PR Fails and Heroes of August
It is hard not to have a grim fascination with bad PR. Nothing spells ‘train-wreck’ quite like watching a company’s great idea turn from well-intentioned to poorly judged when exposed to the public.
August has seen a couple of truly awful PR gaffes which have made the news. The most notorious misstep was popular app FaceApp’s introduction of ‘ethnicity filters’ to its selection of picture editing tools. It’s hard to imagine the meeting where this was seen as a good idea.
The National Lottery was reminded to never give the public full control in its social media campaign surrounding the London World Athletics Championship. Twitter users were encouraged to submit slogans which would automatically appear on signs carried by British athletes in press pictures. Needless to say, the British public made National Lottery pay for its naivety with smiling stars like Adam Gemili sporting the slogan ‘Brexit Means Brexit’ among others.
There are also some inspired PR moves to celebrate this month.
Walkers is reaping the rewards for its provocative ‘Choose Me or Lose Me?’ campaign which threatens the very existence of three classic flavours: Salt and Vinegar, Smoky Bacon and Prawn Cocktail. The public has been jolted into action and Walkers will, no doubt, smugly announce it never really considered discontinuing the flavours. Cue national relief.
Deliveroo went for spectacle with its seaside stunt. Due to the apparent demand for takeaway amongst sunbathers, Deliveroo expanded its delivery methods to jet skis. It’s unclear whether jet skis will become a regular method of delivery, and one wonders what the local council will have to say about all that extra rubbish on the beach. A good PR stunt nonetheless.
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