Good PR of the week
Spaced-out Angry Birds
Gracing these pages for the second time this month (the first for getting a NASA astronaut involved in a PR stunt), Rovio celebrated the launch of its new game Angry Birds Space by hanging a 35-foot Angry Bird from Seattle’s 605-foot tall Space Needle. The bird, as you can see in the picture below, was held within the pouch of a 300-foot-long slingshot, pointing skywards.
T-Mobile sponsored the stunt; a huge recreation of the method used in the game to sling the perpetually irate fowl.
Fans were invited by Rovio to the famous landmark in Seattle, Washington to see the stunt, play the new game and win prizes.
Pimms on the beach
To mark the beginning of British Summer time, Pimm's – a drink typically associated with nice weather – commissioned artist Stuart Murdoch to create the world’s largest deckchair on Bournemouth beach.
Despite the fact the chair was seemingly unbranded – something quite a few people have pointed out as a negative – the stunt has got a huge amount of coverage, the majority of which mentions Pimm's.
So, let this be a lesson to any of you thinking of planting a giant anything anywhere to promote your clients – the balance between tacky branding and ensuring credit is given where due is something to think about.
Bad PR of the week
Hitler fails to impress
Once, my MD Andy (say hi) and I had a meeting with a client where we proposed an idea based around an incredibly contentious celebrity. We obviously weren’t endorsing him, but were using the public’s thoughts for him as the basis for our (funny, we thought) idea. Picture the scene – we’d just told our Antipodean client an idea that he said gave him a "hard-on". We were on a roll. Nothing could go wrong. He was allegedly engorged and we were ready to strike with the killer idea.
So Andy hit him with it.
Seconds passed. We may have both grinned in expectation of him falling off his chair in response to it, and in my head at least, I was giving it jazz hands to underline how impressive our big idea was. Needless to say – now possibly flaccid – our client was less than impressed. He certainly didn’t want to be anything to do with this celebrity’s gang and may have muttered something like "Erm, in my country, uh, that’s just not that funny, mate". Dejected, we soldiered on and tried to lighten the mood by harking back to the fact that at the beginning of the meeting, the other client rep had opened his laptop and the sound of a woman either being murdered or pleasured blared out.
The reason for the above tale is that, of all the batshit-crazy ideas you’ve come up with in creative meetings, I’m going to bet you’ve never suggested – or at least acted on – an idea to include Hitler in your campaigns, have you?
Well, a Turkish shampoo company, Biomen, and its ad agency Marka, did. They dubbed a video of Hitler shouting that men should not use women’s shampoo if they do not wear women’s clothes, possibly in some sort of homage to the otherwise incredibly popular Downfall, a scene that has been parodied by many including Labour’s Tom Harris, who was sacked for comparing Alex Salmond to the dictator.
Watch it here:
The advert was only 12 seconds long, but was declared "unacceptable" by Turkey’s Jewish community. International condemnation ensued, with the US-based Anti-Defamation League saying it was "repulsed", calling it "a disgusting and deplorable marketing ploy".
The ad company behind the campaign said it had been misinterpreted in the 10 days it had been on air, but that didn’t stop the office of the chief Rabbi in Istanbul from demanding a public apology.
Marka’s Beril Mardin responded that by making Hitler a star in a shampoo commercial they were making fun of him, and that the Jewish community seemed more upset than they were supposed to be. Sometimes clients veto ideas for a reason, it’s just a shame Biomen didn’t in this case!
Have you seen any good or bad PR?
Contact PR Rich Leigh with it by Tweeting him @GoodandBadPR or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org throughout the week and we’ll happily credit you for your trouble.
Good and Bad PR is a daily feature on the blog of 10 Yetis PR Agency. Rich also writes about PR stunts at PRexamples.com.