Six Marvellous PR Moments from January and February

As far as PR moments go, the twenties have gotten off to a solid start. From a broadband supplier bitchfest and Sainsbury’s trolling a pop megastar, to Heinz Ketchup lamenting its underpraised Hollywood career: here are our favourite PR moments from January and February.

Broadband giants get all bitchy in Bristol

There’s no PR campaign quite like a catty one and Virgin Media proved it had the sharpest claws of all this January. A spat began when rival BT plastered billboards all around Bristol, which told consumers not to ‘settle for Virgin’, and that their service offered ‘ultrafast Full Fibre with more reliable speeds than Virgin M200 and M350’. Meow.

Virgin quickly clapped back, by parking mobile billboards in front of BT’s billboards. Their response? ‘B******T. Our fastest average speed in Bristol is 516Mbps. That’s loads faster than BT. Enough said’. MEOW! Cilesta Van Doorn, Virgin Media’s brand and marketing director, summed up their sassy retort by stating: “BT’s broadband bunkum just couldn’t go unchecked. Residents of Bristol won’t be fooled by BT’s babble and we look forward to welcoming anyone who wants to experience life in the fast lane with our superior ultrafast speeds.”

Sainsbury’s trolls Queen Bey

Oh no they didn’t. Oh yes they did. In a glorious moment of reactive PR, supermarket Sainsbury’s trolled the last person you’d ever expect: pop queen Beyoncé. It all began in January, when she unveiled her much anticipated Ivy Park collection, a clothing line she’s created in collaboration with Adidas. British fans, however, were quick to point out its striking resemblance to the famous burgundy and orange Sainsbury’s uniform. Which if we’re all honest with ourselves, isn’t really a fashion moment.

Of course, Sainsbury’s couldn’t resist taking the mickey. They tweeted a photo of their uniform which featured the words ‘the original’, as well as a caption that read ‘Repping since 1869’. Presumably Beyoncé wasn’t bothered. Her collection dropped on January 18 and sold out within minutes.

Kellogg’s pop-up cereal cafe

At the beginning of the year, Kellogg’s launched their brand-new cereal: W.K. Kellogg by Kids, a cereal for kids, designed by kids. You may expect any cereal designed by children to be a chocolatey sugarfest. Surprisingly, the kids of Netmums opted for something altogether healthier, with one variant offering blueberry, apple, and beetroot, and the other featuring a medley of strawberry, apple and carrot.

To celebrate the launch and to highlight recent research that revealed today’s kids enjoy a more varied diet than their parents had, Kellogg’s opened a pop-up cereal café in Notting Hill. Like the cereal, the charming eatery was designed for and run by kids, and featured self-serve cereal dispensers, colouring-in tables, a full-sized doodle wall and super-mamma Myleene Klass.

Juliet’s gaff on Airbnb

City break, city break, wherefore art thou? If you and your lover bothered to take part in Airbnb’s competition earlier this month, it could have been you in Verona. To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Airbnb offered a lucky couple the chance to stay in the iconic ‘Juliet House’ which, along with its pretty balcony, has long been romanticised as the real (albeit not really) setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

All applicants had to do was write a letter to the late Juliet, sharing their own love story. The winners received full VIP treatment during their stay, with a personal butler, a Michelin star chef-cooked candlelit dinner, and the opportunity to sleep/get jiggy on the very same bed used in the 1968 film adaptation of the Shakespeare favourite.

Heinz highlights ketchup’s lack of Hollywood recognition

During the Oscars, Heinz made it their mission to highlight their ketchup’s iconic, but ultimately overlooked career in the film industry. Unbeknown to many, the condiment has featured in hundreds of films over the years but is yet to receive a single awards nomination or any real recognition. Or a place on Natalie Portman’s frock.

Heinz and agency Rethink decided to try and put things right, by creating an IMDb page for the sauce, and appealing to fans to find films in which Heinz Ketchup has appeared in, in exchange for free ketchup. Unfortunately, IMDb quickly removed the sauce’s page, but not without causing an outcry among ketchup lovers. Especially when they noted that Castaway’s Wilson still has his own page, which lists his two award wins and one nomination. Outrageous.

Anti-plastic stickers make message stick

In January and February, over 1,000 labels began appearing on supermarket products contained within plastic packaging, listing an expiry date of 2499, along with the words ‘please recycle me’.

The nifty anti-plastic initiative was the brainchild of young advertising duo Gagandeep Jhuti and Joe Foale-Groves, who decided to target meal deal items because of the way in which they encouraged less environmentally-friendly buying habits. Gagandeep Jhuti said: “We’re used to seeing expiry dates on food to remind us to eat something sooner, so why not print expiry dates on plastic to remind us that the packaging lasts a lot longer than the meal will?” Good point.

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