onechocolate loves… the view from Germany

Our colleagues in onechocolate’s Munich office selected this week’s round-up of inspiring PR and digital marketing campaigns, smart new apps and cool events…

#1 And so this is Christmas…

We are at that time of year again, where we can hardly breathe for Christmas campaigns. Although we love getting into the festive spirit, it’s increasingly hard for brands to stand out from the crowd. However, EDEKA, the leading German supermarket corporation, has released a brilliantly different video which shows cashiers playing Jingle Bells on their scanners, much to the delight of the unsuspecting customers. We love this feel good clip, which has also been picked up by a radio station, Antenne Bayern, to get companies to mimic the supermarket by creating their own Jingle Bells tune – with car sellers honking horns or employees from a fiscal authority stamping.

#2 Grumpy Cat

Grumpy cat

Yes it is true – the grumpiest of all cats has made it; from funny pictures on Facebook, to memes on imgur and reddit, to her own merchandising products, fan pages, two books(!) and even a TV movie. One could say grumpy cat has become too mainstream and now uses her beloved grumpiness just to make money and sell cat food. But who wouldn’t take the money? There are estimations that grumpy cat has earned 100 million dollars so far – although its owner said the number is inaccurate. We wonder if grumpy cat smiles a little when she´s thinking about out-earning Hollywood stars, including leading ladies Nicole Kidman and Cameron Diaz.

#3 Who says German politicians are humorless?

Environmental protection and sustainability are always hot topics in Germany. New videos to promote these vital issues have recently been released by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment – and we’re enjoying its new tongue-in-cheek approach. In one of the clips, a daughter gets home and catches her parents ‘in flagrante’ in the living room. With both parties pretty embarrassed, she turns off the light and leaves. The voiceover tells her ‘thank you’, for turning off the light and being ‘green’. In another clip, the husband gets attacked by zombies, while his wife just closes the window – and the voiceover again thanks her for protecting the environment.

#4 Zombie fever


Also on the subject of zombies, we love the branded content campaign created by two German movies students at Filmakademie. In the interactive online game, the player has to help the protagonist who has been bitten by zombies by completing various challenges. The player is able to change the plot of the story depending on how well they play. The game provides a very different brand experience and is a great example of good storytelling. Try it out!

#5 Looking back on 2014 – with Facebook


The end of the year brings the inevitable onslaught of countdowns of the most popular trends for 2014; on TV channels, radio stations and, of course, Facebook. It’s not too hard for Facebook to decide which trends and topics shaped 2014; they just have to look into their data pool, to see which topics and events had the deepest impact on the 1.3 billion Facebook users. From the ice bucket challenge to the World Cup – what was the most popular this year? Have a look for yourself and explore the trends 2014.

#6 Instagram works – even in Germany


Although Instagram passed the ‘new kid on the block’ status some time ago, there are still many brands in Germany that are skeptical about the value Instagram can bring to their communications strategy. Our suggestion is to focus on the growing number of up-and-coming young instagrammers on the site who are becoming increasingly influential and making a living through their beautiful pictures. One of our favorites is Michael Schulz, who is based in Berlin – which is also the main topic of his photos. His account is a great example of how Instagram can help build brands through influencer relations – even in Germany.

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onechocolate loves… the view from France

Our colleagues in onechocolate’s Paris office have selected this week’s round-up of inspiring PR & digital marketing campaigns, smart new apps and cool events…

#1 Movember


As November comes to an end, we had to take our hats off to the men who have been participating in Movember. In case you’re not familiar with the phrase, each year during November men are encouraged to grow their moustache to raise funds for medical research to fight prostate and testicular cancer. And it’s working; with 4 million participants having raised 409 million Euros so far to support 800 programs in 21 countries, the initiative is a huge success. Even French cats are getting in on the act! 

#2 Monoprix over the rainbow

Monoprix, a leading French retail chain, is promising to brighten up your day through the world’s first rainbow-generating billboard. The smart billboard waited for the sun’s rays to shine and then sprayed recycled water to generate the rainbow. The billboard was actually installed over three days in April 2014 on la Villette esplanade, in Paris North-East, but Monoprix waited for the grey November days to unveil the video.

#3 Paris from a bird’s-eye-view

Ever wondered what Paris looks like from a bird’s-eye-view? Well, now you can find out! Victor, a white-tailed eagle, was released from the Eiffel Town with a mini-cam strapped to his back. Check out the video to see him glide over the Trocadero and then plunge at 180 km/h to the ground. The film, shot by French falconer Jacques-Olivier Travers, is one of a series of eagle-eye views. There are also spectacular videos of Victor’s journeys in London from City Hall, St Paul’s cathedral and the Olympic park’s Orbit ‘sculpture’.

#4 #StopFryTheft

If, like us, you hate people stealing food off your plate, then you need to download McDonalds’ new app, Fry Defender. The app addresses the issue of fry theft or ‘frime’ by turning your phone into a frime fighting machine. The app takes the thief’s photo and publishes it on social networks using the hashtag #StopFryTheft. Ingenious! 

#5 Challenge VVF

The holiday resort brand, VVF, has launched an original social campaign, running until the 12th December, which allows its Facebook fans to challenge the VVF teams. Each time a Facebook fan sends a challenge to the VVF employees the flashing lights installed in the premises will light up and the first of the employees to push the buzzer wins. We love this fun campaign as its objective is not to just boost its number of Facebook fans, but also to strengthen internal cohesion.

#6 Midpic


This week, we spotted a cool new dating app, Midpic, which allows users to share half a selfie with others nearby. Once the half selfies have been exchanged, you can decide whether to accept or decline the picture. If accepted, you will then be able to see the other half of the photo. The app is available to download now in English and French for both iOs and Android.

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It should never happen to a PR pro…

Part 1: PR Stunts

Devising, implementing and successfully pulling off a stunt that turns up the wow factor to maximum is the holy grail of many PR pros. You know deep down that making the Ten O’clock News is perhaps setting the bar a little high, but what you’re gunning for is wall-to-wall coverage and a social hit.

Trouble is, the bigger, grander and more ground-breaking the idea, the higher the risk that your epic dream stunt will crash and burn. Whilst PRs know that not all stunts can work, here are a few insider tips to ensure you give yourself the best chance of getting seen in the right places for all the right reasons.

PLAYMOBIL castle job advert 2

#1 Plan, timeline, action

The nearer you get to the big day, the faster things will move so meticulous pre-planning and pre-seeding are of the essence. The bigger the stunt, the better your project management skills need to be to work your assets as hard as possible. That way, you can focus on building the biggest bang in the run up to the big S-Day.

#2 Great idea!

The visual leads. Keep it simple and relevant to the audience. Sticking with PR sure-fires is a good start. Think biggest, smallest, cutest, funniest, wackiest, most shocking…  Make it topical, let it have built-in conversation and engagement opportunities. Hats off to Paddy Power at this year’s Brits for its stunning, topical headliner.

#3 Not such a great idea

Make sure you’re being practical. Many a brainstorm idea hits the deck on the reality check. For example, yes, you may want to amass a crowd of excited consumers, but not if your campaign is hot enough to instigate a stampede. This summer, the Jet2Holidays horror show provided a sobering case in point.  Hundreds of people in Derby turned up to chase their staff, dressed in red morph suits, around the city centre for the chance to win free plane tickets. Many were injured and many more took to social media to vent their anger.

#4 Risk assess it

Do a dry run and check against a list of things that could go wrong to make sure you’ve got it covered. So what’s your plan if it rains? Need good Wi-Fi access for your stunt? Kids or animals involved? What’s your ‘money’ shot? ‘What can go wrong, will go wrong’ is a PR mantra that must be front of mind when thinking about stunts.

#5 Bake in social

Front and centre. #BandAid30 had three of our British superstar vloggers as part of the band. None of them known for singing… We don’t all have the budgets for headliners, but we can all know how we are going to activate our plans through earned, owned and paid social.

#6 Bake in your brand

Two great ways to do this – make your brand a key part of the stunt, like we did for Playmobil’s 40th anniversary or make it a fundamental part of finding out the answer to the ‘who’ or ‘why’ question like Betfair’s Octopus stunt. Omit this key agenda and you’ll risk your brand ending up, metaphorically speaking, in too many sub-editors’ bins.

#7 Cold start = hard start

You need an existing fan base that loves your brand and an active media/social following that wants to talk about your brand – they can be readily engaged as they are already familiar with it. You dramatically increase the risk of #StuntFailure if you are a relatively unknown or highly niche brand. Period.

#8 Have a budget

Stunts cost money. It’s an all too often occurrence that the ones that win awards have budgets out of reach of smaller brands. Stunts designed to win hearts and minds  for a charity or a really great cause can be an exception to the rule. For the rest of us, scale your expectations to your budget levels and then be ecstatic if you pull off the seemingly impossible. Or, be risk adverse and tee up multiple stunts – most brands known for stunts as a strategy have failures too.  You just don’t get to hear about them!

#9 Consider a paid push

PRs like to showcase their earned work, but behind the scenes many ‘viral’ stories these days start off with or run alongside a paid strategy. Don’t be too proud.

#10 Enjoy the moment

It’s too easy in our profession to work super-hard getting it all together, only for the big day to go by in a flash. So, when the moment comes, don’t forget to take a break, take in what is happening and celebrate how great all your hard work is turning out.

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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 #VaginaDialogues


This week we spotted a great example of raising awareness for a worthy cause, with an attention-grabbing headline and shocking stats.  If you missed it, the main headline grabber was that a staggering number of women aged 26-35 couldn’t pinpoint where (on a diagram) their vagina is (yes, we said it). The shocking statement got wide coverage and, although there has been some backlash about the way the media portrayed the research, we take our hats off to The Eve Appeal for being straight talking about a taboo issue. The research is part of Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month to raise awareness of the lack of knowledge of gynaecological cancer symptoms among UK women, accompanied by the hashtag #VaginaDialogues.

#2 Into The Storm

Some of you may have already seen the thrilling blockbuster ‘Into The Storm’ but for the folks in Australia, where the film has been released this week, the movie promoters came up with a unique way to promote it. They cleverly used augmented reality on a bus stop advert by giving passersby the chance to see what it would be like if a storm swept through the street. Check out the video to see the reactions of the unknowing public when slowly, lightning bolts and tornadoes start forming right in front of their eyes! We love this creative, interactive way to engage an audience, which gives them an experience to remember.

#3 Dress normal

We love Gap’s new series of four shorts, all shot in black and white, to support its celebrity-filled ‘dress normal’ campaign, featuring the likes of Anjelica Huston, Elisabeth Moss and Luke Grimes, amongst others, all clad in black denim. Gap enlisted David Fincher – famous for The Social Network, Fight Club and, most recently, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – to direct the adverts. Gap’s CMO tells Mashable that the campaign was designed to “sort of jump into the middle of the story, skipping the beginning and leaving out the end.” Fincher’s uniquely dark style translates into these ads and adds a chic edginess to the campaign.

#4 SS15 Designer Catwalk Shows


Everyone who is anyone in fashion knows this is ‘the’ time of year for finding out what is new and hot in the world of fashion. Not only do trends get defined, but they influence so many parts of our consumer marketplace; whether it’s product design, trending colours or styles. This is just one of the reasons why we’re excited to see what the September SS15 fashion shows have to offer us this season. Kicking off this week is New York Fashion Week (4th–11th Sept), London Fashion Week (12th–16th Sept), Milan (17th–23rd Sept) and of course, the home of haute-couture, Paris Fashion Week (23rd Sept–1st Oct).

#5 Ansa


Most of us can safely say we’ve sent a text we’ve regretted. Whether it’s an inappropriate text accidentally sent to your boss, or discovering toe-curling messages after a heavy night out. So we’re rejoicing at the launch of the nifty messaging app, Ansa, which lets you delete your sent messages off other people’s devices! Created by 23-year-old Natalie Bryla, the app also has an ‘off the record’ feature, where messages are automatically deleted after 60 seconds. The app bills itself as ‘the safest place to let go and be yourself with friends’ and is available now on iOS and Android. Could this finally be the ‘Ansa’ (sorry) to those awkward text worries!?

#6 HippopoThames!


Did you know that hippos used to inhabit the Thames in prehistoric times? Neither did we! To celebrate our beloved city’s history, artist, Florentijn Hofman, has built a wooden sculpture of a friendly-looking, 21 metre-long hippo, named HippopoThames. The sculpture arrived at Riverside Gardens near Vauxhall this week, with the full fanfare of food, drinks and activities for the public. The arrival of HippopoThames will begin the Totally Thames festival, a 30-day programme of events that celebrates the arts, music and community festivals across the capital.

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Behind the Headlines with Jill Coomber

Jill Coomber, co-founder and director at onechocolate communications, on launching her first agency aged 27, wanting the inside goss from Paxman and why measurement is the lifeblood of any campaign…

Jill Coomber

When not in the office you’ll mostly find me…
Being a single mum, taking a stroll in the sunshine or digging my new allotment and enjoying the wonderfully colourful community we’ve discovered there.

Working in PR is…
The best career decision I ever made. It gave me the opportunity to open my first agency when I was 27 and I’ve not looked back since.

Which social media platform has changed your life?
None, it’s been a massive game changer for the industry but only people and experiences change lives.

If I could breathe new life into a brand, it would be…
British Airways. Its consumer footprint is still very disjointed.

The most important lesson PR has taught me…
Never give up and never give in.

You’ll find….on my bookshelf
Right now? Jennifer Saunders’ autobiography and A Girl is a Half Formed Thing by Eimear McBride.

The journo I’d most like to have a drink with is…
Jeremy Paxman so I could get all the inside goss now he’s ‘retired’; Charles Arthur to see if he’s chilled out after all these years working with PRs; Jo Whiley as she’s one cool mama and… oh, this is turning into a party.

If I could change one thing about myself, it would be…
I’d tell my younger self to tone down my passion about work projects and ideas. It could, on occasion, be an ‘overdone strength’!

PR measurement. Discuss.
Measurement is the lifeblood proof of any campaign. The latest tools provide us with invaluable insights but the challenge is to provide the transparency and clarity we all really want at a budget most clients can afford.

The thing I catch myself saying the most is…
’But does this move the needle enough?’

My guiltiest pleasure is…
These days chocolate – so good we named the company after it.

If I could turn back time I would...
Have even more fun along the way.

The worst thing a journalist has said to me is...
‘No’. Never mind. Because as the saying goes, ‘if you don’t ask…’

If I wasn’t in PR, I’d be…
Running a bar, a yoga teacher, an amazing singer touring the world’s festivals, an ace tennis player, a farmer….always good to keep an open mind on these things.

Read the full interview on Gorkana.


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