FIELD MARKETING: OPEN-AIR THEATRE - Lucy Aitken reports on the brands that are using aspects of public participation and theatre as a part of their campaigns in field marketing

Twiglets used two types of field marketing for this campaign: the first element saw the Twiglet men, representing the different flavours, being let loose on the street. The second focused more on sampling, coupons and in-store promotions.

Sharon Richey, the director at MHP, says: "The idea for the Twiglet men came from the product. Twiglets look funny as they're so nobbley. We wanted to use field marketing delivery to bring this to life. Now we've got 35 Twiglet men literally running around the nation creating havoc, asking old ladies to rub their 'nobbles'.

"It's all about theatre, noise, attention and bringing the brand to life. For instance, when the Wimbledon tennis tournament comes around, the Twiglet men will be handing out samples to people in the queue and posing in tennis skirts.

"Our budget was £1.4 million, and the brand is delighted to have achieved sales of more than 200,000 per cent. If you are focusing on a character to epitomise the brand personality, it can be very powerful if it's done correctly."

FOCUS ON A CHARACTER
Campaign: The Twiglet Man
Client: Jacob's
Brand: Twiglets
Agency: MHP
Target audience: 18- to 35-year-olds
Campaign period: Started in December 2001 with a burst of activity in
February 2002. Ongoing
Brief: Build awareness of Twiglets' three flavours, raise the brand's
profile among a new target audience and increase market penetration
AN EDUCATION UNIT TO OCCUPY THE KIDS
Client: Northern Electric and Gas
Agency: PMI FM
Campaign period: August 2000 to February 2001
Brief: Raise awareness of the Northern Electric and Gas offering in a
fun and interactive way Many utilities companies favour the door-to-door
method of trying to attract new customers. Northern Electric and Gas
distanced itself from this method and used field marketing to promote
its brand and service.
AN ATMOSPHERE THAT ENCOURAGES PARTICIPATION
Client: Unilever Bestfoods
Brand: Olivio
Agency: RPM
Campaign period: May to September 2002
Brief Address/challenge misconceptions about taste and habit purchasing
in the butter and margarine market
A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
Client: Cartoon Network
Agency: Momentum
Campaign period: Summer 2000 and summer 2001
Brief: Bring the Cartoon Network to life with games, activities and live
performance

Emily Larcombe, the operations director at PMI FM, says: "The whole utilities arena is quite dull and we wanted to bring it alive. At the time, Northern Electric and Gas had a TV ad featuring an alien called Aura which was on air in the region. An inflatable Aura was put on top of a bus and inside there was an educational unit to occupy kids.

"It takes ten to 15 minutes to sign up new customers to Northern Electric and Gas and if the kids aren't being entertained and are bored, the parents won't stick around. We took the bus to venues like Blackpool Pleasure Beach and the Trafford Centre in Manchester.

"Inside the bus was completely interactive, with Aura the alien speaking continually about gas and electricity production. The response was great: we hit targets and stayed within budget. The client was staggered and we want to do more activity for them along these lines."

An Italian deli is the setting for Olivio's al fresco sampling experience set to tour 72 supermarkets nationwide. Brand communicators play members of the Bertolli family. For greater authenticity, some are Italian, while others have been learning the language.

Ross Urquhart, the managing director of RPM, says: "They aren't promotional staff; many of them are actors and actresses undertaking role play.

"There's a great deal of attention to scripting and the enjoyment of the brand. In essence, we are looking to trial a yellow fat, sowe have to create an atmosphere to make people want to come and participate. We welcome people as we want them to experience the brand. Whether they do or not depends a lot on the right amount of direction being given to the theatrical element.

"We did a project like this before for Olivo's club 18-130. That idea came from us and I believe that these ideas are generated only by a good team that understands the brand."

The Cartoon Network staged a performance with a strong audience participation element featuring characters from flagship shows on the channel. It targeted kids and parents at busy family events such as Bristol Balloon Fiesta, Longleat Children's Day and Blackpool Kids Megafest.

Paul Gascogine, the events director at Momentum, says: "We were targeting four- to 11-year-olds and parents. We aimed to reinforce the Cartoon Network brand by bringing to life the Cartoon Network through characters such as Johnny Bravo and the Banana Splits.

"The roadshows coincided with events boasting a high footfall, and often included games involving children drawn from the audience, so people walk away thinking they've had personal experience of the brand.

"The shows lasted for about 40 minutes, and ran constantly throughout the day. You get a constant turnover of audience, although some people chose to sit at the front all day and never leave.

"The roadshow saw 48 shows being performed and more than 750,000 people experienced the Cartoon Network brand. We predict that the roadshow will contribute to the growth of the Cartoon Network's audience for many years to come."

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