Hails & Fails – May 3rd 2024

The sun has got its hat on and we’ve all been soaking up some much-needed Vitamin D. But it’s not just the sun that’s been shining – these PR teams are clearly on fire right now, too!

Waitrose won fame with a stunt gone right, cosmetics brand Elf went viral with some incredible content and KFC got us all in the mood for summer with some NPD. While it will come as no surprise that Britain’s biggest new music venue, Co-op Live, is our fail of the week for the chaos it has caused customers across the North.


A wonky win

Waitrose won headlines with a wonky billboard idea that was so wonky it concerned passers-by and prompted Wandsworth Council to take precautionary measures.

The billboard stunt was intended to simply nod at the supermarket’s lowering prices. But it was quickly fenced off over genuine public safety concerns.

Our favourite part? Waitrose then tweeting Specsavers, “One for you guys?”

Well, this is very good!

Sophie Reuben – Influencer Account Director: “A savvy marketing stunt somewhat “backfires” as it was fenced off by the local council. However, the result has exceeded the campaign expectations with even further exposure for the brand, provoking an influx of light-hearted reactions on socials. Showing a simple message can have major talkability”

A wonky win

A monumental stunt

Cosmetics brand Elf promoted its fast-acting pimple patches with a stunt that’s racked up over 12 million TikTok views and counting.

The video sees an Elf branded helicopter stick a giant pimple patch, mid-air, onto the face of George Washington, one of four US presidents depicted in the Mount Rushmore National Monument. The patch is then removed leaving Washington pimple free!

AI or not, Elf’s marketing team deserve their own monument for this.

Lucy Jones – Copywriter: “Every now and then you come across a social campaign that’s just CLEVER. It’s creative in the most unexpected way. Capturing attention and sparking conversation. And while the video is going viral online, let’s take a moment to celebrate the copy ‘minimize your most monumental zits’.”

A monumental stunt

The perfume of the summer

To promote its new BBQ burger, KFC launched a limited-edition perfume, ‘No 11 Eau de BBQ’.

The fragrance has “smoky wood and charcoal notes”, a sleek black design and is available for just £11 for any die-hard KFC fan.

Surely the best Father’s Day gift ever?

Jess Redfearn – Midweight Creative: “I love this for how it perfectly captures the mouth-watering scent of a BBQ burger. They didn’t unnecessarily complicate the execution because they didn’t need to”

The perfume of the summer


And… we’re not live!

Co-op Live – Manchester’s brand new £365m indoor music arena – has failed to officially open for the third time due to “technical issues”.

What was supposed to be a triumphant opening week for the UK’s largest indoor music arena has turned into the butt of jokes with opening shows for comedian Peter Kay and rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie both being cancelled with little to no notice.

And now, pop star Olivia Rodrigo has expressed her disappointment after becoming the latest act to be cancelled,

“I’m sooooo disappointed that we’re unable perform in Manchester due to on-going venue-related technical issues… I’m so bummed”.

Ruby Kenwright – Social Account Executive: “Disappointed gig goers facing yet more cancellations leaves us all with little hope (and trust) in the future Co-op Live. How will they ever recover from this?

And… we’re not live!

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