The big knit 2007

Innocent smoothies with hatsInnocent Drinks have embarked upon quite the nicest promotion I’ve seen in a long time. If you pop into Sainsbury’s you’ll see that all the Innocent smoothies have acquired little hats. It really makes you look twice – especially as they all seem to be different.

A quick dig around the campaign’s excellent website filled me in on the background, which is basically as follows:

  1. Innocent get people all over the country to knit hats and send them in
  2. Each hat gets put on the top of a bottle and sent to a Sainsbury’s
  3. For every smoothie sold with a hat, Innocent and Sainsbury’s donate 50p to Age Concern

It’s a brilliant campaign – no matter which angle I look at it from, I can’t see a downside. It works so well because it’s easy to get involved – on lots of different levels.

At the most basic level, you can buy a smoothie and see some of your money go to charity. Or you can just walk into a store and see all the smoothies wearing their hats. If it doesn’t make you smile then you must’ve had a really bad day.

If you buy a smoothie, you can stick the hat on a soft toy or similar and upload photos to the Flickr group – and browse other people’s submissions too.

Or if you want to get really involved, you can knit the things. If you make a really cool hat, you might get a mention on the campaign’s blog, ‘knitter-natter‘. You can download instructions and knitting patterns to get going, leave comments and submit your own so other people can make similar hats.

Finally, the choice of knitting is inspired. It’s something that appeals to older people as much as it does to anyone else. As the whole thing’s about supporting older people in winter, it would be a bit ridiculous if it wasn’t easy for them to get involved. And, of course, quirky knitted hats fit well with Innocent’s slightly eccentric image.

Everyone benefits – your average shopper in Sainsbury’s gets a smile. Age Concern get lots of donations (50p a bottle is about 25% of the retail price – not too shabby at all). The people who knitted the hats get a feeling of being involved with something really cool. And of course Innocent’s already excellent image just gets better.

Much as I try, I’m finding it really hard to be cynical about this. Yes; it’s without doubt a great way of marketing Innocent smoothies and I’m sure their sales in Sainsbury’s will go through the roof. But there are benefits all-round, and there’s a really good feeling about it. The whole thing seems completely genuine. It’s brilliant – good luck to them.

(According to their website, the Big Knit has been going since 2003 – how come I haven’t noticed this before?)

2 responses to “The big knit 2007”

  1. More to the point… how come you only blog about trips to the supermarket these days? :)

  2. John says:

    You mean there’s more to life than Sainsbury’s?

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