'Missing ingredient left a sting in the tail' - Creative Hits & Misses of the Week

AxiCom UK creative director Graeme Anthony casts his critical eye over this week's creative offerings.

'Missing ingredient left a sting in the tail' - Creative Hits & Misses of the Week


William Shatner x Blue Origin

Over the decades we’ve sent some weird and wonderful things into space for out-of-this-world publicity: pies, crisps, smartphones and even a Tesla. But Wednesday saw PR take a giant leap by sending William Shatner up amongst the stars.

Now granted this wasn’t the first and certainly won’t be the last but there’s a huge amount of merit in Blue Origin’s selection process and who better than Bill as someone who would drive more publicity than all the other maiden voyages whilst proving that age is no barrier when it comes to this ‘bucket list’ excursion?

It also felt poetic that Captain Kirk should get this honour after capturing the imagination of millions of children and no doubt inspiring many to follow those dreams into the new reality of accessible space exploration. The key question... what’s next as we enter this new creative frontier?

Squid Games x Thames Valley Road Policing

Whether we like to admit it or not... luck plays such an important role in everything we do. Arguably our entire profession is one big game of chance. Even down to the core commodity of whether a story will make or not and I suspect it’s that gamble of risk versus reward that makes this profession so addictive and PRs a very special breed of marketer.

But luck can also provide creative opportunity as long as you’re vigilant enough to spot it and hungry enough to act on it. Much like Thames Valley Police who this week showcased that even the firm hand of the law has a softer side when they investigated road signs seemingly directing motorists to The Squid Games.

Special commendation for tonally opening their Tweet with: "Evening all."


Punishment x Thursday

It’s been hard to miss the recent exploits of Thursday, but this week saw the dating app at it again by placing men across London with homemade placards that read: "I cheated on my girlfriend on Thursday and this is my punishment."

A lot of the debate focuses around the morality of the message and decency of the delivery. Yet last week we were applauding a girl chained to a lamp-post but this week we’re outraged by guys wearing placards. And it’s fascinating to examine why two similar examples of (let’s be blunt) humiliation, should be received and interpreted so differently by its audiences.

For me, the margin between hit and miss was Anya Jackson – the intrepid paid intern who loves her job so much that she’s willing to do anything and everything for her campaign to be a success. And that was the missing ingredient that left a sting in the tail of this week’s activation.

Regardless, it’s always exciting to see fresh new talent such as Anya really explode onto the scene in such an audacious and maverick manner and despite this particular execution being a ‘miss’... she’s still a big hit! You can’t win them all and, as ad industry legend David Kennedy - who passed away on 10 October - often told us: don’t be afraid to ‘fail harder’.

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