Good and Bad PR

Kellogg’s and Plan UK get the thumbs up this week. Paddy Power and New Covent Garden Soup get the thumbs down

Date: 22 February 2012 15:50

Good PR of the week
 

Cereal thriller
 

The Charlatans’ lead singer Tim Burgess Tweeted a few weeks ago to say he wanted to create a breakfast cereal called Totes Amazeballs, as he thought it an apt and funny name.

When Kellogg’s heard about (or saw) this – within the hour after he Tweeted it, apparently – it got in touch with Burgess to develop the cereal based on his favourite dessert; Rocky Road, by mixing Coco Pops Rocks, marshmallows, shortbread pieces and raisins.

The result is a shed-load of coverage and all for the cost of just the one box of cereal. The press and online public seem to love examples of brands reacting quickly to requests and delivering unique solutions – with Peter Shankman’s Morton’s Steakhouse story being one such example.

 

Burgess – a constant Tweeter and let’s face it, hardly a household name – is the perfect person to work with for this sort of quick-win stunt, as Kellogg’s could be sure it wouldn’t be overshadowed in the way it might have been had it done a similar stunt with Lady Gaga.

He now has the box as his profile image and has Tweeted and reTweeted the story as outlets have picked up on it.

Sexual discrimination
 

I don’t often (if at all) feature the work of clients, but this is an example that’s getting a lot of love for its frankly brilliant execution.

In short, a bus stop ad has been developed that uses facial-recognition technology to tell the gender of the person looking at it; with a different message delivered depending on whether the person is male or female.

 

The electronic hoarding, to be unveiled on a bus stop in London’s Oxford Street this week, plays a 40-second advertisement, which only women will be able to watch the whole of.

The ad is for charity Plan UK, who hope to show men “a glimpse of what it’s like to have basic choices taken away“, in a bid to promote female education worldwide. The ad is being delivered using Clear Channel technology, and was masterminded by client CURB, which delivers creative ad campaigns for some huge brands. I know people will say I’m biased, but this is my train set and it does some amazing work.

Bad PR of the week
 

Bad horseplay

 

Paddy Power is in trouble this week for a video it released in response to a Facebook fan saying he was looking forward to seeing the “beauties” at Cheltenham Ladies Day. The Irish bookmakers saw an opportunity to promote its new mobile app and say in the video that it will be planting transgender ladies at the event, inviting people to spot the “stallions” from the “mares“.

The ad has clearly been created to rile people up, in what feels like a Ryanair approach to PR, and can be seen below:

Farm comp fails
 

A competition set up by the New Covent Garden Soup Company to win a farm has finished on a sour note with news that nobody won the £500,000 prize, enough to buy a small farm.

According to the Daily Mail, more than 260,000 took part in the competition, part of a £2.5-million marketing campaign by the New Covent Garden Soup company and its sister brand, Farmhouse Fare.

Each pack contained a unique code, which the customer had to enter into the website to win a range of prizes, only one of which was the actual headline prize winning code. Of course, this relies on the fact that the person with the winning carton does check and doesn’t just throw the pack away.

Which they did, seemingly.

This shows that competition mechanics have to be properly thought through, especially when the prize is so eye-grabbing and has the potential to draw a lot of people in.

Thanks to Elizabeth Fitzpatrick and Consolidated PR’s Anna Murray for Tweeting with this example.

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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