If you were hoping for a summer romance, it’s not too late because the man of the hour – The Office‘s David Brent – is back in town and, thanks to an exclusive partnership with MySingleFriend, he’s offering you the chance to date him.
Celebrating the launch of upcoming film David Brent: Life On The Road, all you have to do is submit a dating profile video, covering: why Brent’s a great catch, what his best chat up lines are, why you’d be his perfect woman and date ideas.
The public will then be asked to rate shortlisted entries, with the creator of the most popular video meeting the man behind the character – Ricky Gervais – at the film premiere and other submissions entered into a prize draw to win a year’s supply of gig tickets.
It’s a simple, yet effective, PR stunt with clear benefits for both parties. Film distributor Entertainment One is able to raise brand awareness to a female audience and MySingleFriend secures sign ups (for people to submit entries), content (for its Date David YouTube channel) and social engagement as the public is called to rate the clips.
But, aside from both brands adding to its bottom line, the interesting element about this campaign is that the movie marketing team has capitalised on the character’s hopeless love life by utilising the story line to form a strategic and relevant partnership.
It’s by no means the first time that marketers have got creative and brought fantasy across the border into reality. US TV network TNT recreated a petrol station – Ewing Energies – to promote the latest season of Dallas, accompanied with its own social media channels; prompting Prime Time to
consider / request / demand UK broadcasters to also creatively promote their soaps and dramas such as: EastEnders, Doctors and Mr Selfridge.
However, we need to be realistic. All ideas have the ability to look good on paper. Executing them is a different story.
I received a press release today shouting about the competition (which also closes today if you want to the chance to win the main prize) and the most popular video (one of three) on the dedicated YouTube site has just 23 views. I’m not even convinced that as a winner I’d be happy with this ROI after going to the trouble of filming and editing a clip.
It’s not that MySingleFriend hasn’t used its social media accounts to push the competition. With almost 4,000 followers on Twitter and over 2,700 on Facebook, you can’t accuse the dating website of not leveraging its digital channels. It’s just that no one seems to be engaging with the posts. And, unfortunately, for a website that prides itself on driving ‘fruitful’ conversations between new people, you have to admit it doesn’t look great.
So, if I was in the film business, I’d take notice. A partnership is only successful if both sides succeed.
Before jumping into bed with another brand, do your research, and do whatever you can – investing extra resource and additional budgets etc – to make it work. After all, relationships aren’t always easy.