If, like me, you have a bit of a sweet tooth and a slight confectionary obsession, then you’ll be pleased to know that Easter (aka the perfectly acceptable excuse to eat your own body weight in chocolate) will be here in just over a month’s time on Sunday 31 March. Easter is a big event in any PRO’s calendar, and over the years we’ve seen plenty of companies piggybacking the weekend with some eggcelent (sorry, couldn’t help it) campaigns. Here are three of my favourites:
After a dip in sales in early 2007, high street chocolate retailer Thorntons boosted their sales in the run up to Easter with this record-breaking publicity stunt. The company launched an edible chocolate billboard promoting their seasonal products, measuring 14.5ft by 9.5ft and made up of 860lbs of pure chocolaty goodness. Thorntons had planned to run the billboard for a full week, but it was devoured by hungry passers-by in just five hours – well, would you have just walked past free chocolate without stopping for a bite? Eggactly. The stunt achieved plenty of media coverage, and provided a much needed boost for sales, with CEO Mike Davies calling the billboard a “well worthwhile investment” (but refusing to comment on how much 860lbs worth of chocolate billboard cost).
The Extreme Vicar Challenge saw 16 brave vicars audition for the chance to conduct one of two special Easter Sunday services to be held at Alton Towers and Thorpe Park. Because the services were to be conducted both on the ground and during the rides, the vicars were tested on their ability to hold mass and recite passages from the bible whilst hurtling round the rides at speeds of up to 50mph. Not surprisingly, the competition gained lots of media attention for both the parks, as well as providing several brilliant photo opportunities.
Last year, Faberge placed 200 decorative eggs in different locations around London, launching the largest Easter egg hunt in the UK. Some of the 2ft6in fibreglass eggs, decorated by various different artists including Vivien Westwood and Sir Ridley Scott, have since been auctioned off to raise money for Action for Children and Elephant Family, raising more than £1m. The remaining 101 eggs are on show again this year, this time as part of Lindt’s Big Egg Hunt, which will see the eggs visiting some of the UK’s biggest cities such as Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester – definitely worth a visit if you get the chance!
This is a great on-going campaign which gained a lot of social media attention, with people Tweeting and Instagramming lots of photos of the various different eggs they had found – myself included. They have also been sharing some of the public’s photos via an Eggsibition page on their official Big Egg Hunt UK Facebook page – a good example of brand interaction, as people love to see that their personal content has been picked up by a company.
Another brand that I think deserves a mention here is Cadbury. Not so much for one stunt in particular, but for the on-going success of their annual partnership with The National Trust and their Easter Egg Trails. Over the Easter weekend, Cadbury sponsor Easter egg hunts at over 250 National Trust locations, rewarding every entrant who completes a trail with a Cadbury Egghead. I’m not sure how much of a boost Cadbury gets (or needs!) from the coverage of these trails, but they always provide a nice boost for deserving National Trust properties with plenty of coverage in local and online media, as well as notable attention in the blogosphere, which can’t be a bad thing.
Any eggstra special Easter campaigns I’ve missed? Drop me a comment!