Good and Bad PR: Quality PR and plastic penguins
4th October 2018
Quality Street mix-up
The Christmas aisles are already taking over our supermarkets and there’s still more than two months to go, but who’s complaining? I’m not one to display scrooge-like behaviour and I welcome Christmas with open arms each, uh, summer… which is when most shops start showing hints of festive cheer, despite bikinis and sun cream still being firmly on the shelves.
Anyway, I spotted something from Nestlé this week that I thought was quite a clever little PR trick to get people thinking about the tonnage of Quality Street they’ll buy and then devour this coming winter.
A story was floating around about why there are fewer Green Triangle chocolates in Quality Street tubs than other varieties, like Strawberry Delights (my fave, before I went vegan). Nestlé has explained that the contents of a Quality Street tub is divided into thirds for the three categories of treats in there; the fudges/toffees, chocolates and fruit cremes. Whilst there are only two fruit cremes, strawberry and orange, there are five different variations in the chocolate category, which is where the Green Triangle fits alongside The Purple One, Caramel Swirl and other chocs; therefore you’ll get fewer of each type.
It’s apparently also about keeping the weights of tubs, nutritional values and RRPs accurate across the products.
Releasing a story about the science behind stocking a Quality Street tub – something that may on the surface have seemed boring – has actually been effective at generating loads of coverage for Nestle. It’s obviously been a successful attempt at re-pushing the message of the brand’s partnership with John Lewis for pick’n’mix Quality Street boxes this Christmas and the coverage on the Metro, The Sun, Mirror, Mail Online, Daily Star and more is testament to how well it has done from a PR point-of-view.
Telford’s plastic penguins
So this one is more ‘sad PR’ than ‘bad PR’, but Telford’s Exotic Zoo has been in the press this week for having to resort to putting plastic penguins in its brand new enclosure that was designed for the aquatic, flightless birds.
Why? Well, after building the enclosure and waiting for a delivery of six Humboldt penguins, an outbreak of avian Malaria scuppered the zoo’s plans to welcome the birds. Plastic penguins have since been installed as a temporary fix, so that visitors at least have something to ogle at, but it pales in comparison to the real thing.
Although the zoo couldn’t help the avian malaria outbreak that’s going on in the world, it was the first to admit that the building of the enclosure was perhaps a bit premature, with the owner admitted it “just timed it really badly.”
The outbreak has spread through UK zoos and wildlife parks over the last couple of years, resulting in many losing their penguin stock; but many are now getting birds back and the Exotic Zoo in Telford was meant to get any of the surplus penguins that were going around. I didn’t realise excess animals were a thing when stocking zoos.
I’m against animals in captivity, so would much rather see plastic versions of animals and birds in cages than the real thing, but of course most people aren’t of that mindset and many could be put off visiting the Exotic Zoo in Telford because of this news.
In other news, the new iPhone XS and XS Max smartphones have attracted criticism after claims that the devices fail to charge consistently when plugged in. Some people said this was happening when the devices were in ‘sleep mode’ (ie, the screen is off when it’s not being used) – but most people charge phones overnight and the phone can’t be in ‘awake’ mode and being used throughout the night. Because sleep, duh. Apparently Apple’s IOS 12.1 software update will fix the bug, but this isn’t what you’d expect from a £1,000+ phone. Disappointing, to say the least.