It’s no secret that I have a huge crush on Hugh Jackman. Ever since he reeled me in with his masculine good looks as Wolverine in X Men, I’ve been smitten ever since. Add in his Australian accent, dancing and singing skills, his family man persona, and you’ve got pretty much the ideal package. In all the interviews I’ve seen, he comes off as such a nice, easy-going guy. My mom went to see his show in Toronto recently and was wowed by his talent and willingness to chat to fans.
So when my wonderful roommate Ginger invited me to the Canadian premiere of REAL STEEL here in Toronto and said that Hugh would be there, along with some of the Canadian cast, I jumped at the opportunity.
Hugh arrived on the red carpet at Scotiabank Theatre and spent 20 minutes or so chatting to reporters, and posing with fans and signing autographs.
After the movie, VIP guests were treated to a fabulous party at the Fermenting Cellar in the Distillery District, which was organized by the Disney team and 5th Element Events. The venue was transformed with sleek “blue steel” hues, complete with a raised DJ booth over the bar that was designed to look like a boxing ring. Themed cocktails named after the robots in the film were passed out on trays, one of them – the “Noisy Boy” was a delicious concoction that had actual pop rocks in it.
Us girls enjoyed the cocktails, the company, and the scenery!
The perfect leading man, Hugh was a true gentleman and graciously responded to every photo and autograph request. My friend and I caught him on his way out of the party, and when asked if we could grab a quick photo, he responded: “of course you can! As we walk, as we walk!” as he dashed out into the night. Swoon!
Until next time, Hugh!
*Thanks to Ginger and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada for the sweet invite!
Everyone knows relationships matter. Not just with clients or at work, but in life – it’s all about who you know. That’s why it always surprises me when some people are so quick to damage relationships just because they’re in a grumpy mood, or having a bad day.
Working in PR, I do quite a bit of blogger outreach. I frequently hear my colleagues who work on the traditional side of PR constantly pitching reporters and media, and sometimes people on the receiving end of the call are not so nice. I’ve been pretty lucky in that department, as the majority of people I’ve contacted in the last year at my job have been friendly and responsive. Even if they decline a particular program I’m pitching, they tend to give a reason why, or a simple, “no thanks.” However, this week I had my first relatively rude, abrupt email declining an invite to participate in a program I’m working on behalf of a client with.
Now, I’m the first to admit I’m an overly sensitive person to begin with, and I suppose this person could have been having an off day, but when someone is unnecessarily rude to me, unfortunately I can’t forget it. It makes me not want to ever reach out to this person, because why set yourself up for rejection again? If colleagues ask me for recommendations on who to work with on future programs, I usually will suggest friendly people I’ve worked with before, and I’ll make a note to not reach out to x blogger based on previous correspondence. I’m sure that many bloggers get tons and tons of terrible pitches on a daily basis, but I actually make it a point to spend time drafting a pitch to be as clear and concise, and personal as possible. I actually do research on each and every person I reach out to, I check out their Twitter account, their most recent blog posts, and so on. Basically, I put time into reaching out (which should be part of every PR professional’s job), so it’s frustrating to get a rude response back.
I think it was Maya Angelou who put it best:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Similarly, I’ll never forget the time I volunteered for LG Fashion Week back in 2010. I was so excited to help out, and had a less than ideal experience. There was one publicity firm in particular who was helping organize the event, and the representatives from that firm were so unfriendly and rude to me, that it pretty much turned me off of wanting to be involved in fashion PR and publicity. A year or so later I can see that this firm is very successful, and has amazing clients, but I could never work for them because I would hate to work for a company who’s team members are just not nice people. My point is – relationships DO matter. Don’t be rude to the “little” people – you never know what they have to offer now, or a few years down the line.
It’s been a really long time since I’ve blogged on PR Passion-ista (apologies!), but something happened this week during TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival), that gave me some inspiration for a post.
Last Tuesday I was waiting in line at the Elgin theatre to see Damsels in Distress at the Visa Screening Room. I noticed a few promoters going up and down the line – there were guys dressed up as old fashioned photographers, and girls going around with iPads. One girl in particular approached the woman in front of me in line, and began to tell her about this promotion Canada Post was doing – did she want a free limited edition postcard, or a chance to win tickets to another TIFF film. The woman was really rude to the promotions girl, and I felt bad for her, as I know how tricky it is to get people interested in your promo and get them to sign up for whatever it is you’re selling. Then the promo girl approached me and asked if I wanted to enter to win tickets. I said, “sure, what does it involve?” She said all I had to do was login to Facebook either on my smartphone or the iPad she was carrying, “like” the Canada Post Facebook page, and post on their wall that I was in line at the Elgin. Normally I don’t like signing up for things, but partly because I felt bad for her since the other lady was so rude, and partly because I had about an hour to kill before they started to let the line inside the theatre, I said sure why not. She walked me through the process, all in all it took about 10 minutes, but I figured the prize was pretty sweet. Fast forward half an hour later, another promoter says “hey do you have Facebook on that thing?” (meaning, my Android). I said yes, and he proceeded to tell me about the contest again “all you have to do is like our page, and post on our wall” I said yup, I’ve already entered.
The next day, I logged into Facebook to see if Canada Post announced the winner of the TIFF tickets. I thought my chances were pretty good, as only four other people posted on their wall. Instead, I see the following message from Canada Post:
I was a bit puzzled at this. Not once did either promoter mentioned that one of the components of winning these tickets involved finding them at the Elgin. Normally I would just drop it, but I was really irritated because I felt like I was lied to or something. How can you hold a contest and tell people incorrect entry information and expect to get away with it? I replied to the thread and this is how the conversation went:
First of all, the team was NOT telling people to find them in line. Doesn’t that defeat the entire purpose of having the promo reps carrying iPads for people to enter in? How would that even work, would a promo person come up to us, tell us about the contest, get us to enter on their iPad, then they walk away, then we just turn around and call them over again? It seems redundant and nonsensical. Secondly, it wasn’t just myself who didn’t “hear” the rules of entry – a couple other people mentioned they thought they would do a draw on their Facebook page. Thirdly, I’m pretty sure that Facebook doesn’t allow public pages to hold giveaways on their page – I’ve worked on numerous Facebook contests for different brands at work, and we’ve always had to build contest tabs or find other ways to give away tickets.
Kudos to Canada Post for responding, but I’m still really irritated at the miscommunication of both promoters. Next time you hold a contest or giveaway, make sure your promo team is giving people the correct information. Not only is it annoying to have to go through more than three steps to enter, but to have your entry void because you weren’t properly informed is not cool.
The Fifa World Cup is the most exciting sporting event for me. I could care less about hockey, golf and baseball, but every four years I become giddy and rush to find my England car flag so I can drive around town honking at other England supporters. I love the sport, the camaraderie brought on by strangers who share a passion for their teams, and I LOVE seeing the commercials/advertisements from the sponsors featuring my favourite soccer players.
The ads are typically exciting, inspirational and create hype for the World Cup. I couldn’t wait to see what the sponsors would come up this year, especially from Nike and Adidas. However, I was completely let down by the Adidas ad. In fact, I think it’s one of the worst commercials I’ve ever seen. Both sponsors tried to create “epic” ads featuring famous athletes but only one succeeded. I think the Adidas ad bombed and the Nike ad was spectacular because of two main reasons: creativity and audience.
Nike’s “Write the Future” ad
Adidas Star Wars Cantina 2010
Nike’s “Write the Future” hit the nail on the head. From the first few seconds, I was drawn into the exciting, fast-paced, visually appealing commercial. The concept itself was innovative and intriguing–it showed world class soccer players making great plays only to reveal scenarios of what could happen culturally, personally and professionally if they messed up a kick or goal. For example, when Wayne Rooney made a bad pass he had a vision of being ridiculed in the U.K. media and having to live in a trailer. He then decided to get the ball back and had visions of being knighted by the Queen. Thus, writing your own future. It played like a movie–you wanted to find out what would happen next in the sequence of “what ifs…?”
On the flip side, the Adidas ad completely lacked in originality and creativity. I know Adidas has a Star Wars product line, but using Star Wars characters is not the least bit appealing, new or fresh to me. It lacked excitement, intrigue, as well as an overlying theme. There were random “celebrities” and athletes scattered haphazardly throughout the commercial–ranging from David Beckham to Jay Baruchel to Snoop Dogg to Noel Gallagher?! For a commercial that is intended for the World Cup, I don’t understand how any of these people (with the exception of David Beckham) would be involved in this ad. Also, there were maybe two references to the World Cup and soccer. Plus, I found all the “celebrities” were wearing boring, everyday items from the Adidas line. I find it ironic that the closing slogan is “celebrate originality.”
2) Who’s your audience?
In every single one of my PR classes at Humber we are taught to think about who our audience is first and foremost. You can’t expect to sell a product or service, start a marketing campaign or write goals and objectives without determining who your audience is. This is something Nike did fantastically, and something that Adidas failed to take into consideration.
Nike made a commercial for Nike Football–for the World Cup. Consequently, its ad featured a multitude of international soccer players, soccer fans, and regular everyday Joes who were excited to be wrapped up in this international event, even from their homes and workplaces. The ad showed communities rallying together in support of their team, and the ad was clearly for the World Cup.
Adidas, on the other hand, neglected to think about who their audience was. I realize there are a lot of Star Wars geeks out there and that Star Wars is a hugely popular movie franchise. However, I loathe Star Wars and know many friends who have never seen a film. My point is–not everyone is a fan of Star Wars. I’m not sure why Adidas chose such a specific theme to touch on in their World Cup commercial, especially since it should be appealing to an international audience. Despite the fact that I am David Beckham’s #1 fan (he has and always will be my favourite soccer player), I was embarrassed for his performance and association in the ad. I know Adidas sponsors him and he must remain loyal, but even as his huge fan I was completely turned off by the lack of originality and humour in the ad. In fact, it was cringe-worthy to me.
Perhaps I’m being too harsh, but after comparing the two commercials I’m stunned that anyone at Adidas would have okay-ed the ad as their big World Cup promotion. For two competing, massive sports companies, how is it that Nike continues to produce inspirational, entertaining, must-see ads, while Adidas comes up with lackluster performances and continues to be the lead sponsor in the World Cup? I would love to hear people’s thoughts on the two commercials–maybe there are some Star Wars fans who want to defend the Adidas ad?