PR Stunt // Everybody loves a polar bear

As I was scrolling down my Twitter feed I saw the most unusual picture that instantly caught my eye. A polar bear walking across the Millennium bridge. Now at first, like everyone would, I thought someone had been a bit handy with Photoshop. I mean, the Justin Bieber Calvin Klein scenario taught us all that Photoshop can be great in ‘enhancing’ pictures. Little did I know, I had just come across Sky Atlantic’s new PR stunt.

imageFortitude is a new drama starting on Sky Atlantic tonight, starring big names like  Michael Gambon and Christopher Ecclestone. The 11-part epic is the most expensive British drama ever made. It is said to be the new Broadchurch, the popular drama on the rival network ITV. The producers wanted the drama to not be categorized as a cult TV show having no particular target audience.  They want the show to be talked about and therefore engage a mainstream audience as seen with Broadchurch.

Even though this sounds as if the show has no target audience this simply isn’t true. Broadchurch was seen to attract teens to pensions a very wide audience but still an audience. In PR terms, being asked to target such a wide audience is a challenge indeed but it was achieved. Going to print media with the new TV show may have gained the show a little publicity on the TV guide section but that’s not what Sky wanted.  The £30 million budget shows that Sky are passionate about the show and therefore the promotion needed to work. They needed to target a huge audience, not the small minority who might happen to look at whats on television Thursday night.

A fully animated polar bear walking freely around London did the trick. The creature took eight weeks to build by Hollywood specialists and takes two people to operate. The idea was to bring people face-to-face with a creature that is “one of the unaccredited stars of our new show” said Zai Bennet, Director of Sky Atlantic. They wanted to create a stunt that would target widely and one simple platform with a wide audience is social media. They succeed and social media went wild. Tweets going out had the hash-tag #Fortitude and within minutes print media caught on to the stunt.

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The campaign gained national coverage with the PR stunt. Even though this PR stunt was small it was thought out well, choosing locations like the tube, Millennium bridge and Southbank all well-known landmarks of the city. The organisations knew that by choosing these locations they would engage a business man walking across the bridge to work or a child getting on the tube to school.  It also shows how social media is now being used as one of the main promotional platforms. Years ago, the PR team would have contacted a journalist and battled to get them to write about the stunt. PR has now cut out the middle man. Social media is effective, faster and dare I say it more reliable than a journalist. All in all, Sky Atlantic succeed endless promotion from digital media which consequently equaled to print media coverage clearly showing  how to do a PR stunt well.

Keep up to date with Fortitude on Twitter here.
Watch the Sky Atlantic promotional video ‘Polar Bear Let Loose in London’ here.


Burberry: The Social Media Master

Social media doodles elementsSocial media has become a huge platform to market brands. Its a great platform to tell a story with a brand. The site, Twitter is great for sharing pictures, posting new job opportunities and rewarding recent success. This all constituents to a public opinion of a brand and adding to reputation.  Social media is accessible targeting millions all at a click of a button.

Largely social media is used for interaction. This is similarly used by brands to interact with public’s or an individual consumers. If a consumer is not happy with a product a tweet to the brands account is usually followed up with a direct reply. Issues that were once not dealt with now can be dealt with in 140 characters. Times when it was hard to contact a brand have vanished. Social media is the connection cable between brand and consumer. Social media is being effectively used to launch new campaigns. Sneak peaks and exclusive snaps all raise awareness of a campaign for free! Social media has a very broad horizon and with brands successfully translating campaigns through social media.


Burberry have noticeably worked hard to bring the brands reputation from boring to current and social media has been an integral factor in this change. Burberry campaigns have been a success in social media as channels have been used effectively to entice consumers. Burberry’s innovation in content on social media and engagement has labelled them as one of the most exciting and popular brands. Clear evidence is shown in the fact that 60% of their marketing  budget alone goes towards digital.

In a fashion first, Burberry used Twitter to launch its catwalk looks  before they had even strutted down the runway, streaming the images into 25 stores across the world. It became a global event.

The key is to make your public’s feel special. Burberry are at the top and have recently hopped onto the Instagram bandwagon. Teasers, backstage videos and even exclusive interviews is how Burberry draw in their public’s, racking up their Instagram followers. It gives personality to the brand and gives the followers the feeling they are getting exclusive access to one of the most reputable brands in the world. It’s an interactive experience and establishes a personal bond between the consumer and brand.

Burberry knows that emotions determine our behavior. There not stupid. They know that by telling a story a brand becomes more attractive and that attraction turns into sales. By telling their brand story on social media, Burberry tell a story to millions.