Category Archives: PR

The Fun Theory

Can making something fun influence consumer behavior?  That’s what Volkswagen set to find out with its Fun Theory campaign, which involved transforming a staircase in a Swedish subway into a giant, working piano keyboard. 

Not only did this campaign encourage consumer participation, which in turn garnered media coverage and independent posts (like this one!), but it delivered the message that Volkswagen had wanted to send home all along: that their cars make driving fun.  Nice campaign, VW.

Check out the other elements of Volkswagen’s Fun Theory campaign, here.

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Filed under Ads, Consumer Goods, PR, Videos

Wheat Thins To The Rescue!

Talk about instant gratification.

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Filed under Consumer Goods, Food+Beverage, PR, Social Media, Twitter, Videos

Forever Young, I Want to be…Forever 21

Forever 21 recently unveiled its new billboard in Times Square, and it’s already creating quite a buzz.  That’s because this billboard is interactive.  With the help of high-tech spy camera technology, the ad features a model that not only shows off Forever 21 apparel on a humongous screen, but appears to pluck people straight off the ground and kiss them or stow them away in her bag as she skips off.  She also occasionally takes photos of the crowd and brandishes them on the billboard — giving even the common passerby his or her 15-seconds of fame. 

The billboard software can even detect the specific trademark yellow of the Forever 21 bag — making loyal customers all the more likely to be noticed by the model in her pursuits. 

And this is just the beginning.  Billy Jurewicz, founder and CEO of Space150 — the company that created the billboard for Forever 21 — expects better, more interactive versions in the future.  “The board now is like the iPod 1.0,” he said in an article for Fast Company.  “We’re going to be updating this more and more.”

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Filed under Ads, Consumer Goods, Fashion, PR, Quotes, Technology, Trends

“…That’s Not Supposed To Go There”

Have you seen this commercial on TV?  Not only does it manage to trigger a serious craving for SunChips, but it also gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to know that the company’s revamped packaging is 100 percent compostable and won’t just stay in a landfill till the end of time.  I can just chuck my SunChips bag carelessly into the wind, right?

Wrong.  On a recent episode of “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart quipped that these SunChips bags can actually cause more harm to the environment than good, if not properly placed in a compost pile.  Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?  I thought the advantage of compostable bags is that they cater to the average lazy American.  If we didn’t bother to throw the regular, non-biodegradable bags into the trashcan before, what makes SunChips think that we’ll not only throw the new ones into a compost pile, but HAVE a compost pile to begin with? 

But that’s only half the trouble.  According to EPI Environmental Technologies Inc., a company that specializes in oxo-biodegradable technology, “If compostable products end up in a landfill, in the presence of water and absence of oxygen, it will biodegrade anaerobically to produce methane and carbon dioxide.  Both are greenhouse gases but methane is over 20 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than CO2.  Methane is also highly combustible and is a frequent cause of explosions.”

Whoa.  So before, with the plastic model, the worst that could happen was that some poor woodland creature would come across a bag of SunChips, eat the packaging, and then proceed to die a slow, painful death.  Now, with the “miracle” bag made out of plants, the worst that could happen is a methane EXPLOSION and further damage to the atmosphere.  Thanks for the upgrade, SunChips.  And consumers were complaining about how loud the new bags were.  Pshh.  That should be the least of your worries.

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Filed under Ads, Consumer Goods, Environment, Food+Beverage, PR, Science, Videos

Ignorance is Bliss

Dun dun dunnnnnn.  Yet another product recall.  This time, surprisingly, from McDonald’s.  The noted fast food franchise started recalling the glasses pictured above because the paint was found to have a toxic metal called cadmium, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Although some critics were bashing the company for not taking more time and effort to examine this product before selling it to the public, I thought McDonald’s did a respectable job in recalling the glasses the minute it found out about the potential risk.  The level of cadmium in the paint is not directly dangerous unless used for a long period of time and there hasn’t even been a single consumer complaint.  Nice job, Micky D’s.  Can you lend your PR team to Toyota and BP? 

But this wouldn’t be a blog post without a complaint.  Check out the comments section of that same Wall Street Journal article.  People are just plain ‘ignant,’ as some of my friends would say.  The first post right away blames China for the toxic paint.  Hey idiot, the article says — IN ENGLISH might I add — that the glasses were manufactured in New Jersey.  You would think people would actually READ the article in question before wrongfully blaming entire countries.  How embarrassing.

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Filed under Consumer Goods, Food+Beverage, PR