With regrets from the Christmas party still fresh in our minds, this week we find ourselves feeling a little reflective. Barely two weeks of 2018 remain but this rollercoaster of a year seems determined to go out with a bang.
Whilst some have sailed though it unscathed, others have crashed and burned in the wake of twelve months of relentless drama. The media landscape has been no different – some have managed to roll the proverbial in glitter, but others could only watch helplessly as it hit the fan before their very eyes.
Back in July KFC, the chicken focused fast food retailer, found itself hitting the headlines as it ran out of… chicken. After a change of supplier led to a breakdown in their distribution network the Colonel was left with a red face and a flock of disappointed customers. This could have been a major publicity disaster but the retailer, with the help of marketing agency Mother, released a simple but effective creative that humanised the error and brought humour to a difficult and financially costly situation. Humour can be a double-edged sword but the simplicity and honesty of their response won them both praise and awards. This was a huge coup for mother who, in the face of a PR shutdown, instead gave KFC the campaign they never knew they needed.
Newton’s Third Law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Today is no exception – by showing the success of KFC we must also highlight a spectacular fail. Back in September the Irish TV channel TG4 reported on the tragic story of a tourist that was killed when her caravan was blown off a cliff. Unfortunately for the channel, one of the 6 idents that played in rotation around the news aired just before the reporter covered this story and the parallels could not have been worse. This was an incredibly specific conflux of events but serves as a stark reminder that ads take on a life of their own as soon as they go live – any change in context, politics or news can rapidly change how a creative is viewed.
YouTube’s annual Rewind is normally a highlight but this year it is set to break Justin Bieber’s dislike record to become the platform’s most disliked video of all time. YouTube Rewind encourages users to “pause, rewind and remember the videos, people and events” that define each year. However this year’s video has missed the mark completely, and has been met with severe backlash as it failed to feature many of YouTube’s top creators including Pewdiepie, whose battle for the top with Bollywood channel T Series has been a defining topic on the platform in 2018. Pewdiepie (real name Felix Kjellberg) is currently sitting at 76 million subscribers, and has released a reaction video in which he criticised the Rewind video, pointing out that it failed to reflect the key moments that defined the year, left out many of the top creators but featured people who are not YouTube personalities. “I remember Rewind [used to be] something that seemed like an homage to the creators that year,” he says in the video. “It was something cool to be a part of. “Now it’s like I’m almost glad I’m not in it, because it’s such a cringey video at this point. It’s so disconnected with the community and its creators”.
Re-e-wind, when the crowd say booooo – selecta!