Dunkin’ Donuts are the PR losers with their insensitive ad

All right folks the biggest news, which does not require any PR, this week, is of course of Thalaivar joining Facebook and Twitter. Now, who else but @SuperstarRajini would get such an official welcome from Twitter on the home page of every Twitter user in India! Commence the Lungi dance now!

So while communicators grind their teeth at the ease with which Ranjikanth gathers PR momentum, here’s a roundup of what’s good and what’s bad in the world of PR this week.

Bad PR

Dunkin’ Donuts calls its chicken wrap bipolar! 

In a completely insensitive full page print ad, placed in Sunday’s Gurgaon Times, Dunkin’ Donuts refers to its chicken and mango wrap as bipolar. Plus, it is coupled with other words such as complex and crazy.

Check out the ad here:

Picture: Clicked from the 4th May edition of the Gurgaon Times

In a country where mental illness is rarely talked about and reviled, to use the word bipolar is an ad is just plain insensitive and shows little understanding of what the word means. WHO estimates that there are over 254 million people who suffer from bipolar disorder worldwide.

Celebrities like Catherine Zeta Jones and Ted Turner have talked about their experience with bipolar disorder, so it’s not like people are not aware of the challenges involved.

#BadPR Dunkin’ Donuts, no donuts for you! And please don’t say the ad raises awareness about bipolar!

Good PR

Transgender group promotes seat belt safety in this great video by Ogilvy

Transgender groups are a common sight at important functions in India such as weddings and the birth of a child. People seek their blessings for such occasions. Which is why VithU and Ogilvy and Mather, Mumbai came up with this great drive for wearing seat belts, setting up ‘The Seatbelt Crew’, made up of transgender individuals. The message is simple, wear your seatbelt and take our blessings.

Watch the video here:

Pond’s run #PondsSelfieReady campaign with the 30 best selfies to be on Ponds billboards

I know there has been an overdose of Selfie based branded campaigns, but bear with me. In April, as many as 3 large brands: Vodafone, Mahindra and Nokia rode the Selfie wave with some interesting campaigns with IPL fans and SUVs. 

Now Pond’s latest campaign asks women to send in their #PondsSelfieReady picture to win a chance to be part of the 30 best selfie’s which will be put up on billboards across 6 cities of India.

There is even a Selfie song:

I like the idea of putting consumers up on billboards – nothing quite as thrilling as being on your own billboard, but I suspect the Selfie needs some major reinventing for brands to continue to use this trend. Also, I wish the contest didn’t involve a “White Beauty” cream. Given India’s colour bias, these creams really should be banned for the stereotypes they perpetuate. 

Good PR

Berger Paints #EasyCleanIndia campaign is pretty good to look at, as well as good PR for the brand

Election season is the biggest story peg for brands, especially an election which has seen a surging pride among Indian voters about tackling its real issues rather than the caste-religious narrative. Even those from the economically challenged section of society increasingly want jobs and development, rather than a hand-out.

Berger Paints taps into this desire to march forward without the baggage of the past. A specially prepared and very pretty microsite asks people to vote for one of the seven issues they want to #EasyCleanIndia from:

Corruption naturally leads the charge of issues, but sad to see gender bias as the last priority.

The campaign is also tech savvy; it’s very easy to share your vote on Twitter and Facebook once you have generated it with an automatic and clean and simple vote button.

Intelligent use of the election peg with the company’s brand messaging and values. A campaign that has understood what the voters are feeling.

Have you seen any good and bad PR?

Write to Paarul Chand at paarul@prmoment.in or tweet @PaarulC or @PRmomentIndia throughout the week and we’ll happily credit you for your trouble.

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