Dinosaur bones on a beach are cool, but a threatening photo-booth stunt is uncool
18th July 2013
Hola amigos! Emma from 10 Yetis here in the Good and Bad PR hot seat today. I know what you’re thinking; I’m no Andy Barr. However, I assure you we have exactly the same masculine build and penchant for whisky and cigars; so you probably won’t be able to tell the difference.
I’m coming atcha with this week’s PR winners and losers.
Good PR of the week
If I had a penny for every time I’d strolled nonchalantly along a beach and come across a discarded Dragon skull … I’d have at least a fiver. But, I’ve got to give a hat tip to Game of Thrones and the Blinkbox team for today’s example of good PR, as a corker of a stunt that got the press talking.
Beach walkers innocently strolling along Charmouth beach, on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, were greeted with the site of an enormous 40ft dragon skull; artfully placed there in order to promote the launch of HBO’s Games of Thrones season 3 on the TV and movie service Blinkbox. Designed to look as though it had just washed up on shore, the stunt definitely got chins wagging in both national and local press – and definitely not a bad result for Blinkbox, who will have had to battle against the fact that UK fans will most likely have already caught the series on Sky Atlantic earlier this year.
I’m not just blowing smoke up its backside – this stunt certainly prove the Blinkbox PR team is on fire. (PUNTASTIC LOLZ).
Kanye believe it
While this Summery weather is keeping me in generous spirits, I’ve also got to doff my cap to self-proclaimed King of Pop (because self-proclaimed Kings are the best) and Taylor Swift hater Kanye West – whose new clothing range has flown off the shelves like horse manure from a shovel; as the saying goes.
Living proof of the fact that celebrities really could flog any old rubbish (take note, product PROs) Kanye West’s “Hip Hop T-Shirt” for French company A.P.C. has managed to sell out in just a few hours; despite its $120 price tag. “Why, it must be gold-plated and jewel encrusted for that price!” I hear you cry, but no. Apparently, all a “Hip Hop T Shirt” consists of is a plain white, round neck, short sleeved top. Not dissimilar to those found in local discount shops, such as those that rhyme with thighmark. I’m pretty sure that this also means that pretty much every elderly gentleman venturing out in the sunshine is a hip-hop trendsetter by default.
Despite pretty heavy criticism that the shirt isn’t worth the hefty price tag, I’ve got to hand it to Kim Kardashian’s baby daddy. The A.P.C. clothing range has received international press attention for its popularity, and even though many stories focus on the price tag, it’s clear that the general public doesn’t care; they just want to look damn cool. Proof that not all negative press attention means bad news for business.
Bad PR of the week
Black mark for BlackBox
Ah “scare pranks” – with one hand you generate excellent coverage with videos that set the internet alight, and with the other you take. Despite a whole host of scare pranks that have gone down a storm on YouTube (like this one, giving people in Brazil a life-long fear of lifts; and this one, featuring a man whose girlfriend will never speak to him again) not all of them go so well. Enter, this week’s bad PR winner!
LA filmmaker BlackBox TV thought it would be hilarious to try its own scare prank on unsuspecting members of the public. Taking place in an innocent looking photo booth, members of the public were invited to come on in and have their pictures taken with their loved ones. This, of course, went downhill pretty quickly – when two men in on the prank then “attacked” the booth mid-photo threatening to kill the people inside. “Oh my goodness how light-hearted and funny!” I hear you cry. Ahem.
Masked and wearing bloodied clothing while wielding an ice-pick, the two men place fencing around the booth so the “victims” couldn’t get away – and are heard shouting “Do you want to die?” repeatedly. How jovial! Obviously, the poor victims inside absolutely poop* their pants, believing they’re about to be killed by the mental ice-pick wielding lunatics threatening their lives. How funny!* (*THIS IS NOT FUNNY).
All was made right with the world when the pranking lunatics admitted that the whole thing was just an innocent prank, but not before capturing the victims’ believed last moments on camera to share with the world. Unsurprisingly, the press haven’t taken kindly to the prank, saying that it went “too far” by making direct threats against the victims involved.
Despite getting an impressive amount of view online, the cruel prank hasn’t gone down all that well. A pretty good example of how “pranks” used for publicity purposes can go badly wrong. We only hope that BlackBox reimbursed the victims for the cost of a new pair of pants.