EdenCancan to help Children in Need be 'different and surprising'

BBC Children In Need plans to refresh its PR strategy in the run-up to this year's event in a bid to be 'different and surprising'.

Pudsey: Refreshing the brand
Pudsey: Refreshing the brand

The charity event has appointed EdenCancan as its first retained agency following a competitive pitch.

It is understood that one of the strategies being considered is a creative campaign where A-list celebs will be challenged to create a fashion range. These would then be available for sale to raise money for the charity.

BBC Children in Need director of marketing Sarah Monteith said she had decided to bring in outside PR help as part of her new strategy for this year.

She declined to comment on the fashion strategy, insisting that the PR had not been finalised.

But Monteith explained: 'You don't want to go down the line of being too generic. Just because you appeal to everyone doesn't mean you have to look the same to everybody. It's interesting to do things that are different and a youth audience is a good place to do this. It's one of a series of audiences that we're going to focus on.'

The Children in Need campaign has always been synonymous with its mascot, Pudsey the Bear, but the focus on fashion and celebrity indicates that PR chiefs are keen to see a distinct change of gear that will boost coverage of the event.

Taylor Herring managing partner James Herring said: 'Children In Need is in desperate need of modernisation and a fresher approach and any steps towards this can only be applauded.

But it is a mainstream BBC1 brand that appeals to parents and children, so it will have to make sure that it doesn't become too self-consciously "cool" or alienate its core audience.'

In the past, other charities that have launched successful fashion campaigns have relied on celebrity and high-street collaborations, such as the recent collaboration between Comic Relief, Stella McCartney and retailer TK Maxx.

Children in Need will take place on Friday 18 November 2011.

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