A dirt cheap PR stunt to promote a town of millionaires

When Kylie sang about being lucky (lucky, lucky, lucky), she must’ve been talking about Romford – because it’s no secret that the town has generated 51 millionaires since the National Lottery began in 1994.

With such a golden reputation, communications agency Threepipe was invited to capitalise on this to ensure everyone knows about Romford’s good fortune. And, what better way to spread the word than by installing a phone box in the high street for local people to share their lucky lottery numbers with random callers – to spread the joy? 

You have to hand it to the Romford Town Management Partnership which recruited the agency. For a campaign which prides itself on making locals rich overnight, it’s an incredibly quick and ‘dirt cheap’ PR and marketing stunt. 

All Threepipe have actually arranged is branding for an existing public pay phone, some callers from across the country to ring at the right time, coordinated statistics for a media release and manned a video camera – although the end film does do a good job of highlighting the positive and friendly nature of Romfordians. 

But, to add some extra clout to the story, it would’ve been good to see the area matched with the ‘unluckiest’ town in the UK to even out the good fortune. Or, even ask a local millionaire to pledge to share their (next) lottery winnings with someone else; should they be lucky enough to win twice. 

 Did you know Romford is the luckiest town in the UK? 

It’s these sort of hooks that would’ve taken the stunt from a local story to a potential heavyweight – meeting its objective to drive national awareness in the run up to Christmas. 

That said, the activity did generate some national coverage in the Daily Expresstrade coverage on Gorkana and also within local rags such as the Essex Enquirerbut it’ll be lucky to get anymore without sprucing up the story.

I’m surprised the campaign wasn’t translated online via social media over the weekend to highlight awareness during the National Lottery draw – if only supported by geo-targeted advertising. Has it missed a trick? 

At Prime Time, we’ll be watching this partnership with interest to see how the creative ideas continue. 

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