First of all a disclaimer – We were not invited to the Hugo Boss party in Canary Wharf to mark the occasion of Brian Thompson’s old boat being rejigged, repainted and renamed for Alex Thomson, so of course this article is laced with the sour grapes that inevitably come with such a snub.
[cleeng_content id="416844763" description="99 cents or 10,000 hours. The path to being an expert can be easy or hard. " price="0.99"]The who’s who of fashion and sport were invited, including blogger Elle Tea and sportsvibe.co.uk who reported:
“Funny old night in Canary Wharf last night where Sportsvibe witnessed the official launch of round the world sailor Alex Thomson’s latest boat, “Hugo Boss,” by Hollywood actress Diane Kruger, of Troy, National Treasure and Inglorious Bastards fame. Mark Foster turned up in his trademark stripey jacket and thin jeans, although he wasn’t quite sure who Diane Kruger was, while old Sportsvibe friend David Coulthard was there as well on compering duties.”
Considering the expense spent on the party, one would have expected a bit more buzz. Admittedly, HUGO BOSS is attempting to portray itself as an exclusive brand, but it seems that despite the backing of long time digital experts Slipstream Studios, the people behind Alex’s new website, there was a real lack of online chatter about the occasion.
The buzz that was generated only served to perpetuate the ‘Hello Sailor’ image of the sport with visitors to the party captivated by the waiters and waitresses dressed in cliched white hats and blue and white striped uniforms. Perhaps the camp costumes were designed to differentiate the hired-help from the suit wearing stars, but the unimaginative nature of the look will do nothing for the sport of sailing.
This was old-fashioned PR. The kind where you don’t earn attention and coverage, but buy it with free drinks and glittering goodies. And on some levels it worked. A photo and 50 words on the Marie Claire website and PopSugar.com meant that HUGO BOSS ambassador Diane Kruger caught the attention of a press audience that would not have cared less for a boat launch ordinarily.
600 influencers like Diane Chan experienced a memorable evening and no doubt Hugo Boss’ PR people will clap their hands at collumn inches in the traditional media as a result, but from where we sit, with Google’s new search tools and a couple of other digital media monitoring methods, the event was a missed opportunity.
As the boat floated in the still waters of the Thames, the viral element that has been a feature of the relationship between Alex Thomson and Hugo Boss was missing.
The official press release that we received (so we’re on at least one mailing list), runs to a total of 125 words and the follow up story about the boat sailing down the Thames clocks in at 21 words. This coming from the team that has given us some of the most spectacular promotional images of recent times.
We’re obviously not the target audience for this phase of the campaign. We love HUGO BOSS. We love the adrenaline of F1 and the sheer power of the new boat. We love the way Alex Thomson can be an offshore sailor and still carry off a smart looking suit. A fashion PR luvvie party is just not what we expect from the brand that made everyone rethink how to brand a racing yacht.
More HUGO BOSS news here…[/cleeng_content]