ET and Elliott reunite in SKy TV ad

The Best PR Picks of November

The PR world’s knickers were left well and truly twisted this month after the now-infamous Prince Andrew interview – a PR fail so bad, Kerry Katona was forced to renounce her title as “car crash of the century” following her slurry speech on This Morning in 2008.

While the royal interview snared most of the headlines, it couldn’t completely overshadow this month’s PR wins. From Lego taking a swipe at Elon Musk’s disastrous demonstration, to ET and Elliott’s emosh Christmassy reunion, we’ve rounded-up our favourite PR activity.

ET flies home for Christmas

It’s been 37 years since the release of Steven Spielberg’s much-loved masterpiece E.T. and this month, we were reacquainted with our favourite bug-eyed alien. Sky’s 2019 Christmas ad saw the wholesome reunion of E.T. and a now grown-up Elliot (played by the same actor from the original movie, Henry Thomas), along with his wife and two kids. After some Christmassy shenanigans and touching moments, there’s a very familiar flying bike scene and E.T.’s second tear-jerking departure – all set to that iconic score.

From its initial concept to final approval, the two-minute ad was overseen by the original director Steven Spielberg to ensure it stayed true to the 1982 movie. The chief executive of UK & Ireland Sky, Stephen van Rooyen, said: “It’s an honour to bring E.T. back to earth in this new festive short story, helping us to celebrate the magic of family time at Christmas and Sky’s part in bringing our customers together at this special time of year.”

Lego throws shade at Tesla’s fail

If November held awards for PR fails, then Elon Musk would have certainly won second place. During the unveiling of Tesla’s alien-looking Cybertruck, the CEO of SpaceX was left red-faced after a demonstration to show how “indestructible” the vehicle is went horribly wrong. During the presentation, Musk boldly announced how “You want a truck you can take a sledgehammer to, a truck that won’t scratch, doesn’t dent,” before allowing someone to strike the vehicle’s windows, which seemed to smash relatively easily. His excuse? Those windows had taken a sledgehammer hit earlier on. Suuuure.

Naturally, the internet had a good old laugh at Musk’s expense, and Lego couldn’t resist either. The toy brand promptly tweeted a picture of a simple Lego car, styled similarly to Cybertruck’s promotional materials, with the caption: “The evolution of the truck is here. Guaranteed shatterproof.” Meow. The tweet proved popular, with 27k retweets and 102k likes by the end of November.

Just Eat delivers some good karma for Black Friday

Popular delivery and takeaway service Just Eat decided to do something a bit different for November’s Black Friday by donating 50p from every order placed to FoodCycle and making takeaway fans feel a bit less guilty in the process. The charity runs projects across the country, which provide meals for low-income families, homeless people, and those with various other disadvantages in life. The meals are lovingly prepared with ingredients donated from supermarkets and various food outlets, which would otherwise have been thrown out.

Mary McGrath, CEO of FoodCycle, said: “It is at this time of year when our guests need their FoodCycle meal most. When temperatures plummet, many find themselves making tough choices about whether to keep the heating on or use precious pennies on cooking, whilst many more dread long winter nights spent alone. Thanks to the generosity of the British public and Just Eat, we will be able to continue providing people who are struggling with hunger or loneliness a free, nutritious meal served in a warm and friendly environment.” Lovely stuff.

KFC’s Christmassy vote of no confidence

Following their 2018 Christmas advert, which featured a hilarious wild west-style stand-off between a chicken and a turkey, KFC has released their new festive campaign: a series of five, 10-second cartoon adverts, which highlight some very familiar Christmas dinner cock-ups. Among the struggles depicted are defrosting a turkey, fitting it in the oven, and everyone’s worst nightmare: burning it.

Each ad is wrapped up with the words “Good luck on the 25th” swiftly followed by a very reassuring “Until then, we’ve got you.” Kate Wall, head of advertising and retail at KFC UK and Ireland, said “Burnt, overdone, chewy, dry… we’ve all got a turkey horror story. And they’re usually enough to keep any family’s designated chef up all Christmas Eve. This year we wanted our Christmas campaign to take an irreverent, cheeky look at the ritual that has become ‘Christmas Turkey.'”

Extinction Rebellion float a house up the Thames

And lastly. Earlier this month, activists from Extinction Rebellion turned heads and bewildered still-drunk walk-of-shamers by floating a house down the River Thames. The stunt, which took place on a Sunday morning, was designed to draw attention to rising sea levels, and the urgency of tackling climate change.

Katey Burak and Rob Higgs, creators of ‘The Sinking House’ said: “We need urgent action to address the climate emergency and devastation of our beautiful and precious natural world, which is being decimated at an unprecedented and tragic rate. We implore the government to act responsibly and we will continue to make our voices heard until they act.”

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