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A hamster driving a Volvo and beer from the bath tap get the nod this week

18th September 2013


Good PR of the week

Furry driver

Some people get drunk and watch porn, I get drunk and buy domains! There, I admitted it. My drunk domain purchases are a great source of amusement in the office, Vindaloos.co.uk was the last one. Don’t ask.

Anyway, my first foray into this this area was some years ago with TruckerLovers.co.uk. The domain has now lapsed, but it was going to be a fan site for fans of trucking. Sadly, everyone I mentioned it to thought it sounded like a hook-up site for truckers and prostitutes, so I quietly let it drop (there was no affiliate links to monetise such a site for a start).

Fear not, this is going somewhere, the first thing I did when I secured the domain was to sign up to all the trucker public relations departments to get releases. I quickly unsubscribed from all of them apart from Volvo.

Volvo Trucks has an awesome PR team, I mean, really awesome. Always proactive, always looking for a fun angle and none more so than this week when it released a video of a hamster driving one of its new trucks in order to demonstrate how flexible and easy its new steering system is.

Yes, it was very “hammed up” (see what I did there?), yes the ear-piece-director-guy was a bit dramatic, but a massive yes that the resulting coverage was ruddy amazing and truly global. Kudos Volvo Trucks, if only my site had taken off I could have had it as an exclusive.

Beer on tap

Also on the good PR front, Tui beer in New Zealand caught my eye this week. It helped prank a guy by re-plumbing his house with beer instead of water.

Remember, there is not that much to do in New Zealand, unless you are a Hobbit, so this initially went big over there and eventually drifted over here and gained some huge pick up.

I loved this because it was funny, but also because it shows that it is fine to have branding prominently placed in a stunt like this, if the stunt itself is smart enough to make people run it because of the OMFG factor.

This had the OMFG factor, it also has a man with the biggest beard I have ever seen, check out the end group shot to spot him.



Bad PR of the week

Football crazy

The Bad PR this week is football dominated. The first one needs a hat tip to @AndyMTurner who highlighted a really odd story about The Guardian and Observer being banned from Nottingham Forest games. Now, the likes of Manchester United can get away with banning reporters because it is big and the papers need to have access in order to write stories.

Nottingham Forest on the other hand is a bit shit nowadays and banning reporters surely starves it of the publicity that it desperately needs. Now, I may have misread the background to this but as far as I can tell, the papers have been banned because six months ago a reporter went to a game but did not do a write up?

I am sure there is more to this story than meets the eye, but I can’t be bothered to investigate it. I wonder what PR machine Brian Clough would have made of it all?

Also on the bad PR front from the world of football comes Walsall FC. I love Walsall. When I lived in the West Midlands it was the closest decent team to me and it was also the ground at which I tried my very first curry pie.

Anyway, I digress, football fever in the Midlands is pretty full on. Birmingham City v Aston Villa and Wolves v West Brom are the key fixtures to watch out for, but it seems that Walsall v Wolves has also become a biggie.

This is simply because when Walsall beat Wolves the other night, the official Walsall FC social media account posted this fantastically abusive, but fantastically funny tweet.



The tweet was taken down within an hour but not before snide PR folk like myself could screen grab it and start sharing it around. Still no word from Walsall on what happened but I am fairly convinced that the person who ran the account last night was logged into the wrong account when he posted that, and that he may be removed from match day duties from this point on.

Still, in the over-sanitised and over-analysed world of football communications where anyone is scared to say anything with meaning, this shone out like the passionate fan-tweets that are needed. Walsall FC Social Media Tweeter, I salute you!

A nod to @alansmoore for the Walsall story.

PS Thanks to all of you who got in touch about the Costa Coffee Flapjack story. Breaking news, Costa finally tweeted me back and asked me to email. I did, I have yet to receive a reply. Will keep you all posted!

Got anything good or bad that you want to share? [email protected] or @10yetis on Twitter.



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