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Sustainability Stars in our Specialist Sectors

Rishi Sunak has put his foot down at COP26, announcing that Britain’s biggest firms must play their part in tackling climate change. It’s a bold and brave approach, as it means they’ll need to roadmap their strategy for net zero without hiding behind a greenwash screen, being assessed annually on their efforts. Those that fail to deliver could face sanctions in the form of fines or the removal from the stock exchange – a move to show that he’ll hit them where it hurts if they don’t comply.

This will undoubtedly impact all businesses, but here at The Lucre Group we specialise in key sectors where we have unrivalled expertise and insights. With this in mind, we’ve picked through the press releases that made the cut in both the mainstream, trade and marketing media to share our favourite stories of the sustainability season:





Co-op has long been known for leading the way with its sustainability measures, so it has widely been deemed clever and appropriate for it to take the bold step of ‘rebranding’ six of its store fronts as ‘CO-OP 26’. An impactful image, particularly in Glasgow where the conference is being held, it helped show the retailer’s commitment to radically reducing its carbon contribution and its goal to becoming a Net Zero business by 2040. Read more about it on Prolific North.





Launched a few weeks before COP26, likely in a bid to avoid the sheer volume of sustainable storytelling during the conference, Selfridges shared its commitment to helping to counteract the Christmas wastefulness with a pop-up pre-loved toy shop selling collectables, antique stuffed toys and classic board games. A clever nod to the nostalgic and planet-conscious consumer, the high-end retailer will undoubtedly win on 2 fronts, both in terms of the public’s perception of its commitment to sustainability, plus improve footfall during the festive season. Either way, it’s a bold move from a retailer which has traditionally prided itself on selling the newest and best of everything. Read more about it on Time Out.





The Travel Foundation has used COP26 to announce its role in providing support for a newly-launched Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism. It will be working with the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to ensure businesses can work towards decarbonisation, adapt to climate change and support ecosystem regeneration. Read more about it on Travel Weekly.





Single-use plastics are one of the biggest plights on our planet, with bottled water being in the inner circle of carbon-emission culprits. However, a revolutionary Swedish water company called Bluewater is tackling this head on. It has publicly appealed to business and world government leaders at COP26 by launching a white paper reviewing the health hazards of chemicals released into the ocean from millions of single use plastic bottles dumped into our oceans and landfills every year. The paper worryingly confirmed that the endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in single-use bottles posed the number one threat to humankind. Read all about it on IT-TECH NEWS.


If your business is seeking an agency that understands how to deliver sustainable campaigns that have meaningful impact, click the link to find out more about our services and complete the contact form for a call back.

Successful Sustainability Storytelling

Sustainability has quite rightly become a source of inspiration and a necessity to almost all brands DNA. However, when it comes to sustainability storytelling, some have fared better than others. For the most part, the ones who’ve fallen short have not been the ones who’ve ignored it entirely but rather to those who have fallen into the greenwashing trap… over-promising or over-stating and woefully underdelivering! The idea that it’s ‘on the agenda’ with the likes of COP26 circled on all marketeers’ calendars has meant many brands have fallen into the trap of a sense of urgency, without considering whether they’re actually making an environmental difference or in fact contributing to the world’s growing climate crisis.

With that said, there’s been a great deal of incredible work done to celebrate corporate sustainability efforts and at Lucre we’re proud to have been a part of some fantastic campaigns. Here’s a few examples of the great projects we’ve been involved in:



Our brief was to create a compelling content campaign that would help Yorkshire Water in its bid to promote the importance of water conservation.

Having conducted research, we could see the region was not that engaged or informed about the consequences of water shortages, so we decided to make them a shocking reality and bring the issue home. Using photorealistic imagery of four popular reservoirs, hard-hitting stats and a 360 virtual reality experience, we visualised what Yorkshire could look like in 2071 if we didn’t take serious action.

Residents and the media were invited to attend a launch event at the very spot highlighted in the VR video, allowing them to step into the future, and a QR was left behind as a legacy for learning. Content from the campaign was also repurposed for social channels and wider education programmes, ensuring the reach was truly maximised.

The result? Broad coverage in national and regional outlets across the UK as well as a bank of powerful evergreen content for use on social channels and community outreach.



Climate change is one of the most significant issues facing the UK, with innovations into finding alternative energy sources becoming of increasing importance in the media and beyond.

Northern Gas Networks is well positioned to explore the country’s views on alternative energy and opportunities for green growth in the north of England.   Our aim was to create a campaign that aligned NGN with being at the heart of developments surrounding meeting the UK’s net-zero-carbon targets.

Key to our strategy was a robust research report delivered in partnership with Teesside University and YouGov. New insight captured via nationwide and North of England surveys, along with in-depth stakeholder interviews, enabled us to investigate economic and environmental priorities and the opportunities for strengthening communities and for green growth as part of the post pandemic recovery.

Positioning NGN as thought leaders within the sustainability debate, the report included pertinent recommendations ahead of COP26 while highlighting the pioneering work NGN is delivering to support a transition to hydrogen as a fuel for the future.

In addition, a broader programme of activity, designed to position NGN as a responsible business in the region, included coordinating NGN’s press and social media support for collaborative events delivered with industry partners, such as the in-school Solutions for the Planet project that invites children to share their ideas for solving sustainability issues. In six months, we achieved 92 pieces of coverage, with a reach of 17 million.

Quick fire creative campaigns helped to create opportunities for engagement, whether aimed at primary school pupils or the elderly, seeing an uplift in competition entries of 5,000% on previous years and securing spots on local TV.



It’s no secret that the environment and sustainability often top the media agenda. With this in mind, to launch Kodak’s new Sonora printing plates, we worked with Kodak to commission a sustainability white paper, positioning the company as the thought leader in the sector.

Authored by Laurel Brunner, Managing Director of Digital Dots Limited, the ‘Process Efficiency for Improved Sustainability’ white paper was specifically targeted at print companies looking to use technological innovation to implement significant environmental and financial efficiencies within their print offerings and capabilities, in order to enhance long-term profitability.

We launched this at a press event at Kodak’s state-of-the-art plate manufacturing plant in Osterode, Germany, with key journalists from nine countries across Europe attending. The result? We secured nearly 150 pieces of coverage for Sonora in top tier industry titles across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.


If your business is seeking an agency that understands how to deliver sustainability campaigns that deliver, click the link to find out more about our services and complete the contact form for a call back.

A Day in the Life of a Business Development Director

Nick Smith-Shefford is the Business Development Director here at The Lucre Group, where he has been helping to grow the business with his creativity for the past nine years. Here, he shares a day in his life…



The alarm goes off at 5am-ish and the first job of the day is to throw on some scruffs and take my not-so-little puppy out for a walk. I do a good hour or more, walking Tucker through the country paths around Harrogate, the town I call home. This is where I start work… it gives me the headspace to think up creative ideas for the many client briefs we have in hand. As Tucker chases squirrels through the fields and woodlands, inspiration comes for a creative campaign I’m working on for a nationally known food business.

By 6:30am I’m breakfasted and showered, and we’re both ready for the day. I transfer the voice notes from my phone to my laptop and head to the doggy day-care to drop off my boy before making my way into the Leeds office.

As an early bird I am always the first in, but I find it gives me chance to catch up on my early morning thinking and turn it into something ready to share with the relevant account teams. The rest of the team start filtering in from 8am, which also means I get to have a coffee and catch up with them… the ‘water cooler chat’ is alive and well now lockdown has finally lifted!

By 9am the video calls kick in – something that seemed quite odd when home working became enforced but is now just an amazing way to catch up with those not based in Leeds. These last until lunchtime, but I manage to schedule the odd refreshment break as copious amounts of coffee are an absolute necessity before midday!



I won’t lie… I live for lunch! As soon as I’ve eaten my breakfast, I am considering this crucial meal of the day and often disturb others engrossed in work to garner inspiration. Today I’ve opted for the delights of Wasabi and as it’s a good ten minutes’ walk away, it also allows me to get away from my desk and enjoy some fresh air. When I get back to the office, I resist the temptation to take it to my desk and head down to our communal kitchen and lounge space. When we moved into our new office just before lockdown our company opted to dedicate an entire floor to recreational space, so I honour the space sacrifice, plonk myself down on one of the sofas with my teriyaki tofu noodles and put on the latest episode of Bake Off. Some of the others in the team join me and we chat about how we couldn’t bake any better, others cover their eyes, run away and scream ‘spoiler alert’.



After a busy morning of meetings, in the afternoon I dedicate a generous amount of time in a quiet corner of the office to my own thoughts. A key part of my role is to develop creative concepts for potential and existing clients, and I have found that embracing the Dutch concept of niksen (the art of doing nothing!) is the often the best way to get the creative juices flowing. There’ve been many articles about it in recent years and although resistant to it at first, after trying it for myself I found the benefits in spades. It’s why I’ve continued to embrace homeworking in isolation for one or two days a week even after lockdown lifting, as it gives us ‘creatives’ the clarity of mind to develop ideas that we wouldn’t be able to get in a busy office.

As soon as I have drafted my thoughts, it’s a change of pace to tackle a few PowerPoint design jobs in preparation for some meetings we have with prospective clients over the coming days. Luckily our inhouse content division, RICH is on hand to help with the more technical visualisations. To round off the day I cram in a few team catch ups to discuss upcoming campaign plans, plus a meeting with our NPD team on some of the amazing new services they’re developing and I’ll then be marketing. I finish the day with an Outlook blitz, catching up on dozens of emails and calendar invites.



Thanks to my being part of a flexible working business and me being an early bird, my working day is done by 4:30pm, so I say my goodbyes to the team and head back to Harrogate. I’m still in a bit of a creative flow from my day so I take more voice notes on the commute back. Once home, it’s prepping the dinner, taking the pup for his evening walk and waiting for my husband to get home. It’s midweek and we’re trying to go meat free during the week so it’s a new tofu dish I stumbled upon whilst doing some desk research for a client, accompanied by the latest episode of Ru Pauls Drag Race UK. Watching the episode gives me another amazing idea for a brief we have in… something to start the day off with a bang tomorrow!

A Day in the Life

James Harris is a Senior Account Director based out of our London office, where he has been supporting our clients for over 10 years.

Here, he shares a day in his life…

It goes without saying, that no two days are the same in our world. It may be a cliché, but over the last 12 months, this has never been so true.


Making the most of my morning

By 08:00 I’m logged on, loaded with caffeine and ready to start firing through my priorities. I always focus on tasks that require clear thinking in the mornings as that’s when I’m at my best. Today, first up is new business. We have a pitch next week and our insights teams has sent through reams of valuable competitor, media and audience insights that needs analysing before we can finesse our strategy and creative thinking.

Next up, I need to check in on how the team is doing drafting numerous award entries for our client, Global Student Accommodation, which is leading the charge in setting the standard for student housing around the world.

Then, before I break for a quick lunch, I finish up a proposal I’ve been putting together for an international client looking for UK media support. The lead was referred to us through our international agency network, L’Attitude, that I was instrumental in launching two months ago.



I’m a firm believer in taking breaks. Stepping away from my desk, even if only for a short time, makes me twice as effective when I return – especially whilst working from home. Today I’m off for a coffee and a sandwich with an old friend.


Afternoon meetings

Monday afternoons are stacked full of meetings. I check in with all my account teams to cover off any potential issues or pain points in the week ahead and ensure the required support is in place for every facet of every campaign we currently have running.

Once those are finished, I have a video call with a Scandinavian PR agency that we’re in discussions with regarding L’Attitude. Earlier this year we launched this collective of like-minded PR agencies and freelancers to deliver PR projects and marketing campaigns across Europe, North and South America, the Middle East and Asia quickly and easily. The network is already 20 strong, and is a hub for showcasing ideas, creativity, global insights and PR best practice, with all members sharing common working principles, as well as high standards when it comes to execution. Within just 6 months, the network went from concept to reality, and as a key part of my role is heading up L’Attitude, I need to constantly seek new agencies to join the group and expand its geographical reach.

Client catch-ups are dotted throughout the week, and this afternoon it’s time to check in with The Dalmore. We’re supporting the leading whisky brand with the most exciting global launch the team has delivered in years, so it’s time to catch up with our client to discuss progress and next steps.


Planning ahead

Tomorrow it’s the trade show Imbibe, where I’m looking forward to seeing upcoming trends and the latest brands coming onto the scene. This is critical for my role, allowing me to advise clients on how to grow their share of voice in these challenging times.


Winding down

Working from home has completely changed how we end our working day. Without closing the laptop and leaving the office it can be a struggle to have that feeling of closure and switching off. So you’ll often find me taking a walk round the block, just to replicate that ‘leaving the office feeling’. If that doesn’t work, it’s down the pub…

Our Olympic podium-worthy moments

There are very few calendrical markers that unite the entire world – or at least unite in delight, competition, and celebration. Granted, the US elections have the same pull, but being united in fear is a bit passé right now. The enduring magic of the Olympics is that it is possibly the only international event that enraptures the whole world to such an extent, and for two weeks no less, which in an age of vines and reduced attention spans is quite astonishing. The power of the Olympic pull is varied, and though its sentiment has evolved over the last five centuries, the crux of it remains more or less the same – just on the scale of nations.

The Olympics is simultaneously a metaphor for the Western capitalistic mode of the individual Rand-ian perseverance-and-panache-will-prevail, while concurrently speaking to a communistic and Eastern mode of collective output reaping the greatest rewards – take the relay for example. Whereas the US elections just make you wonder if Siberia will be rendered too hot for your August hols under the new president, the games speak to mankind’s greater purpose. It also harks to our most pre-historic and base desires; who is most likely to out-run the lion and bring the antelope home or breed some evolutionarily stonking kiddies? If you’ve moved beyond that, good for you. The fact that everyone has a team to cheer, like it or not post-Brexit, is also a big appeal.

From a marketing perspective, the Olympic games is an absolute trove of opportunities: the whole world watching; infinite stadium walls to canvas, constant prime time television, endless social media commentary, virile and attractive superheroes by the spade-load who will wear your T-shirt for the right price, and every demographic imaginable at your disposal. We’ve rounded up some key Olympic highlights, trends, hashtags, adaptive campaigns, brands poised to win big, and some blinding faux pas. Now, there are no excuses if you flop at Paris – you’ve had due warning.

In Bronze – Nike with ‘Best Day Ever’

Ahead of the Olympics, Nike disseminated the latest chapter of their Play New campaign, depicting a world where anything in sport is achievable.

Featuring the athlete Sha’Carri Richardson, who received wide scale coverage after she was issued a month’s suspension having tested positive for marijuana, the ad harks to redemptive, optimistic futures and encourages the young to never give up.

Though it can be stiflingly saccharine and a little disingenuous, the ad does tap into the spirit of the Olympics in a wider sense, and in so doing bolsters Nike’s image in that it transcends the sporting paraphernalia (notably light on product placement) as if it has only been a by-product of Nike’s greater purpose all along. For making marketing seem wholesome, we welcome you to the podium, Nike.

In Silver – Birds Eye with ‘Proud to Power Team GB’

This is by no means a fantastic ad in itself – with low-production value, tepid special effects, and a hackneyed narrative – it’s utterly unremarkable. Why then, you may reasonably ponder, has it made the podium? What Birds Eye have done here is unwittingly conjure the spirit of the Olympics through their mediocrity – whatever you have in the arsenal, you can try, and you can succeed. The campaign itself, promoting a green cuisine range, highlights the power of imitation in advertising. Birds Eye is welterweight at best, but by adopting the strategy that Quorn did four years ago, using Mo Farrah as a spokesperson (a vocal vegetarian), Birds Eye has adopted Olympic athlete Laviai Nielsen – seen excelling in her sport, powered by meat-free burger patties. It’s stuck to a well-established paradigm, and not tried to be daring or new, and in doing so has delivered a solid ad that does what it says on the biodegradable packaging.

In Gold – The International Olympics Committee (IOC) with ‘What Agnes Saw’

The IOC is currently showcasing a series called ‘stronger together’, with ‘What Agnes Saw’ being the latest instalment. The digital campaign, featuring the oldest living Olympian, Agnes Keleti, and the youngest ever, Skateboarding prodigy Sky Brown, is truly exceptional.

By book-ending a century between Agnes and Sky, the IOC has filled the chasm in-between with historical landmarks in social change (female athletes, mothers, the descendants of slaves, and more) that optimistically conclude on Sky who looks to the next century of change and the overwhelming number of things that it could hold. The gynocentric perspective is here used as a fulcrum to pivot towards a celebrating of the underdog, and by doing so highlights the margins of the athletic community in such a way that it appears to make up the majority. An intelligent, considered, and genuinely poignant campaign.

Trends, Hashtags, and political statements emerging from Tokyo 2021

Tom Daley and his knitting needles will no doubt be the next crafty trend to take-off. Having knitted an Olympic cardie while poolside, Tom Daley’s Instagram account has already amassed 1.4 million followers. His rather charming, crocheted medal pouch can be viewed here.

#wishitwasawhopper is a great piece of advertising by Burger King, who may well have the best burgers and PR team of any fast food chain. The hashtag comically draws on Olympians biting their gold medals, and encourages audience participation with the promise of a free Whopper if you upload any gold bites online with the hashtag.

The respectful political protest of crossed arms is a new symbol of strength to stem from the Olympics. When 25-year-old Raven Saunders, a black and openly gay American won silver in the Shot put, she crossed her arms on the podium in a gesture that represented ‘the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet’.

Politics and Social Change

With one in six Gen Z adults identifying as LGBTQIA+, it truly is time the world stepped up and accommodated the new generation. When Olympic skateboarder Alana Smith was repeatedly mis-gendered despite having ‘they/them’ inscribed on the deck of their board, it was picked up by social media and called out.

When looking at the gendered and queer landscape of the Olympics, it’s not a particularly inspiring sight. Though the progress is unquestionably cause for celebration, it’s very far from where it should be, and maybe it’s time to question the working politics of your team or business and make sure it’s where it ought to be.

Une bonne journée a toi, and see you in Paris.

Are we heading for an autumn of careful experiential?

As restrictions ease, us PR folk are tentatively considering experiential campaign ideas for our clients. There are already signs of these immersive brand experiences returning to our cities, but how do we balance our creativity with social distancing concerns?

At Lucre, we have become famous for our experiential campaigns and standout stunts that have garnered international recognition – but what is actually doable in a world where we can be snapped back into lockdown at the drop of Boris Johnson’s hat?

Here are a few examples where brands have found a balance…


KFC has put its head above the parapet by launching its fried chicken themed hotel this month. Offering ‘the spiciest stay of the summer’, the KFC Hotel in London is available for a one-night booking through at The House of Harland. They have thought of everything – check in is called ‘Chick-In’, room service only offers the KFC menu and there’s a dedicated cinema room playing ‘chick flicks’. Not only that, all the proceeds go to its own foundation which empowers youngsters to achieve their potential. All in all, an amazing job well done.

COVID-proof check:        Pre-booked reservations only


Gucci, as you would expect, has gone a more considered way, taking over a 100-year-old Japanese townhouse to celebrate its 100-year anniversary. This isn’t by chance of course, as its new collection entitled ‘Aria’ draws strong influences from Japanese culture. Whilst respecting traditional aspects of the property, there’s a theme of Gucci embellishment that’s unmistakable – Gucci-branded chairs and monogrammed shoji panels respectfully integrate, while its bamboo-handled bags stand out, yet sit well in the space. What’s more, they’ve made admission free – a gift to the nation that inspired its latest collection.

COVID-proof check:        Attendance by reservation only


Hendrick’s Gin has also opted to take an OOH activation and make it into a news-worthy experiential  campaign by unveiling fabulous floral bus stops across six UK cities. Each with a living garden roof of roses and cucumbers, they’re designed to let off a scent to attract the public. To create even more impact, each bus stop has a screen with an inverted bottle of its gin continuously pouring, without ever overflowing, into a glass of Hendrick’s Gin Cucumber Lemonade. An absolutely insta-worthy trip for anyone living in close proximity.

COVID-proof check:        Outdoor public space to maximise social distancing opportunities


What can we learn from these examples? – experiential PR activity is still doable, but we need to be creative, clever and considered in our planning and execution to ensure our experiential campaigns make the headlines we hope for.

If you’re after an experiential campaign that cuts through the noise, get in touch to schedule a consultative call today –

It’s time for brands to get that festive feeling

Do you feel that festive buzz? Are you readying to hunker down by the fire, mulled wine in hand to watch a duvet of snow engulf the pavements, transforming them into feathery fairy tale perfection? Of course you’re not – it’s July, and even in the midst of a never-ending pandemic, and with no seasonal weather cues in sight, you still know summer from your elbow.

But for us PRers, much like the good Father Christmas himself, the festive season is a year-long consideration, neigh, way of life. With the 1st of July so comes the six-month count-down to Christmas, typically the busiest season in any PR calendar. With this in mind, here at Lucre we’ve complied a naughty and nice list of tips and tricks to tee up the perfect Christmas campaign.

Christmas in a pandemic

The pandemic persists, and though we hoped to be well out of it last Christmas, it looks here to stay for a little longer, and so it needs to be a primary consideration when preparing Christmas campaigns – whether it may be the very practical matter of ‘will my event fall in the middle of a lockdown?’, to discouraging gatherings and being prepared to move everything online. It is also worth critically contemplating the tone of voice adopted by a campaign and accurately reading the temperature of your demographic given the world right now – Christmas may not be the jolliest of emissaries for many this year. A sombre and aware tone is important. But equally this may well be a post-pandemic Christmas so don’t be shy to join the celebration and giving it your all. There’s a fine line to tread, but is that not what we’re here for?

Flexibility is going to be critical this year, along with having solid back-up plans that are ready to go should other plans be cancelled. If your Christmas pitch falls flat due to another lockdown then you want something on the backburner, or a campaign that will work equally well online as it does in person. The abundance of heavily choreographed Christmas ads, taught with in-house rivalry and antagonism betwixt brands is always a high point of the festive season, and rather carried last year’s campaigns. The thought that lockdowns would have ended by December was important in spirit, but did leave everyone scrambling. This year engaging online campaigns and creative solutions needs to bridge the bridge the two-metre gap to ensure the season is utilised properly.

The pandemic may have changed your demographic, and their behaviours. It’s worth considering the price and cost when it comes to your Christmas offering; disposable income has decreased for most throughout this time, so offering more affordable options along with experiences will be key. In the same vein of understanding your customer, remember that last year’s data is going to be heavily skewed by the pandemic, so do look over five years’ worth of data and assess the average. Perhaps your key demographic hasn’t been affected by the pandemic, in fact, they’re spending more than ever. It’s more likely than not that their behaviour will have been affected in some way, and re-examining the last five years is a good way to predict what’s coming and get an approximation of the best direction to take a campaign in.

This year, due to the uncertainty of the world and the constant lockdown pendulum from which we oscillate, Christmas in July has been postponed for many until October, so if you are looking to host events for journalists or influencers to experience your Christmas offering first-hand, then it’s worth bearing in mind.

Christmas not in a pandemic (can you remember one?)

Pandemic, shmamdemic. Some classic Christmas in July prep never changes. The first sage tip that we’re all to ready to ignore is to plan further in advance than you think you’ll need. There are always so many moving parts to line-up, and with the added time-suck of a pandemic, leave yourself room to be flexible and ready to meet any changes head on.

Investing in evocative photography is another vital asset to any Christmas arsenal. Last year lockdown after lockdown had many brands limping on the crutch of stock imagery or moving into animation. This year snatch any moments of mobility and get some images ready to go. If everything moves online, it will allow you to utilise social and get an edge on the competition.

As always, consider product placements now – when will the long leads you want to secure be pulling together Christmas pages, product reviews and the like? Why not get some mailers in the post and start locking down coverage? An early Christmas gift to yourself really…

Finally, how are you going to stand out on social? With or without a pandemic, social media is really the fulcrum of a successful campaign in today’s climate. With Instagram essentially a Tetris cube of monotonous advertising, standing out and engaging with your audience is key.

And remember, if you didn’t follow sage tip number one and leave yourself enough time, there are always ways to create engaging material by upcycling evergreen content into graphics, piggybacking current trends and garnering quick wins off them. Host contests and give-aways, hit the stories hard – and never overlook influencers!



Celebrating Pride as a Business

Pride Month has a rich culture behind why we celebrate, and our favourite brands are doing some amazing work in getting people talking about queer issues and in celebrating the impact that LGBTQ+ people have in the world!

Here are some top notch examples of brands who are making a difference to the LGBTQ+ community and are proud to be packing a punch this pride…


1. ‘Claim Your Space’ Spotify’s Pride Campaign

Do you have any Pride Party anthems that spring to mind? Ready for some new ones?

Spotify is partnering with LGBTQ+ musicians to shine a spotlight on their talents, showcasing several artists in month-long activations – both online and in person. Artists such as Hayley Kiyoko, Big Freedia and Fancy Hagood are all included (you may not have heard of them yet, but Spotify will have you clued up before the end of Pride!)


2. Unilever

Tourmaline, an activist and black transgender film-maker is working with Unilever to bring change to five cities that are most challenging for LGBTQ+ people to live in: Monroe, Louisiana; Moore, Oklahoma; Clemson, South Carolina; Florence, Alabama; and Cape Girardeau Missouri. These have all failed the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index, which examines how inclusive laws, policies and services are to LGBTQ+ people.


3. Converse’s Colourful Pride Collection

Converse is becoming more iconic each year with its stunning rainbow themed collection. Since releasing its first Pride collection in 2015, Converse has donated more than $1.3 million in support of local and global LGBTQ+ organisations, such as the Ali Forney Center, BAGLY and OUT MetroWest. Its Limited Edition Rainbow Collection is more popular every year and shoe lovers can even design their own shoes, choosing from flowery to space designs, with the option of the classic rainbow soles and laces.


4. MEPC – P for Pride?

Being a leading name in UK commercial property for more than 70 years, MEPC has already made a name for itself in creating a buzzing community for its customers and Pride month is no exception. They have a rich LGBTQ+ knowledge that is shared on its website and its Pride events always give back to charities that help LGBTQ+ individuals feel more valued in the workplace. “Promoting diversity and equality for all can help to make employees feel happier at work. We all want to feel respected in the workplace!”


5. Virgin Pride Radio

Virgin Radio is launching Virgin Radio Pride UK which will span their summer holding events across the country to highlight queer artists. The core programming will address important issues in the LGBTQ+ community, shining a light on these matters. We are promised the exciting lineup will make us laugh, cry and above all – be proud!


What Queer People Think About Pride Marketing

Don’t rainbow wash your windows!

If a brand decides to support the LGBTQ+ community it is important to bear in mind that without real meaning and purpose, campaigns can fall flat and leave a lasting bad image on the company.

Before launching a Pride campaign, it is worth considering how your campaign will affect LGBTQ+ people in need directly and work from that goal. The difference between supporting an LGBTQ+ charity and waving a pride flag could be life changing to those in need, and by supporting queer artists and queer talents we can celebrate making the world a safer and more accepting place.

The best way to support Pride from a business and personal point of view is to always be an advocate. This doesn’t mean you have to be really over the top with your support and campaigns, as long as your actions are fully representative and consistently supportive of the LGBTQ+ community, you’re doing a great job!


Have any brands impacted your thoughts on Pride this year?

We would love to find out more. Pop over to our Twitter or LinkedIn pages and share your thoughts!

Gen Z – How are they feeling and how will their behaviour change as lockdown eases?

As part of our ongoing insight programme into Gen Z, our most recent Zedders Panel saw a group of 16 – 19-year-olds questioned on their thoughts and feelings following lockdown and their intended behaviours as restrictions ease.

Their hopes, dreams and concerns were all discussed in depth, with very definite views made, and here’s what we’ve discovered:

Looking forward…

Like the rest of us, they’ve simmered life down to the things that really bring them joy – all they want is to socialise again, seeing friends and family with no limits or restrictions on numbers.

‘I just want to have freedom to do what I want without restrictions and rules’.

Those who fall on the older end of the spectrum, or who indeed came of age during the pandemic, are absolutely chomping at the bit to get into bars, clubs and live music venues. Stats-wise, a whopping 75% expressed socialising with friends and family as something they were very much looking forward to…

‘Since turning 18, I definitely want to try out clubbing’.

‘Schools’ nearly ended… might be a bit of a party vibe summer’.

Another major area that has been sorely missed is exercising without restrictions. Three quarters of the Gen Z focus group mentioned a desire to get back to the gym, as well as competing in sports matches.

What’s changed?

It’s well established that Gen Z spends more time than any other group online and the pandemic has only fuelled that, particularly with school life and socialising so dramatically impacted. But how has this altered our Zedder’s world view?

Well for starters it’s made them significantly more politically inclined than previous generations, and with good reason. There’s a widespread general concern about environmental issues, with notable commentary surrounding the rising sea-levels, plastic pollution and global warming.

‘The older generation don’t realise so you find yourself having to teach your parents’.

‘It seems a bit of a chore but its better in the long run to recycle’.

‘I don’t do as much as I should – I got involved in protests but then it slowed down with Covid. I need to do more’.

They’re most concerned with reducing plastic use and cutting down or avoiding eating meat. The consensus seems to be that these things are more easily attainable/within their control, whereas when it comes to fast fashion, though most condemn it, they are fashion conscious but lack the finances to invest in long-term, sustainable garments.

‘I would choose a more environmentally-friendly brand if it was at a reasonable price range’.

That said, they are highly critical of fast fashion companies like Primark, Shein, and Boohoo and want them to be more sustainable and eco-friendly. Statistical breakdowns show that 85% are concerned about climate change, two thirds about pollution and half about recycling and loss of habitats.

Their influence is also driving the second-hand market with clothing brands such as Vinted and Depop increasingly popular. This mode of shopping extends to online market places such as Etsy, seen as an ideal middle ground because it is relatively inexpensive, environmentally conscious and also supports individual talent.

Ultimately, like the rest of us, it seems than Gen Z have boiled life down to the important things, seeing friends and family, having a good time, and protecting our planet for future generations.

Boss backlinks to add weight to your campaigns

No matter how long you’ve worked in PR, the exhilarating feeling you get when that ‘piece of coverage’ goes live never fades. In the world of digital PR, it’s when you see that wonderful backlink staring at you.

Earning a backlink is one of the biggest signals you can give to Google that you’re a VIP. In fact, every time you secure a backlink to your client’s website, you’ve pretty much doubled the value of that online coverage. But why? Why are securing links so important? How do they help your client’s brand or business? And why is it so important that PR campaigns generate backlinks alongside coverage?

However much Google’s job has evolved over the years, its most important one still stands; to interpret and understand what people are searching for – i.e. the search query -, and serve the best possible results to its users. Whether you’re searching for bicycle shops near me or what should I wear to a wedding?, Google tries to find the best content available on the web to answer that question. For Google to decide what the best content is, it has a scoring system:

Site Structure:

Have you ever been to a shop where products are all over the place with no sections or signposts? Makes it hard to find anything, right? Google has the same issue when a website isn’t structured well or categorised right. If it can’t navigate through a site with ease, it won’t recommend it to users. First on the scoring board is that your website has a good structure and is categorised well.

Site Visibility:

Before any public website has visibility on Google, every important page on it needs to be found and filed. Google uses a web crawling software called Googlebot to find and collect information on the web to add to its index. As it crawls billions of web pages every day, Google needs to find a way to prioritise which page it crawls first. This is where the site authority comes in.

Site Authority:

How does Google know a website is popular, credible or valuable? One of the biggest signals is when other websites point to it via a backlink!

What are backlinks?

Think about word-of-mouth marketing or Trust Pilot reviews. The more people vouch for a product or brand, the more others are likely to buy.   Whatever the topic or theme (e.g. bicycle shops) if thousands of websites link to one particular site, it’s telling Google that the content on it is credible, and of high quality.

Additionally, the more backlinks a site gets, the higher it scores (known as the domain authority), and the higher it scores, the more regularly Google will visit.

Why is this a good thing? The more regularly Google visits a site, (for example, a publication like The Guardian would get daily visits while our very own Lucre blog is more likely to be viewed weekly), the quicker it processes the content to then serve back in the search results. In addition to that, the number of backlinks a website has determines where Google will rank it on the search results page (also known as SERPS). As we all know, the higher you are in Google search results,  the more clicks, the more views and ultimately, the more sales.

Backlinks are valuable for PR campaigns as they represent a vote of confidence from the publisher where coverage was secured (e.g. The Guardian) to the brand website. They are a signal to search engines like Google that authoritative and popular news sites are vouching for your content.

In order to earn a quality and relevant link, most SEO marketers will tell you that PR is the way to do this. If the PR professionals are already doing all the hard work by building those relationships and securing coverage, acquiring backlinks only seems a natural value-add to the work.

So how can we secure more links in our digital PR campaigns? What would increase the chance of journalists linking back to a website? A few tips to keep in mind:

Links in press releases:

Seems like a no-brainer but many press releases are still being written and distributed to press without including relevant links. If a brand, service or initiative is being talked about, include a link or links back to the brand in question.

It’s not just about product pages:

Product pages are great for shopping editors and a way to drive initial interest/sales. But what about when the product is sold out? Or the event is over? Category pages are a good additional link to include long term (e.g. black dresses, pet toys). After the initial campaign or launch, they are links that will navigate users to what they’re already showing an interest in.

Give journalists a reason to link back:

Any link included in an article or feature is giving the reader an opportunity to link out and leave the page. If journalists are going to do this, it needs to be for a good reason. This could be anything from additional research or stats, interactive tools, exclusive content, or any other information that would be useful to the reader.

Link building is an incredible skillset most marketing professionals have, but don’t use. As you’re coming up with campaign ideas and brainstorming for the next big media story, just add one question – how could we also secure a link?


If you want to learn more about how backlinks can increase the value of your PR campaigns, get in touch today at

Spot the difference! All you need to know about SMO and SEO…

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Optimization (SMO) are both strong marketing techniques, but they can get confused. In world full of great tools, techniques and expertise, you often see wealth of jargon. SEM, PPC, FB…it can be tough to keep in touch will all the many marketing acronyms, but in this blog we’re going to focus on the difference between SEO and SMO.


Both SMO and SEO involve optimization

The clue’s in the name – both terms are all about making your content work harder by optimizing it. However, where SEO focuses predominantly on optimizing your website, SMO revolves around your social media channels.

Social media optimization helps to make social content shareable, encouraging users to share links and engage with your posts. Search engine optimization, on the other hand, looks to make your content more visible by making life easy for search engines. Keywords indicate what your topic is all about, and optimizing additional elements such as title tags and meta descriptions signposts what your content aims to deliver to both search engines and users.


SEO is…

  • All about increasing site traffic
  • Focused on improving search rankings
  • A long-term mission


SMO is…

  • Building a loyal and engaged customer base
  • Human-centric. You’re trying to appeal to real people, not search engines
  • Helped by adding social link buttons to your brand’s website or blog to encourage social sharing


The most important elements of optimization

Think keyword research is just for SEO? Think again! Social media keyword research will help you to determine popular trends and find out what your audience is talking about. This will help to spark content ideas that will appeal to your social followers.

Where you’ll focus on optimizing your website for SEO, you should consider optimizing your social profiles too. Choose a highly relevant username (usually your brand name) and optimized bio that clearly states what your business does and weaves in a few important keywords, too. Enter as much information about your company as you can to boost visibility. Users will want to know where you’re based, how to get in touch with you and what services you offer – just as they would if they visited your website.


How are SMO and SEO connected?

Social media channels, forums and groups help generate traffic to your site. Though this may not necessarily result in improvements to your backlink profile, brand mentions are still an important way to amplify your message and strengthen your digital footprint. It’s simple: if your content has been shared across hundreds of different authoritative social media handles, it will be recognised as quality content and Google’s algorithm will take this into account when determining your ranking.

SMO enhances the presence of your organisation, boosting your online reputation and thus your brand’s authority and trustworthiness – key elements of strong organic SEO. Google recognises and ranks relevant, shareable content too, so optimizing your social media channels is a great way to ensure all elements of your marketing mix contribute to your SEO efforts.


Creating a harmonious marketing strategy

SMO and SEO both focus on driving traffic to your website. However, they use extremely different methodologies to do this. SEO requires in-depth keyword research, skilled copywriting and technical skills. Success lies in creating content that appeals to both human readers and search engines.

SMO must spark a user’s imagination, driving them to share your content with their own connections. It requires social media users to take proactive action, which they’re much more likely to do if they’re totally invested in your brand and trust your content.

Understanding your audience and how they interact with content is key. Is your demographic keen to share viral hits, such as memes or funny gifs? Or are they driven by informative, engaging research and reports? Knowing the best way to appeal to your audience will help you to deliver quality content tailored to their interests.

Both SMO and SEO revolve around understanding the best way to get your brand’s message out there. Whether it’s an optimized blog, a viral tweet or a complete website rewrite, you should always create content with your user in mind. Ask yourself how you want both existing and potential customers to interact with your content and what action you’d like them to take, and then tailor your marketing strategy accordingly.


Our specialist content division RICH is all about creating content that both search engines and real people appreciate. Get in touch to find out more about optimizing and amplifying your brand’s content.

The importance of an optimized press release

Digital newspaper readership has been on the rise for years. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this digital transformation, with many readers turning to apps and articles on their mobiles in order to access the latest news.

As PR specialists, it’s our job to tell great stories and get our clients’ names out there. In an oversaturated world of online articles, getting heard amongst the noise requires skill and creativity.


Digital PR and traditional PR go hand in hand

Print coverage, broadcast features, podcast placements, backlinks… the list of PR options goes on. Whilst your brand might focus on a specific area of marketing or the media, you’ll need a healthy mix of both traditional and digital marketing channels to ensure overall success.

PR experts often work across a number of channels, including working with journalists in different ways, to amplify your brand’s message. People might hear about your new product while listening to the radio, spotting an experiential stunt on their daily walk, reading an article in the local paper (print and digital) or noticing an Instagram post about it. The key is understanding where your audience is most likely to be and focussing your energies on those channels.


Digital PR isn’t all about securing links

It’s about securing the right links. You should never be thrilled about securing a backlink from a site with a lower Domain Authority than your own. Achieving links from authoritative, relevant websites should be a priority.

Digital PR should also be measured by digital campaign impact as well as link growth. Some of the most powerful PR campaigns in recent months have stemmed from viral tweets or photo stunts. Brand mentions online, particularly on social media, can be extremely powerful. Repurpose relevant stories across all channels, including your blog and social media feeds, to ensure you make the most of your content.


Top tips to get you started with optimizing a press release for SEO

  • Write with your desired audience in mind

Every press release should be topical and relevant to your target audience. Understanding what subject matter and trends have the potential to be a newsworthy story is key. This is becoming increasingly important for search engines, too, as understanding user intent plays a huge part in the way Google delivers relevant search results. Focus on creating high quality stories your audience will have a genuine interest in.


  • Follow SEO best practices

You might be used to writing SEO optimized blogs (the RICH team are our in-house experts), so why not use similar tactics for SEO optimized press releases? Incorporate keywords, internal and external links and a strong relevant header. Follow SEO writing best practices such as varying sentence structure, keeping paragraph lengths short and incorporating bullet points to enhance readability.


  • Think about links

It’s unlikely a journalist will link back to your site’s homepage without good reason. Housing a whitepaper or infographic on your website will encourage journalists to point readers in your direction. Creating a campaign page or microsite adds value to the end user, meaning journalists are much more likely to send readers there.


  • Get attached

In most instances, you should link to additional resources such as whitepapers or reports. However, images or documents including specific (perhaps region-specific) information might often be attached to an email alongside a press release. When naming your files, use keywords and phrases that are relevant to your press release. No one wants to see ‘Image01’ slide into their inbox.


  • Consider your format

Take time to perfect the title and introduction of your press release. As the title is most likely to be used as the meta title of your page (which Search Engines pay close attention to), try to get the main message of your story across in around 60 characters. It’s a challenge, but incorporating your brand name and keywords could prove beneficial.


With digital PR such a key part of your marketing mix, it’s important you don’t let SEO slip through the net. Our search savvy experts know how to grab attention using keywords and key messages, landing us coverage and links for our clients.

Five iconic brand partnerships to celebrate this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating a great match. Brands often fly solo, taking their full share of the spotlight. However, when brands come together, that’s often when something magical can happen. Brand partnerships can capture the public’s imagination and get people talking, allowing brands to share audience networks and build their authority in a potentially untapped market. Here are some of our favourite examples of when brands come together and share the love…


  1. Smells like success

Who wants to smell like Marmite? Well, if you do, Lynx Africa Marmite is a strong option. The unique collaboration between Lynx and Marmite created a genuine product – deodorant and body wash with hints of Marmite. The brands came together to deliver a suite of striking aesthetics, with a tone of voice stating the product is “for the lovers”.

There’s no doubt about it – this campaign wasn’t for everyone. It did, however, attract plenty of attention and enjoyed widespread media coverage.


  1. All the brands get the party started

Aldi was always going to celebrate its 30th birthday in style. In a series of hilarious tweets, Aldi tried to drum up interest for its virtual birthday party.  The Twitter team invited major brands to join in, with social media managers across the world rejoicing at the chance to flex their reactive marketing muscles. The thread attracted light-hearted responses from Waitrose & Partners, Co-op, Iceland and many more – much to the delight of Twitter users everywhere.

What’s particularly special about this campaign was that it gave each brand the opportunity to shout out loud and proud about their product. Asos discussed party outfits, Krispy Kreme suggested bringing a donut tower, CIF were down for bringing cleaning products… the list goes on. Some of the world’s leading brands joined in to solidify their place as part of the “in” crowd.

The low-budget campaign showed just what can be achieved from a sprinkling of creativity and the collaboration of great brands.


  1. A tasty team

The Greggs and PlayStation food box offer gave gamers the perfect treat to enjoy while unboxing their new console. The £5 meal deal included everything multi-players need to fuel up before a gaming session. Greggs even recreated Playstation’s iconic symbols in pastry products – solidifying the partnership as a real 2020 highlight.


  1. Airbnb “Hearts” Flipboard

The all-new Flipboard app gave users the opportunity to be immersed in curated content based on their specific interests. As part of the app’s promotion, Flipboard teamed up with Airbnb to help drive awareness and engagement, with users encouraged to explore Airbnb Experiences through content found on Flipboard. The partnership worked thanks to mutual appreciation of delivering great content focussed on specific interests and experiences.

Adding an incentive also helped the campaign’s success, as users who “heart” any stories featuring Airbnb Experiences were entered to win. This encouraged people to actively engage in the campaign.


  1. Rivals reap rewards

McDonalds and Burger King have been long-standing rivals for years. Yet, in the quest for brand collaboration, Burger King seems to always come out victorious. Its attempt to join forces in 2015 was quickly rebuffed by McDonald’s CEO (prompting widespread criticism). Burger King was not going to be deterred! It’s “a day without a Whopper” campaign saw Burger King stop selling its famous Whopper burger for one day. They even directed customers to McDonalds where sales of every Bic Mac burger raised money for Children With Cancer.

Even unrequited love can reap big rewards for brands who take the leap.


The benefits of brand collaborations

Sharing is caring! Collaborations result in both brands gaining access to a much wider audience. Brand recognition is invaluable and by getting it right, companies will experience enhanced brand affinity and loyalty too. This ultimately boosts sales revenue as new customers are introduced.

Brand partnerships are only successful when the collaboration is authentic and completely in-line with a brand’s messaging and values. If the partnership isn’t a good fit, it just isn’t going to work. As our examples show, getting it right might take months of planning, but it’s worth it if the collaboration gets people talking and boosts the reputation of both brands.


Which brand partnerships have caught your eye and sparked your inspiration?

We’d love to find out. Head over to our Twitter or LinkedIn pages and share your thoughts.

How to reach a Gen Z audience

There’s been plenty of research on the Gen Z demographic – but Lucre’s leading the way when it comes to understanding how to reach this complex group of people with its many facets. How can marketers best communicate and connect with the first generation to grow up with technology that is so entwined within their lives?


What is Gen Z?

Gen Z is a generational cohort. It’s made up of those born between 1995 and 2010. 19% of the population falls under the Gen Z category, yet with reports suggesting 47% of brands find Gen Z the hardest age group to target it looks like many businesses are missing a great opportunity to reach an important and potentially rewarding demographic.

Here at Lucre, our Ideas and Insight team has been working hard to get to know Gen Z. We’ve researched extensively to find out more about the group’s interests, purchasing power and key differentiators.


Here’s what we know about Gen Z

10-25-year-olds are digital natives – they’ve grown up around technology. They’re independent and resourceful and, you guessed it, like to spend their time in front of a screen.

There’s more to Gen Z than their interest in all things digital, though. This age group are ethical and moral champions – socially aware, sensitive to the world’s issues and keen to influence change.


The impact of COVID-19 on Gen Z

“Unprecedented” summed up 2020. When we initially presented our Gen Z research last January, we had no idea COVID-19 was just around the corner.

Like all of us, Generation Z were heavily impacted by the pandemic. Suddenly, an already internet-obsessed generation were forced to spend even more time staring at screens. But what impact has that had on Gen Z as a group, and how can marketers learn from this?

We recently delivered our findings during our Gen Z Webinar, an insightful session that showcased our team’s expert knowledge.


The top ten takeaways from Lucre’s Gen Z webinar


  1. Think voice, think visual

Content is still king, but the written word will be less powerful when it comes to engaging a Gen Z audience. Our research suggests nearly half of all Gen Zers actively use voice devices such as Amazon Alexa to play music and search for content.

Whilst voice is one to watch, video and visual content are currently ruling the roost. Two thirds of the Gen Z audience are consuming visual content a lot more since March 2020, with YouTube the most popular social channel. The younger generation enjoy engaging content they can share, but also enjoy being content creators themselves and expressing their creativity online.


  1. More is more

Unsurprisingly, online activity has increased substantially during 2020, when the nation was plunged into lockdown. Girls spent 54% and boys spent 30% more time on existing social channels such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. These “traditional” networks have been more important than ever as teens look to connect virtually with their family and friends.

However, there are still plenty of hours in the day left for emerging digital channels.  TikTok, the new kid on the block, has attracted widespread attention during 2020. Time spent on TikTok has grown nearly 300% in 16-18-year-old girls, with usage increasing across the board. Gen Z also spends an average of 9 hours every week on YouTube, with Instagram and Snapchat not too far behind. It’s clear that visually led social channels are rising in popularity amongst the younger generation.


  1. Authenticity is key

Gen Zers respect and admire figures such as David Attenborough, Michelle Obama and Greta Thunberg. Though “influencers” are often synonymous with the rise of online engagement, it’s interesting to note not many of our respondents suggested influencers as people they respect.

This generation wants to buy from brands with aligned visions and values. In fact, up to 28% of Gen Z boys want to purchase from a brand they believe in. Being genuine, authentic and ethical should be a top priority. Brands with a strong CSR strategy or charitable giving will be noticed but, most importantly, brands should work to develop an authentic tone of voice that resonates with this audience.


  1. Gen Z is a powerful group

With a buying power of $600billion (including pester power!), the Gen Z audience mustn’t be ignored. They’re set to be the most powerful and opinionated age group yet, so brands must take note and get this generation on side.

E-commerce is booming, with Amazon dominating the market amongst this demographic. 90% of boys (and two thirds of girls) aged 10-15 are shopping online, and 60% of girls aged between 16-22 report shopping online a lot more since the COVID-19 March lockdown.


  1. Wellbeing works wonders

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, Gen Z are more acutely aware of looking after their own wellbeing than ever before. Boredom, anxiety and sadness pervades across this demographic – and brands should be sensitive to this.

Our research suggests there’s a sharp decline in happiness as Gen Z grow older as anxiousness and tiredness takes over. COVID-19 has also impacted the generation’s wellbeing, with 50% of older girls reporting the pandemic has been detrimental to their mental health. Thanks to the pandemic, 32% are worried about the future.

Brands are starting to be aware of this wellbeing focus, and the importance of positivity and affirmation when connecting to this audience.


  1. Hopes and fears are changing

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on Gen Z. 45% of girls aged 16-18 feel that COVID-19 is ruining their education. 45% of 10-15-year-old boys and 41% of 16-18-year-old girls are studying a lot more since lockdown. This level of pressure is likely to have a long-term impact on the generation.

Generally speaking, the Gen Z audience are particularly concerned about the environment, future security and health. A third of boys like to keep active and eat healthily, while an overwhelming number of girls (particularly 16-18-year-olds) are worried about their weight and what they eat.

Understanding these fears and concerns should help businesses sensitively position brand messaging and ensure they strike the right tone amongst this demographic.


  1. Gen Z covers a lot of ground

All ten-year-olds will have different worries and different aspirations when they become teenagers, or enter the world of work in their mid-twenties. Gen Z is a large, often amorphous term and marketers simply can’t target “Gen Z” without segmenting this down a little further.

For example, we know younger girls (aged 10 – 15) are gaming at similar levels to their male counterparts. Yet as we’ve covered in the points above, teenage girls are significantly more anxious than younger boys, who are obviously less concerned about factors such as job security.

Understanding how activities and interests change as Gen Zers grow up will help marketers to target sub audiences effectively.


  1. There are new platforms emerging

Twitch has predominantly been a gamer’s platform but, since the pandemic, it has seen a rise in users and diversification of the platform in general. Not every Twitch user is solely interested in gaming – its audience enjoys music, films and much more. This gives brands an ideal opportunity to reach a new and engaged audience via a different platform. 72.2% of all hours watched live on the web happened via Twitch, suggesting a huge opportunity for brands to get creative.


  1. Gen Z are going old school, too

There’s been a 38% increase in reading since the 2020 lockdown and a 41% uplift in ‘positive’ activities such as spending time with family, researching and learning online. Whilst Gen Z are still predominantly taking part in ‘passive’ activities such as watching TV and browsing, marketers should note the shift towards active participation. There’s a trend within this demographic to learn and study – watching informative content plays a big part in this.


  1. Marketers must adapt their strategies

One third of Gen Zers are influenced by peer approval. The quality and relevance of products and services is the most important driver, whilst celebrity or influencer endorsement is considered the least important. Again, we’re finding Gen Zers are all about authenticity and discovering products themselves or via trusted peers.


Marketing to a Gen Z audience

If you’re looking to reach the Gen Z audience, why not consult the experts? The Lucre team has spent a huge amount of time and resource analysing and researching this fascinating, engaging and complex bunch of young people.  Use our specialist knowledge and help your campaigns soar. If you’d like to find out more about our work, get in touch with the team.

You can even watch the full webinar recording here.

The egg that cracked the sensitivity surrounding mental health, by Louise Bailey

On January 4th, Instagram met its soon-to-be most liked photo in the shape of an egg (called Eugene). Taking over Kylie Jenner as the ‘queen’ of social media, the world_record_egg profile soon earned over 10m* followers and racked up almost 53m likes on its Instagram post. It was a verified sensation.

With no apparent concept behind the egg’s launch, the world eagerly waited two whole weeks to see what it would do next. At this point, behind the scenes, a partnership was drawn up between the profile’s creators The Egg Gang and the streaming site Hulu that would change the course of the egg forever!

The egg’s next updates consisted of three selfies showing its shell starting to crack, gradually getting worse in each picture, with no caption to explain why. The account’s fifth image showed the egg with considerably more cracks, donning a design similar to that of an American football, right before the iconic Super Bowl Sunday – celebrated not only in America but across the globe. On February 5th, the egg’s new purpose was finally revealed to the public…to highlight the effect social media plays on our mental health. Through a moving and captivating video, the egg demonstrated its struggle to keep on top of the pressures that came with being a social media influencer and cracked. It then encouraged those feeling like they needed some extra support to visit where they could find a list of support groups and charities in various countries.

Although the video was first aired on streaming site Hulu as part of its Super Bowl coverage, Hulu ensured all the focus of this video and supporting posts was given to Mental Health America. This approach allowed a very clear, clean and clever message to be taken from the content making it far more impactful in the process. The egg has opened the eyes of people across the globe to the pressures social media plays on today’s culture and we love it.

We applaud the egg, and Hulu, for helping to make such a sensitive subject more approachable in a modern and engaging way – utilising the platform it references as a key factor in the issue itself and helping to achieve something positive through it.

*figures correct at the time of posting.

Image credit: Instagram @world_record_egg

Taking suicide out of the Box, by Ryan Lewis

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. A day set aside each year by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP). I, like many people, have experienced the devastating effects that suicide has on both a family and an individual. My Dad (step-father) took his own life in 2016. My Mum and I deal with the consequences every day of this terrible loss. In many ways, it was even more crippling for my Mum who lost her own Dad in the same way. I never knew my Grandad because of suicide and it is upsetting to realise that any children I may have, will also never know their Grandad.

Suicide is a difficult subject for so many reasons and one that many people find hard to talk about, but as a society, it is one we need to address. According to WHO, nearly 3,000 people on average commit suicide daily. The causes of suicide are, of course, complicated, but many are influenced by psycho-social, cultural and environmental risk factors that can either be prevented or addressed. There is strong evidence indicating that adequate prevention can reduce suicide rates.

As part of my job here at Lucre and within the RICH team, I have the privilege of creating and making films to tell stories every day. I know the power of film to tell a story, which is why I chose this World Suicide Prevention Day to make what you see now, to tell my story and convey some of my feeling and sentiment about the effects of my Dad’s suicide on me.

It wasn’t an easy film to make but it was one I felt needed to be done. The words of the script which I deliver on the film were ones that had churned in my head and heart for over two years. I’ve felt enough time has passed to finally write them down and share them with others. I shot the film last week, at home, in the room where my dad committed suicide, and it was a difficult experience. I don’t have the best voice in the world (who ever likes hearing their voice recorded?) but due to the nature of what I had written, no-one else could really narrate the film.

I would like the film to be seen by as many people as possible, to be shared far and wide, all in the hope that it will reach other people who may have been affected by a similar loss and provide some hope and inspiration in what we can achieve by addressing the subject. So, please share this film if it moves you to do so.

My Dad was my hero in every sense of the word. The sad physical and subsequent mental illness that led to his premature death was, without a doubt, the hardest episode of my life to watch and be involved in. The questions; “Could we have done more?” “What did we miss?” “Did he know how much we loved him?” remain unanswered. There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think of him and wish he was still here, so I could ask or tell him something, share a joke or just get one of his big bear hugs.

The aims of World Suicide Prevention Day, are:

  • Raise awareness that suicide is preventable
  • Improve education about suicide
  • Spread information about suicide awareness
  • Decrease stigmatisation regarding suicide

It is my hope that this film, ‘The Box’, can help to meet a few of those aims.

I would like to thank Steve Lord who shot this film so beautifully and my colleague, Rebecca Mann, who edited the film.

If you would like more information or support around suicide, then below are just a few links to some great organisations and charities who can help:

Join us

We’re always on the lookout for talented people to join our growing team.

Whether you’re looking to take your career to the next level or new to the industry and want to work with some well-known brands across the travel, food and drink, tech, home and lifestyle sectors, we want to hear from you.

If you think you’re just who we’re looking for and you want to get in touch, please contact:

London: | 020 8741 5900

Leeds: | 0113 243 1117


Five things you need to know about Instagram, by Jack Moore

The Jackson Five, high fives and McDonald’s Chicken Selects, it’s a simple fact that all good things come in fives. That’s exactly why we’ve made this simple infographic with five things you need to about one of the fastest growing social media platforms, Instagram.

Infographic on things you need to know about Instagram

Infographic on things you need to know about Instagram

Every month, 16.7 million people in the UK log on to double tap their favourite pictures and videos, with this number set to rise to 18.7 million by 2021. On average brand profiles post around 5 times a week, but if you’ve got a story to tell don’t be afraid to post more than this using Instagram’s popular stories feature.

Instagram is a brilliant place to showcase your brand and products to a huge audience of receptive consumers. According to Instagram, 80% of accounts follow a brand, so maybe 2018 is the year to ensure they’re following your brand!

Instagram is also renowned for being a platform where users are partial to sharing what they’ve had for their dinner. Data revealed by Instagram suggests that 66% of users want to visit a restaurant after seeing a friend post about it on Instagram, highlighting how influential the platform is, especially in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

With Instagram set to grow in 2018, will you be growing with it?

The Video Takeover, by Rose Dooley

We’ve all heard the stats, online videos will account for more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2020.

But when we are told that videos on Facebook have to get to the point within 3 seconds in order to keep the viewer engaged, how do we compete with all the other moving traffic on our social feeds?


Here at Rich, we’ve come up with five simple tips to follow when creating content, in order to make your videos as Facebook friendly as possible;

Craft a descriptive title and post. In order to get the viewer to play and watch your video, you need to ensure that the post is to the point and summarises exactly what the content includes.

Make each second count. The first frame should hold inviting, captivating content to ensure your video grabs and holds the viewers’ attention.

Subtitles are a good thing. With most people now watching and consuming video via their mobile phones and 85% of videos being watched without sound, you can still get your key messages across via the power of subtitles.

Experiment with different types of video content. Facebook Live encompass a new way of sharing content and also ranks higher on Facebook algorithms.

Encourage clients to invest that little bit extra and it will go a long way. Boosting your video from as little as £200 can see vast differences in likes, shares and engagement.


Twitter Trials Doubling Character Count… The Internet Reacts, by Jack Moore

Ever sat and typed a tweet, then realised you’re roughly three paragraphs over the 140-character limit, then spent 20 minutes performing mental gymnastics in order to share your opinion of the Great British Bake Off with the world. Well those days could soon be a distant memory, as Twitter have announced they’re trialling increasing the famous 140-character limit to 280. The internet as ever has reacted, so we thought we’d share some of our favourites…

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced the move on Twitter…

Not long after, Twitter user @brianrbarone was on hand to cut his tweet down to size!

American chat show host Ellen DeGeneres got in on the fun with a tweet of her own.

Not content with the reasoning Twitter gave for the trial, @Punchayati has his own theory.

@DontforgetJames tweeted what we’re all thinking!

What’s a Twitter storm without a good meme though?

Whatever the Twittersphere think of this move, we’re all waiting with bated breath to see how Twitter addict Donald Trump will utilise the extra 140 characters.

Finger-lickin’ Mad by Bianca Matley

Are you one to pull your phone out to pay contactless or flick your wrist at every opportunity to make a payment that little bit faster (and cooler)?

Mashable’s latest report might not be a surprise to you if so – a KFC in Hangzhou, China is testing a new facial recognition payment system. So if you needed an excuse to get your post-Saturday night chicken fix without having to scramble around for your card, you could be in luck.

‘Smile to Pay’ is the brainchild of Alipay (by Alibaba Group), a popular online and mobile payment platform which scans the payees face once they’re ready to complete their order. The security conscious among you (that’s also me) can rest easy with this technology though – a “live-ness detection algorithm” is inbuilt to combat fraud and the 3D camera seems pretty darn accurate with recognition, too. It couldn’t even be fooled by heavy makeup and pink hair and could still pick the correct face out of a crowd.

If you’ve ever watched Black Mirror, it’s seeming that all this kind of technological genius is coming true – your looks really do pay.

The Dark Side of Social, by Naomi Busuttil

If you have ever noticed an influx of direct traffic to your website but can’t identify the link or search terms that encouraged it, then you have probably fallen victim to the sorcery of ‘dark social’.

This isn’t witchcraft though, it’s quite simple – it’s content shared privately either via a messaging app, text message, email, or direct message.  Every time someone copies and pastes a URL from your website and shares it away from the prying eyes of their news feeds, it generates dark traffic and will show on your analytics reports as an ‘unknown’ link source.

Spooky news for monitoring your website visitors and some of you may even believe that it’s not worth tracking these hidden shares, but it could be extremely beneficial to your content marketing strategies.  It has been reported that dark traffic is accountable for 84% of outbound sharing; that’s a huge chunk of your social reach and even though you can’t see how your content is being shared or in what context, you can see what is being shared.

If you have good content people will engage with it, which includes sharing with someone else – great news for you, your reach just grew! Dark social can also be particularly good for reaching audiences outside of social media. When a social user sends a link to your content via email or text message to a person who doesn’t have a social profile, they’re driving untargeted traffic to your site – result!

The easiest way to start tracking your dark traffic is to shorten URL’s in your social posts using sites such as Bitly (this will also make your posts look neater), which allows you to see which links are being shared, providing a fuller picture of what content is popular with your audience.  Due to privacy restrictions we can’t – and probably never will – see exactly how dark social is shared or for what purpose, but being able to see what is being shared still provides a valuable tool for businesses to utilise. Shared content is creating a response (as is the ability to like, love, wow, be sad or angry) so monitor what works for you and use this information to plan your content successfully.

Snap Maps: A tap too far? by Bianca Matley

Updating your mates on your stories, adding that all-too-familiar dog filter with the floppy tongue and or beautifying yourself with big eyes and a flower crown, sound familiar? It’s what Snapchat’s about right? And it’s all fun and games until, that is, Snapchat makes updates, unbeknownst to you and its other X million users.

The controversial new Snap Map allows you to see exactly where mutual friends are and what they’re doing; whether that’s the location of where they’re driving or sleeping, it’s an undoubtedly ‘stalky’ way to keep tabs on people in already ‘stalky’ social media culture. The new map was met with major scepticism especially from parental groups and advocates of child safety which led the US based company to issue the following statement addressing such concerns: “With Snap Map, location-sharing is off by default for all users and is completely optional. Snapchatters can choose exactly who they want to share their location with, if at all, and can change that setting at any time.

“It’s also not possible to share your location with someone who isn’t already your friend on Snapchat, and the majority of interactions on Snapchat take place between close friends.”

It has certainly caught the attention of the UK media even Nadia Sawalha of Loose Women stressed her worries of the safety of children on the show, after posting a video on her personal channels warning parents about the new update.

It’s possible to argue that these kinds of updates can heighten the paranoia that social media is adding to younger generations and allowing unknown users (people who might not be true friends) on the channel to follow you around if Location Services or ‘Ghost Mode’ aren’t switched on, and then there is a potential threat. However, some people have welcomed the update, coining it as ‘cool’ due to the use of heat maps and the ability to publicise your story wherever you are, as well as being able to avoid people you might not want to see and we all know that feeling!

Scouting the floor of Lucre HQ, it seems we rarely leave our location services on but if you do – who’s watching?

The Journalist & PR Debate, by David Parkin

It is a confrontation fierce enough to rival a battle between King Kong and Godzilla.

But there used to be only one winner.

Journalists had the upper hand over public relations people because ultimately, they had the power to either use or bin the press releases they were sent.

When I started in journalism PRs were viewed as a few rungs down the ladder from us professional wordsmiths. It was seen as a rather grubby profession you might take up when your journalistic career had run its course and you wanted a few more quid in your back pocket and an easy life.

How times have changed.

Bright, talented graduates are now favouring a career in communications rather than taking a risk stepping onto the shifting sands of the media sector. Cost pressures on the media, particularly the printed press, mean there are now fewer journalists to fill more space. There is a demand for content and the journalists just don’t have the time to find, develop and write every story in a newspaper or on a website. Many publishers have jettisoned experienced – and more expensive – reporters and replaced them with eager, but inexperienced journalists.

They are bound to lack contacts and so forging strong and trusted relationships with PRs helps them deliver the content that their publications and websites crave on an hourly, never mind daily, basis. Receiving well-written press releases on interesting subjects is manna from heaven for busy journalists with too little time to fill too much space.

So the relationship between journalists and PRs today is more like 50:50.

Both appreciate what the other can do for them and they have a mutual respect for each other. I for one believe this is a fair reflection of the modern relationship between those who report the news and those paid to promote positive messages about their clients. Of course, a balance has to be struck. Nobody really wants to view media packed full of just press releases. Unfortunately that is the level to which some publications have now fallen.

So is there an ideal balance?

I think journalists accepting well-written and interesting submissions from PRs is fine, as long as they are comfortable with the style and content. In theory, this should then give the reporters the time to develop stories of their own that can sit comfortably alongside those emailed in by eager PR people.

The once confrontational relationship between journalists and PRs has developed into one of grudging respect and that is how it should be.

Although I still defy any journalist not to lose their temper when a well-meaning but geographically naive PR person from London rings you in Leeds with a story about Birmingham.

When I asked the caller why the Yorkshire Post would be interested in a press release about a company in the Midlands, I was greeted with the response:

“Well, it’s near you isn’t it?”




David Parkin is media entrepreneur, blogger and event host. He is the founder of regional business website and a former business editor of the Yorkshire Post.



Holiday destinations right on our doorstep, by Shannon Grimm-Berghaus

With the cycling line up announced for the upcoming Tour de Yorkshire, all eyes are yet again on God’s own County, even more so as a holiday destination.

There are times we need a break from our daily routine and what can be better than a weekend or day away from the city? The only decision we have to make is where we would like to go. At Lucre we have a passion for travel and even more so, exploring what’s on the doorstep of our Leeds office.  We realised people travel to faraway destinations and forget we have a stunning countryside right in front of us!

Since Yorkshire was chosen for the Grand Départ of the Tour de France in summer 2014, Yorkshire has attracted nearly 40 million visitors each year. And for good reason! Tourists from all over the world annually visit the beauty of Yorkshire, its culture, nature and history. But when is the best time to go? To be honest, we all know nobody comes to Yorkshire for the weather but summer is definitely the first choice to go for walks in the Dales, the Peaks or the Moors. If you’re craving some sea air the coastline with its old stone-built towns and stunning beaches are a great weekend getaway. In winter, though we’re glad to wave goodbye, we love to get cosy in ancient sandstone pubs and sit by the fireplace.

And what is there not to love about the county? We have a great drink and food culture. Yorkshire is a historic centre of brewing beers in England which is probably the reason our region has a decent pub around each corner, serving proper pints. And we love a Sunday roast with a Yorkshire pudding covered in gravy. On a summer’s day, there’s nothing better than a day trip to the coastline, some takeaway fish and chips and ice cream. We have the best tea in the world, too – at least from our perspective!

If you want to go shopping, visit Leeds city centre with its huge offering of shops, restaurants, bars and nightlife and if you’re looking to experience the best Yorkshire ales, Hull and Sheffield have one of the biggest pub cultures in the North. But for a day out of the city for some fresh air, there are three national parks all within a couple of hour’s drive – the Lake District, the Moors and the Dales – and the coast with some stunning wildlife, nature and historical sites like Whitby Abbey.

Besides nature and food, Yorkshire offers some different cultural experiences. Hull is the 2017 City of Culture of course – but other places such as York offer an amazing cultural experience and with the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield & Yorkshire Sculpture Park there are some interesting art pieces to find. For someone who’s more into films, Leeds and Sheffield hold an annual film festival which is well worth checking out.

A tip from us locals is ‘layers’ – always pack waterproofs, an umbrella, some sun cream and sunglasses because you never know how the weather will turn out during the day. Yorkshire offers some perfect day trips or weekends away as it has so much to offer. It’s definitely worth exploring more often.



What Does the Facebook Rocket Icon Mean? By Becky Mann

Over the last few weeks, people may have noticed Facebook users sharing rare sightings of the lesser-spotted Facebook rocket on their social feeds, calling for the community to confirm its purpose on their timeline.

For those not yet in the know, Facebook has introduced the rocket icon to just a handful of users as part of its test for a second, complementary News Feed concept. Hoping to introduce people to fresh new content they wouldn’t have otherwise accessed, this customised feed is filled with videos, stories and articles that Facebook algorithms believe the user will be interested in.

Whilst Facebook is already suggesting content based on what users have previously engaged with, it’s thought the new feed only provides content from pages that are unknown to the user as well as items that their friends and family have reacted to. As a result, it allows users to connect with content they won’t have seen to date – broadening their social horizons!

But what does this mean for PR and content creation?  Whilst it’s not yet known at this stage whether the rocket icon will be rolled out to all Facebook users, or the final details of how the second feed would work, the one thing we believe here at Rich is that customising content will only increase in importance as these explore-style functions continue to pop up across social channels.

When developing content briefs, it’s often tempting to set out trying to please as many audiences as possible in order to maximse your reach, your budget and ‘spread the net’ as far as you can. Knowing your specific audience and daring to tailor make content and promotional plans for their needs, rather than creating for the masses, can be more daunting than you’d think but it’s certainly necessary to ensure success. There’s a big difference between people seeing content and openly engaging with it. And, as more and more emphasis is placed on engagement through algorithms and dedicated exploration feeds, we’ll need to be more pinpointed with our content than ever to ensure we’re saying something relevant to the right people in order to inspire that all important reaction that will get your content noticed and shared.

Agency News: Raw-ring success for Lucre

(The team from Lucre working on the Natures Menu account, with their pets; Top L2R – Janine with Ruby, Rose with Billie. Bottom L2R – Tamarind with Murphy, Emma with Oscar)

Leading PR and content agency, The Lucre Group, has today announced its latest account win for its Home & Lifestyle division; Natures Menu.

Natures Menu, The UK’s number one company for raw pet food and Europe’s leading expert in raw, has tasked the agency with extending its brand awareness to educate consumers on the benefits of a raw food diet for pets. A rolling contract, activities for 2017 will include media and blogger engagement, product launches, elevated news campaigns and social media support. The appointment is the result of highly competitive pitch process, beating two other agencies.

Dawn Spiby, Marketing Director at Natures Menu said: “Lucre excelled at every stage of the pitch process, so it was an easy decision to appoint them as our retained agency. Their understanding of our brand and its future direction, combined with the team’s passion, really set them apart. We are very much looking forward to working with the team, and their pets, to educate the owner community on the health benefits of switching to a raw food diet.”

Tamarind Wilson-Flint, Lucre co-owner and Director added: “This brand perfectly complements our existing portfolio and the personal passions of the team – we’re mad about animals! It’s great to be working with a client that has such exciting plans and one that is so committed to the health and well-being of the nation’s pets. That combined with superb products and a bunch of clever people means that our task of making helping Natures Menu be more front of mind will be a relatively easy one.”


What Will Drones Deliver Next? by Dylan Verity

The 2015 we were promised in Back to the Future (Part 2) appears to have arrived… two years later. Whilst we don’t have hoverboards or self-drying jackets, earlier this month the Dubai Roads and Transportation Authority announced plans to make drone taxis available for consumers as early as July of this year, making flying cars a reality (well, sort of)!

The EHang 184 drone is currently being tested for commercial use over the city of Dubai. Passengers will simply touch a destination on a touchscreen and then they will be whisked away into the sky. The drone can carry one passenger weighing up to 100 kg (220 pounds) and their suitcase. With a current range of 30 miles, and a top speed of 100 mph, you could travel across the city in no time – unless you encounter a drone-jam that is!

This exciting news follows a string of drone technology stories with everything from Amazon’s drone delivery, flame-throwing drones and Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl drone show all drawing attention in the media. As PR consultants, we’re terribly excited by all the potential practical uses drones are still to offer us in the future.  From drone-powered press trips to speedy sample deliveries, we’re champing at the bit to make more use of our flying friends.

We’re also looking forward to seeing what drones can deliver in terms of creative campaigns and content too. Just this week, biscuit brand Oreo created a lovely piece of video content called The Drone Dunk to support the launch of its Oreo Dunk Challenge competition on social media. As ‘call to action’ content goes, this video was entertaining and fun. Capturing the nature of Oreo’s campaign perfectly, and inspiring further contest entries in the process, this video is the latest in a number of great examples of how drones will play a part in our industry going forward and we can’t wait to see what comes next!

Getting Romantic with Technology, by Rose Dooley

The Valentine’s hype hit us hard this week with countless brands all competing to win the hearts of their audiences using clever stunts and creative campaigns.

As expected, the M&S Dine in for Two deal remained a popular talking point ensuring that shelves in the retailer’s food aisles were stripped bare by supper time. Competing for the quirky content title, Dominos launched novelty pizza engagement rings and Poundland created a £7 meal for two (including meatballs avec Pot Noodle on the cards).  In fact, throughout the food and leisure industries there were countless examples of Valentine’s campaign coverage in mainstream and social media alike.

But what about those outside of the gift or food markets? How do companies based in the tech sector still woo the public (and media) without a clear link to wining and dining or traditional romantic treats? The answer is simple, they provide content/services that people can use to enhance the day itself. Rather than dedicated discounts or dramatic dresses made of rose petals, they use innovation to grab our attention and enhance our experience. After all, that’s what technology is all about.

Some of our favourite examples included a Valentine’s themed filter from the photo sharing app Snapchat, providing its users with an opportunity to create themed-content for their feeds. Tech giant Apple also surprised us with a great Valentine’s upgrade from our favourite voice controlled PA Siri. From reminders to pick up flowers and romantic restaurant suggestions to cheeky chat up lines, it had lots to offer those hopeless romantics among us.

Siri - Will you be my Valentine

For us, this just goes to show that you don’t always have to be at the ‘heart’ of an occasion to make the most of it. Technology isn’t always seen as the most romantic of sectors. However, as long as you create your campaign from a consumer-led insight, habit or need, the opportunities are endless whatever sector you are in!

Keep it relevant – Facebook News Feed changes, By Brett Cullen

Facebook is ramping up its efforts to make scrolling through News Feed a better experience with a series of recent updates aimed at making it a place full of content that’s more relevant to an individual users’ needs. Therefore, it’s more important than ever that the way brands communicate on the social media juggernaut’s platform adds genuine value and not just more lazy, hazy noise.

The News Feed algorithm is constantly under review as Facebook tries to find the delicate balance to keep everyone happy. There are lots of what Facebook call ‘signals’ which help to decide what they think may be relevant to each user. We know that the key signals in deciding what is in News Feed are who posted content, what type of content is posted, the number and type of engagements with that content and when the content is posted.

The latest updates include new signals to show users more authentic and timely stories, plus adding more value to video completion rates.

Pages that are posting spam, consistently trying to game feed (asking for Likes, Comments, Shares) or have their posts hidden by users, may be in trouble. Facebook could deem that the content those Pages (Brands) post isn’t authentic, which will only have a negative impact on its News Feed status. On the flip side, if the new signals judge a post to be authentic, it may show up higher in users’ News Feed. As an aside, Facebook’s high-profile attempts at clamping down on fake news is likely to be a long, on-going process using some sort of AI/human verification process. It’s a major topic on the wider news agenda so FB are ploughing major resource in to fighting it and improving the overall authenticity of the site.

A lot has been made in the past about posting content at a specific time. As mentioned, Facebook’s algorithm has been updated to weight other signals more heavily in deciding what’s relevant, meaning there’s less focus on content having to be posted at a specific time of day (who posted, type of content etc). However, the new ‘real time’ update is designed look at how signals change on the fly. For example, if lots of people engage on a particular post or topic in a short space of time, Facebook may judge that it would be temporarily more important to you. A recent example of where this would have come in to effect could have been with the SuperBowl which captured the attention of 60 million people on Facebook, who created over 200 million posts, comments and likes.

Video is just one of the many types of content that a user, or brand, can post and Facebook wants to organically serve relevant videos to users. With regards to News Feed rankings, it has taken in to account whether it’s Live, how long it’s been watched for, whether people turn sound on or opt to view full screen. Now (finally), it’s giving more weighting to completion rates. This means that if you watch most (at least half) or all of a video, you’re telling FB that you find it compelling as completing (or getting to halfway) on a longer video is a bigger commitment than with a shorter one. Facebook is therefore weighting completion rates more heavily the longer the video is to avoid penalising longer videos. This is also good news for users who enjoy watching long-form videos as they’re now likely to see more in their News Feed.

Here are some things to take from these updates:

1. Make your content relevant to your audience – this is always the message. Don’t get lazy and add to the noise. Think about whether it’s authentic or telling a meaningful story. Ask the question: is this going to add value to my audience?

2. Make use of Paid – it’s hard to cut through the noise and sometimes it’s not enough to make what looks like good content on paper and expect it to perform exactly how you hoped organically. Paid is a good way to target a specific audience in News Feed, but you’ve still got to make sure they’re seeing relevant content.

3. The ideal length of a video is whatever time is required to tell a compelling story that engages with your audience. Look at your analytics to get a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t.

Happy New Year!

Back to work today after the festive break and we’re raring to go! 2017 is only hours in and we’ve already got some exciting activity in preparation for clients and looking forward to what the New Year has in store.

But, before we move on too quickly, it’s worth taking a few moments to reflect on 2016, the achievements, the (mountains of) coverage, the quirky photostunts (sheep in a bar anyone?) and the amazing work which we do every single day….not forgetting the fun we have doing it! The talented Rich Reels team has put this short film together as a reminder.

So from all of us at Lucre, wishing you a very happy 2017!

Fail, Fake or Fluke

Earlier this month, many of us witnessed an unsuspecting customer at an electrical store in Cornwall seemingly cause thousands of pounds’ worth of damage by knocking over four flat screen TVs in an almost domino effect.


Uploaded to YouTube by the store, HBH Woolacotts, the video made the internet rounds and was picked up by British national papers as well as reaching international media. The video sees a customer appearing to be inspecting one of the TV monitors before losing his balance knocking over two TVs in front of him then backing away and knocking a further two to the shop floor.


To many viewers, the video seems genuine using a store CCTV angle to promote its authenticity. However, the eagle-eyed of us out there were quick to jump on speculation calling the whole thing a hoax. From accusing the positioning of the TVs to the customer being an actor, people are still trying to piece together this internet puzzle. The store has been contacted but is issuing a “no comment” on the video, only adding fuel to the flame.


Either way, it’s been a while since a FAIL video made it big and it’s nostalgic to see an internet classic appear on our newsfeeds once again.


Watching the video, we’ve taken the following:

  1. FAIL videos can still be as popular as they once were, people love to watch other people make a catastrophic mistake with, what we hope, have seemingly harmless outcomes.
  2. The hidden camera/CCTV style videos that document real life are often the way forward for viral videos, as evidenced here. People love the weird and wonderful, especially if they can be a fly-on-the-wall.
  3. The online community are quick to debunk viral videos. Rightfully so, with a lot of companies looking to go viral with video content it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s not. In most cases however, it’s the suspicion that helps propel the video to viral status.

We’ll be sure to keep an eye out for future FAIL videos, but even if we do question their legitimacy, they will still remain as entertaining as ever. You can watch the video here and make a decision yourself as to whether you think it’s a fail, a fake or a fluke.

Damn Daniel, back at it with LG

For those more internet savvy people, if we were to say “Damn Daniel” there’s a good chance you’ll know what we’re on about. Back in February this year a snapchat compilation video of an American school kid complimenting his friend, Daniel, quickly moved in to the internet hall of fame.


The unexplainably entertaining video had people all over the world mimicking the “Damn Daniel” phrase. As with most memes, the hype eventually died down before being put on the back burner to make way for more memes and viral stories.


Not for mobile phone giant LG however, who has rehashed the Damn Daniel video in its latest marketing campaign. In a bid to market its new phone model, complete with 16-megapixel camera, LG is releasing a series of viral video remakes to highlight how your next viral video doesn’t have to be shot on a poor quality camera phone.


The video sees Daniel make a professional production level come back as he struts his famous white Vans alongside an R&B group. The group sings an original song about Daniel as well as mentioning all of the new features on LG’s latest addition. The whole video makes for an entertaining watch helped by the comedy aspect of the R&B group.


Here are some things we’ve picked up on from the video:

  1. Companies are still up for piggybacking internet memes for sales, much the same as Virgin Media using Success Kid back in 2012.
  2. Applying your product/service to an organically generated internet hit doesn’t automatically make you a corporate leech. By using the Damn Daniel star, and enhancing the original video’s theme (an appreciation of Daniel’s smooth style) with an R&B group, LG managed to pay tribute to the video it was hi-jacking rather than forcing an unnatural message. It’s a good balance.

We’re looking forward to seeing the other meme recreations LG has lined up, but you can watch the first Damn Daniel                one here.

Provenance vs Price: The Future of British Food Post-Brexit

This month we held our second Lucre Group Ideas & Insight session looking at the Food & Drink sector. The title was Provenance vs Price: The Future of British Food Post-Brexit. A very relevant topic in the current uncertainty of whether Brexit will be an opportunity or a challenge for food manufacturers, retailers and ultimately, customers.

We held the event in the stunning setting of the National Association of British and Irish Millers which backs onto Green Park in central London and has the Ritz as its neighbour. We invited a host of food industry experts from a variety of businesses, including Iceland, British Pepper & Spice, Sacla, Hellmans, Trealy Farm Charcuterie, Yorkshire Farmhouse Eggs and the Quality Food Awards.

They all came to listen to four speakers who looked at different angles to the British food debate.

Margaret McSorley Walker, a food trends consultant for major FMCG brands and supermarkets including Asda and M&S, talked through emerging British food trends from butter and seaweed to quark and cold-smoked chocolate. We had a personal tasting session from James Swift of his award-winning British Trealy Farm Charcuterie. We were inspired by Fraser Doherty’s story on how he set up SuperJam when he was just 16-years-old and looked at the hard realities of shopper behaviour and retailer strategies from retail commentator, Bryan Roberts.

The consensus was that British food is living through an increasingly interesting, exciting and challenging time. Brexit could offer some opportunities for British food manufacturers as it becomes cheaper to source home-grown products but it’s important to always keep a close eye on costs and pricing. British customers like the idea of British-made food but the weekly shopping bill is still tightly controlled, and shoppers won’t tolerate large hikes in prices.

All in all, it was a fascinating look at the issues surrounding British food and the likely impact of Brexit which is causing a lot of uncertainty, but one thing is certain…we have some brilliant food producers in the UK both big and small, and we should be doing everything we can to celebrate them.

You can see some highlights of the event in this video.





Less roadrunner, more ostrich, by Morgan Mitchell

One thing you don’t expect to see during a morning commute to work is a man riding an ostrich. But that’s exactly what many people thought they’d witnessed when a video of the before mentioned act went viral. The online community went mad trying to figure out the story of how a man managed to hitch a ride with an ostrich and the video was soon being shared across social media.

But the amateur cyber detectives out there were forced to put this case to one side as The Bank of Astana came clean and announced it was the company behind the video. The point of the video was to highlight that society is living “bored and pragmatic lives” and that we should instead be living our dreams.

Putting aside the subject of ostrich riding, here are the top four things we loved about the strategy and approach behind this video.

  1. Simple and short, the video is easy to digest.
  2. The idea has come from an aspirational brand message rather than trying to force a functional product-focus.
  3. As with many great viral videos, it balances something unexpected with an edge of possibility.
  4. Without overt branding (or any in this case), the content gives the audience time to wonder, explore and share the content before the reveal takes place. This type of video creates that all important mystery and excitement that encourages people to pass videos on and comment. It’s also more media-friendly.

In social media video production, there is often a battle to balance the level of branding included in a video. If the branding is too heavy, it can suffocate the feeling of mystery, discovery and raw realism that viral videos often thrive on. If it is non-existent, you risk not being associated with the content at all or receiving no brand value for your spend.

The Bank of Astana chose not to brand its original video at all. Instead, it created a grand reveal on Facebook which included additional footage showing how they made the video to build further engagement and cash in on the intrigue it had built. As a result, the company achieved coverage in a plethora of national titles and links are being shared across the internet. Granted, it’s just one of many viral video approaches to have celebrated success but we look forward to seeing what The Bank of Astana come up with next!

VR is becoming mainstream. Are you ready? By Bogdan Marinescu

I’ve long been a fan of Virtual Reality and have eagerly been waiting to see and experience its applications in everyday life. You can therefore imagine my sheer delight when the BBC announced the launch of a VR service for viewers to experience the 2016 Rio Olympics in immersive 360 degrees style. The Beeb will broadcast around 100 hours of live events and highlights packages throughout the 16-day event, offering viewers at home a completely new viewing experience.

Viewers will have to download a new BBC Sport 360 app, which is available on iOS and Android Play and purchase a VR headset, with prices for a cheap cardboard one starting from just a few pounds. A bargain!

With the BBC’s decision to roll out this experimental service, we’re finally seeing VR technology starting to creep into the mainstream. This is a new and exciting time for many creative industries, as the technology will offer opportunities for campaigns and agencies to stand out, especially in PR sector.

A few companies have started capitalising on the technology, especially those in sectors that are inherently suited for the “immersive experience”. For example, Thomas Cook launched the “Try Before You Fly” campaign, allowing prospective customers to experience their destinations virtually before purchasing their holidays. Nvidia invited members of the media to experience their new graphics card by virtually climbing Mount Everest from a London warehouse compete with freezing temperatures, wind and fake snow!


Sure, live VR technology is still expensive (think tens of thousands of pounds for a few minutes of video) but 360° photos are already here and you can create them with a smartphone and the right app. Facebook already allows users to post 360° pictures, with important opportunities for certain sectors. Property developers could show you around a house with the help of a VR headset and a 360° picture without the need to leave your home. You could have a virtual look around a venue to assert its suitability for an event before deciding whether it’s worth viewing it in person or not.

The possibilities we see here are endless and I’m sure these will be very exciting times for PR agencies and the wider creative industry alike.

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