GoCompare attacks its own creation, a hotel gets holy electronic and Volkswagen makes up a shocking video

Good PR of the week

GoCompare’s aggressive marketing

In the last week or two, GoCompare has been the target of vandals, with loveable operatic mascot Gio subjected to all sorts of horrendous, profane abuse.

I mean LOOK AT IT:

If, like me, such vulgarity has you crying out for offenders to be put on the next boat to an island inhabited by hundreds of obscenely patterned sweater-wearing Noel Edmonds impersonators, all more gnome-like and punchable than the last, you’ll be pleased to know it’s all part of a marketing campaign to kill Gio off, because, well, everybody apparently hates him.

Members of the public were bemused enough to Tweet pictures of the billboards in their droves, unsure whether or not yobs had simply become tamer over the years. The defaced billboards are actually an introduction to a new marketing campaign, said by the company to be a response to the nation’s dislike for the character.

New ad agency Dare won the £28m account in February, and is cleverly killing Gio to open the door for a new brand character. Whether any inspiration has been taken from it or not is anybody’s guess, but a similar idea was actually put into action by M&C Saatchi last year, for Mr Delivery, a South-African food delivery brand.

Here’s a case study video Tweeted to me by Linsky Istatkova:

More of the “defaced” billboards below:


Bedside bible

A hotel in Newcastle, England has become the first in the world to replace the Gideon’s Bible you find in most hotel rooms with Amazon Kindles pre-loaded with an e-version of the Bible.

The stunt has gained some brilliant travel, tech and consumer national coverage for Hotel Indigo Newcastle, part of the InterContinental Hotels Group, handled by Hill and Knowlton Strategies.


Volkswagen makes up

I missed this when it first came out in April, and based on that and the fact a few other people in my Twitter/PR network hadn’t seen it either; I thought I’d give it a mention on here, too.

I don’t want to tell you too much about this, lest I ruin the surprise. Note: there is a surprise. A big, heart-stopping, punch-you-between-the-eyes type of surprise. And that’s why it works so very well.

Whoever at VW also came up with the idea of partnering with the make-up artist for this campaign, I salute you.

Bad PR of the week

Diamond geezer

Rate-rigging has been big in the news over the last week and a bit, since fingers were pointed at Barclays for, allegedly with other banks, attempting to manipulate Libor rates – the rate at which banks lend to each other.

Barclays CEO Bob Diamond, chairman Marcus Agius and chief operating officer Jerry del Missier, all announced their resignations within days of each other, demonstrating the scale of the issue. Politicians including our Dave have called Barclays’ actions “extremely serious“, labelling the whole thing a “scandal“. Other banks are facing scrutiny, too, with the Justice Department in the US conducting a criminal investigation into the issue. In an article I read just to make sure I understood it all properly, Andrew Lo, a professor of finance at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said the issue “dwarfs by orders of magnitude any financial scams in the history of markets“.

Diamond is in front of the Treasury Select Committee of MPs as I write this. If he has any evidence against anybody else, you can be sure now he’s resigned he’ll be bringing it up!

Thanks to Opera PR’s Simon Turton and everybody else who emailed or Tweeted about this story, though I’m sure much more will develop.

Have you seen any good or bad PR?

Contact PR Rich Leigh with it by Tweeting him @GoodandBadPR or by emailing rich@10yetis.co.uk 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. Rich also writes about PR stunts at PRexamples.com.