Before getting into it, I wanted to acknowledge the #Kony2012 campaign. If you missed it, here’s what the organisation behind the campaign has to say:
KONY 2012 is a film and campaign by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice.
The campaign began with a 30-minute video. I’m not going to lie, I haven’t watched the video. Mostly because I’ve been at home ill, feeling sorry for myself and looking after my equally snotty youngest mini, Noah. The prospect of a 30-minute justice campaign sounds nowhere near as much fun as drinking Lemsip from the bottle, playing FIFA online in my dressing gown and allowing said mini to amble unskilfully around the furniture, destroying the house around me.
With that in mind, I can’t make a sound call as to what I think of it, other than the fact it’s done very well awareness-wise. It trended worldwide on Twitter and garnered 9 million views within two days of being uploaded on YouTube. It achieved a significant amount of media attention.
But it has also been subjected to audible criticism, mostly related to how Invisible Children – the organisation behind the campaign to make the obviously evil Kony famous – spends its money. Brighter people than I have looked into this, read more from those people here.
Here’s the video, if you have half an hour to spare:
First sent to me by Bournemouth Uni student Sarah Shelly.
Good PR of the week
We all know Apple turns even the most cantankerous of tech journalists into swooning teenage caricatures of their former selves, celebrating every non-difference between the new product and the version released half a year before as if it were the Higgs boson (incidentally, more evidence of which was possibly found. Unfortunately for humankind, something far more important – the announcement of the new iPad – overshadowed what will, I’m sure, be the greatest scientific discovery, ever. But no, you’re right world, a retina display and five-megapixel camera is better).
I tend to think of great PR as that which my mum will see, understand and make a decision based on. She’ll have heard about the iPad launch and for that reason – and the fact it’s not Apple’s fault people would gladly eat the liquefied post-workout underwear worn by the entire cast of The Biggest Loser to merely glance a new i-Something five minutes before everybody else – that Apple deserves a good-PR spot.
CougarDating.com’s wild claim
What do you do if you have no money to spend on marketing, a niche target demographic and no awareness of your brand?
You “offer” a (kind-of) celebrity that people will be able to associate with your target audience a ridiculous sum of money to be the face of your site, that’s what.
CougarDating.com is a website aimed at a) cougars – women who prefer younger men and b) men who prefer older women.
By enlisting the help of the Xtra Factor’s Caroline Flack – recently famous for dating boy-band One Direction’s Harry Styles; 17 years her junior – the site was able to achieve hundreds of good quality links that will help its SEO no end, plenty of national media love and Twitter mentions galore. Only it didn’t enlist the help of the aptly-named Flack – it just used her name and said it would offer her £500,000 to be the face of the website, instead. To the press, mind you, not to her. No, that’d be silly.
Flack seemed to take it all rather well, even joking that she might be able to afford a new sex swing with the money.
We all know CougarDating.com would never part with half a million for Flack, and we all know she’d never take it as it’s doubtful she wants to be remembered as a cougar. Which means, the site’s PR team came up with a cheap, funny and topical stunt that ended up harming nobody and on the contrary, doing itself a lot of good. Nice work.
Using LEDs on one side of a car and a camera on the other transmitting the image to the LEDs, Mercedes has created the world’s first “invisible” car.
The smart effort is to promote new fuel cell vehicle technology, which Mercedes claims is ‘”invisible to the environment” with 0.0 emissions. The F-CELL car will go on a nationwide tour around Germany, according to this video:
Bad PR of the week
Coles’ conversation starter
In a simple bid to make its social media more conversational, Coles (an Australian supermarket) asked followers to complete the sentence: “in my house it’s a crime not to buy ... “
Sounds simple, light-hearted and safe enough, doesn’t it?
Yet like Qantas and Coca-Cola, who you may remember both had similar Twitter efforts go wrong as people hijacked the hashtags/phrases to help them trend in nefarious ways, Coles came under attack from users keen to raise concerns about the supermarket’s food-sourcing policies.
Coles later Tweeted saying “It's a social media crime not to ... finish a sentence yourself. Sorry guys that post was not meant for Twitter“. True story, obviously.
Great spot Angus Young!
From one supermarket chain to another. Tesco has been in a bit of trouble this week, after a 22-year-old student was informed that her face adorned a £12 sweater being sold in hundreds of Tesco stores nationwide, despite the fact she didn’t give permission nor even know about her first step into modelling. The photo was taken from her personal blog.
Tesco bosses are none the wiser, either, calling Scottish fashion student Nicola Kirkbride back to tell her they had “absolutely no idea” how it had happened.
Thanks to The Drum’s Ishbel Macleod for Tweeting with this.
Have you seen any good or bad P