Monthly Brand Mashup #15 May

May has seen the Brexit debate heat up as the EU referendum draws closer. Many brands and organisations have been putting out communications to either show their allegiance to a side or to try and drive action by voters. Here are a couple worth a mention.

Ryanair have been running a Brexit special ad campaign offering remain voters a special price to fly home to vote.

But the ad has now been reported to the police by the Vote Leave campaign for breaching bribery laws. Much to Michael O’Leary’s delight no doubt, due to the extra publicity this will now generate.

Ryanair’s chief executive has openly defended the European Union in recent weeks, with the company donating money to the Remain campaign. O’Leary appeared in London on Monday alongside Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to promote the case for staying in the EU.

Further to this, Operation Black Vote (OBV) has turned to Saatchi and Saatchi to create its EU referendum campaign.

Instead of carrying political messaging, the powerful poster has been designed to encourage individuals from black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) communities to vote in the forthcoming poll on Britain's EU membership. Around 30 per cent of the four million black and ethnic minority people eligible to vote in the UK are not yet on the electoral register, compared to around 15 per cent of the overall voting population.

Many have criticised this ad for dividing society but others have applauded its brevity.

In other Europe related news, a number of brands have seen Euro 2016 as a massive opportunity to put their brand at the centre of people’s conversations. Two stood out to us for very different reasons.

Carlsberg, in preparation of its UEFA Euro 2016 sponsorship campaign, announced plans to rebrand 19 pubs throughout England “The Three Lions”.

The activity began this month when the Famous Three Kings in London's Fulham changed its traditional signage for a new ‘Three Lions” fascia and bespoke frontage. The temporary sign will feature footballers Wayne Rooney, Jamie Vardy and Joe Hart.

Boozers from Newcastle to Gosport will be given the same treatment, with all references to their names being removed until England leave the tournament. POS materials and exclusive glassware will also be supplied to participating pubs - what a great idea.

 This month Hyundai also announced its plans to engage with consumers. And its idea – to engage those that missed out or couldn’t travel to France but still want that experience. The brand will stage a fan zone in London’s King Cross for Euro 2016 where football fans will have the chance to experience games through new immersive technology.

The 45,000 capacity Hyundai FanDome will be free to all and offers viewers the opportunity to experience this summer’s tournament in France through a world-first live reactive 360-degree audio-visual experience.

A system of giant screens will surround the entire interior of the dome, enclosing fans in what Hyundai is marketing as ‘Football Heaven’.

The screens will react in real time to events happening in the game with everything from goals scored, red and yellow cards, penalty shootouts and national anthems triggering a unique audio-visual response inside the dome.

The Hyundai FanDome will broadcast 45 matches from the first Group Stage match on Friday 10 June to the final, held on Sunday 10 July. Tickets for the FanDome must be purchased in advance via Ticketmaster.

And finally this month we think we have now seen it all, Burger King is engaging its fans in Finland by embracing the national stereotype with a “fast food spa”.

Located downstairs at a Burger King's outlet in Helsinki, the activation allows diners to enjoy a Big Whopper with fries while chilling in a branded dressing gown.

The installation has been designed by interior creative Teuvo Loman. It comprises a 15-seater sauna, a shower room and a media lounge complete with a 48 inch TV, PlayStation 4 and sound system.

Hire of the sauna starts at €250 for three hours. Users can also choose to enjoy their food upstairs in the restaurant if they wish to avoid a soggy sandwich.

This is one perk we don’t think we can get on board with – just think of the smell!

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