CAMPAIGN: Second Opinion - James Herring

James Herring, joint MD of Taylor Herring Communications, has worked on the British Comedy Awards

The team at LD delivered an admirable campaign. The previous year's ceremony was widely perceived as the worst Brits since the Sam Fox/Mick Fleetwood debacle. So generating excitement and coverage around the 2004 event was no mean feat.

Pre-event coverage ticked all the right boxes in terms of tactics: tying in media partners, linking with individual talent PROs and courting opinion formers.

Similarly, the launch event achieved its objectives. LD made this look easy yet entertainment PR agencies will empathise with the huge amount of groundwork and tactful negotiation that was clearly involved here.

The Brit music school and charitable aspects of the campaign didn't really punch through, but when you're up against Justin Timberlake's hotel suite antics, that's not entirely surprising.

It was a brave move to actively promote debate on the British music industry at a time when sales are at their lowest ebb. LD's cautious drip-feed strategy with regards to the nominees and performers worked well to disguise the fact that the ceremony was largely dominated by US acts.

The campaign was blighted somewhat by the impression that production and PR were working at cross-purposes, with LD's 'big picture' efforts unraveling with each US-based live performance.

Brits coverage is always widespread, but the fact that such an upsurge in coverage appeared to have little effect on either the viewing figures or the credibility of the awards would suggest that the Brits are in urgent need of a wake-up call and a sustained PR programme to move forward.

Creativity: 2

Delivery: 4

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