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Posts Tagged ‘Olympics’

50 Shades of PR Strategies: It’s All about Nudity

From Gabby Douglas to #NBCFAIL, the 2012 London Olympics has been a raucous spectacle of PR intrigue, triumph and disasters. For PR geeks, these games have been an absolute blast. And when it’s all over, when it’s all said and done, we’ll all be talking about that one moment of the Olympics that will remain forever etched in our memories: the women’s water polo wardrobe malfunction.

Move over Janet Jackson. Say hello to the lustful carnival of floating skin that is women’s water polo. That’s right, last Wednesday during a qualifying match between the USA and Spain, American player Kami Craig briefly exposed a Spanish player’s breast during an underwater skirmish. NBC aired the incident to the world, which hasn’t been the same since. Just imagine it. An entire breast. Under water.

The salacious chlorinated romp lasted for entire seconds, and will live forever on the Internet. In fact, today, this article headlined the New York Times website. There are plenty of companies and brands that will pay handsomely for that level of exposure PR. Now they all know what to do. Nudity never fails. Sex sells. Every PR expert knows this well, though not every PR campaign capitalizes on this knowledge.

One brand that nailed it is Ragú. Yes, sexy Ragú, that sultry red pasta sauce tantalizingly separated from the public by glass like a prostitute in Amsterdam. Even better: Its’ funny. Take a look:

Wait, Gabby Douglas Has A PR Problem?

Defying gravityFirst the obvious: Brilliant young gymnast Gabby Douglas, Olympic gold medalist and winner of a “potential endorsement goldmine,” slipped a bit in last night’s balance beam competition, falling to seventh in the rankings as the 2012 gymnastics events drew to a close.

But does the new individual world champ need a strategic PR adjustment? Sally Jenkins of The Washington Post seems to think so.  Her basic message to Douglas: ignore the noise. In the wake of overwhelming media scrutiny of her every move, her family history, and even her hairstyle, the newly crowned queen of the mat supposedly complained of anxiety and had trouble sleeping; after her less-celebrated performance yesterday, she admitted that she was “kinda tired” and all but confirmed that the endless coverage had affected her in a negative way.

While Jenkins certainly has a point about the very aggressive questioning Douglas received from every corner of the press, we have to wonder: Did Gabby really need a handler to “shut her down and [take] away her electronics”? Would a strict media-free regimen work for a star whose genuine naivety is the key to her charm? Should she be closely advised to avoid discussing sensitive subjects?

Most importantly: Why can’t everyone just let her be herself, celebrate her achievements and stop blatantly attempting to amplify the drama?

Oh wait: We just answered our own question, didn’t we?

Oreo Celebrates Mars Landing with Red Crème Cookie

The red planet now has a matching cookie counterpart — or at least a picture of one. The latest installment of Oreo‘s “Daily Twist” campaign, which uses the famous treat to represent major historical events through daily photographs, paid homage to yesterday’s successful Mars landing by NASA‘s Curiosity rover.

Sadly for those of us who would like to recreate the landing with a tiny replica of the rover and a red crème Oreo (and then snack on it), no such cookie is actually available for purchase.

The “Daily Twist” campaign has previously honored events like pride month and the Olympics. To see the full series, take a peek at Oreo’s Facebook page. Or, if you have an idea for an upcoming “twist”, you can submit it here.


British Optical Shop Turns Olympics Gaffe into Ad Campaign

It certainly didn’t seem that there would be any positive reactions to last week’s Olympics blunder that caused the image of a South Korean flag to be displayed on the big screen in Scotland’s Hampden Park as the North Korean women’s soccer team took the field. To say that the two countries are bitter rivals is putting it mildly — we’re not talking Red Sox/Yankees here, we’re talking major and long-standing diplomatic and political conflict.

Reactions were, therefore, what one might expect. Supporters of the North Korean team were understandably horrified, and the team itself walked off the field in protest, refusing to return for over an hour. Obligatory finger-pointing and apologies followed.

But one bold reaction to the gaffe was a bit less standard, and has come from a British optical shop in the form of a new advertising campaign. According to Reuters, Specsavers, a chain of contact lens and glasses sellers, often uses ads featuring embarrassing cases of mistaken identity to urge customers to get their eyes checked, the tagline being: “Should have gone to Specsavers.” In keeping with that theme, the company has taken out advertisements in national newspapers (image above) suggesting that the whole faux pas could have been avoided, had Olympics officials only visited a Specsavers for an eye exam prior to the game.

Somehow, I’m not sure the London-based video producer who was found to be at fault for the mix-up will see the humor in the ad. No pun intended.

Mitt Romney’s London PR Gaffe gets Funnier

(Jason Reed/AP)

There has been no shortage of Olympics-related PR gaffes leading up to the start of the games, which are set to kick off with the opening ceremonies in London tonight. Recent headlines have included everything from the backlash over foreign-made Team USA uniforms, to the dismissal of a Greek athlete due to an insensitive tweet. And now presidential candidate Mitt Romney has joined the ranks of those scrambling to clean up self-made PR messes before the games begin.

According to The Huffington Post, Romney, while in London earlier this week, offended British leaders and citizens alike by questioning the city’s preparedness during an NBC News interview that aired on Wednesday evening. “The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials — that obviously is not something which is encouraging,” he said. He also called some of the potential issues “disconcerting.”

On Thursday, in what some believe was a jab at Romney’s leadership of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, British Prime Minister David Cameron responded to Romney’s remarks by saying, “We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.”

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Spain’s Olympic Logo Getting the Thumbs Down

Spain’s Olympic committee has revealed the logo for its bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics (left). It was designed by a 22-year-old graphic arts student, and is meant to incorporate an “M” for Madrid and arches from one of that city’s landmarks, the Puerta de Alcala. General consensus: It is terrible.

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