PR Campaigns – The Good, The Bad and The Viral

The time has come again where we give you a fresh new round up of good, bad and viral campaigns. This week we have looked at some wonderful workouts, a confusing tube sign, an unusual dining setting and two very different hair product endorsement campaigns.

POM #wonderfulworkouts

Health juice drink ‘POM Wonderful’ was set to launch a single serving bottle and they wanted this new product to engage with a broad female audience who had general interest in healthy, fitness and functional foods. To do this it hired Escapade PR to create a fun PR campaign that would attract great brand awareness.

To connect with its target audience the agency decided to collaborate with personal trainer and apprentice candidate Katie Bulmer-Cooke to create four ‘wonderful workout’ exercise videos.  These videos were created with the brand ethos in mind:

‘Small lifestyle changes can have a huge impact on your health and wellbeing’.

They were short in length but aimed to be powerful in content. These videos were a hit with many bloggers and YouTubers including ‘A Mummy Too’ who blogged about these short and simple exercises for her vast amount of followers to copy and try out for themselves.

This simple PR campaign gained much attraction and coverage, with 26 pieces of coverage and 145,700 impressions across Facebook, Twitter and Vimeo.

Amazon High-jacks Westminster Tube Station and Confuses Tourists

Londoners were left puzzled after tube station Westminster appeared to be renamed ‘Webminster’ overnight in a PR stunt. Amazon replaced tube signs with a new name to advertise the launch of a new London internet service to help businesses. Many confused tourists and travellers noticed the swapped signs and questioned what was going on – with many taking to Twitter to voice their concerns.

Buxton Water previously created a similar stunt whereby Canada Water tube station was renamed to ‘Buxton Water’ during the London Marathon. This stunt received a similar reception with many people highlighting the impractical nature of it when it came to tourists. The Webminster campaign was covered by The Evening Standard and Metro.

Table For One? How About 20 Strangers Instead?

With the rise of solo travel trending in 2017, we like this ‘social experiment’ (PR campaign) from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines which worked to engage solo travellers at the airport.  Unlike railway stations and trains, or even buses, where co-passengers tend to break the ice sooner rather than later, airports and flights can be cold and lonely if you're not travelling with family members or friends.

KLM decided to break the ice at the time of year most associated with being surrounded by friends and family – Christmas. KLM gave its advertising agency the following brief: instead of being preoccupied with mobile phones or books, what would it take to convince single travellers in this festive season to bond with strangers and create some delightful memories?

Enter the Bonding Buffet. Like all powerful advertising ideas, at the heart of the Bonding Buffet (seeing past the questionable name of course) lies simplicity and hearty human insight. A giant buffet table laid out with Christmas dinner - all a lofty 4.5 metres up in the upper echelons of Amsterdam Airport. The table would only come down to acceptable human reaching and eating level once all 20 seats had been filled.

The whole event was videoed and shared on social with some astounding view rates including 12.75 million views on YouTube and 57 million views on Facebook.  KLM definitely wasn’t lonely this Christmas!

The Power of Product Endorsement

Endorsing products can have both a positive and negative return, depending on who’s endorsing the product or what the product is. These two campaigns show very different approaches, both focusing on different hair products…

Lidl Bit Strange Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton’s stardom didn’t come to light in a positive grace despite her Father owning the well-known Hilton hotel chain. Moving on from her promiscuous past, Paris Hilton has been working with Lidl to promote her range of hair styling products.

Before Christmas, hotel chain heiress Paris Hilton brought out a hair styling line with budget supermarket Lidl, which included a pink hairdryer, straighteners, curlers and a heated hair brush. The American star, announced the range on Twitter, with a snappy video in which she walks through a door, looks around a bit and flicks her hair from side to side.

Fans have been left rather surprised by the move. Paris is usually seen to be used to the finer things in life, so working with German discount supermarket – Lidl – was definitely a surprising move.

“OMG, I thought this was a joke? Lol,” said one fan on Twitter. Another said “Aldi is better.”

Consumers seemed confused with Paris’ new partnership with Lidl. Could this have be due to the lack of screen time Hilton has had over the past year or could this have been a campaign where consumers could experience a glimmer of the high life by purchasing one of her products. Regardless of the intention and motivation, this new line by Paris has been featured in titles such as Daily Mail, Evening Standard, Huffington Post, OK Magazine, and Scottish Daily Record.

Kirstie Alley Takes to Twitter to Rave About Rain Lillie Castor Oil

It's not every day that a Hollywood actress promotes a small business without being paid, but that's exactly what happened to Rain Lillie Castor Oil, an organic beauty product that has received two Twitter shout-outs from Kirstie Alley.

"In LOVE with this product... NOT a paid sponsor, just a huge fan!" Alley Tweeted on November 27th. Less than an hour later, Alley followed up with, "I mean, weird pic but my hair is 50% fuller now! No extensions, NO tricks… & I'm ancient :)"

Despite Alley saying they weren’t sponsored posts, there is speculation that she was paid to write those tweets.

Rain Lillie launched back in the summer of 2015 and has claimed to not have paid any celebrities to promote the product.

Something as simple as a Tweet can bring great simple promotion to a product. However something as simple as a celebrity’s reputation can really boost sales too.