Good and Bad PR: Stranger Things happen in PR
1st November 2017
Even those of us that aren’t avid fans of the hit Netflix show Stranger Things have been made aware that the new series launched on the streaming service last Friday, and there have been a number of brands that have impressed us with their PR campaigns timed to coincide with the hotly anticipated second season.
Topshop acts out
The always-stylish team at Topshop utilised on its partnership with the TV show by transforming its flagship Oxford Street store in London into a Stranger Things shrine. Both large windows were adorned in products and recreated scenes from the first season of the show, with actors also hired to act out memorable moments so far.
The efforts from Topshop obviously paid off, with the build-up on social media attracting hundreds of young shoppers to the store for their chance to play 1980’s style arcade games and purchase exclusive Stranger Things memorabilia, including lunch boxes and bobbly headed characters.
Spotify has also impressed with its season 2 launch PR attempts. The popular music streaming service, used by millions on a daily basis (including the entire office here at 10 Yetis Digital!) have been matching users up with one of 13 of the main Stranger Things characters that they are most likely to have a psychological affinity with, based on their musical preferences.
TFL makes over
Finally, good old Transport for London (TFL) has also been getting in on the Stranger Things action by giving a makeover to the Oxford Circus tube station. A number of walls within the station and platform were decorated with 80s-style wallpaper reminiscent of the set from the show, reminding the thousands of daily London commuters that the show is now back on our screens, and there’s really no need to make any social plans until you’ve binge-watched the ENTIRE NINE EPISODES (17 if you’ve not yet seen season one).
Going down a Stormzy
This week I’ve been closely following the backlash against grime artist Stormzy following his decision to invite singer Labyrinth to perform with him during a live performance of new single ‘Blinded By Your Grace’ on Sunday night’s episode of X Factor. This might not sound like such a big deal, but when you consider the fact that Stormzy completely forgot to invite musician MNEK (who actually performed the original version of the song with him on his album) it gets into murky territory.
By far the most awkward element of the story is seeing MNEK’s reaction to the snub typed out in 140 characters following his return home from a date.
guys what do you do when youve come back from a date to find out that Labrinth was singing your song on X Factor instead of you? cos rn idk— MNEK (@MNEK) October 29, 2017
After causing a huge amount of social media debate following the show on Sunday night, on Monday Stormzy decided to take to the internet and set the record straight in a set of multiple tweets about exactly what had happened to annoy MNEK so much himself.
Gonna quickly clear up yesterday's situation with @MNEK not performing with me on The X Factor— #GSAP (@Stormzy1) October 30, 2017
Whilst there is no doubting that Stormzy puts his point across in an eloquent, honest and open manner, there is one HUGE issue that many people are raising that neither he, or the X Factor team, seem to be discussing. LABYRINTH IS SIGNED TO SYCO RECORDS WHICH IS OWNED BY SIMON COWELL WHO ALSO CREATED THE X FACTOR!
This entire performance was blatantly an attempt by Simon and his ‘people’ to try and promote and give prime time exposure to an artist that, let’s be honest, hasn’t really released anything of note for at least the past two years, rather than someone signed to a competitor label that is actually on his way to the top.
What I’m taking from this media sh*tstorm is that it’s pretty clear that Stormzy just got stuck in between a rock and a hard place, and, call me cynical, but I would hazard a guess that his ‘heartfelt’ tweets were actually drafted by a clever PR person over at SYCO records.