Promotions, gimmicks, and fails in 2017…so far

by Emily Jarvis

Now that we’re a little over halfway through 2017, it is time to reflect on some of the campaigns we’ve seen this year, stunts that have excelled and others that were not quite as successful. I’ve found that the most effective campaigns are the ones that are able to captivate the audience and achieve the objectives.

Proper Promotions

2017 has been the year that Nokia have announced that they are reintroducing the renowned 3310 phone (yes, the indestructible one — surviving a drop from a 4th story window!) This is great PR and a good move for Nokia as many people had this phone and would find the new release nostalgic, making them more likely to purchase the updated version (and yes, it still has Snake!) An impressive move by Nokia to help them regain their market leader title.

subwayThe second campaign that stood out, was Subway’s ‘Customer Appreciation Day’. This campaign launched on Valentine’s Day and offered customers a free 6-inch sub when a drink is bought. Although this idea is very different from the traditional premise surrounding Valentine’s Day the campaign was a huge success (if only the queues weren’t as long!) This PR tactic worked extremely well as it was accessible to everyone and allowed them a discount in price (which, come on…we all love!)

Great Gimmicks

Now, as we are all aware, January handed us one of the leading moments in history – Donald Trumps Inauguration. Paddy Power played on the majoritys opinion and as well as Trumps reputation to make a PR stunt that was extremely effective. They offered customers the chance to bet on a variety of events that could take place at the inauguration. These Donald Trumoincluded: the length of his speech, which cliché’s he would use and even the shade of orange that Trump’s skin would be. The fun nature of the bets meant that hundreds of people got involved and actually found pleasure in the inauguration (great PR!)

…And the Fails

ZaraI have always been a big fan of the high-street brand Zara. However, in a bid to empower women, Zara actually faced scrutiny from one PR campaign in particular. Zara ran their ‘Love your Curves’ campaign only using pictures of girls that were roughly size 6-8. Now, obviously there is no problem at all with the message that Zara are trying to portray, however thousands of people have stated that the statement contradicts the picture, and instead belittles people in the process (which is exactly what they DIDN’T want to do!) The campaign itself has gone viral this month for all the wrong reasons on Twitter and Facebook, with people mocking the image and the brand that posted it. This campaign highlights the importance of making sure that the media posted is appropriate for all audiences as easy mistakes like this could have been easily (oh, Zara!)


Speaking of Valentines day, the London Dungeon has faced heavy criticism over their Facebook posts. The posts appeared to promote sexism and caused offence to many people to the point where they have since had to apologise. One read: ‘I got 99 problems but a witch ain’t one’ (probably not the best way to promote the dungeon on the most loving day of the year!)


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