Samsung, Kazakhstan, Tampax... Fray Bentos? (Spooky) Creative Hits & Misses of the Week

If it wasn’t scary enough that we got an extra hour of 2020 thanks to the clocks going back, here is a spooky Halloween round-up of this week’s hits and misses (or treats and tricks) from BCW creative director Pete Way.

Samsung, Kazakhstan, Tampax... Fray Bentos? (Spooky) Creative Hits & Misses of the Week

Treat

Samsung, 'The Halloween House'

Thanks to the fact that we are living an actual real nightmare, COVID-19 has pretty much cancelled Halloween, but the naughty sprites at Samsung have created a spooky house powered by its smart app, using various types of projection mapping, a big old robot skeleton, dancers and some illuminated pumpkins. Not exactly soil-your-pants scary, but an entertaining half term distraction for any socially distanced little spook.

The Kazakh Tourist Board, new slogan

Borat has literally haunted Kazakhstan for years. But the Kazakh Tourist Board has accepted that its tormenter isn’t necessarily as scary as it first thought and has, quite rightly, grabbed a bit of free film publicity by adopting his "very nice" catchphrase.

"In COVID times, when tourism spending is on hold, it was good to see the country mentioned in the media," said Kairat Sadvakassov, the deputy chairman of Kazakh Tourism, speaking to The New York Times and then the Huffington Post. He said that adopting Borat’s catchphrase “offers the perfect description of Kazakhstan’s vast tourism potential in a short, memorable way”.

In fact, even Sacha Baron Cohen sent an email of affirmation, again published in The New York Times: “I chose Kazakhstan because it was a place that almost nobody in the US knew anything about, which allowed us to create a wild, comedic, fake world. The real Kazakhstan is a beautiful country with a modern, proud society – the opposite of Borat’s version.”

Tampax

Tampax came out with the line “Let’s celebrate the diversity of all people who bleed” in support of trans rights in September, but frighteningly it has taken until late October for anyone to take notice of the messaging, with a somewhat predictable and, frankly, tired outcry on Twitter – proving that decent messaging has zombie potential.

It is a brave thing to do, but not stupid; it is not alienating its wider customer base, just including a minority of its existing customers. Simple, positive, purposeful PR that came back from the dead!

Trick

Fray Bentos

Not so much a miss by Fray Bentos, but it was trending on Twitter as a result of the “demon” Conservative MPs voting against free meals for school kids, using the argument that Fray Bentos pies (and the like) were being traded for drugs as a monetary alternative.

It just felt that one decent, funny reactive line from Fray Bentos could have exposed the ridiculousness of the comments and denial of politicians to give deserving kids a 'treat' - a decent square meal.


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