Three Cracking PR Stunts from December

It’s the new year. It’s time to plan your PR activity for 2019. But before we leave 2018 behind, I wanted to share my pick of December’s PR stunts.

Frankie and Benny’s BANS mobile phones in a bid to get diners talking

American-Italian restaurant chain Frankie and Benny’s caused a media stir with a PR stunt that saw it ban mobile devices from its 250 UK-based restaurants. For one week, diners were asked to put their phones in a lockable box for the duration of their meal, in a bid to encourage them to talk to each other over dinner.

The decision came following a recent nationwide study that found that seven in 10 children wish their parents would spend less time on their phones and more time talking to them. It also discovered that one in ten British children have tried to hide their parent’s mobile phone in a desperate bid to get their attention.

The launch of mobile-free dining means Frankie and Benny’s is the first family restaurant in the UK to ban mobile phones during family dinner time.

Looking to solidify itself as a family venue in the minds of the public, the ‘No Phone Zone’ campaign raised awareness of the brand and encouraged people to think about their dining habits. It also got them coverage in the likes of the Times and The Independent.

Lord of the Rings sketch parodies Theresa May’s Brexit Plan

British actor Andy Serkis hit the headlines across the UK last month by reprising his award-winning Lord of the Rings role for a spoof sketch about Theresa May and her Brexit strategy.

Dressed in the PM’s trademark navy suit, the actor put a spin on the famous scene in The Two Towers where Smeagol and Gollum have an argument, which in this reimagining, focuses on whether May’s Brexit plan is the best way forward. ‘We takes back control – money, borders, laws, blue passports,’ May as Gollum says, before May as Sméagol replies: ‘No, it hurts the people, makes them poorer.’ The other then shouts: ‘But I finds it and negotiates it. We wants it! We has to do it! This is the only deal. Juicy and sweet. We will have it.’

The spoof sketch titled ‘LEAKED: Footage from Inside No 10 Downing Street!’ was uploaded to an account called ‘we wants it’ and it went viral, racking up 600K views in just over 24 hours. It has been shared by a host of celebrities, including Gary Lineker and Stephen Fry.

This was a clever and funny PR stunt that grabbed the attention of all the major newspapers, blogs, and online magazines.

Cassetteboy proves that ‘Die Hard’ is a Christmas film

Christmas raises some big questions every year: sprouts or no sprouts? Real tree or fake? Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? Or not? It’s an age-old festive debate that’s divided households since 1988. But Sky Cinema settled the matter with a remix from video editing team extraordinaire, Cassetteboy.

On Die Hard’s 30th anniversary, the creatives behind the hilarious Apprentice and David Cameron remixes produced a video that retells the 12 Days of Christmas via scenes from Bruce Willis’ big budget action series. The film was specially commissioned by Sky Cinema to celebrate Die Hard landing exclusively on the service from December 1st.

In two separate articles, Empire and Forbes magazine both voted Die Hard as the greatest Christmas movie ever, beating the likes of It’s a Wonderful Life, Home Alone, The Muppet Christmas Carol, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Trading Places.

Ian Lewis, Director of Sky Cinema said: ‘I don’t know why we even debate this every year. Die Hard is the biggest Christmas movie of all time. The proof is all in the script.’

As part of the campaign to confirm the film’s Christmas roots, Sky Cinema also created a poll online offering people across the world the opportunity to vote at www.isdiehardachristmasfilm.com

This savvy campaign was a great way to celebrate the 30thanniversary and drum up public and media interest. And teaming up with Cassetteboy was inspired. The video received 35,000 views within three days.

Pull off a cracker of a stunt

So, there you have it: the best Christmas PR campaigns of December 2018. If you’ve been inspired by any of these creative PR stunts and are looking to build up your company’s presence and get some press attention in 2019 get in touch.



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