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Nivea Germany puts the public under a stress test and Coral offers a free bet to Win a Million

21st February 2013

Good PR

Nivea Germany puts public under stress test

To promote its new Stress Protect deodorant, Nivea in Germany pranked unsuspecting members of the public in an airport, creating a brief reality where they were made to feel that they were wanted for an unknown crime.

More than four million people have watched the stunt. Members of the public were secretly photographed, their pictures used as the basis for the stunt and printed on the front page of newspapers along with the headline "suspect on the run". Public announcements described the appearance of the "suspects", whilst quickly filmed news broadcasts warned that they might be dangerous to approach – thereby making the unwitting participants feel stressed.

The campaign might be very tenuously linked to Nivea, but it’s a nice example of a creative stunt well done. Watch it below:

Coral's free bet to Win a Million

Betting PR campaigns usually revolve around big stunts and fun executions, but this one is a nice and simple effort staying true to their product.

Coral ran a Win a Million competition, with one punter, Simon Pike from Wiltshire, correctly predicting six correct Champions league scores. He needed two more correct bets to win £1m.

I’ll let Coral’s tweets (in order) tell the story:

1. From over 72,000 entrants we have one lucky punter left in our Win a Million competition!

2. He's got 6 already and the results he needs tonight are: Milan 0-2 Barcelona and Galatasaray 1-1 Schalke TO WIN A MILLION QUID!

3. In a few hours time, one man’s life could change forever! A Million quid from a free bet over just 8 matches!

4. RT @SimonTorresPike@Coral Hi, here is the ticket for tonight... fingers crossed smile 


5. Remember, this 'Win a Million' was a special free to enter promotion, that's why they're all 100/1 on the slip. He's just 2 scores away!

6. He we go. @SimonTorresPike is less than two hours away from a life changing win. #PrayForSimon

7. The tension is unbearable. Gala 1-1Schalke. The £1,000,000 payout is on!

8. (When Barcelona lost 2-0 to AC Milan – Simon had predicted the opposite, Coral tweeted) What a disgusting goal to kill the dream. Still, a fantastic effort from@SimonTorresPike. Simon, we have sent you a DM.

9. As a consolation, we're going to take @SimonTorresPike and a mate out to the return leg in Barcelona. Well played for getting so far.

Hundreds of people were tweeting and retweeting each message, really getting behind Simon’s bid to become a millionaire from a free bet.

Although Simon ended up with a relatively paltry trip to Barcelona to watch the return leg – in contrast to the £1m I’m sure he would have much preferred – Coral didn’t have to do anything at all, and took advantage of a great customer story to promote its brand.

Thanks to Umpf’s Tom Scott for tweeting me with this!

Bad PR

BET and MTV get "hacked"

Taking a cue from Burger King and Jeep, whose Twitter accounts were both hijacked in the last week, BET and MTV were at the centre of what has to be one of the most embarrassing marketing efforts in recent memory.

The brands essentially switched roles and tweeted about one another, in an oh-so-madcap bid to convince Twitter users that they’d each been taken over by an unknown super-criminal with a penchant for on-brand promotion and a broken caps lock key.

I presume, as Eminem once prophesised, BET and MTV are grieving fo-sheezy, after their dad-dancing-at-a-wedding-like social media turn this week was roundly ridiculed. An almost fawning post on Mashable is the only thing I’ve seen written about the effort that didn’t point out that this is exactly the reason people hate marketers.

Just before the accounts were ‘hacked’ (in a world where working out somebody’s password construes hacking), MTV’s marketing manager Annie Schoening asked everybody to watch @MTV:

BET’s social media pugilist JP Lespinasse tweeted to warn people of the impending fun, too:


Thanks to’s James Cuff and Tottenham Hotspur’s Roberto Kussabi for reminding me of this. I’ll now have to work hard to forget about it all over again.

Have you seen any good or bad PR?

Contact PR Rich Leigh with it by tweeting him @GoodandBadPR or by emailing throughout the week and we’ll happily credit you for your trouble.

Good and Bad PR is a feature on the blog of 10 Yetis PR Agency

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