'How am I supposed to ignore Nicki Minaj's reputational rollercoaster?' – Creative Hits and Misses of the Week

Tom Winterton, director at Engine Mischief, casts his critical eye over this week's creative offerings.

'How am I supposed to ignore Nicki Minaj's reputational rollercoaster?' – Creative Hits and Misses of the Week

HITS

Airbnb, 'Bearbnb'

Anyone who rolled their eyes at this: SHAME ON YOU. Yes, we’ve all pitched an Airbnb route or five, but this one is just great and it has gone everywhere from Mail Online to Hypebeast. It’s a neat idea, but the creative execution is what sets this apart. Bringing in bona fide Disney Winnie the Pooh illustrator Kim Raymond means that the house looks like something straight out of the books and the story is full of visual and narrative detail. It’s all for a good cause, as well, with proceeds from the rental going to Together For Short Lives. Love it.

Rapper Dan Sur replaces his hair with gold chains

In a week of strong looks, 23-year-old Mexican rapper Dan Sur reached every conceivable corner of the internet after becoming "the first rapper to have gold hair implanted in human history". Sur has been rocking the look since April, but the story blew up over the weekend and you’ve got to say, it’s distinctive. Trying to cut through as a new artist is incredibly competitive and I’m heartened that just doing something visually mad still works as a way to get attention in 2021. According to Dazed, the rapper’s TikTok following grew from 12,000 to two million since he revealed the procedure. Can’t argue with those numbers.

Aesop Queer Library

After Pride was cancelled for a second year, Aesop Soho and Borough cleared their shelves of pricey hand creams and replaced them with 6,500 books from LGBTQIA+ authors. Customers were welcome to come and help themselves to one of 80 titles, whether they bought Aesop products or not. In a sea of identikit Pride activations, this one really stood out and – I’d hope – will inspire other brands and creatives to try a bit harder if they do decide to commit to this space.

Brook, #StopCyberFlashing

Big fan of this work from young person’s sexual health charity Brook. Cause-based campaigns can often be a bit vague, but here you’ve got a clear issue; cyberflashing is the act of sending nude pictures to someone without their consent, and right now it exists in a legal grey area. The campaign has a direct call to action: tweet your MP and get them to sort it out. Throw in some arresting visuals, a whole campaign toolkit Trello board anyone can access to get involved, some compelling copy (“It’s illegal to flash someone IRL so why not online?”) and you have an unmistakable hit.

MISSES

Pretty Little Thing, 'Never Forget'

ICYMI: fashion brand Pretty Little Thing tweeted a picture of the Twin Towers on 11 September with the phrase "Never Forget" and the date. Fairly innocuous. However, the image is designed in a way you’d be hard-pressed to say isn’t ‘branded’ and gives the solemn subject major #aesthetic vibes (as various wits ask in the replies: "Where’s the discount code?"). It featured all the standard Twitter vs brand replies that I personally find hilarious and then got some pick-up in the traditional press. All in all, hard for the PLT social team to sell this one as a winner when reviewing September’s social output. They haven’t deleted it, though, which I kind of respect.

Nicki Minaj: a week

The brief for this column specifically asks for the writer to focus on creative comms campaigns, ‘not just good and bad PR’ – but, John Harrington, how am I supposed to ignore the reputational rollercoaster of a week Nicki Minaj has had?

First, it was reported she’d skipped the Met Gala over COVID-19 vaccine requirements (which she denies). Nicki then did her best Jay-from-the-Inbetweeners impression, claiming “My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent. His testicles became swollen.” Anyone thinking that was the end of it would be sadly mistaken, as Professor Chris Whitty got involved by rebuffing these claims ("beefing", as the ever-present Piers Morgan would have us believe), and the next thing you know Minaj is dropping voicenotes to Boris Johnson on Twitter claiming – among other things – that she went to school with Margaret Thatcher. As of Wednesday, Complex reports the rapper is looking for new management; any takers among the PRWeek readership?

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