From giant marshmallow men to Netflix and chill, and of course – what everyone is talking about: Pokémon. Sarah Byles @sarahbyles takes a look back at the PR stories that have made the headlines this week.
Who you gonna call?
Amid chatter in the US that the Ghostbusters reboot film has not been performing quite as well as expected, a massive two-week installation at Waterloo Station popped up from the help of a mixture of advertising agencies. Here in the UK however, it’s been well received and is currently sitting at the top of the Box Office.
Interestingly, the most positive feedback for the film comes from female viewership – a change from the original’s universal appeal. Praise for the film’s leading ladies is easily traceable in the public domain of Twitter.
Hotter than hot
Britain finally received some of a mythical season called “summer” this week as temperatures soared above 30 degrees Celsius. Cue ice cream giveaways across social media, reminders about cold pints of cider and Pimms at all the local pubs and the image recirculation of this very old sculpture of a melted ice cream truck.
Lad Bible won the live viewership of 4.1 million people when they broadcast via Facebook Live coverage of four ice creams melting on a rooftop. FOUR POINT ONE MILLION PEOPLE. Channel 4’s F1 coverage of the British Grand Prix a couple of weeks ago had a 5-minute peak audience of 3.89 million, just in case you’re looking for a comparison.
Remember, anything old on the internet can be made new again.
Netflix and… share?
The King of Streaming, Netflix, is suffering. With more and more people using their multiple logins to share with friends and family members, the on-demand service is struggling to keep increasing its subscribers.
Enter Flixtape – like a mixtape for Netflix. Make your own playlists to share with friends who also have Netflix. We like it for the branding opportunities which are much like Spotify’s public playlists. Check out IndieWire’s collection of movie playlists to entice.
Michelle Obama got all of the internet love this week for two reasons. Commentators spotted similarities between Melania Trump’s Republican National Convention speech on Tuesday with Michelle’s 2008 convention speech. It transpired that a Trump speechwriter had ‘pulled some phrases’ from the original that eventually made it through to the final almost unchanged.
But in timing stroke to PR genius, CBS and The Late Late Show with James Corden aired Michelle’s Carpool Karaoke clip the next day.
America’s First Lady can do no wrong.
Gotta catch ‘em all
And finally, the craze sweeping the world for which you could easily be forgiven for thinking you’ve woken up in 1998. With all the bad news globally, there’s a shining light in the excitement generated by Niantic’s augmented reality app that allows you to walk around staring at your phone capturing digital cartoon creatures. For anyone familiar with the original Pokémon games, it’s a fun and addictive throwback to the 90’s.
As Pokémon Go is based on GPS and Google Maps, businesses that happen to be positioned near Pokéstops (for collecting items and capturing Pokémon) and Pokégyms (for battling opponents for team honours) have already benefitted from increased business and literal foot traffic.
If you’re interested to see just how big the craze is. This video showing a stampede of people running to Central Park in New York because a Vaporeon (excellent, high-level Pokémon which looks a cross between a deer and a clown mermaid) spawned nearby should give you a general idea.
It is expected that Niantic will sell the opportunity for businesses to make their location into Pokéstops, Pokégyms or even purchase rare Pokémon to appear within the game.
Some say it might be a fad, but the app is already more popular than Twitter, people spend more time on it than Facebook and there’s even reports that it’s more popular than sex (paywall).
Server capacity has plagued the staggered world-wide release of the game, which is set to only get bigger now that it has launched in its native Japan overnight. In fact, the game has overall added as much as $US20 billion to the market value of Nintendo Co. despite the gaming giant having very little to do with the app.
The Japan launch also includes the first brand sponsorship within the app including over 3,000 McDonald’s outlets with their own gyms.
Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and it appears to be becoming a phenomenon that crosses all cultural divides. Even our client Toyota Hybrid spotted a Paras in the garage at Nüburgring 6 Hours.
Lastly, make sure you wear sunscreen on your Pokémon jaunts everyone.
— TOYOTA WEC Team (@Toyota_Hybrid) July 22, 2016