CAMPAIGNS: Ketchum calls in the A-team - Fashion PR

On March 17, London’s Natural History Museum was the setting for the Oscars of the fashion world - The British Fashion Awards. A glamorous occasion and the highlight of the industry’s year, the best of British designers are rewarded for their input or impact on the world of fashion.

On March 17, London’s Natural History Museum was the setting for

the Oscars of the fashion world - The British Fashion Awards. A

glamorous occasion and the highlight of the industry’s year, the best of

British designers are rewarded for their input or impact on the world of

fashion.



Now in their 14th year, the awards had lapsed into obscurity, lacking

the press coverage needed to keep the event in the public eye. Ketchum

Life had the task of bringing the awards back to life and to the

attention of the press.



Objectives



To raise awareness of British fashion and its designers. To achieve

positive media coverage and make the awards a high-profile event which

would obtain a definitive place on the fashion calendar.



Strategy and Plan



Award ceremonies seem to take place one after another. To keep the

public and press interested, each event needs to be more glamorous and

celebrity-packed than the last.



To ensure coverage of the event, Julie Robson from the Daily Telegraph

was invited as a VIP guest to host a table which would normally cost

pounds 2,750 for a party of ten. The Telegraph was chosen because of its

high circulation and quality fashion pages. Sky News was invited to make

a special programme about the event.



Entertainment and fashion exist side by side. Celebrities are always

keen to present the right image and are often photographed just because

they are wearing an unusual, revealing or up-to-the-minute frock, so it

was no surprise that A-list celebrities were recruited in their droves

to give the event a glitzy appeal for the press and paparazzi.



A key to any successful event is having the right face at the right

function.



Most of the celebrities chosen by Ketchum to present awards were

carefully picked because of their association with the winner. Stephen

Marks, who heads French Connection, for example, was named retailer of

the year.



His award was presented by Nick Moran, who starred in hit film Lock,

Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, for which Marks was executive producer.

David Soul and Antonio Fargas - alias Hutch and Huggy Bear from the

1970s TV series Starsky & Hutch - were chosen to present the Classic

Design award.



Supermodels Caprice and Helena Christensen and Big Breakfast presenter

Kelly Brook provided the type of glamour which Ketchum hoped would make

the paparazzi would sit up and take notice.



Measurement and Evaluation



Sky News recorded a special hour-long programme and aired the show twice

in one week. The show went out to nearly 40 countries and the viewing

figures were up in the millions.



Plenty of press coverage was achieved, with articles appearing one or

two days after the event in the Telegraph, the Mirror, the Evening

Standard, the Express and several regional newspapers. In-house

evaluation of the coverage has been undertaken, showing that, on the

whole, coverage was very positive. However, without any brand awareness

research carried out before the campaign was undertaken, it is not

possible to say how effectively it has met its profile raising objective

in a manageable way.



Ketchum Life is in the process of putting together a sponsorship package

to offer potential sponsors for next year’s event.



Results



By getting the right mix of celebrities involved in the awards, Ketchum

Life managed to update their image. Inviting celebrities to an event is

always touch-and-go as someone inevitably backs out at the last minute,

but the celebrities on Ketchum’s line-up proved their professionalism by

keeping the agency up-to-date on their availability for the night.



Client: British Fashion Council

PR Team: Ketchum Life

Campaign: British Fashion Awards

Timescale: December 1998 - March 1999

Budget: Undisclosed



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