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Uniqlo’s alarm clock app generates genius PR

I appear to have been writing Antics Roadshow for six months as of this week, so if you’ve any thoughts, feedback or suggestions of campaigns to cover, please do let me know in the comments.

When I perused six months of AR columns I realised, unbelievably, I haven’t done a single “social media stunt”.

Back in the day, stunts purely relied on the word-of-mouth and the editorial coverage they generated to justify their cost.

However, what some smart brands have realised is that, they can create digital experiences that not only get people writing about them and talking about them digitally, but are also so slick and well thought through that they will also justify their cost in the number of people who engage with them (rather than just hear about them).

Uniqlo, as a brand, is a past master of this sort of thing and the Japanese retailer unleashed the iOS and Android alarm clock that generates a selection of music based on the weather, time, and day of the week: 

You can link the app to your Facebook and Twitter accounts to alert your social groups to the exact time, weather conditions, and temperature under which you finally mustered the energy to roll over and shut off the alarm.

The whole thing has gone gangbusters online.

Why has it worked?

Because it’s a brilliant idea that takes something that we’re all used to and makes it better.

But more than that, they’ve nailed their media. The fashion guys write about it because it’s media. The culture writers because it’s hip and 'so Japanese'. The trends writers because it’s new and different. The tech writers because it’s an iOS and Android app and that’s what they do. The design folk cover it because it’s rather beautiful. The music hacks because it’s got a belting sound track.

The genius of this is that it’s an idea that has had every media opportunity “baked in” to its very creation.

And that is the definition of a great “stunt” product. It manages to cross the line and become something so good that it doesn’t justify its own existence in terms of its buzz, but is actually a creation so good that people want to own it, share it and keep it – rather than just talk about it.

Work. Of. Genius.

James Gordon-MacIntosh is a managing partner at Hope&Glory PR and from time-to-time pens Spinning Around, a blog that he describes as “thinking out loud"

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