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Good & Bad PR: McDonald's, Bumble and Dyson suck up all the good PR trophies

Hello dearest readers and welcome to another instalment of Good and Bad PR with Andy Barr - huh, that rhymes. I’m going to say that it has been a strong campaign week for public relations world.

Quite a few of the stories that I have been sent have come from traditional public relations activity, which makes a nice change. Let’s have a nosey through shall we.

I’m McLovin’ the Happy Meal switch campaign by Ready 10

Many brands have tried to shoe-horn their ill-fitting products into Mental Health Awareness Week and it can leave a sour taste in the mouth. Not McDonalds though, they have smashed it out of the park alongside Ready 10.

The fast-food giant removed the golden smile from its Happy Meal boxes for this week only, to signify that it is ok not to be happy all the time. This story went everywhere, and I (Mc)Love it. I love it because it contains the perfect element of what makes an award-winning and high impact campaign; it was simple and yet hugely effective.

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant and if you want more insight into this work, it's covered in more detail over on Creative Moment.

Wegovy much healthier for the heart, not so good for the bottom

Another fantastic PR campaign, this time from the makers of Wegovy. This is one of those campaigns where their own team will have put the original story out and then all the chemist and pharma resellers of the brand, alongside Ozempic and Rybelsus, will have jumped on it and pushed it themselves.

Wegovy was subject to a study by University College London into the wider positive impact of its ingredients. The research found that one of the ingredients, Semaglutide, could reduce the risk of heart attacks or strokes.

All the posh-white-women* who are buying up the UK supplies will be happy that, although the product is making a lot of them run the loo every two minutes, at least they will have a stronger heart.

*As a Type1 diabetic I qualify for Ozempic but my GP told me that he could not prescribe it for me yet as “posh-white-women” had bought up all the UK NHS supplies by lying about their BMI’s during online chemist consultancy interviews. Nice. My GP tells it how it is.

Still, good PR for Wegovy.

Bumbling around for clickbait and sales

Dating app Bumble got hammered in the media for what it described as an ill-humoured billboard advertising campaign. I got sent this story lots, as an example of Bad PR.

Is it really Bad PR though, or is it just a really savvy clickbait and well-coordinated “noise” campaign? The billboard was quite low risk and the global coverage that came as a result, will have helped them, certainly in Google’s eyes.

Image Creds: Creative Bloq

Google loves noise, and yes, by “noise” I mean links, but Google prefers that we call it noise. Bumble is savvy enough to know this. To me, it felt very much like the controversial Protein World, “Beach Body Ready” campaign that was controversial but increased their sales. They knew there would be backlash, but they also knew it would be relatively easy to manage and were brilliantly prepared for it.

The resulting coverage will not have put people off from using the dating app, and the coverage will ensure that they stay at the top of the rankings for dating related searches.

Image Creds: Bumble
For me, this is another example of the rise of Faketroversy PR (TM pending). Where you use a campaign that carries a small amount of risk to generate noise that the search engines will love.

I am calling it a Good PR campaign for Bumble.

Portals are why Muggle’s can’t have nice things

Give a Muggle a boat and he will sail in it, ask a Muggle to name a boat and you will get Boaty McBoatyface. Muggles have once again demonstrated that marketing and PR folks can’t give them nice things.

A live screen portal between Dublin and New York went live as part of an art installation “thing”. People could see each other from the other side of the portal.

At first it was all nicey-nicey and then, well, then the portal had to be turned off. Abusive messages and images were passed between the portals and then came the nakedness.

What was a beautiful and brilliant idea, that had successfully been deployed in other countries, suddenly went to pot when it hit The West.

Muggles get the Bad PR for this one. Bunch of divvys.

Dyson is sucking up all the affiliate gold for publishers

It has been a tough week for new media websites globally. Google handed out a load of manual penalties as part of its “Parasite” update. Penalising the news websites for the voucher code and cashback, affiliate sections of their sites. That is a story for another day.

The media sites have lost thousands of pounds (and dollars) in affiliate revenue because of this, but then Dyson has come along and potentially offered them a great way to earn some of that money back.

It launched an electric mop at a price of £599. The mop also sucks up dust and dirt, which is apparently handy because so many of us have hard floors in our homes. Basically, it is a water-vacuum.

Anyway, one of the accusations that triggered the news sites getting a Google penalty was that the voucher sections didn’t really sit naturally on those high domain authority sites. The Dyson story is the perfect blend for news sites though.

It allows them to cover the launch of the innovative new product as a genuine global news story, but they can also then use affiliate links to the places where people can buy the water-vacuum and make money from it.

God bless James Dyson and his amazing new product launches!


Written by Andy Barr, owner of 10 Yetis Digital. Got it right or wrong, do let me know.
I can be found over on 10 Yetis or @10Yetis on Twitter.

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