While the summer “Silly Season” (the slow news period when most people are on holiday) is notorious for gifting column inches to stories that wouldn’t normally warrant such attention, the 24/7 nature of social media sites means that small, silly stories have a whole new home.

The non-news story that caught my eye last week was about Iceland (the country) considering launching a lawsuit against Iceland (the supermarket) over its name. The key word in that sentence that makes it non-news is ‘considering’; Iceland (the country) hasn’t actually done anything yet.

“I can confirm that this is being looked into, but no decision has been made,” a spokesman for the ministry told the Press Association (source: theguardian.com)

This fact aside, Iceland (the supermarket) put its social media team to work, adding a healthy dose of hilarity to proceedings and grabbing quite a few more headlines at the same time:


They say there’s no such thing as a bad news story and while this lawsuit has the potential to do some real damage to the supermarket chain, its great to see they are capitalising on the media interest in such a humorous way to keep their name front of mind with shoppers – while they still have it – and boost engagement on their social media channels.

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the Paralympics on Channel 4, marvelling at the inspiring athletes and their achievements, but also appreciating the complementary adverts that have been carefully selected to air during the break instead of the usual raft of tea, furniture and betting app promotions.

I’ve also been tuning in to watch The Last Leg, a topical comedy show first launched for the Paralympics in London that rounds up the day’s sporting action in a fun and insightful way, with two of its three presenters having disabilities themselves.

The other night, The Last Leg team challenged their viewers to tweet in with suggestions of things that could be renamed to honour our British Paralympians. Realising the potential for some very timely and high-profile coverage, the team at NCP responded that they will be renaming one of their sites the “NCP Sarah multi-Storey Car Park” in Dame Sarah Storey’s honour, releasing this accompanying image:


It may be silly and it may just be a stunt, but it is certainly creative and it worked. The image above was shown on The Last Leg the very next day, to millions of viewers in a prime time spot.

If you work in the PR industry, you have to be able to spot an opportunity like this and respond at great speed. It only takes a competitor getting their image to the press first, or stalling long enough for interest to dwindle, and your great idea will come to nothing.

So don’t miss out. Keep abreast of the news every day, know what is capturing people’s interest and move as quickly as you can when an opportunity arises. It could win you some huge pieces of national TV or print coverage – and many, many brownie points to boot.

I was fortunate to return to the UK from 7 months abroad during a summer filled with fantastic marketing campaigns. Here are the top three that caught my eye:

3. Panasonic’s #Superfans campaign

I really admire well executed user-generated content campaigns. Coming up with an idea that will spur social media users into action can be a real challenge. It is undoubtedly a lot easier to encourage fans to like or comment on pre-existing content than inspire them to take a photo or make a video themselves and share the results.

You therefore need to find a new and exciting way to inspire and energise your fan base. The result can be absolute social media gold – content that is more powerful at communicating your message because it is user-generated and a campaign that can run and run.

Panasonic made the most of its Olympic partnership agreement this summer and launched its #Superfans campaign to run during Rio 2016.


The campaign capitalised on the British public’s desire to show their support for Team GB in a public way and so users responded in abundance. There are some great examples on the dedicated #Superfans website.

2. Airbnb’s ‘Live There’ campaign amplification

Having circumnavigated the globe this year, I am now an avid fan and frequent user of Airbnb. I loved the company’s adverts with the message, “Don’t go there. Live there” which inspired travellers to rent apartments or stay with locals to get a richer experience than they may find in a conventional hotel.

So, it’s no surprise that I was excited to see Airbnb taking this campaign one step further over the summer with a pop-up experience in Shoreditch.

Airbnb house

‘The five storey townhouse in East London has been transformed inside and out to welcome travellers from all over the world, and all they have to do is ring the doorbell to join in and get a taste of local London,’ say Airbnb

Coined ‘The #LiveThere House’, the pop up generated plenty of national PR coverage for the brand and, I’m sure, some warm fuzzy feelings from the Londoners who got to enjoy the experiences for free.

1. British Airways #GreattobeBAck

It’s no surprise really that my third and final pick is yet another Olympic campaign.

The simplicity of this British Airways ‘stunt’ is what made it so brilliant in my opinion. While I’m sure the operation of seamlessly flying home that many high-profile athletes was anything but straightforward, there were three very clear and incredibly strong main elements:

  • The gold nose cone of the jumbo – great for photo editors and social media content curators alike
  • The public vote to name the plane ‘victoRIOus’ – clever, catchy and engaging
  • Athletes tweeting #GreattobeBAck and sharing photos from the flight
BA plane

Source: BritishAirways.com

Well done, BA, on a brilliantly executed campaign.

Have you seen any other examples of exceptional PR or marketing campaigns this summer? Let me know in the comments below!


Thank you to all of my loyal readers who have been patiently waiting for normal service to resume on this blog.

I have just returned from a ’round the world’ trip during which I co-authored a travel blog. If you are interested in world travel and would like to see what I’ve been up to, feel free to have a browse at https://travellinghills.wordpress.com/blogs.

Please keep an eye on this site for new Marketing and PR Blog content which will be added very soon.

This blog will be going a bit quiet next year as my husband and I embark on a 7 month adventure to travel the world.


We’ve set up a brand new blog which we’ll be adding photos and anecdotes to as regularly as we can (wi-fi permitting). You can find and sign up to follow this blog by clicking here.

Normal service will resume on the Marketing and PR blog next summer.

Thank you for your support to date. I’ll be back soon!

During one of this weekend’s many X Factor ad breaks, a short clip featuring the hashtag #OnTheMoon sparked much excitement on Twitter as people began speculating that this could be the first glimpse of the 2015 John Lewis Christmas advert.

Source: independent.co.uk

Source: independent.co.uk

The link has not yet been confirmed but we won’t have to wait long to find out whether it is John Lewis’s latest offering as their new Christmas ad will be aired in full for the first time at 8am this Friday (6th November).

If the #OnTheMoon preview was orchestrated by John Lewis, this could turn out to be one of the most effective teaser campaigns of all time.

Pop stars have been very successfully utilising the technique for some time now to build excitement around new single and album launches to maximise first week sales.

Taylor Swift used Instagram to tease her “1989” album last year in a highly visual way. The songstress revealed new lyrics each day in her own handwriting, offering fans a highly personal insight rather than an obviously label-led campaign.

Source: Twitter.com/taylorswift

Source: Twitter.com/taylorswift

Back in May 2014, Coldplay brilliantly combined online and offline communications for a teaser of their “Ghost Stories” album. They hid lyrics from their new tracks in libraries across nine countries and used Twitter to lead fans to them.

Source: Twitter.com/coldplay

Source: Twitter.com/coldplay

Have you seen any other teaser campaigns that you think can beat Taylor Swift and Coldplay? Let me know in the comments below.

Playboy, the magazine famous for provocative poses and nude centrefolds, has – rather shockingly – announced a ban on full nudity on the pages of its magazine.


The publication has already made the change on its website and seen an incredible leap of almost 12 million unique users a month as a result. But will its offline readership respond in the same way?

“You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it’s just passé at this juncture.” – Scott Flanders, Playboy’s chief executive, told the New York Times

Is Playboy taking a huge gamble by moving away from what it is primarily known for or is it simply, as Flanders claims, “the right thing to do”?

In truth, it seems to be a well-considered, smart decision. The new style photography is said to be taking inspiration from Instagram so there is certainly an awareness of the vogue and an eagerness to adapt accordingly.

Enlightened evolution or brand abandonment? The sales will soon show.