#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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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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How to Avoid a Meltdown at Work

Angry man

We’ve all been there; you’re having one of those weeks when everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong and you fear you’re one ‘late meeting’, Twitter alert or annoying email away from a meltdown. The entry of the phrase “digital detox” to the Oxford Dictionary Online last August, along with the term FOMO (fear of missing out), often brought on by the constant pressures from social media, signalled that the human brain is at risk of overheating. Tempting as it is to throw a tantrum, it’s time to get a grip – check out these top tips designed to help you to keep a cool head in the office this summer…

#1 Take a breather

Sometimes simply taking a few deep breaths is enough to calm you down and refocus your mind. There is plenty of technology out there designed to teach you the restorative powers and techniques of mindful inhalation and exhalation. Apps such as Breath2Relax and Pranayama Lite claim to help with mood stabilisation, anger control, anxiety management, focus, athletic performance and migraine relief – impressive!

#2 Exercise

We all know the stress busting benefits of exercising but we don’t always have time to spend working out at the gym, particularly if things are hectic at the office. Simply taking a five-minute walk when things are getting a bit heated can work wonders. Alternatively, there’s Office Fit – created by a team of Osteopaths, physical therapists and yoga teachers, it gives you smart exercises to do at your desk. You may be the butt of jokes in the office, but if it’ll stop you biting that annoying co-worker’s head off, surely it’s worth it?

#3 Take a tech timeout

A study by University of California, Irvine, and U.S. Army researchers revealed that checking emails increased the participants’ heart rates at a level which indicated stress, whilst turning off e-mail eased anxiety. Although the prospect of turning your emails off at work may, in itself, make your palms sweat and your heart pump with dread, how about trying it for just half an hour at a time? C’mon, what’s the worst that could happen? That old-fashioned method of going up a colleague’s desk and talking to them still works you know…

#4 Get a little Zen

There are plenty of apps and websites out there to help you bring some Zen into the workplace. Our top recommendations include calm.com for calming sounds and visuals; Zen Space to create your own Zen garden; or Zen Wisdom for a “daily wisdom” quote to calm and comfort you. Alternatively, if you’re trying our above suggestion of avoiding technology, try visualising a calming place you’ve been yourself.

#5 Share the burden

A problem shared is a problem halved, as they say. So, be sure to give yourself a bit of venting time to unload your problems onto your nearest and dearest (without boring them to death, of course). Too touchy feely for you? Then try Worry Box, an app which lets you record your most pressing thoughts, worries and anxieties, and will help you think them through by asking questions and even giving stress-busting advice!

#6 And if all else fails…

…simply take a holiday! However, with half of professionals admitting that they check their emails whilst on holiday, your bog standard escape to the Mediterranean may not be enough to banish those work blues. Increasingly, stressed workers are heading off to resorts which offer no Wi-Fi or network connection for a total digital detox. Imagine how good it would feel to escape from the constant stream of emails, texts and social media updates.

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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 Could this be the best ever promo video?

blinkbox’s promotion of its latest offering is PURE GENIUS! What could be better than photos of cuddly characters dressed up as doggy versions of Game of Thrones characters? Behold, we give you the video (you can thank us later). Cheers to the Poke for bringing this to our attention and giving us a legitimate reason to indulge in Game of Thrones and cuteness.

#2 GIFs on Twitter!

Twitter has taken the lead on Facebook by finally allowing users to post GIFs to their Twitter feed. Although you can’t post via tablets yet, it is a really quick and easy process – not much different from posting a regular photo. We love Mashable’s tips on creating your own GIFs too!

#3 Get ready to develop some new website addictions …

website addiction

This Buzzfeed list of 35 Surprisingly Useful Websites You Never Knew You Needed caught our eye this week, mainly due to the ridiculous simplicity of many of the sites which made the list. Who knew clicking manically at your screen to find an invisible cow, or ensuring Kanye West stays firmly out of his zone, could entertain for so long?! Or how addictive it is to try to do absolutely nothing for two whole minutes? This got us thinking about how easy it is to overcomplicate a piece of interactive content, such as an app or an online game. The magic recipe appears to be to create a VERY simple challenge and accompany it with some amusing sound effects. Users will not only try obsessively to complete it, but more importantly will get their friends to try it out too. Fellow digital gurus, take note.

#4 Time for TomTom


A great new bit of tech spotted this week: a cardio GPS watch created by TomTom to challenge the uncomfortable heart rate monitor chest straps which many of us currently use. This technology will help amateurs as well as professionals achieve their personal bests or simply monitor their fitness levels rising. We love this sleeker, smarter, more attractive way of reaching your fitness goals. Read more about the watch here.

#5 Emma Hack

emma hack

We love how artists’ minds work! Made famous by Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ music video, Emma Hack is now using her intricate designs on nude artists and taking it to the next level with a live exhibition in London. Visually impactful and mesmerizing, we can see brands lining up in hope of using her work to bring campaigns alive. Whether it’s live art or captured on camera, her style is beautiful and that will always translate. Read more about her artwork here.

#6 Tennis & sunshine


Wimbledon 2014 kicked off this week and as the weather is set to continue to stay warm, who wouldn’t fancy relaxing in one of London’s parks watching it on the big screen with a picnic? Even better, the open screenings in honour of the world’s greatest tennis championships are mostly FREE! Some of the onechocolate team have now made this a tradition for Wimbledon weekends, and the next two weeks will be no different. Here is a handy list of places where you can kick back with a cold beer and enjoy the show.

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