Greggs Valentine’s Day Love
Greggs Valentine’s Day tie-up with OpenTable achieved the PR holy grail of a branded mention on Radio 4’s Today programme and blanket coverage across the news media.
If you haven’t seen it – have a look here.
You no doubt get the gist though: take your loved-one to the high street baker for Valentine’s Day and for only £15 per head, wow them with Greggs food with “a special Valentine’s twist”, like “signature Greggs puff pastry parcel, freshly baked to order, accompanied by oven roasted spiced potato slices and a garnish of fresh Apollo and spinach leaves and sunblush tomatoes”.
It’s a classic PR story flawlessly executed. So I asked the folks at Finn to deconstruct it and list our top 10 reasons it worked.
1. GET REAL: The service was genuinely being offered in partnership with OpenTable and in multiple locations. It was a real thing, actually happening in the real world, not a PR construct, a trial or an expert’s opinion.
2. OWNED BY THE BRAND: Greggs was the story, media couldn’t report it and delete the brand from the copy(which can happen if the rule 1 is ignored). Not only is the brand mentioned, but it enables coverage in depth about Greggs products and offer. A great example of baking a brand into a story (sorry).
3. SURPRISING: The brand is happy to poke fun at itself – it’s not trying to be something it is not and it is not over-stating a claim.
4. RELEVANCE: Valentine’s is a calendar event in the media diary and it is synonymous with food so a food retailer has a right to weigh in on the occasion
5. TIMING: The story was released well in advance of Valentine’s Day so media hadn’t already been flooded with stories and fatigued by them. By running early the brand enjoyed uncontested attention.
6. VISUAL CONTENT: There was a good range of supporting content including subtly branded video as well as press shots.
7. SIMPLE: It’s not overcomplicated and the brand didn’t try to weave in clever sales claims
8. A FIRST: It’s a ‘first’ in simple PR 101 terms – first fine dining experience for the brand; first menu made from only Greggs products; a limited one-night-only menu
9. CONSISTENT: Greggs have built a series of calendar event stories synonymous with the brand. It’s expected by media in the same way the John Lewis ad signifies the start of Christmas
10. SWEAT THE ASSET: The story has legs, it can be reported in more than just news pages (from personal finance, to media, comment and features) and beyond its news day (The Times ran a feature on it two days after it launched).