The glamorous jet set life of your editor continues.
The two large raindrops next to a dark cloud on the BBC’s weather forecast for Skegness did not bode well for an open air launch of a fleet of open toppers.
Sure enough Monday came and my windscreen wipers were working overtime as I headed for the Lincolnshire Coast. I paid my £2.50 to park in near isolation in the car park and headed over to the launch stopping only for a brief visit to the astonishingly high quality conveniences provided by the local authority
Frankly, I had expected the public to think better of it and stay in bed but no, there was a crowd assembled, predominantly of children who had brought their parents along, but swelled by dignitaries and local politicians. Lots was going on, it was colourful if damp, and for a while there was a buzz.
I’m not a cynic and if I ever get that way I’ll give the job up, but I’m used to local launches being all about making sure the press have a picture and a quote before the MD bolts back to the office. This wasn’t like that. This was marketing primarily aimed at children. The MD and most of her team were wearing brightly coloured sweatshirts and getting involved with the public. There was a genuine effort being made to entertain the children and an enthusiasm about doing it, while advance planning had made sure that there were actually things for them to do.
The give-aways were quite clever. If you give a child a badge on a card with space for other badges, they might just catch the bus again in order to collect the others. And as Michelle pointed out, ‘kids come with grown ups who pay fares.’
It made me think two things. Firstly, you have to try hard to successfully promote Skegness on a wet Monday in April and secondly, what additional scope is there for marketing to children?