2019’s Creative Campaigns #2 – The Birdbox Challenge

Who’d heard of the ‘Birdbox challenge’ before yesterday, not me – that’s for sure. So, if it’d have fit in the box, the title of this one really would have been ‘Netflix warns people NOT to do ‘Birdbox challenge’, raises awareness of it (and the movie) instead’. 

But unfortunately, it didn’t. So, for now, your title is simply ‘Netflix’s Birdbox challenge’, but you get the jist by now anyway, right?

Anyway, truth be told, I still don’t really know what said ‘Birdbox challenge’ is. The point is though, I’ve certainly heard of it now if nothing else. And that’s not only because Netflix’s tweet has gone pretty viral across social media streams, but also because it’s now been covered in every paper from here to Timbuktu. Trust me, just type in ‘Netflix birdbox challenge’ into Google News and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.

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The power of Twitter and a bit of humour… 

Okay sure, one idiot and his mate thought it’d be a good idea to walk around blindfolded for 24 hours, but please don’t dum the rest of us down with him. Until yesterday, nobody – with the exception of a couple – were doing this challenge. But now, following Netflix’s amplified tweet, everybody knows about it. And the easily led amongst us will probably give it a go too. All the while, of course, promoting the film which has already been a massive hit. But a bit more publicity never goes amiss, eh?

*DISCLAIMER: it’s not funny nor clever to walk around blindfolded all day, you could seriously hurt yourself or others. So don’t do it. (Not that the people who read my blog would ever need to be told that anyway).*

Intentional, non-intentional, do I care either way?

I’m ever a sceptic now that I work in PR, so I do have to question whether Netflix actually wrote the tweet with the lone intention to raise more awareness of the film. To be honest, they probably did. But, even if there were sole moral intentions behind the said post then we still need to remember that ‘everything we do and say is PR’ and whether they meant it or not, it’s a good gig.

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I can’t believe we live in a world where people will willingly end up in hospital BECAUSE of memes

Though Birdbox has already been a national, if not international hit, since its release – largely in thanks to social media – the key thing to remember when planning PR campaigns is not to get ahead of yourself with a short-term win. Though public relations is a fast-paced industry, and most stunts are forgotten about almost as soon as they come about, you still want to be sure that you’re reinforcing the promotion of a product or service time and time again. Therefore, as a quick bid to raise the popularity of the film (which, though initially super popular, was pushed to the back seat amid the hype around Greggs’ new vegan sausage rolls), I don’t doubt that Netflix’s tweet was a planned attempt to raise the popularity of the blockbuster once again.

And, even if it wasn’t, it still did a bloody great job.

Why this ‘stunt’ is GREAT, by all means and aspects

What I like the most about this social media gag, whether it was preempted or not, is that it raises awareness of the challenge and moreover the film, but also warns one AGAINST doing it. Though backfiring on them to some extent (many are quick to reply saying they didn’t even know about the challenge, but that they do now), there are still good intentions behind the tweet – which shows a genuine compassion to stop people harming themselves, but it also works PR wonders for them too.

Two bird(box)s with one stone, if you like

Not only this, but I’ll forever be a big fan of Netflix as a business in general. From their supersonic global expansion as a brand, to their chatty and relatable tone of voice on social media – I think they’re a great organisation all in all. (Oh, and not to mention they keep me good company most nights with yet-another TV series or a movie I’ve watched a billion times).

So, intentional or not, Netflix’s tweet has taken the second spot of my ‘creative campaign’s of 2019’ already. 4 days in and 2 campaigns down is not bad going at all, eh. And not only this, but I have another 2 similar posts in the pipeline for the next couple of days. If only I find the time to write them. (My lunch breaks used to be about eating, now they’re about blogging – weird.)

So keep a look out for em’. And do let me know your thoughts on that Netflix tweet in the comments below.

P.s. – Thank You!

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I’m not quite done yet either. I just wanted to say a big, no a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who voted for me in the UK Blog awards for best PR, Marketing & Communication blog. I’m really super pleased to say I am now an official finalist. If it wasn’t for the people who read my blog and support me every day, I almost certainly wouldn’t bother. So for that, endless gratitude is in order. Thank you.

While you’re here, please subscribe to my blog by heading back to my homepage and entering your email on the right-hand side of the page.

PR and lifestyle blogger jessica pardoe

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