Sainsbury’s is the winner in this week’s supermarket PR sweep, while Morrisons loses out

Good PR of the week

Chronicle soars ahead

With one and a half million views at the time of writing, a cool video has been doing the rounds this week, promoting new superhero movie Chronicle.

The clip shows human-shaped remote-control planes take to the skies of New York, soaring past the Statue of Liberty in the process.


A tall story

You’ve all seen it. Twice, probably.

Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has now renamed its tiger bread, “giraffe bread” on the say-so of a three and a half year old, whose typing skills leave a lot to be desired. The first part of this story hit last year, when the focus was the cutesy response by Chris King, aged twenty seven and a third. This second stab is due to Sainsbury’s renaming decision.

Here are the letters that contributed to this monumentally important branding decision:

Despite the groans of those who don’t see this as much more of a story than it was last year – irked by the fact that many seem to be posting about the story online for the second time, as if they’ve completely forgotten they did the same thing last year – the media coverage has been incredibly positive, giving Sainsbury’s a nice opportunity to look like customer-service winners.

Thanks to The Drum’s Ishbel Macleod, Travmedia’s Howard Salinger, Beccie Stevenson, Straight PR, Annalie Brown and Ollie Emery for Tweeting with this one.

Microwaves ruin everything

This is a simple, well-thought-out video by restaurant franchise Moe’s Southwest Grill, a company that has taken an irreverent stab at microwave cooking. Seemingly inspired by the ‘Will it Blend?’ Blendtec series, the video shows slowed-down explosions caused by microwaving and has been viewed more than a million times in just a week. Whether or not this will help get people through the door is debateable, but if you’ve ever wanted to see a watermelon explode, you could do worse than watch this:

Cheers to Lewis PR’s Ian Williams for Tweeting with this video!

Bad PR of the week

Bayern Munich fails to score

Bayern Munich wound up its own fans this week, tricking them into “liking” it on Facebook to be told about a “spectacular new signing.”

Instead of announcing a new signing, though, the club unveiled a new app called “The New FCB Star” claiming the new arrival was instead, the fans themselves. Confused? Me too. This is what Bayern’s Facebook page said, after creating a storm of interest with the statement that a new striker would be unveiled:

"Dear fans, you probably already noticed, that we did not sign a new player. This app is for our fans to show the importance of you for our club."

I’m surprised the marketing team ever thought this sort of social media dupery would do anything but wind fans up, and wind them up they did. Only now, having dealt with thousands of angry complaints, will the club realise that this sort of thing doesn’t fly.

Hat-tip to Bill McIntyre and Tom Scott for pointing this out.

Morrisons misses quick and easy PR opportunity

You may remember the cringeworthy story of a PR person trying to find a bloke who she “kissed” while on holiday. It wasn’t a PR stunt for anything, as far as I or anybody else could tell, but it did get a lot of coverage.

Will Topps, a journalist at the North Devon Journal, Tweeted me with a simple story that is similar, but wholly less desperate. In short, a man gave a woman – the focus of the story – his phone number during her weekly shop at Morrisons in Bideford. She lost that phone number. She contacted the North Devon Journal, hoping he was a reader and would get in touch.

Topps says he had great follow ups and gave Morrisons the opportunity to respond, but instead it said “we’ll keep an eye out for him“ – as clear a “yeah, we’re really not that bothered” as there is.

So, this isn’t bad PR per se, but a missed opportunity. Given the fact a simple regional story for an independent gym I was once involved in (to find the owner of a discarded engagement ring) went national; Morrisons could definitely have had some fun with this, perhaps starting a regional effort to help match-make in the build-up to Valentine’s Day. Instead, it has let Sainsbury’s take all the supermarket customer-service fun this week. Shame.

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.

If you enjoyed this article, you can subscribe for free to our twice weekly event and subscriber alerts.

Currently, every new subscriber will receive three of our favourite reports about the public relations sector.

PR Masterclass: The Agency Growth Forum PRmoment Awards Winners 2023 Media Point PRCA CIPR Creative Moment ESG Awards