Showing some #LOVE to Virgin Atlantic, KFC and Uber Eats

We’ve been feeling the love this week as the nation’s Instagram feeds, Facebook statuses and even our newspapers were filled with declarations of love and bouquets of roses. Whether you’re team Valentine’s day or not, you just can’t escape the buzz of the day (even if you try!) Brands from all kinds of industries have been jumping on the popularity of the day with fun campaigns and freebies – here are some of our favourites.

Virgin Atlantic’s love heart in the sky

Earlier this week, a Virgin Atlantic pilot used flight radar technology to draw a love heart in the sky while he was out on a training flight. His flight path was just off the coast of Cornwall and was quickly spotted by keen plane spotter, Phillip Davies.

This isn’t the first time flight paths have been used for PR, back in August, Boeing used what they called “aerial art” when testing their 787 Dreamliner to draw an outline of, you’ve guessed it, a Boeing 787. The company faced some backlash from environmentalists, but claimed the plane needed to be tested anyway so would have flown the same distance regardless.

This was then followed by rivals Airbus drawing a Christmas tree with their flight path over Germany. All three campaigns worked for their creativity (even if a little copycat in style), and the fact that a stunt like this can’t be pulled off by just any brand.

KFC’s scratch and sniff cards

KFC have had a string of brilliant, albeit slightly wacky PR campaigns over the last year. We’ve seen health food influencer parody videos, chicken-inspired nail polish and KFC themed Christmas decorations. This Valentine’s day though, the fast food giants have created their very own range of scratch ‘n’ sniff greetings cards.

There are four variations on the card, however, according to PR Examples, all of them include a special scratch ‘n’ sniff patch, plus an image of the Colonel himself sharing the Valentine’s day love with messages such as…

  • “You have the secret recipe to my heart.”
  • “I fell in love the first moment I slaw you.”
  • “We’re two peas in a chicken pot pie.”
  • “I’d be with you all the time if only I could. You make me feel so finger lickin’ good.”

The comedy and “WTF” nature of KFC’s recent campaigns are what make them highly newsworthy.

Uber Eats celebrate singletons with free kebabs

Valentine’s is no longer just for couples! The introduction of phrases such as “Galentine’s” and campaigns like this next one from Uber Eats, mean the day can be celebrated by everyone, not just those in relationships.

Uber Eats, the food delivery service, ran a buy one, get one free deal this year (14th-18th Feb), so that singles could buy one meal for themselves and give another to a friend. Toussaint Wattine, general manager of Uber Eats told the Independent:

“While many lovebirds will be out wining and dining on the 14th, this year we want to make Valentine’s period all about celebrating friendship and love whether you’re in a relationship or not.”

“So if you’re still holding out for your soulmate or simply want to show your friends how much you care, ditch the single doner kebab and enjoy two meals for the price of one with your bestie.”

Free food is always a winner when it comes to getting PR coverage. After looking online and at Uber Eats own channels though, we can’t help but feel that they could have made more effort to promote the deal to customers. Unless we’re missing something, there’s not one mention on their Twitter, despite having over 70k followers.

Royal Mail’s love-inspired houses and street names

Around February 14th, publications are filled with tips for where to find the most romantic getaways. This year, however, the Royal Mail have given this classic headline a twist, with their most romantic street names campaign.

They’ve used existing data they already have access to and analysed it to find the street names and house names which are connected to the message of love – for example, “Rose Cottage”. The findings have been put into tables and maps to show further trends such as, where the most romantic streets are and what the most romantic street and house names are.

The campaign is a great way to use data that the company has readily available, simply visualising it so that it appeals to publications and readers, like in these pieces by the Telegraph and House Beautiful.

Independent Age open the conversation around over 65’s sex lives

It’s not often we cover surveys in our weekly PR campaigns round up. That’s not to say we don’t think they’re a great way to get your brand out there, it’s just that we see a lot of them. However, what is rare is for a survey to get covered on the BBC. The final campaign in this week’s blog post managed to do just that.

Independent Age used survey data to broach the scarcely talked about topic of over 65s and sex. The survey revealed that over 65s would like more sex, and that they have fewer rules when it comes to dating such as the “3 date rule”.

In the past year, there has been much debate about the representation of older people on television. Whether that’s lack of roles for older actors and actresses, or lack of representation for older women and stories covering romance at this age. This survey works because it follows on from this topical conversation, but also generates what could be deemed as “shocking” headlines. Obviously launching on Valentine’s day helped too.

Last week our PR roundup included campaigns from Plan International, Morrisons and covered how you could’ve spent Valentine’s Day with Tom Hardy, you can read it here.


The 7 most popular Instagram posts this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is celebrated worldwide as being the most romantic day of the year – so who did we fall in love with on Instagram?

We looked at the social data for various posts from yesterday and have listed the top celeb Instagram pics. Check out who stole our hearts (or at least our likes) on Valentine’s Day 2018.

Who has been posting?

Instagram has become the go-to platform that celebrities use to give us a look into their lives, and yesterday they didn’t disappoint.

Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, and Will Smith are just a few of the celebrities that got involved with the Valentine’s spirit. In total, there were 100k Valentine’s Day-related posts on Instagram on the 14th February.

But it wasn’t just couples posting – singletons got involved in the action, too.

Shay Mitchell - Valentine's Day Instagram post

It seems that everyone was in the mood to celebrate love – whether it was for “Galentine’s” or Valentine’s Day, our Instagram feeds were filled with posts about the special event.

The language of love

The main hashtags that were used yesterday included:

  1. #valentines
  2. #valentinesday
  3. #love
  4. #happyvalentinesday
  5. #happy

Nina - Valentine's Instagram post

Looking at our social tool, we found that the word cloud included many keywords about love, including terms like “heart,” “roses,” “happy,” and “romance.”

Emojis were a huge part of this year’s Instagram posts, as people are beginning to use them as part of their vocabulary to enhance how they’re feeling.

Interestingly, 65% of these posts came from females and 35% from males. It seems to be the one day that guys feel less pressure to publish soppy posts about the ones they love.

Social media word cloud for Valentine's Day

So, who won at Valentine’s Day?

What were celebrities up to on Valentine’s Day and how many likes did their posts receive? We have pulled a list of the posts that came out on top yesterday.

  1. Kylie Jenner

Kylie Jenner's Valentine's Instagram post

Kylie is officially back on social media, and her Valentine’s Day post racked up an impressive 5.8 million likes (even though it was quite simplistic).

  1. Millie Bobby Brown

Millie Bobby Brown - Valentine's Day instagram post

The star of Stranger Things showed us how it was done this Valentine’s Day – her post, dedicated to her boyfriend, got almost 4 million likes on Instagram.

  1. Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian's valentine Instagram post

Kim’s tribute to her husband Kanye West received almost 3 million likes.

  1. Will Smith

Will Smith's Instagram Valentine's Day post

The Fresh Prince posted a photo of him and his wife to celebrate love around the world, which received almost 2 million likes.

5 and 6. The Beckhams

David Beckham's Valentine's Day Instagram post

Victoria Beckham's Valentine's Day Instagram post

David and Victoria took the opportunity to show appreciation to each other through these heart-warming posts. Both received over 1 million likes.

  1. Tom Daley

Tom Daley's Instagram Valentine's Day post

The Olympian and his husband took to Instagram on Valentine’s Day to announce that they’re expecting their first baby, receiving almost 500k likes.

Did you get involved in the Valentine’s Day hype? Is it something that you like to share on social media? Tell us your thoughts on Twitter @Branded_3.

Google continues its drive towards better quality ads

Valentine’s Day 2018 and there’s no love lost in the ongoing battle for delivering better quality ads across the web. Tomorrow, Google will switch on its built-in ad-blocker in Chrome, which will automatically block ads that don’t follow the guidelines set by the Coalition for Better Ads.

The Coalition has various members, including Facebook, Google, and P&G. It has developed standards for desktop web and mobile web for North America and Europe based on research involving more than 25,000 consumers.

It states: “The Coalition’s research identifies the ad experiences that rank lowest across a range of user experience factors, and that are most highly correlated with an increased propensity for consumers to adopt ad blockers. These results define initial Better Ads Standards that identify the ad experiences that fall beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability.”

Four types of desktop ads fall below a threshold of consumer acceptability:

  1. Pop up ads
  2. Auto playing video ads with sound
  3. Prestitial ads with countdown
  4. Large sticky ads

Eight types of mobile ads fall below the threshold:

  1. Pop up ads
  2. Prestitial ads (come up before the page loads)
  3. Greater than 30% ad density on page
  4. Flashing animated ads
  5. Auto playing video ads with sound
  6. Positional ads with countdown
  7. Full-screen roll over ads
  8. Large sticky ads

A site is in violation if more than 7.5% of page views have poor experiences that include the above. If in violation, publishers will get a warning and have a 30-day grace period to fix the issues.

We think the move is pushing things in the right direction, to ensure that annoying ad experiences become a thing of the past. It’s about improving user experience on the web and improving the experiences consumers have with the brands that are put in front of them.

Currently, according to Google, only 1% of publishers across 100,000 websites audited fail to meet the guidelines. But watch this space to find out how the ad standards and expectations of the Coalition change over time.

Your Facebook Page Organic Reach is Dropping (But Not Really)

Today, Facebook announced an update to Facebook page organic reach reporting that will result in numbers that will be up to 20-percent lower than what is normally reported.

Before you freak out, let’s be clear: Nothing is really changing.

Organic Reach Reporting Change

Back in November of 2017, Facebook announced the following change to Facebook page organic reach reporting:

Reach counts will now be based on viewable impressions. On Pages, we’ve historically defined reach as a person refreshing their News Feed and the post being placed in their feed. For paid ads reports, we’ve moved to a stricter definition that only counts reach once the post enters the person’s screen (“viewable impressions”).

First, this change hasn’t been implemented yet. It goes into effect on Monday, February 12.

Second, advertisers may be confused by this change since this is already the way that paid reach is recorded for ad reporting. The difference in standards for organic and paid reach is odd — so, it’s a good thing that this is changing to make them consistent.

What does this mean? It means that nothing actually changes. The way Facebook reports organic reach will change. You should expect those numbers to drop. But the number of people who actually see and engage with your content should not change.

Of course, it’s likely that most page admins won’t be aware of this update, and they’ll be startled by the drop in reported organic reach. And since so many marketers obsess over this metric, it’s imperative that Facebook make this change very clear.

For the next few months, Facebook will be providing both metrics (“previous organic reach” and “new organic reach”) to help with the transition.

Facebook New Organic Reach

The Problem with Organic Reach

Organic reach has always been my least favorite topic and the typical marketer’s favorite gripe. This latest update highlights my issue with it.

Actions are easy to confirm. Facebook says 10 people commented on a post? I can count that. There were 20 purchases? I’ll check my records (though there are some holes here). Clicks and landing page views, while your records won’t match up 100%, can at least be checked against some verifiable form of reality.

But reach? You have to take Facebook’s word for it. And how they define it can significantly change how it’s reported.

For example, you can reach a single user both organically and with an ad. But as soon as that person is reached with the paid version of the post, the organic reach is no longer counted. The result is a deflated perception of organic reach.

And we’re dealing with the other example now. Do you reach a user when their news feed loads your post or when that post is actually within view? And does the post need to be partially in view or fully in view?

These numbers can easily be manipulated to alter perception. And it’s close to impossible for a page admin to confirm accuracy.

That’s why I don’t care about reach. Yes, I know, reach matters. If you don’t reach anyone, no one can engage with your content. But this extreme example misses the point.

How Facebook reports on the number of people who “saw” your post does not change the number of people who acted (reacted, commented, shared, clicked, converted) on it. These actions are what matter most. They are what you should be focused on.

Update to Mobile Page App

Today’s announcement also includes an update to the Facebook page insights within the mobile app.

Facebook Page Insights Mobile

Insights will be redesigned to surface some of the most important information at the top on the mobile app.

  • General metrics (likes, reach, and engagement)
  • Results of actions recently taken on posts
  • Preview of new Page engagement (demographic information of new followers)

Your Turn

What are your thoughts on this latest update to reach reporting?

Let me know in the comments below!

The post Your Facebook Page Organic Reach is Dropping (But Not Really) appeared first on Jon Loomer Digital.

How to talk to a girl and spending Feb 14th with Mr Hardy: Our favourite campaigns from a week in the crazy world of PR

Happy Friday everyone. Now that January’s ‘New Year New You’ rubbish is out of the way and we’ve accepted that our NY resolutions are never going to happen, we can get back to the fun stuff! And we have lots of it for you this week.

Add some pud to your pizza

Morrisons have ramped up their game over the last year, and we’ve been loving every one of their campaigns. From their in-store pub to the foot-long sausage roll, they’ve listened intently to their customers and social media, reacting with quirky ideas that are getting them some seriously good press – a winning formula we see them rolling with for some time.

Their latest stunt has bagged them coverage everywhere, including the Independent, Metro and Good Housekeeping. Now, being Yorkshiremen ourselves, it’s our moral duty to cover any PR stunt containing the Yorkshire Pudding. And when it also involves pizza, I mean…what’s not to love? We give you, the Yorkshire Pudding Pizza…

Yorkshire pudding pizza


The delicious hybrid was launched to celebrate Yorkshire Pudding Day last weekend, but will be available in 491 stores across the UK until 20th Feb.

What goes with ‘girl’?

Last year saw some incredible campaigns and initiatives surrounding gender inequality and female empowerment. Thankfully, it looks like these are set to continue and 2018 has started off with an absolute corker!

The Sheboard is a virtual keyboard app from the Finnish branch of humanitarian agency Plan International and challenges us to rethink the language we use to describe girls. Typing in any word or phrase such as “girl”, “women” or “my daughter” will act like Google suggest and offer subsequent endings that aim to empower and build confidence.



Nora Lindström, Global coordinator for digital development at Plan International, says: “Technological innovations won’t in themselves change harmful, gender-stereotypical behaviour, but they can help raise awareness of these issues and support the equal treatment of girls and women.”

We love the incredible message it promotes and the way it is tailored to the digital youth and the channels they use.

Shut the front door!

Now this isn’t a PR activity or brand campaign, but we love it anyway as it could have easily been carried out by a company.

This week, the Daily Mail released findings of an investigation into high street shops wasting millions of pounds’ worth of energy by leaving entrances open in freezing weather.

Backed by MPs who have been encouraging the Government crackdown on the practice used by stores to entice passing trade, the Daily Mail used infrared cameras to measure temperature levels which showed the heat seeping from high street stores.

Infrared stores


The newspaper found eight of ten stores in London’s Oxford Street keep doors open or have permanently open store fronts – even Primark, which operates a closed-door policy everywhere else in the UK. Amongst these brands were Lush and the Body Shop, who trade on their green approach and state that environmental issues are at the heart of the company.

Spokesman, Ruud Heijsman, said: ‘The thermal palette has been adjusted to visualise colder objects in blue colours and warmer objects in orange and yellow. It helps you see how the shops that don’t close doors lose heat at a significant rate, meaning they will require more energy to keep the inside of the store to a satisfactory temperature.’

Valentine’s Day with Tom Hardy

Madame Tussauds…hats off to you; the waxwork museum has pulled off a Valentine’s stunt to beat them all.

This Valentine’s Day, women around the UK will flock to London to spend an evening with the seriously handsome Tom Hardy, we kid you not!

Madame Tussauds have created probably the closest representation of Tom Hardy you will ever have the pleasure of meeting. The soft-to-the-touch waxwork has a beating heart and is even heated to 37 degrees to replicate the body’s temperature. You can hug him, snuggle into him and even give him a peck (if you can squeeze your way pass the crowds). It’s just a shame he can’t read you those sexy sweet bedtime stories he did on Cbeebies!

Tom Hardy


Is all PR good PR?

This week has also seen some very questionable PR stunts, and although the old phrase says all PR is good PR, we can’t quite agree on this one.

We love the announcement of festival line-ups at Branded3, because it reminds us that summer is coming. This week, Y-Not festival in Derbyshire released their line-up poster, but it was slightly different from a version the band, The Sherlocks, released on their twitter. Their photoshopped poster bumped them up another tier, replacing with them with The Amazons under the headliners section.

Twitter (as always) went wild, and we mean wild; offering comedy reactions for a good few days. It’s safe to say that many fans were left highly unimpressed by The Sherlocks’ shameless dose of self-promotion.

The stunt gained them press across all the national newspapers and music publications, as well as BBC radio and news. And yesterday, the band who manage their own twitter account admitted it was their fancy photoshop skills, but that the tweet was just supposed to be “a bit of a laugh”. We suspect the band’s management are currently recruiting for a social media manager.

It’s been a crazy old week in the press. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading some of our favourite campaigns from the week! If you want to check out other Valentine’s inspired PR campaigns, take a look at last week’s post which featured #LoveSickSonnets from easyJet and a candlelit dinner for two from Greggs. We would love to hear your thoughts on this week’s PR roundup so make sure you tweet us!

Dealing with complaints – why a fast response isn’t always the best one

We’ve all had them and they can sit along a very long continuum of severity. Complaints from customers (or internal stakeholders for any in-house readers) aren’t pleasant to deal with and can place pressures on an otherwise positive relationship.

The temptation is to respond as quickly as you can to appease your client and try and get back into their good books. But in responding in this way the chances are that you won’t address the root cause and will be setting yourself up for a repeat fail.

Instead, follow these steps to ensure you can keep the client happy whilst preventing the issue from occurring again.

  1. Acknowledge

I must stress, whilst I’m advising against responding too quickly, it is imperative that you acknowledge a complaint has been made.

There is no quicker way to lose relationship then by ignoring concerns that have been raised.

My advice is to follow up immediately after the complaint has been made with a call and an email. This should include a summary of the complaint and the immediate next steps you will take before getting back to them.

  1. Review

Talk to the internal team members involved in and ask for their take. If they offer an opposing view, ask for some evidence to support it.

This is where you may need to do some detective work. Some complaints are completely justified but it is also possible that your client has missed or overlooked something.

If you can gather emails, contact reports, call notes, etc. supporting the later it could avoid having to refund budget or award additional work.

  1. Timeline

Pulling together a timeline of events is a great way of understanding how and when an issue occurred.

After you’ve spoken to the parties involved and gathered the available evidence, plot the chain of events, and identify key factors.

These can include:

  • Email & call dates
  • Agreed actions
  • Contact reports
  • Any specific contract clauses the cover the matter at hand
  1. Respond

With the above steps completed, you can now respond. You should include the following in your response:

  • Summary of the complaint
  • The steps you took to address it
  • The outcome
  • The steps taken to avoid it happening again
  • Details of any compensation offered
  1. Agree

Now you’ve presented details of the cause and remedy of the issue, seek agreement from the client that they’re happy with the response.

In some cases, some of the solution may be challenged. If you’ve done a good job of being a detective, then you should have the confidence to push back on anything you’re not comfortable with.

However, bear in mind that the client may have a different view on the events or could be presenting you with an alternative way of mitigating future issues.

Ultimately this should be a collaborative process with the outcome suiting all involved.

  1. Review

Don’t assume that because a new, more stringent process is in place everyone will follow it first time around.

Check in with the stakeholders regularly, reinforce what has been agreed and adapt if you need to. Stay in regular contact with the complaintive and make sure they’re happy the issue has been resolved.

Love poems, Time to Talk Day and a candlelit dinner at Greggs: PR roundup

It’s Friday! Which means it’s time for our PR round up, where we share our favourite campaigns that have grabbed our attention over the last seven days.

As it’s the month of love, brands are starting to launch their Valentine’s Day campaigns – so let’s kick off with a couple of these for starters…

easyJet – #LoveSickSonnets

In the run-up to Valentine’s Day, easyJet are encouraging its customers to write love poems on the back of sick bags, and share on social media for a chance to win a pair of easyJet flights.

To enter, people have until the end of February to write their poem on a sick bag and then share an image of it on Twitter or Instagram with @easyJet using the tag #LoveSickSonnets.

EasyJet love poems

The campaign was inspired by a real message left by a passenger on a recent flight – the airline discovered that passengers have been noting down loving rhymes for other passengers to find. The idea is also backed by easyJet data, which reveals that over 29% of easyJet Flight Club customers are in long-distance relationships.

Tina Milton, head of cabin crew at easyJet, said: “Distance is said to make the heart grow fonder, but long-distance relationships are always hit with some light turbulence.

“We are challenging our customers to channel their inner Byron, Keats and Wordsworth and pen some romantic lines on the back of our passenger sick bags.”

Greggs – Candlelit Valentine’s Dinner

For one night only, the popular high street bakery is offering lovebirds the chance to indulge in a four-course meal in its stores this Valentine’s Day. Featuring a menu of classic Greggs favourites, including love heart garnished bakes, diners can also expect a romantic ambience and even a glass of prosecco for good measure!

The experience is only available at selected stores though, so check out if yours is on the list here.

Tapping into the Valentine’s Day conversation can be quite a challenge for PR’s as there’s so much noise around the national day, however both of these Valentine’s stunts have been well-received, gaining an abundance of coverage across a variety of publications.

Mind – #TimetoTalk Day

Thursday 1st February marked Time to Talk Day – a day that brings the nation together to get people talking, and break the silence around mental health.

The campaign received a huge amount of support across the nation, sparking numerous conversations over social media, with celebrities such as Ferne Cotton, Stephen Fry and Harry Judd also getting involved.

Everyman Cinema also supported the day, through banning films for one day at its Islington branch, to encourage people to talk openly about mental health. The cinema opened its doors for people to go in and start discussions.

Hoss Ghonouie, head of marketing at Everyman Cinema, said: “Instead of watching a film, we’re encouraging guests to come in and have a chat instead. We want as much talking in the cinema as possible.

“One in four adults experience mental health problems every year. So come down with a friend for a chat and a drink in support of Time To Talk Day.”

All of us at Branded3 took part in the #TimetoTalk Day too. You can talk about mental health anywhere, even at work.

Discount Displays – Brutally Honest Brand Slogans

Discount Displays’ latest campaign definitely caught our eye this week. The company took a handful of well-known brands and paired them with “honest” slogans. This was a witty and visual campaign, which played on the idea of “what would happen if a customer had the chance to choose a brutally honest brand slogan for a company?”

Airbnb – Stay on the Blue Planet II Sub

The BBC have teamed up with Airbnb to offer three lucky Blue Planet II fans the chance to win a once in a lifetime trip on the series’ research vessel, Alucia.

Hosted by Orla Doherty, the three budding explorers will get to stay onboard the Alucia for three days and two nights.

Ms Doherty said: “Having spent 500 hours in the submarine and countless weeks at sea filming the deep sea for Blue Planet II, the Alucia almost feels like my second home.’’

“I now feel privileged to be able to share this once in a lifetime experience with promising ocean heroes and show them the wonders of life in the ocean.”

For a chance to join this expedition, people are invited to explain what their ideal deep-sea adventure is and what they dream of exploring beneath the waves. Be sure to submit your application on the Airbnb website by February 10.

If you’re looking for some additional PR success stories, you can check out last week’s post which features campaigns from Peter DeVito, KFC, Costa, Swiss International Air Lines and Audi.