The PR ‘Winners’ of the 2014 World Cup

Thursday, 12 June 2014, 17:16 | Category : General
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As we all get excited about the World Cup finally kicking off today after much anticipation over the last few months, it doesn’t shock me that nobody has particularly great expectations for England’s performance in the tournament.  No surprises there then.

But us lovely PR people do love a good event to hang our campaigns around so it only seemed right to bring a little cheer to what the UK PR world’s take on the tournament has been so far to promote their clients with some of the most bizarre stories out there.

Coming in at number one has to be Paddy Power’s message to the England team which looked like it had taken an axe to the Amazon Rainforest to create it.  Thankfully, it was all computer generated, but did evoke strong opinion and public outcry on social media to raise awareness for deforestation and of course association with the brand.  Never mind the national media headlines it generated in the tabloids.  The gem actually had to be when they announced that they ‘hadn’t given the Amazon a Brazilian’ and claimed the stunt was to promote the cause against deforestation. Courageous or mischevious as a PR stunt? You decide.

Clearly appealing to the male football fans amongst us, Diageo’s rum brand Captain Morgan found it difficult to stand out in the bar, so have made a detour to the men’s washroom.  Well the men’s urinals to be specific. Introducing the ‘Captain’s Cannon’ game above urinals in venues across London, players are encouraged to be the top scorer with their ‘ammunition’ to hit the digital goal.

And the prize for cutest idea has to go to the Dogs Trust Leeds who named their own team of eight week old Collie puppies after players in the England Squad.  Would have been fun putting together the names of those pups including Frank Lampawd, Steven Gurrard, Phil Bones, Jordan Hounderson, Ross Barkley, Phil Wagielka, Jack Russell Wilshire and Spaniel Sturridge.

Anyway I’m sure there’ll be more stunts and gimmicks as the tournament progresses, but if UK PR is anything to go by, they’ll be more wacky than ever. Check back soon for our more ‘serious’ take on the World Cup where we’re a bit better placed to comment on international PR given our work in four continents over the last few months.

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