5 proven PR stunt strategies to grab headlines at home and abroad

4. Call to controversy – Call of Duty developers spread terror 

Bad taste or good marketing? Anyone into video games will know of the war simulation series of first person perspective ‘shoot-em-ups’ under the banner of Call of Duty. 

Recently the game’s Twitter feed sparked controversy by sending out fake messages of a terror attack taking place in Singapore. Whilst obviously condemned as bad taste by many – the screenshots from gameplay of the latest version of the game were soon making world press alongside the story.

The 5 big brands bitten by online retail and marketing mistakes

5. Make a whopping gesture – Burger King proposes joining forces with McRival

Burger King announced to the world it proposed McDonalds joined forces with Burger King to make a McWhopper hybrid burger, in line with the UN’s International Day of Peace.

McDonald’s penned a slightly prickly public response saying ‘let’s acknowledge that between us there is simply a friendly business competition and certainly not the unequalled circumstances of the real pain and suffering of war.’ 

From the invitation to the response the whole exchange erupted in the media worldwide as the result. Arguably this PR stunt probably did both a favour in the international newsfeeds.

It’s not the first time Burger King has been embarrassed in a link to its fast food rival. In 2013, the firm had its Twitter account hacked and the cyber criminals changed all BK branding to that of McDonald’s and sent offensive tweets.

Richard Forsyth works for website marketing company Varn Media

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