Sunday, 12 July 2015

Press Release: The Fear Returns

English: Sign “ Coca-Cola ” in the mountains o...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The #UAEPR hashtag on Twitter was started by @theregos back in the days of yore, as he and I were swapping tales of woe from our experiences at the hands of the UAE's public relations practitioners. I had forgotten and thought it was me, @mrtompaye or @dxbmaven wot done the dirty deed first - but it would appear not.

#UAEPR is amusing; a sustained howl of pain from various media and bloggy types sharing the abuse we are all subjected to by the sort of drooling idiots who think sending breathless blipverts about car washing 'solutions' to people with absolutely no interest in car washing is a beezer scheme. That businesses are actually paying these clots to irritate an audience that buys its ink by the barrel is a source of never ending, childish wonderment to me.

It is from this stable that this week's highly popular press release about Bapsy's Brilliant Books came, a communication that ticks every box in the multi-layered mixed metaphor that is the Mille-Feuille Of Wrong.

And it is from this - gloriously Augean - stable also we are gifted with the following, sent to me on Monday of last week.
Dear Alexander,
I hope you are having a lovely week.   
It is with great excitement that we share the news of Coca-Cola Egypt's  Ramadan Charity Campaign #ثانية_تفرق, set to dominate social media platforms in Egypt and beyond.
This festive season Coca Cola is giving back to the Egyptian community by replacing their always hotly-anticipated television ads with a unique campaign against prejudice rolling out exclusively on digital media. Their TV ad budget is instead being poured into their  project of developing 100 villages. In recent days they have also galvanised Egypt's digital population, pledging that for every post featuring a finger raised against prejudice (symbolising one extra second) they will donate one additional pound to their project.
Kindly find below the press release for your reference. Please do let me know if you need imagery or any additional information as it would be a pleasure to assist.   I look forward to hearing your thoughts!   
Warm regards,  
Fascinating, indeed. A press release - naturally packed with highly assertive language - that begs more questions than it answers. The 'press release below' was just an Arabic version of the above text and some YouTube links to Arabic language videos about people with disabilities drinking brown stuff. I naturally shared my thoughts with Kristina in the form of some questions about Coca Cola Egypt which her email to me raised:
1) How will the campaign dominate social media platforms in Egypt and beyond? What sort of metrics are you using for this goal and what will success look like for you? 
2) How are Coca Cola's TV ads hotly anticipated? Do you have any statistics regarding consumer reaction to the ads and how anticipated they are? 
3) What is Coca Cola's Ramadan TV ad budget for 2015? Is this the same as 2014? Can you confirm this is all being spent on social good programmes this year? 
4) I'm not aware of Coca Cola's programme to develop 100 villages? When did it launch? With what goals? What form has it taken in the past? What has it achieved so far? What villages, in which regions of Egypt, are being assisted? 
5) What will Coca Cola be doing for these villages in 2015? 
6) How has Egypt's social media population been galvanised? Do you have figures of posts, engagement, reach to substantiate that? 
7) The raised finger in a selfie signifies one extra second of what? 
8) A finger raised against prejudice in Egypt is interesting. Which prejudice in particular, or all prejudice? Can you confirm that Coca Cola's definition of prejudice includes prejudice against gay and Lesbian people? 
9) What is Coca Cola's existing donation for Ramadan 2015? Is there a cap on how much it is willing to donate as part of this campaign? What is the maximum Coca Cola will donate? 
10) How does Coca Cola think this campaign will benefit its brand image as a purveyor of soft drinks?
It's nearly a week now and I haven't heard back from her. I'm sure the team has been beavering away gathering proof points that will back up the bold assertions in her email. Or perhaps I got caught in her spam filter, which will be doubtless more efficient than mine - which appears to have ceased to work for some reason.

Mind you, it's possible she wasn't being sincere when she said she was looking forward to hearing my thoughts. But I can't quite believe that.

It was clearly such a sincere email representing such a sincere campaign...


Nick said...


Alexander said...

You were famous before this, Mr Nick. And will be famous after the jostling hordes have passed this way and moved on.

Fame springs eternal...

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