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Suppliers and Distributors reported strong growth in 2012 which continued into December.

To PR or Not to PR…or to Make PR Feel Like Not PR?


A few current events involving publicity bring me to write this blog. The first, the Are You Miracle Whip? campaign, which we have written about previously. The second, Abercrombie & Fitch’s request that the cast of Jersey Shore – specifically “The Situation” – refrain from donning the brand while on air.

The bold and risky Are You Miracle Whip? campaign – which I still think was a brilliant marketing concept that was wasted on a mere condiment – is now under fire from divorce activists. The campaign, which centers on YouTube and drives couples to upload videos of themselves talking/bantering/arguing about Miracle Whip’s role in their relationship, offers a $25,000 reward to be used towards either a wedding or divorce. This call-to-action is as bold as the campaign itself (though I am still largely uncertain that a condiment can meaningfully contribute to a marriage or a divorce…)

Well, like every good campaign, the Miracle Whip campaign has some haters. Read this brandchannel.com article, ‘Kraft’s Miracle Whip Campaign Under Fire From Anti-Divorce Activists,’ explains the situation.

And, speaking of ‘The Situation,’ Abercrombie & Fitch has itself in quite a PR one. The retailer supposedly offered Jersey Shore’s ‘The Situation’ $1 million to NOT wear A&F branded clothing on the show.

Now – and I hate to admit this – I used to work for Abercrombie & Fitch. (Gimme a break, I was in high school and it was the coolest brand you could buy back then…) I went off to college and the fashion world started changing and A&F lost its lofty position within it.

Now, after “finding themselves,” Abercrombie is resurfacing. And what a brilliant way to resurface! This PRsuasion article explains the brilliance. Why so brilliant? Well, people were once again talking about the A&F brand. For better or for worse, people were talking.

But, then again, their stock fell 9% the day after they released the request. CNN attributes the drop in stock prices to a recent run-up after the company reported earnings that beat analysts’ expectation (money.cnn.com, August 17, 2011).

I think they’ll see huge growth in revenue after this PR stunt – as long as they continue to keep their brand at the tops of their target audiences’ minds.

But, whether we’re looking at Miracle Whip or A&F, we can see that this publicity was not incited by the respective companies. Rather, it was an (arguably calculated) result to business and marketing decisions. I have no doubt that getting publicity was part of both Kraft’s and A&F’s strategies – but it doesn’t feel that way to the untrained mind…

And that’s what makes good PR great PR – when it doesn’t feel like PR at all.

Categories : Marketing

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