Social Media, Social Network
Image Source: Joe The Goat Farmer
Jamie Hardesty

#DrummondPuddleWatch: The best piece of PR/marketing the North East has ever seen?

Social media. Whether you love it or loathe it, there’s never been a resource quite like it.

Whether we’re talking politics or puddles, this 21st Century tool has revolutionised the way in which people from across the globe can access any given subject matter.

Everyday I report on and engage with companies operating across the North East. Outside of London, there are more digital agencies functioning per square capita than in any other area of the UK.

So whilst healthy competition in indeed prevalent in the region’s digital arena, firms are of course striving to gain a competitive edge and to ultimately standout.

Today, Newcastle digital marketing agency Drummond Central played nothing short of a social media masterstroke and the beauty of it is, it was for the firm’s own amusement!

As I write this, #DrummondPuddleWatch is currently trending worldwide on Twitter.

Drummond Puddle, What?

For those of you unaware, Drummond Central live streamed footage of the public attempting to cross a path-blocking puddle outside of its office window, which literally generated mass attention from across the globe. Whilst the concept may sound mundane, the results certainly weren’t.

Streaming a live video on Periscope, Twitter’s new live-streaming video app, the creative agency propelled itself as being attached to one of the most talked about things on the web.

Whilst few would have predicted the puddle video’s popularity, the agency branded the phenomenon by creating a hashtag which included its own company name.

The nature of the media in question here is of course lighthearted, yet the coverage and exposure Drummond as an agency has generated is to be taken most seriously indeed.

I challenge anyone to tell me of an event where a North East digital agency has generated more publicity for itself, regardless of the fact that the firm set the stream up for its own entertainment purposes.

From Newcastle to New Zealand, the stunt caught the eye of people worldwide. A great example of applying modern media tools to increase a firm’s own publicity.

Indeed, the video was not intended to market the firm itself although this inevitably happened due to the stream’s popularity - reminding us that the nature of social media and social sharing is indeed unpredictable and perhaps impossible to tame.

Every year, many companies spend thousands and thousands of pounds on social media campaigns to raise their profiles, isn’t it beautiful that a social media stunt which has generated the most interest the region has seen was both without expenditure or reason?

Even the experts among us must confess that whilst we may all well be accustomed to social media and the methods allowing us to get the best out of it, generating a following or an ‘internet buzz’ still requires an element of chance and luck.


Whilst Periscope views do not directly generate monetary gain for a company, Drummond Central essentially engineered a way of advertising itself as a company worldwide, without any expenditure.

At time of writing this piece, the video has close to half a million likes. Yet more pertinently, Drummond’s business profile has been considerably raised through a plethora of regional, national and international media coverage.

U.S. company ABC approached the Newcastle-based business, asking permission to stream the video through its own channel. A Telegraph poll found that 92% of voters said that the puddle interested them more than Corbyn’s cabinet reshuffle.

Even international digital music service spotify got in on the action, creating a playlist to accompany the stream. In fact, it seems the internet is so engrossed, it’s a surprise Gazza didn’t appear on scene with a fishing rod and some chicken.

The firm’s social media interactions will have been through the roof today whilst the click through rate to its own website, where its services are showcased, will have undoubtedly spiked too.

In terms of raising awareness, exposure and publicity - this has only been good for Drummond.

What did Drummond Central make of it all?

I spoke to Richard Rippon, Social Media Manager at Drummond Central, to hear his views on the sudden internet sensation.

“Looking out of our office window we started to enjoy seeing people attempt to cross the puddle”, began Richard.

“When someone made an offhand comment in the office to livestream it, we thought why not? We’d used Periscope in a campaign over Christmas and we’re well aware that live streaming has a big future ahead.”

The Telegraph ran an article earlier today asking why watching a puddle could prove so popular.

‘Just to see if anyone would fall in’ was Richard’s quirky response.

On a more serious note, Richard went on to say that the agency would be checking its own Google Analytics tomorrow to quantify the effect today’s events have had in bringing users to their own website.

He added: “The overall viewing figure is crazy, it’s just gone insane. I look forward to seeing the spike in traffic tomorrow.”

Through the power of social media people and businesses alike can gain fame in a matter of minutes, seconds even. That’s right Justin Bieber, even this business editor has caught a glimpse of the YouTube videos which made you an internet sensation.

The exposure that the guys at Drummond have generated for themselves not only raises their own profile but even the profile of Periscope too, a relatively new tool which many will have only stumbled across because of today’s occurrance.

A most memorable method of modern day marketing, indeed.

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