Golin, nee GolinHarris, prepares to open Cannes with live demo

GolinHarris has rebranded as Golin ahead of the Cannes International Festival of Creativity this weekend, where it will become the first PR agency to open the festival.

Golin EMEA president Matt Neale: teaming up with David Hasselhoff on Sunday
Golin EMEA president Matt Neale: teaming up with David Hasselhoff on Sunday

The rebrand is the latest of several name changes for the agency in its 58-year existence, but the first in more than 30 years.

Golin has been handed the opening seminar slot in the Grand Audi theatre at 10am on Sunday (15 June) where it will conduct a live experiment with special guest David Hasselhoff.

The seminar – Relevance and The Hoff – will be hosted by Golin EMEA president Matt Neale and chief creative and community officer Caroline Dettman, who joined the agency in March from Edelman.

Jane Fordham, Golin executive director, marketing and talent, said: "We’re using the seminar as a platform to launch our proprietary research around relevance and to demonstrate our prowess in social media and real-time marketing.

"We want to show the audience that, while something like trust is as important as it ever was, brands in today’s digital world need to concentrate on relevance to cut through all the white noise.

"David Hasselhoff has stayed relevant and reinvented himself multiple times and we’re going to use a room full of very influential people to try to increase his relevance during that 45 mins."

The experiment will use social media to try to build The Hoff’s brand, with the ultimate idea being to get the ‘campaign’ trending on Twitter within the short timeframe available.

Fordham admitted that there was a large element of risk in attempting a live demonstration. "Things could go wrong, which I think is part of why the organisers accepted our pitch – it’s brave and it embodies our culture and ethos," she said.

"Hopefully even if we’re not trending, the seminar will still have a beneficial impact on The Hoff’s brand as well as on Golin and then a week later we’ll issue a campaign debrief on the results."

Al Golin, founder and chairman of Golin, said: "One of the main attributes of successful companies that stand the test of time is a willingness to adapt to change. To stay relevant, we must embrace new technologies and push creative boundaries to help ourselves and our clients adapt and win in a constantly changing world."

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