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PR Stunt Watch: Wonky billboards, comics for the partially sighted, break-up day and Eau de BBQ

Waitrose Billboard

There hasn’t been a meeting between PR and Ad-land where the words “You can’t just PR a billboard” haven’t been said and whilst that stands in most cases, an incredible case has been made against it.

This week, Waitrose erected a series of special builds, tilted slightly to reflect their falling prices. Nice, lovely, clever. So far, nothing to write home about - we’ve seen wonky billboards before.

But the magic happened when, either on-purpose or by pure chance, a local busy-body alerted Wandsworth Council to a ‘potentially dangerous billboard’ to which the Council rushed (it seems councils can rush) to fence off the area and mark it as ‘potentially dangerous’.

The power of social media is what gained this story the media coverage it deserved. Nobody would have batted an eyelid, but through some brilliant reactive social, Waitrose tweeted @ the Council with “Thanks for the swift action but while our prices are falling rapidly, our billboard certainly isn’t!” and cue social meltdown/explosion resulting in tonnes of headlines.

Great, simple idea with some clever thinking and reaction behind it. Get ready for a few more ‘PR our billboard’ briefs.

Beano x Guide Dogs

The legendary Beano have partnered with Guide Dogs to create a bespoke comic strip story: ‘BEANO Presents - A Buddy for Life’ for visually impaired children featuring a guide dog character to raise awareness of those experiencing sight loss.

It would have been enough to just do that, but integrating a real-life person into the story gave it a human element and made it such a heartwarming story that got the headlines and raised awareness through a real-life case study.

Although the most important part of the campaign and partnership is not just the print comic, that would be extremely tone-deaf. The ​​fact that it’s available in both print and audio formats is what really stands out with this campaign. I hope there is a braille version available too.

Taking two seemingly disparate brands and bringing them together for a great cause is a lovely way to generate noise, headlines, and make a difference to people.

Sky Mobile Break-Up

If you were broken up with this week, it’s not you… it’s actually Sky Mobile. Pete Wicks was announced as Sky Mobile’s new ‘break-up consultant’ for a campaign encouraging the nation to break-up with bad relationships by text.

Brilliantly referred to as 'Brad Split', Pete Wickes shares his top tips on the 'perfect' break-up.

The campaign centres around research that found the 1st May to be the day most Brits would end a relationship. Brought to life with Pete prancing around a Saltburn-inspired fancy estate, the former TOWIE star’s top tips are revealed to be a metaphor for how easy it is to break-up with your network provider.

KFC Eau de BBQ

With a surname like mine, it’s near impossible to not write about the latest KFC stunt.

Ahead of the launch of their latest burger, the new Ultimate BBQ Burger, KFC have released a fragrance of, you guessed it, smoky BBQ. Reminiscent of sizzling spices and marinated meats, its base notes feature a lingering scent of a woody, earthy foundation.

The perfume is being sold for a lovely charitable cause, with profits going to the KFC Foundation and KFC’s stunts over the years have earned them the right to attract a lot of headlines in all the right titles.

Dubbed the 'No. 11 Eau de BBQ', KFC's brand new fragrance boasts a 'classic BBQ experience'. The ad they made for it is brilliant in capturing a typical British BBQ experience: pouring rain and set to a song that takes you to summer. However, this stunt just feels completely separate to the ad. I really want to love it, but it stinks - pardon the pun - of another fragrance stunt.

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

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