Hafod Hardware Viral Video & PR Success

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Whilst High Street Giants Spend £Millions on Christmas Videos a Small Hardware Shop in Central Wales Went Viral For £100

For years I’ve been told that marketing is hard and the big boys have all the advantages. But it’s not true as a small hardware shop in Central Wales has proved with a video that cost £100 to make and has gone viral with 1.2 million views on YouTube in six days.

Small businesses now have the playing field sloped in their direction. They can make decisions faster and have fewer layers of bureaucracy which means they can be agile in their marketing.

And having small budgets doesn’t have to be a problem either (even if its only £100). In fact, it’s often an advantage. Because they have no money they don’t throw money at marketing. They throw thought at marketing. They think through all they are trying to achieve and work out the most cost-effective way of achieving it.

In this case, they were trying to encourage people to shop locally at small independents and beat the large retailers such as John Lewis, Sainsbury’s, Aldi and others, that spend £millions on making and broadcasting their Christmas videos. And they did it by going back to basics, using a story and a cute child called Arthur, and by making this about real people and family values.

Four generations of the family are seen in the video, which is the third in a series that I only hope goes on and on. Arthur’s father Thomas appears in the last scene when Arthur goes to pick up a Christmas tree to take home. In the background shots other members of the family are seen from time to time.

Without Words The Best Christmas Video Ever?

The soundtrack of the video is very powerful. No words are spoken but Andrea von Kampen sings the Alphaville hit, Forever Young (the words of which are featured below).

A powerful song like this is all that is needed to engage our ears as our eyes take in the story of Arthur as he wakes, has breakfast, opens the shop, repairs a broom, sweeps, serves customers, wraps parcels .. oops I’m spoiling the story and you really should watch the video.

Josh Holdaway – Videographer

The video is filmed by videographer Josh Holdaway. Josh is a friend of the family (I understand he went to uni with Thomas and was his best man). Josh’s professional videographer skills shine in this video and clearly his years at the University of Wales studying for a degree in Cinematography and Film Production wasn’t all spent in bars.

Where is Hafod Hardware?

Hafod Hardware was founded in 1895. Located in East Street, Rhayader, it’s a long way from its bigger competitors in larger towns, Rhayader only has a population of 2000 people. But in marketing terms Hafod is fighting way above its weight. Its website is simple but effective, a must for most small businesses.

But it doesn’t stop there. Hafod has cracked what many large retailers fail to do. They have gone digital. Not only can you buy seed potatoes without a plastic wrapper at Hafod they also have an online shop selling art prints on Etsy. Plus they offer a design service which specialises in tourism posters and advertising.

This seam of diversity it what I admire in small businesses that look at their skills, at what their prospects and customers want and marry the two together. It’s clever and customer centric.

PR (Public Relations) Success

With this video Hafod Hardware haver achieved an incredible PR success that leaves many large companies and PR agencies in the shadows. PR is a marketing tool that many businesses either forget or avoid, which is a pity as its easy to get PR results at nil cost. It’s relatively easy to write and publish a media release, produce a simple video on social media or organise an event that will wow the media.

How do I know this? Simple. Its something I’ve been doing for decades (see my favourite interviews here) and this viral video from Hafod Hardware was a golden opportunity to obtain some spin-off for my own business without lifting a finger. Let me explain how it happened.

I saw the video a few days ago as it started to get traction on YouTube and i did some research. Then yesterday I had an email from the BBC asking me if I’d appear on BBC DriveTime to discuss the video and how this type of marketing works for businesses of any size.

Sadly, I had to decline as I had a hospital appointment.

Then today (December 6th 2019) I had a call from Brian over at BBC Radio Foyle in Northern Ireland. They were interested in an interview on the Mark Patterson Show just after the 2 pm news. So I agreed and an hour later, sound checks having been carried out, I was on-air talking to Mark about this wonderful video and its star Arthur.

How Do The BBC Find Commentators & Experts to Interview?

When a story breaks the media likes to bounce it off experts so that they can see all the angles and to get people prepared to comment and answer any question they or listeners raise. Usually this is live although occasionally it will be pre-recorded. In most cases there is a very short time between the story breaking and the interview. So the interviewer and interviewee have to work quickly to prepare for a short deadline. In most cases the radio or TV interviewer will have a researcher doing all their donkey work and the details including possible questions will appear on a screen in front of them.

In my case I usually do the interviews live by phone and have prepared a series of expected questions and my answers. I’ve also researched the topic well enough that I can ad-lib for several minutes on the topic and related subjects. We’ve both p[repafred but in no way is the interview scripted as neither knows what the other is likely to say. It keeps both of us on our toes and I love the spontaneity of live radio.

As for how they find us there are three ways. The media either Google for an expert (that’s a bit hit and miss), use directories such as ExpertSources.co.uk (contact me for details of special offers) or consult their internal directories of regular interviewees.

In this case, I was already listed in the BBC files, but I also appear on ExpertSources and thoroughly recommend it. And of course my website and social media presence is out there, but being in a directory trumps this every time.

If You Need PR Help

PR is easy when you know how. But it can be a nightmare if you don’t understand it.

That’s a pity as its a very effective marketing tactic and relatively low cost. So if you need some help or advice with PR get in contact now. I’ll coach you, mentor you .. whatever it takes to get you doing PR really well.

It costs nothing to ask.

Forever Young Lyrics As Used in the Hafod Hardware Video

Let’s dance in style, let’s dance for a while
Heaven can wait, we’re only watching the skies
Hoping for the best but expecting the worst
Are you gonna drop the bomb or not?

Let us die young or let us live forever
We don’t have the power but we never say never
Sitting in a sandpit, life is a short trip
The music’s for the sad men

Can you imagine when this race is won
Turn our golden faces into the sun
Praising our leaders, we’re getting in tune
The music’s played by the mad man

[Chorus]
Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever, and ever
Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever young

[Verse 2]
Some are like water, some are like the heat
Some are a melody and some are the beat
Sooner or later, they all will be gone
Why don’t they stay young

It’s so hard to get old without a cause
I don’t want to perish like a fading horse
Youth’s like diamonds in the sun
And diamonds are forever

So many adventures couldn’t happen today
So many songs we forgot to play
So many dreams swinging out of the blue
We let them come true

[Chorus]
Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever, and ever
Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever, and ever

[Outro]
Forever young, I wanna be forever young
Do you really want to live forever? (Forever)

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