Good PR of the week
Jaffa Cakes lift off
Last week, Mcvitie’s unveiled a lickable lift. 1,325 Jaffa Cakes adorned the walls of an otherwise standard-in-all-ways office lift, providing a brilliant photo opportunity of people licking the walls to presumably celebrate the 85th birthday of McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes.
Although the stunt sounds gross, we’re assured that it’s just wallpaper consisting of Jaffa Cake-flavoured stickers, which a lift attendant would replace the second a licker’s tongue has left the wall. This is exactly the sort of line you’d have to come out with to explain away the issue of hygiene, but in reality, I’d be very surprised if the wallpaper is/was there for any longer than necessary to promote the stunt.
The stunt was carried out by Mischief PR at communications firm Engine in Great Portland Street, central London, and achieved dozens of great bits of coverage, including the Mail Online, The Sun, The Huffington Post, Digital Spy and MSN.
Thanks to Ellen Hammett, Sketch Events’ Lucy Boyd and Niki Goddard for tweeting and posting about this!
Push the button
To launch TV channel TNT in Belgium, a big red button was conspicuously placed "on an average Flemish square of an average Flemish town".
A sign with the text "Push to add drama" invited people to use the button. If you’re not among the nearly 25-million people who have already watched it, see what all the fuss is about below:
Bad PR of the week
I’m saying nothing
You may be wondering if a certain person within our profession will be making an appearance in the bad PR section this week, you might think I’m ignoring an otherwise obvious example given that I’ve decided to gloss over the entire issue. The reason is simple – somebody in a not-very-senior position said something offhandedly to somebody (and that was the silly part, saying it to this somebody) who has a track record of similarly offhanded nastiness. A respectably and predictably-aggressive and contemptuous Twitter brouhaha followed that and quickly died down again, as brouhahas do. I’m going to guess the majority of readers couldn’t remember this person’s name if they tried, and as I think we should be a bit less hyena-like in our treatment of people within PR – I’m going to focus on other bad PR examples this week.
And not spend an entire paragraph explaining an example I’m not going to talk about. Shit.
Following the tsunami scare in Thailand last week after an earthquake in Indonesia, KFC posted the following message onto its Thai Facebook page: "People should hurry home this evening to monitor the earthquake situation and don't forget to order the KFC menu, which will be delivered direct to your hands."
Following the post, there was the obvious and warranted backlash, prompting the fast-food chain to remove the update and apologise, saying: "The KFC Thailand fanpage team would like to apologise for an inappropriate post relating to the disaster."
When will brands learn to keep itself out of anything natural-disaster related?
Air Canada space flight
If it weren’t so serious, this example could almost be funny, just for the sheer stupidity involved.
During a flight to Zurich in January last year, an Air Canada pilot (who had just woken from an onboard nap) dove 400 feet, sending passengers and crew into the ceiling in the process. Sixteen people were injured.
And the reason for the pilot’s actions? He thought Venus – you know, as in, the planet Venus – was an oncoming cargo plane. Same shape and all, I guess.
The captain seized the controls and righted the plane, though the situation could have been much worse. A cargo plane was flying in the direction of the Air Canada passenger liner, but 1,000 feet below.
Air Canada did well to keep this out of the media, in my mind, and say it has developed a "special fatigue report form for use in its safety reporting system" (which will aim to address the fact that the pilot slept for longer than he was supposed to), which should be in place by summer, 2012.
Thanks to fellow Yeti Shaun Houcke for mentioning this one to me!
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.