Parody PR Perfectly Executed

I came across two excellent examples of parody PR today that I thought I’d share with you.

The first is from Paddy Power, who truly have become the masters of mischief with some excellent stunt work in recent years. The scamps erected a statue of sacked Manchester United manager, David Moyes at Anfield on a plinth inscribed with ‘for services to Liverpool Football Club’ suggesting that the club’s poor performance under Moyes may well hand the title to Liverpool.

This isn’t the first time the Irish betting boys have had a pop at Moyes – earlier in his brief tenure as manager they unveiled a waxwork Alex Ferguson in a glass case with the words ‘in case of emergency break glass’!

David Moyes Paddy Power Parody PR
‘For Services To Liverpool Football Club’ – Paddy Power’s Joke at David Moyes expense

The second, was from Orderella – a British app that allows you to order and pay for food and drink through your smartphone. Their tweet this morning poked fun at the O2 ‘Be More Dog’ advertisements:

I’ve never really liked the  campaign from O2, I don’t really get it and don’t find the ads or Youtube videos particularly funny (but perhaps that’s just me), if you’re unfamiliar with the campaign I’ve included a clip below.

However, I do love Orderella’s #BeMoreSloth parody – I mean who doesn’t love a sloth?! Regardless of whether the app actually catches on or if anyone actually uses it this cheeky tweet has certainly made me smile today, and no doubt countless others too!

This type of parody PR is tricky to get right, it needs to be simple enough for people to understand the joke, but clever enough and funny enough for people to want to share it on social networks – this is after all why brands use this technique. Get it wrong and you end up looking a bit of a prat!

Paddy Power now have a reputation for pulling off these kind of stunts, but many others are doing similar things. It’s a great way of getting a bit of buzz online, building links and increasing SEO as well as growing audiences on social platforms and creating a bit of personality around a brand.

What are your favourite examples of parody PR or social stunts? Let me know below.

Matt Silver

CIPR Accredited PR Practitioner who helps technology companies tell their stories at Babel PR – a London-based integrated communications agency for brands in the digital economy. A PRCA member with over seven years of experience in strategic communications, Matt relishes the opportunity to get under the skin of complex issues, and develop integrated communications solutions that deliver commercial results for clients. Working with some of the biggest names in technology, Matt’s been tasked with everything from launching new mobile devices, to putting supercomputers on the international space station. A frequently frustrated follower of both politics and Scottish rugby, beyond the world of work Matt takes a keen interest in fine food and drink, as well as getting out and about in the countryside.