29 Feb 2024

A month of Mischief, February 2024

Welcome to A Month of Mischief,  a monthly take on the hottest passions gripping the nation, along with the latest Mischief news.


The Passion Perspective

We did it, we can finally say goodbye to winter (March is Spring, right?). Either way, that’s a wrap for February and although it may seem like it has just rained all day every day, a lot of exciting things have happened. Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer won best film at the BAFTAs, Beyonce became the first black woman to top the US charts with a country song and the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers at Super Bowl LVIII.

Of course, in our industry the Super Bowl is much more than one of the biggest events on the sporting calendar. Due to its ludicrously large audience – made somewhat larger thanks to a certain Taylor Swift and Chiefs’ tight end Travis Kelce’s fledgling all-american relationship – it’s also a big calendar moment for brand activation. Whether an official sponsor or not, it’s a great opportunity to flex creativity, reveal the latest campaign to a mass, engaged audience and take a bigger share of voice. So, we asked three Mischief Makers their view on which brands won at Super Bowl LVIII…

Josie Akuffo, Senior Director

Whilst I normally recoil at meta, industry navel gazing stunts relating to non-standard use of advertising space, I do have respect for brands that try to hack the hype around big events like the Super Bowl. Which is why I was amused by Liquid Death trying to go up against the Super Bowl’s notoriously expensive media placements to make the case that securing advertising space on its packaging would actually be a more efficient investment. The brand launched an auction for other brands to advertise on its packaging in the run up to Super Bowl, positioning it as highly valuable billboard space given the 200 million people who shop at the retailers who stock it each week.  With a buy it now price of $1.5million dollars, not sure how many offers they’ve actually received, but it doesn’t really matter – they did the job of cleverly cutting through.

Kitt Smith, Senior Account Director

Michael Cera and CeraVe. A brilliant example of a brand doing something completely out of its wheelhouse, shedding its normal TOV and going for it; and landing it brilliantly.

Aside from the millions of views and articles it generated, the ad was so good that most of Michael Cera’s interview on The Tonight Show was dedicated to it. If that doesn’t scream “winning” in your loudest Charlie Sheen voice I don’t know what does.

Lewis Durkin, Creative

How do you build some momentum ahead of the Super Bowl to ensure your slot pops? You lean into the Taylor Swift x Travis Kelce hype, of course.

The beauty of Pringles’ campaign is that they didn’t need to engage with either of them. By just using the iconic mustache of Mr P, and the iconic mustache of a to-be-identified-but-looks-like-Travis-Kelce individual, they got tongues wagging on Instagram about who’d be revealed in the slot. It turned out to be the ‘tash of Chris Pratt. It might have disappointed Swifties and Chiefs fans alike, but it didn’t disappoint in driving fame for Pringles.

This Month at Mischief

Dating, Debt & Dominating Podcast Charts with Experian’s ‘The Cost Of Loving’

With February being the month of love, what better time to launch Experian’s Cost of Loving podcast – a five-part series hosted by Celebs Go Dating’s Anna Williamson exploring the intersection between dating and finances, after we revealed that the average debt accrued by 18-35 year olds from funding dating and relationships was a whopping £2250.

A direct response to some of the toxic relationship tropes doing the rounds on social media, the series tackles a number of difficult conversations where dating meets money, from Gender Expectations to Financial Abuse Red Flags and Financial Infidelity.

We’ve secured over 60 pieces of coverage to date, including the likes of Mail Online, Daily Mirror, The Big Issue and Lorraine, with further consumer lifestyle interviews coverage set to go live in the coming weeks. As well as editorial success, the podcast has generated heaps of engagement on Experian, Anna and podcast guest socials, and has even made its way into Apple Podcasts Top 10 chart for Relationship podcasts!

With two more episodes due to launch, you can check out the series so far here.

Ocado’s Raunchy Reactive Hits the Spot

Ahead of Valentine’s, we dove into Ocado data looking at sex toy sales in the run-up to the big day, with results showing that shoppers were becoming ballsier than ever when it came to self-pleasure.

The data revealed that sales of dildos, massage oil and vibrators had all risen significantly in the weeks running up to Valentine’s Day, and almost three quarters of baskets that contained a sex toy also contained a ready meal as shoppers set themselves up for the ultimate day of self-indulgence!

Helping to lift the sex toy taboo and empower singles and couples everywhere, the reactive alert generated a flurry of top tier coverage during a key calendar moment, including in Mail Online, Daily Mirror and The Times.

Read more here.

Petplan And Tom Read Wilson get to grips with Pet-ymology

What’s the one word dogs dread the most? V-E-T. Our research found that two thirds of dog owners struggle to get their pup to the vets due to stress and anxiety, and one third had even resorted to using code words to disguise a veterinary visit.

With ‘The dogter’ and ‘a visit to Dr Barker’s’ some of the most commonly used alternatives, we worked with celebrity lexicologist Tom Read Wilson to pen a ‘doggy dictionary’, full of the weird and wonderful phrases used by owners to communicate with their pets.

As Petplan’s brand new TV advert launched, centring around a visit to the vets, we rounded our story off with advice from Petplan’s very own expert vet Brian Faulkner to guide owners in keeping their pets calm when The Dogter calls, resulting in coverage across a range of national, consumer, trade and broadcast titles, and even generating over 500,000 YouTube views on the new ad.

You can watch the new Petplan advert here.

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