PR stunts and guerrilla marketing are not seen often enough these days, in my opinion. They can be absolute gold dust for brands when carefully considered and intelligently used as they provide simple, fun, and effective wins. But I suppose PR stunts are somewhat like buses, as in November we saw three such tactics hit the headlines. Two were great, one was not so brilliant.
PlayStation And Movember
PlayStation’s PS5 launched last month and to mark the much-anticipated release, Sony took over Oxford Circus tube station for 48 hours. PlayStation rebranded the station with the iconic shapes on the console’s controller buttons throughout and decorative roundels marked the station’s four entrances.
Taking the stunt even further, the station Sony selected for the stunt just so happens to be right outside the Regent Street headquarters of its biggest rival, Microsoft, which released its latest Xbox console the week before.
Why we like it: This was the perfect way to celebrate the launch of the highly anticipated PlayStation 5. After months of teasing, commemorating launch day with a bang made quite the impression online, gaining millions of interactions on social media and countless pieces of media coverage to boot.
The nation’s favourite stackable potato snack changed its logo for the first time since 1968 to commemorate its year-long charitable partnership with Movember. Mr P, the iconic face of Pringles, shaved off his moustache for the month and unveiled it on Pringles’ UK Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Why we like it: This campaign perfectly encapsulates Pringles’ ethos of ‘Pop, Share, Chat’ by raising awareness for a charity supporting conversations around men’s mental health. By reversing the trend of men growing their facial hair, to an iconic character shaving theirs off, it creates a perfect talking point for consumers to learn more.
Armistice Day remembers those who have lost their lives serving in the Armed Forces, but that isn’t something I needed to tell you. This year, Extinction Rebellion took the 11th November as an opportunity to further the climate cause by staging a protest at the Cenotaph in London as poppy wreathes were being laid, and the hijacking was met with wide-spread criticism.
What to learn: There is no denying that climate change imminently threatens humanity and urgent action is needed. But using a day of international remembrance and commemoration risks alienating a large proportion of the population that is essential to further the cause. Although Extinction Rebellion relies on big stunts that cause a stir, many will see this as a mark of disrespect and regard the movement as tone-deaf because of it.