Midland ’97 was an 18-day music event created and organised by
marketing agency KLP on behalf of the Midland bank. Public relations
agency Media Enterprises were charged with promoting KLP’s involvement
and winning positive coverage. Account director Andy Nash led a team of
three working on the campaign.
To reinforce KLP’s standing as a leading agency that pushes sponsorship
to a daring but successful limit, and to prove to the press the event
was unique to a finance sector.
Media Enterprises had done work for KLP’s other youth events and were
able to target specific journalists they knew were warm to the idea that
the streetwise consumer rarely falls for ’badging’ - where firms pay to
show logos at existing events. They also commissioned research to back
Press visits were arranged to maximise visual impact and win reporters
over. This included a ’hard-hat launch’ before the festival began - with
a tour of the huge arena in front of Battersea power station - and
briefings from key personnel from KLP and Midland. They were also
invited to the firework-lit launch night.
Iain Ferguson, chief executive of KLP said: ’It was very important that
business press knew what was going on from a commercial and marketing
angle. This was a radical departure for one of the biggest banking
groups in the world, taking the lead, rather than badging.’
During the festival, staff worked on briefing the media on the acts and
celebrities appearing each day. The line-up included the pop group
Boyzone, Paul Weller and comic Frank Skinner.
Of the pounds 3,000 budget, pounds 600 went on planning, pounds 2,100 on
implementation and pounds 300 on evaluation.
The media gave a good start to the launch. It was featured on News at
Ten and the event was also covered in the Guardian, the Financial Times,
the Daily Telegraph and the Times.
It proved to be an even bigger hit with business titles, winning
sustained coverage before, during and after the festival. Marketing,
Sales Promotion, Incentive Today and Precision Marketing all ran news
and features with pictures.
The biggest media coup came with Channel 4’s New Year’s Eve screening of
the Princess Diana Concert of Hope, staged at Battersea on 7
The number of visitors fell well short of the projected 170,000, but
this was due in part to bad weather.
KLP was mentioned in all the press coverage and Media Enterprises did
well in getting the message across that this was an event created
especially for Midland.
However, Midland was criticised by some for jumping on the Cool
Britannia band-wagon, while others said that being involved in a popular
music event wasn’t good for its image. Yet Andy Nash insists the press
warmed to Midland ’97 and gave it a fair hearing.
For KLP the results are more difficult to quantify but Ferguson says:
’The message was consistent and many of the press reports led with the
unique nature of the show.’
Client: KLP marketing agency
PR Team: Media Enterprises
Campaign: Promoting Midland ’97 music and comedy festival
Timescale: Mid-November to December 1997
Cost: pounds 3,000 budget plus undisclosed PR fee