Good and Bad PR

Delicious PR from Pot Noodle, Tic Tac and the Muppets, but Liverpool FC’s efforts leave a bad taste in the mouth

Date: 15 February 2012 15:17

Good PR of the week

Pot Kanoodle
 

In an example of the name coming first and working back from there, Pot Noodle is looking to create a new flavour to launch for Valentine’s Day 2013, and has already dubbed it the Pot Kanoodle.

The company is looking to create a new aphrodisiac flavour (there was another fun aphrodisiac Valentine’s Day stunt this week by Frank PR, involving bull testicles ...) asking fans to send in their flavour suggestions for the product.

Apparently, flavour suggestions so far include lobster and garlic, oysters and chilli and rare steak, though I’m not sure how fans are supposed to suggest. I’ve quickly looked at its Facebook page, where you’d expect to find people suggesting, but have seen nothing and no information about the effort beyond a quick post. Despite this, it’s a nice idea and one that will have cost the PR and marketing team very little money or time.

Thanks to Olivia Hughes from Cohn & Wolfe for putting this one up.

Tic Tac’s app
 

On the other end of the cost-scale, Tic Tac (the mints) has launched a marketing campaign called Shake It Up, which centres on its new mobile app. Using the app – for Android and iOS, you can scan fact-filled outdoor and print ads to unlock related games and information.

Three billboards in New York’s Times Square also form part of the campaign, which is being heralded as a new and great way of embracing augmented reality.

Find out more by watching this:

Thanks to Bell Pottinger’s Sandrine Powell for sending this one to me.

Muppet bakes
 

The PR team behind The Muppets movie (I’d love to know if it’s an in-house job or agency) has really gone all out in the last couple of months and weeks, from parodying Twilight posters to announcing Miss Piggy as the face of makeup brand Mac. The team has also had Miss Piggy walk down the red carpet at the BAFTAs, and hosted a press conference led by Kermit.

One of my favourite things, though, is perhaps the most simple.

Cupcake Occasions – a baking company owned by two sisters that live in Suffolk – created some mini Muppets masterpieces, which were subsequently sent to celebrities and high-profile Tweeters, including Stephen Fry. As you can see, the cupcakes are brilliantly done and as such, enjoyed a day of prominence online as people Tweeted and reTweeted photos of them to millions.

 

Bad PR of the week
 

Liverpool’s bad play
 

If you’re a regular reader, you may have noticed that I try to keep this column relatively light-hearted. Yes, even the bad PR section. Actually bad things happen every day, and you could say that entire governments are often responsible for what most would define as bad PR, but I try to stay away from anything that involved murder, rape, racism and all that. By “all that“, I mean generally horrible stuff that you already probably know about, and can find much more informed comment and opinion about elsewhere.

Contrary to that self-imposed rule, though, it’d be hard to ignore the Suarez/Liverpool FC debacle this week.

As I say, this isn’t exactly what you’d call a well-researched, hard-hitting column. You’ll find more in-depth social analysis of this situation in every national paper – well, maybe not every national paper – but in short:

Liverpool FC’s Luis Suarez was found guilty of racism towards Manchester United’s Patrice Evra. He was handed an eight-match ban and a £40,000 fine by the FA. The two teams met again the weekend just gone, in Suarez’s second match back from suspension. In the traditional pre-match handshakes, Suarez oddly refused to shake Evra’s hand, an action that seemingly infuriated Evra, who grabbed Suarez’s hand in an apparent effort to shake it.

So, that’s the condensed background. It was obviously ill-advised and sparked media condemnation of Suarez and manager Kenny Dalglish, who stuck by his player in post-match interviews and denied that he’d seen the incident. United manager Sir Alex Ferguson claimed afterwards that Suarez’s actions could have sparked a riot, something that’s also been said of Evra’s goading celebrations after his side’s 2-1 win.

Both Suarez and Dalglish have since apologised but this incident can’t be described as anything other than a PR nightmare. I feel sorry for the comms team who would have seen the endless hours of work unfolding the second Suarez walked past Evra in the handshaking line.

Now, my boss Andy Barr is a Liverpool fan, and jokingly (?) pointed out that one of the people who Tweeted me with this as bad PR – Stephen Proud from Parasol – lives in Manchester. I said I’d highlight this possible bias, but think he’s a Liverpool fan too, so really, just hope I have a job come Monday.

Thanks also to Sebastian Mathews for Tweeting with this. 

Have you seen any good or bad PR?

Contact PR Rich Leigh with it by Tweeting him @GoodandBadPR or by emailing rich@10yetis.co.uk throughout the week and we’ll happily credit you for your trouble.

Rich also writes about PR stunts at PRexamples.com. Good and Bad PR is a feature on the blog of 10 Yetis PR Agency.

 

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