of national hits for the brand.

 #4 Elastic fantastic


You may have seen pictures recently in the press of certain garments made entirely out of rubber bands. Welcome to the world of Loom bands – a fad that’s gone global. Even the Royals love them!

The creator of the Loom Band, 70-year-old Steve Gilston, has made £80m from selling mini rubber bands… Did you know that a record £1m of Loom bands were sold in the first week of July alone? Steve, we salute you!

According to a NPD report released this week, it’s not just the Loom Band trend that is exploding; collectable toys have also been given a new lease of life thanks to playground crazes. Read more about the report here.

 #5 Spike alert 


This week we came across this really cool handheld device called the “personal drink ID”, which is used to test for drink spiking. When dipped into a drink the device tests the light spectrum, conductivity and temperature of any drink and it lights up either a green or red LED depending on the safety of the drink.

What we really love about it is that you can connect the device to an app on your Smartphone, so at a later time you can see a detailed report of what was found in your drink. It’s a smart piece of technology that will hopefully prevent people from falling victim to drink spiking and raise awareness of the risk of accepting drinks from strangers when they’re on a night out.

#6 Sit Up Britain!


Do you find yourself hunching over your desk at work and getting back pain? Well, let that be no more with the help of ‘UpRight.’

This cool little gadget is a discreet device that attaches to your lower back and passively trains you stand and sit upright in just a few weeks. The device detects when you’re slouching and will send a vibration, alerting you to correct your posture. It claims your back muscles will strengthen and in a few weeks you will effortlessly sit and stand in the correct posture – impressive!

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Who’s buying Facebook’s button?


Announced at the end of last week, Facebook is launching a ‘buy’ button, designed to let users snap up products straight from the site. It follows hot on the heels of Twitter, which quietly launched a ‘buy now’ button earlier in the month, after much speculation. A week later, and this news is still proving cause for debate, with key commentators, including the FT, posing the big question: is this just window dressing or will actually help drive sales?

Here’s a snapshot of industry insiders’ views and predictions:

According to Mashable, this social/ecommerce merge is more than just about increasing ad sales. What they really want is to “use commerce as a way to boost engagement among users by giving them more reason to stay on site, as well as provide an additional selling point to advertisers.” A particularly interesting point when you think about it in context of today’s millennials. This generation is social media-savvy and often the best way to reach them is through social channels. For brands to stay relevant to their younger fans – they need to diversify. Could social shopping be the way to do this?

In the slightly more cynical corner sits Marketing Week. Lara O’Reilly warns that neither brands, nor Twitter and Facebook for that matter, should expect this move to “generate meaningful revenue…any time soon.” And it doesn’t stop there. She adds that ultimately users just aren’t really ready for this new tool, they will rarely “log in (to the sites) for a shop.” However, it’s not all doom and gloom – it may just take a bit of time for this innovation to catch on.

When it comes to ads on Twitter and Facebook, diginomica argues that “brands can do a hell of a lot on Facebook and Twitter themselves without having to advertise.” This also brings into question ad targeting. Derek du Preez states that “Facebook needs to get a hell of a lot better at serving up ads that are really tailored to its users.” He adds, “I can’t think of a single thing I would have bought from an ad on Facebook to date, if I had been given the opportunity.”

The views on this are very much a mixed bag but it seems most industry pros are approaching the move with caution. Will the new tools really be all they’re cracked up to be? We’ll have to wait and see but, in the meantime, it’s interesting to note that other social platforms are also getting in on the action. The FT reports that Pinterest is likely to get on board with the trend, having just partnered with Shopify, an online platform that encompasses more than 100,000 shops and makes sure that all pins of products include details of prices.

What do you think? Can you see a strong business case for buying into the button for your brand’s social channels?

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For the Love of #FoodPorn!


Aside from being one of life’s necessities, food continues to make an impact on social media. Yes, some friends post Facebook, Instagram, Twitter pics etc. of every morsel that passes their lips, but how is our love of food being used by brands and individuals to make waves across traditional and social media?

The other month, we wrote about how one of the nation’s best loved brands, Marks and Spencer, is leading the pack when it comes to food porn, using Instagram to great effect with beautifully shot, mouth watering pictures of their delicious food.

Most of us remember how Birds Eye leveraged the public’s enthusiasm for snapping pictures of food and sharing them (are you one of them or are you someone that has let out an involuntary groan?). As a refresher, Picture House pop-up restaurants in May and June opened in London, Manchester and Leeds. The innovative twist? Pay-by-picture! Visitors had to post pictures of their dinners to social media with the hashtag #Birdseyeinspiratons to get their food for free. There was even a photographer on hand to help diners snap their food in its best light. In a very clever and subtle way, Birds Eye tapped into over half the population’s burning desire to photograph food to showcase their latest offerings and spread the message far and wide.

When it comes to food we can’t get enough. Have you seen the incredible creations by Eats Amazing blog author, Grace Hall which made the Telegraph and the Mail (among many) news not so long ago? A veritable feast for the eyes sprung from a mum’s desire to make lunches for her children fun, and it’s gone down well – and not just in the press. Her social media following and the number of bloggers sharing her ideas is amazing. Wish my mum had put that much effort into my school lunches! How about the awesome pizza bed created by Claire Manganiello from New York in Thursday’s Metro? This had us salivating (sadly it’s not for sale) and even considering buying the weird Etsy pizza sleeping bag. There was also a phase of restaurants outdoing each other with man vs food type challenges which were very quickly shared by those brave enough to do the challenge on social media (though this seems to have calmed down somewhat).

Elsewhere, (this is an oldie but a goodie) there are exciting landscapes on show made with just food – particularly love Carl Warner’s creations, miniature Foodscapes and even portraits made entirely of toast. It seems that, though food might have an expiration date, our obsession with it doesn’t.

P.S. for daily food updates, I highly recommend Buzzfeed, stalking Foodies100 bloggers or looking on Pinterest



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onechocolate loves…

Our weekly round-up of the most inspiring PR and digital marketing campaigns, smart new apps, cool events, ventures and happenings that have caught our eye…

#1 #LikeAGirl

If you’ve ever felt embarrassed or enraged by some loud-mouth who’s said you ‘run like a girl’ or ‘throw like a girl,’ Always’ latest ad campaign is sure to raise a cheer. Shot by Lauren Greenfield, it attempts to change the negative connotations associated with the phrase ‘Like a Girl,’ in order to empower young women. The video, using the hashtag #LikeAGirl, has gone viral – racking up around 37,000,000 YouTube views in just a few weeks. A truly great, emotively powerful campaign from Always, which is designed to resonate with men and women alike.

#2 Model behaviour

Brands just can’t seem to resist jumping on the selfie bandwagon. But in capitalising on the craze that’s showing no signs of letting up, fashion brand Marc Jacobs gets our thumbs up for stylish customer relations. The stars of Marc Jacobs’ new campaign were found through a selfie contest on Instagram and Twitter, with the hashtag #castmemarc. A great way to reward fans for their social media engagement!

#3 Doh!

Angry Homer

Yet another story of poor customer service went viral this week when Ryan Block, a technology journalist who works for AOL, wanted to cancel his broadband service with Comcast. However, when Ryan rang up to cancel, an embarrassing, awkward, infuriating conversation ensued in which the customer service representative repeatedly asks “Why is it that you don’t want faster speeds?” “Help me understand why you don’t want faster internet.” Block shared the audio with his 82,000 Twitter followers; the clip soon went viral and had 4 million plays within two days.

This serves as a reminder of the blurred lines between marketing and customer service. As rising numbers of consumers make purchasing decisions through word of mouth and the power of social media increases, it’s more pressing than ever that emphasis is put on customer care and brand reputation.

#4  Free falling with IKEA

Ikea bed

Applause for best creative of the week goes to this new IKEA advert. We love the way it takes the classic dream of falling to the next level. It captures a woman falling from bed to bed through the clouds, skydiving without a parachute. Although not the safest bedtime activity, Juan Cabral has pulled off a breathtaking and captivating ad from start to finish. Not only has he created a dreamlike quality, the beds look super comfortable too!

#5 The Snapchat phenomenon 

Snapchat World Cup

It was interesting to see Snapchat give its users a glimpse of World Cup final day before it happened, through the ‘Our Story’ feature which was launched last October. We’ve spotted this trend with brands showcasing ‘behind-the-scenes’ snaps, especially in gaming, and we’re looking forward to the B2B marketing folk getting in on the action, too! It was also nice to see the images were crowd-sourced, another evolving trend to keep an eye on.

#6 Cheap social media tricks

Social media icons drawn

Are you running your social media on a shoestring? Then 7 social media tricks you might not know about from PR Daily is the must-read for you! It contains some handy tips to have up your sleeve including; how to customise your business’s branding on Twitter; using Pinterest to find new customers; and how to show off positive customer feedback on Facebook – perfect if you’re looking for ways to subtly improve your brand’s social media on no budget!



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