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PR Stunt Watch: Dove renews its commitment to 'real'

A new face on the Stuntwatch starting line-up, I’m honoured to be getting my first call-up, so strap in for some ramblings and thoughts on some of the great stuff that captured attention, got us talking and hit the headlines for a plethora of different reasons of late.

Dove renews its commitment to 'real'

Having a successful campaign run for 20 years is no mean feat, especially in the hyper-changing world of marketing where things feel like they have to change for the sake of change (see most re-brands), but Dove has done exactly that and this week doubled down and announced its further commitment to it.

Dove Real Beauty isn’t just a strategy or a slogan; it’s a movement to change beauty from anxiety to a source of happiness that started with one ofthe most powerful insights you could ask for: only 2% of women considered themselves beautiful.

The latest iteration tackles the daily struggles of female beauty standards on social media by tapping into the phrase of the moment, AI. Dove has created the ‘Real Beauty Prompt Guidelines’, to aid creating images that are representative of Real Beauty when generating AI imagery.

This is a 20-year-old campaign that is still as relevant today as ever and constantly keeps up. Hats off to everyone involved.

“Britain is the second most powerful country”

Now, if you’re not as chronically online as I am then let me explain this one to you briefly, the conservatives ran a social ad this week (below) accompanied by the message “Britain is second best most powerful country in the world.”

Messaging aside, the content of the ad ruffled a few (a lot) of feathers, causing so much social outrage that they deleted it.

It’s not the first time this has happened to The Conservative's social account (see here and here) which might have you wondering… what is going on and who is signing this stuff off?

Would it shock you to know it’s part of a deliberate strategy? One that has been working pretty successfully for a while. Social clickbait. A strategy that taps directly into people who get off on proving people wrong (I’m sure we know a few), which is exactly what the strategy and ad is designed for, it drives engagement, reaction and sharing of the content, resulting in eyeballs, and then they delete it which sparks a further media frenzy.

Whether or not you agree that the government of the “second most powerful country” should be positioning itself this way, there’s undeniably a working strategy going on here. Will it keep working? Who knows? It caught everyone’s eye and got attention in the media, bringing to life the age-old phrase ‘there’s no such thing as bad PR’.

The Eclipse

Possibly not what you thought you’d see here as my pièce de résistance. The natural phenomenon that happened this week dominated headlines in the States but also spilled over to the UK media and thus felt worthy enough of a write-up.

There’s something idyllic about the exact precise distance and size of the moon to block the sun out completely. It’s almost too perfect. The Goldilocks effect in play, any bigger or smaller, and it just wouldn’t mesmerise us like it does. Bear with me… That learning translates into stunts we can make happen. It has to be perfect to have the effect we want. You have to go full-hog on planning, details and execution or you’re not going to eclipse the headlines like you want to.

Aside from all that, the great part—and the reason I really wanted to put it in the eclipse—was that it set up the PR world for a ton of reactive, newsjacking (whatever you call it) opportunities—too many to include here—which is what sets PRs apart from other marketeers: the ability to react quickly and effectively to real-world events.

The agency behind it? That’s down to your personal beliefs and/or choice of God.

This week's PR Stunt Watch was written by Lee Sanders, associate director at Frank.

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