Bagels at dawn: Food and drink PR stunts with real bite

Disclaimer – no bagels feature in the following post.

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With supermarkets up and down the nation running out of much that keeps Britain sane- Hellman’s mayo, Cornetto ice creams- Uber Eats now open for business, and Amazon planning on setting up a grocery business, it seems everyone is talking about food PR.

Of course in this office that conversation never stops, given our track record for promoting delicious brands to the taste-loving public. Nevertheless, in the spirit of seizing a moment it seemed sensible to pen something on this specialist marketing area. Without further ado, then, here are four fantastic food and drink PR stunts with real bite, from the last couple of months.

Grandma’s cooking 

Less PR stunt, more USP with emphasis on the SP (and U, for that matter), New York eatery Enoteca Maria is putting the past at the centre of its modern business by employing grandmas in the kitchen. Starting out with just one- an expert in Italian cooking- she is now joined by a different peer with a penchant for one of 30 global cuisines on a nightly rotation. Bookings are being taken from as far afield as Australia, with tourists from Down Under keen to make sure they don’t miss out during their Big Apple break.

Celebrating disloyalty 

Closer to home, independent brew masters Art of Tea, in the leafy South Manchester suburb of Didsbury, recently came up with the idea of giving loyalty card-style discounts to customers in possession of a loyalty card from any major coffee shop chain. A bid to get people shopping locally, it’s definitely the kind of move that gets people talking, with coverage coming in from the likes of AOL once the campaign went live.

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DIY dinners 

Flatpack giant IKEA is opening its own pop-up restaurant in Shoreditch. Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, diners will have to sort out their own tea if they actually want to eat anything, although celebrated chefs will be on hand to guide and advise, making this a little like an expert cookery lesson for up to 20 friends. Whether it will be rolled out globally is unclear, but either way headlines are coming once the first tables start filling up.

And now for something completely different 

One of Asia’s biggest beverage brands, Tiger Beer, decided to make headlines without mentioning drinks at all, drawing some much-needed attention to environmental issues in the process- specifically the infamous air quality problems in cities like Beijing, Hong Kong, and Mumbai. More than 150-litres of Air Ink was produced with extracted particles of pollution, equivalent to 2,500 hours of diesel car emissions, before being given to artists so they could create new work from the waste. Research is underway to produce commercially available products, which is worthy of stories in more than a few newspaper sections.

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