Good & Bad PR 3 minute read
Good PR of the week
Fiat parks well
Car manufacturer Fiat has pulled a cheeky prank on Volkswagen in Sweden, after tracking the Google Street car and having its Fiat 500 model snapped parked outside the VW headquarters.
Google only updates its street-view images at least every year, something I’m sure Fiat already knew.
Regular readers will know I love this sort of mischievous, relatively harmless PR, but I’d put money on the fact that VW’s Swedish PR team don’t feel the same way.
Thanks to Living Social’s Richard Wilson for posting with this.
Guinness’s PR is good
As somebody who likely works in communications (or another related strain of marketing), I’m sure you’ll have your own thoughts about QR codes. Chances are, you’re among the majority that think they’re overused, underachieving, ugly tools that are best consigned to the dustbin of marketing history.
If though, you can see past your initial thoughts, you may quite like this next PR effort.
Guinness (the drink everybody pretends to like: a) when visiting Ireland, or b) during St Patrick’s Day), has teamed up with advertising agency BBDO to create a pint glass QR code, that can only be read when the glass is filled with the black stuff.
But wait – it’s not just a clever idea with no substance that will return zero financial benefit to the drinks giant. Oh, no. You see, scanning the code allows you to Tweet about your pint, update your Facebook status, check in via Foursquare, download coupons and promotions and invite your friends to join you (I’m thinking that friends you hadn’t previously thought to invite out for a drink might be quite pissed off to be an afterthought).
Personally, if QR codes are still to be used, I’d prefer they were used in this manner – that is creatively – than in the following way:
Thanks to Jonathan O’Connor for posting with this.
Bad PR of the week
No news is good news
Perhaps I’m being blind. Perhaps I’m losing my touch. Or – and this is perhaps the least likely – brands and individuals just aren’t cocking up as much as they used to.
Whichever of the above it is, this week has been another tough week to find bad PR in. Of course, you’ve got Facebook’s IPO balls-up, which lost the company 20 per cent of its worth, but other than that, nobody has tried to hurry you to buy their products by using a natural disaster as the hook. Nobody has used images of famine distastefully and not one company has had a pop at disabled people, as far as I can tell.
Is this the end of the bad element of the column, forever? It’ll just be good PR, or good and good PR of the week’?
Don’t be silly. Somebody’ll slip up. They always do.
With that in mind, here’s a quickie:
On your Marks
Marks and Spencers’ pre-tax profits are down 16 per cent, the company’s first profits loss since 2009. It is blaming rain and the public’s lack of faith in the economy.
As a result, employee bonuses are down from £400 each to £100, causing a bit of a stir with certain publications that have highlighted “angry meetings” with M&S bosses.