CAMPAIGNS: Stunt - Seafood hat wows Royal Ascot ladies

Client: Young's Bluecrest Seafood
PR Team: Brahm PR
Campaign: Making Fish the Dish of Ladies Day
Timescale: June
Budget: £2,000

Mixing with the celebrities and racing elite on Ladies Day at Royal Ascot this June was a six-foot-tall model, turning heads in a two-foot-high 'spiralling salmon' hat.

Organised by Leeds-based Brahm PR, this stunt was part of the agency's mission to 'make fish the dish of the day' for retained client and seafood manufacturer, Young's Bluecrest Seafood.

Objectives

To promote fish as a fashionable protein-rich food and increase brand exposure for Young's at both a regional and national level.

Strategy and Plan

With just three weeks' lead-time, the PR team approached Leeds College of Art & Design with the idea of a seafood-themed competition for millinery students to design a ladies' hat . Whoever designed the winning hat would bag £350 and the opportunity to showcase their hat at Royal Ascot.

The week before Ladies Day, Sharon Bainbridge and her winning salmon design were unveiled to the regional and online media, in a press release endorsed by the Queen's milliner Philip Somerville.

Seven days later, on 20 June, the project went national, when model Sam Barnett mingled with the crowds at Royal Ascot. Sporting the Young's-branded headgear, Barnett posed for photos with race-goers and celebrities such as Tara Palmer-Tomkinson.

Measurement and Evaluation

Despite competing with World Cup football coverage, the fish-inspired creation gained widespread regional publicity, appearing on news shows such as BBC's Look North and ITV's Calendar.

The hat also featured in the Yorkshire Post, the Halifax Evening Courier and on BBC Radio Humberside.

As a predominantly visual story, national coverage was also good, with BBC News, ITV News at Ten, The Times' Style column, The Sun and the FT running items. In addition, fashion pundit Jeff Banks commented on the hat during the BBC's Royal Ascot broadcast.

Results

Although not an original idea - in 2000, a similar ploy was used to promote the film Chicken Run - this low-budget stunt was good value for money.

For a spend of £2,000, Brahm estimates that the story secured 14.8 million 'opportunities to see' and claims a significant increase in calls to the Young's Careline.

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