There’s a fine line between shocking and distasteful – who has crossed over it this week?
10th October 2013
I know you lot are probably sick of me by now, but here I am again with this week’s examples of good and bad public relations. Andy Barr is off on a well-deserved holiday, so you’ll have to put up with me for this week at least. I have loads* of Twitter followers, but if you want to be one of them, find me @ShazzaYeti and make my day**
**whole entire life
Good PR of the week
I ruddy love any PR stunt that involves hidden cameras, so when an awesome idea was brought to my attention today, I wanted to share it with you. Hollywood movies usually have impressive film trailers to drum up interest in the run up to their cinema release dates, but it doesn’t hurt to have a little something else going on to get everyone talking.
For the remake of the 1976 movie Carrie, based on Stephen King’s novel, the makers behind the new film (which is due to reach cinemas in the US this month) created a stunt based in ‘Snice’, a coffee shop in Manhattan, NYC.
The resulting video from the stunt, dubbed “Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise", shows a bunch of actors in the coffee shop and some unsuspecting customers who, after watching it back, probably feel a bit daft about having to change their pants after the ordeal.
Video marketing company Thinkmodo was inspired by the supernatural abilities of the one and only Carrie and rigged the coffee shop with hidden wires, false walls, spring loaded books and photo frames and motorised tables and chairs. Andrea Morales, an actress from New York, played “Carrie” in the video and sends a stunt man flying up the wall when he accidentally knocks over her coffee.
Onlookers watch in disbelief as the young woman tries to understand what she’s just been able to do and, before they know it, she is seemingly causing books to fly off shelves, tables and chairs to run away from her and basically making a right old mess, while screaming like a banshee.
The best of the public’s scared silly reactions were compiled in this awesome video, which is now edging close to 4 million views. All in all, excellent PR for the launch of Carrie and for that little Manhattan coffee shop!
Watch here ...
Bad PR of the week
Ah, American Apparel. If the fashion retailer isn’t causing a public outcry with its controversial advertising, it is causing a stir over a menstruating T-shirt. No, silly, not a top that has its own time of the month! It’s a t-shirt emblazoned with a picture of a, well, I’m not sure how to put this. OK, it’s a great big picture of a menstruating, masturbating lady area. There, I got away with not saying “vagina”. Oh, wait …
So, this picture of the Period Power Washed Tee is the work of 20-year-old artist Petra Collins, who curates The Arduous, an “all-female online art platform” which, to be quite frank, is pretty ugly. The Arduous is also the name of the collection being sold be American Apparel, which includes three different T-shirt designs.
American Apparel calls the picture, “self-pleasing artwork” and says: “Petra began her infatuation with photography at the age of 15 and became an American Apparel retail employee around the same time. She creates portraits exploring female sexuality and teen girl culture.”
Despite being known for pushing the boundaries of pretty much everything that’s classed as OK, American Apparel has really gone and done it this time, with plenty of people kicking off about the vulgar T-shirt. I mean, hats off to the young artist for getting her work out there, but this is perhaps one idea the retailer should have politely declined or steered clear of.
But it does have a Sweatshop-free policy, so that makes everything OK?