CAMPAIGNS: Midland taps the fountain of youth - Sponsorship

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.

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.



Objectives



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.



Tactics



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

this up.



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.



Results



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

December.



The number of visitors fell well short of the projected 170,000, but

this was due in part to bad weather.



Verdict



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



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