HiQ Introduces “Local Hero” Promotion with Sally Gunnell as Brand Ambassador
The first HiQ National Franchise Conference of 2010 – taking place today and yesterday at the Mercure Albrighton Hall Hotel near Shrewsbury – saw the launch of the fast fit network’s latest national advertising campaign to find the UK’s “local heroes”. The new promotion is designed to deliver HiQ’s concept of itself as a “national brand driven by local business, local heroes” by allowing local communities to recognise the contribution of local people, said marketing manager Geraldine McGovern, introducing the eight month public relations programme. In addition, the local hero campaign will be represented in national media outlets by new brand ambassador and British Olympic gold medallist Sally Gunnell, who spoke to the franchisees about being “able to champion the work of others.” Gunnell talked of the value of others’ support in helping her achieve sporting success, drawing comparisons with the relatively unrecognised contribution of selfless people to the local area. The campaign, she said, will offer communities the chance to “recognise the people that often we don’t really think about.”
The promotion will urge people to contact their nearest HiQ centre and nominate an unsung member of their community, who carries out a great deal of unrecognised work. Gunnell continued: “I have been privileged to receive recognition for my success on the athletics track over the years, and it is wonderful to now be able to champion the work of others, through HiQ’s local hero campaign. It could be a care worker, a disadvantaged child or adult, a charity worker, or a selfless doctor or nurse. We want to encourage as many people as possible to nominate their most deserving candidate. We want to see people get in touch with HiQ through emails, letters and phone calls.”
Following the receipt of entries in this way, nominations for each of ten HiQ regions will be opened for a four-week voting period in October, with the ten regional winners invited to an awards lunch in November, where an overall winner will be announced. The winners will be determined 75 per cent by votes submitted on HiQ’s promotional microsites and 25 per cent by a judging panel made up of “pillars of the community”, revealed McGovern. Each shortlisted regional winner will receive £250 for themselves, while the overall winner will receive £5,000 for their local community in addition to a £500 prize for themselves.
McGovern continued: “This is a huge campaign for us and one that we really hope everyone will get involved with. To have Sally Gunnell working as an ambassador means so much to us, and we hope she will inspire people to vote for a member of their community to win our award, who carries out so much selfless work without recognition.”
The campaign ties in with one of the major themes of the conference, namely the increasing importance of internet-based social media and how the HiQ network should direct its efforts in this area. Much of the campaign will be carried out online, with dedicated microsites linking both to HiQ franchise sites and the HiQonline.co.uk website. The soft marketing also ties in clearly with HiQ’s stated business approach, which retail director Juergen Titz characterised during the day’s proceedings as “a national brand executed by local heroes.”