PR Campaigns we Loved in Freezing February
The ‘Beast from the East’ may have hit us hard in February, but it didn’t stop brands producing some fantastic PR campaigns. From Toyota’s social campaign that enabled us to see the world through the eyes of a visually impaired Paralympian, to Usain Bolt’s brilliant football hoax on Twitter, it was a memorable month.
Let’s start with Bolt’s impish Twitter prank.
The retired sprinting legend whipped sports fans into a frenzy last month, with the announcement that he’d signed for a football team.
Bolt has spoken about his desire to play football professionally in the past, and it looked like his dreams had come true when he tweeted ‘I’ve signed for a football team. Find out which one this Tuesday at 8pm.’ Unsurprisingly the post sent Twitter, and the media, into meltdown. Everyone was speculating. German club Borussia Dortmund was in the frame, as was the South African team Mamelodi Sundowns, and Bolt’s favourite British club, Manchester United. Although ‘Bolt-on’ Wanderers may have been more appropriate.
However, the whole thing turned out to be a clever PR stunt. As promised, Bolt revealed the name of the team three days after his initial tweet. But rather than an elite club, he announced he’d be captaining the World XI team for a Soccer Aid celebrity charity match.
Bolt to play at Old Trafford
It might not exactly be what the public was hoping for, but fans will get to see Bolt take to the Manchester United pitch on June 10th.
It’s a credit to the Soccer Aid PR team that they kept the world guessing for so long. In the lead up to the announcement, rumours were circulating in every newspaper, sports blog and magazine.
When the announcement was finally made, it put Bolt and a worthy cause firmly in the spotlight. This brilliant piece of PR from Bolt and Soccer Aid, was a match made in heaven.
Toyota shows what life is like as a visually impaired Paralympic skier
You may have imagined what it would be like to be an Olympic athlete, skiing down steep mountains at incredible speeds. But have you ever thought what it would be like to ski down those same slopes when you only have 3% of your vision? This is the reality for 18-year-old visually impaired Para alpine skier, Menna Fitzpatrick.
The (@SeeLikeMenna) account was designed to take people on Menna’s journey as she trained to compete in her first Paralympic Games. She shot footage of her training sessions, and a visual impairment filter was used to give people a sense of what it’s like to ski without sight.
In one of the videos, you can hear Menna’s sight guide, Jennifer Kehoe, shouting out instructions and helping her along the way.
It’s a thrilling experience for the viewer and a real eye opener into the life of Paralympic skiers.
Soldier silhouettes appear around the UK to mark WW1 centenary
From the snowy fields of Kent to The Tower of London, sculptures of First World War soldiers appeared in four locations across the UK last month, as part of a PR and fundraising campaign for veterans’ charity Remembered. Titled ‘There But Not There’ the campaign has been designed to raise awareness of the centenary of the end of the First World War.
The charity is also selling 10-inch versions of the sculptures, with the aim of raising £15million for Armed Forces and mental health charities.
Within three hours of the campaign launching, the charity sold 10,000 silhouettes, raising £300,000. It also generated lots of coverage in the mainstream press. The 6ft silhouettes will tour the country until Armistice Day this November.
This is a simple but very effective way of raising awareness and funds for a cause that the nation holds close to its heart.
Organise your own PR stunt
If you want to join the likes of Remembered and Toyota and draw attention to a cause or issue that’s important to your business, a PR stunt is an effective way to do it. Give me a call.