Hails & Fails – July 28th 2023

With deadly wildfires destroying parts of the beautiful Mediterranean and with no end in sight to the horror, PR campaigns had a lot of work to do to capture the attention of the world. Fortunately, the industry never stops, and we have some incredible campaigns to share.

This week, Orange France used visual effects to challenge sport gender norms ahead of the Women’s World Cup, Greggs wasted no time in poking fun at Twitter’s rebrand and a Not on the High Street campaign gave the Barbie PR team a run for its money! While Yorkshire Water got themselves into very hot water with a promotional video fail.


Gender goals

A montage of some of the best French football players of our time is what you think you’re watching, as your eyes watch Mbappe and Griezmann dart around the pitch with ease as the crowd goes wild.

But suddenly, text appears on screen: ‘It’s not them you’ve just seen playing’.

That’s because male player faces have been digitally imposed onto the bodies of France’s top two female players Sakina Karchaoui and Delphine Cascarino.

The ad by Publicis Groupe’s Marcel for team sponsor Orange was created in response to a recent study from the University of Zurich that showed that the quality of men’s and women’s football is judged to be similar when the gender of the players is hidden. 

AR has truly done it again. This time, to successfully attack gender stereotypes.

Gender goals

X marks the mockery

Twitter hit the headlines again this week after Elon Musk announced that the site is waving goodbye to its bird logo and rebranding to simply X.

During the outcry that followed, several large brands wasted no time to mock the name change with Greggs tweeting (or should we say X’ing?) a photo of an X and one of its sausage rolls with the brilliant one liner “TwitterX walked so GreX could run”.

Now that’s newsjacking done well!

X marks the mockery

Pink is the new black

After winning small seller marketplace Not on the High Street as a client just last month, Uncommon Creative Studio created a clever series of pink posters to ride on the back of the Barbie movie’s phenomenal success to win the client fame.
“The totally coincidental Pink Friday sale” idea was brought to life with bright pink ads on the side of mobile digivans (aka advertising vans), with playful copy referencing the “coincidence” that the sale takes place on the same day as the film’s release. The vans then followed the film’s marketing all around London reassuring the world that their pink Friday sale, which saw 15% reductions on all pink products, was seriously just a coincidence.

It’s Barbie’s wagon right now, and Uncommon Experience Studio successfully jumped on it!

Pink is the new black


Yorkshire water… maybe?

Yorkshire Water has had to remove an ad from their social media after it came out that stock footage used was filmed everywhere… but Yorkshire.

The promotional video opens with beautiful rolling hills, moving instrumental music and the company’s logo proudly appearing centre screen. But with closer inspection, a BBC Breakfast team discovered that the hills seen weren’t that of the Yorkshire’s Dales or Pennines, but instead the Mavern Hils in Herefordshire nearly 200 miles south.

Unfortunately, the company’s mountain to climb didn’t end there. Shots from within a car showed a left-hand drive which was linked back to a video producer in Ukraine, and a shot from inside a pub was filmed on the Black Sea in a Russian pub nearly 3000 miles away!

This all comes after the company had to apologise for sewage being released into the region’s rivers. Hot water indeed…

Yorkshire water… maybe?

Want more information? Contact us here

About the Author