2019’s Creative Campaigns #6 – Name A COCKROACH After Your Ex

You can now name a cockroach after your ex. Yep, you heard that right. And though it sounds bizarre, I’m pretty sure everyone has a name in mind, right?

Well, that’s why this campaign – headed up by Hemsley Conservation Centre – is genius. Because it’s so simple yet so effective, so relatable yet so aberrant and so funny yet so clever too. It goes to show that you don’t need to have the biggest brand or most lavish PR budget in order to be successful in the practice. In fact, all you really need is one or two cracking creative minds who also have the capability to see the campaign through from start to end. And though my ‘creative campaigns’ series has largely been dominated by big brands so far, that’s not to say that smaller businesses and organisations can’t be brilliant PRs too. In fact, they’re the kind that retain the benefits of media relations much more so.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, I haven’t even explained the campaign, yet I’m already diving into how brilliant it is. So let’s step back a few feet and have a look at the ins and outs of HCC’s ‘name a cockroach campaign’.

Finally – you can name a cockroach after your ex!

Inane pranks, targeted at people you’re not particularly fond of (like ex’s and shitty friends) aren’t new. A few years it caught my eye that you can send a literal envelope full of glitter to your enemies or even your frenemies. Checking back now, the company – shipyourenemiesglitter – has become a fully fledged business; demonstrating that there’s a clear demand for this stuff, guys.

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It’s nuts, but it’s also genius. Who wants to receive a package of glitter that really does get everywhere? Not me, nor.. anybody else (I assume). 

You can also ship out potatoes, foul-smelling candles, mayonnaise (at first I was like ???, but receiving mayo through the post is actually pretty gross, so I get it now) and even empty boxes. In fact, this article compiles 15 things you can send to the people you really hate (there’s a plethora of em), and I’m not ashamed to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading about it.

But anyway, back to the ‘roaches.

The popularity of this kind of initiative shows that there’s a clear market for petty revenge, and therefore if you’ve got the ideas and the facilities – why not capitalise on it?

Well, that’s exactly what HCC has done, noting on their website that…

“For those that don’t quite require revenge, there’s another way to make you feel better about getting back at your ex this Valentine’s Day.

​The HCC is offering the chance to name a cockroach in honor of your friend’s worthless ex-“someone” on this special holiday of love.

We are highlighting these creatures through our ‘name a cockroach programme’ (we think adopt is a little too strong, after all – you probably don’t want to adopt your friend’s ex) to raise money for our projects at the zoo.”

Fair do’s!

Offering anybody and everybody the chance to name one of the HCC’s cockroaches after an ex right in time for valentines day for a cool £1.50 – it’ll be hard for some to say no. And what more, the money goes towards funding vital zoo projects, so it’s a PR campaign with a cause too. (The best kind).

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I just know my best friends would love the latter option…

It’s a little bit silly, granted; but none of the best ideas ever stem from being ordinary.

What I LOVE about this campaign

I make it pretty apparent on my blog that I’m a massive fan of a creative campaign – and this one pulls out all the stops.

What I love the most about it, is just how effortless it is. By utilising a resource they already have and through being a little bit quirky with their PR ideas, the HCC have built up a great reactive PR campaign (which is bang on time for seasonal content with Valentine’s day a month away) that’s earned a great deal of press and social media coverage already, too.

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Everybody’s talking about it, and I can’t really blame them. Here I am talking about it too – it’s that kind of campaign.

But what I also really respect about this creative campaign is the benefits that the Hemsley Conservation Centre should reap off the back of it. Not only has their name already been spread across all of the top ten publications – alongside others – and social media too, but it’s also the kind of PR project that will land them multiple benefits. Given the widespread coverage, I wouldn’t be surprised if HCC fills all of their cockroach naming slots, which will help them to raise essential funds to keep the zoo running.

And not only this, but as you can opt to include the name of your ex on the board, this initiative should encourage people to visit the zoo too. Improving footfalls and increasing profits – this campaign truly goes above and beyond in its benefits. For most, brand mentions are enough, but HCC will enjoy thrice the advantages – and rightly so too.

If you’d like to name a cockroach after your ex, you can do so here. I mean, why wouldn’t you after all?

Image credit:

P.s. – Thank You!

pr marketing comms finalist badge

I’m not quite done yet either. I’m in a small but brilliant pool of talented and creative writers, and I too often feel as though I don’t belong here. Therefore, to be in amongst the finalists for the UK blog awards for best PR, Marketing and Comms blog means so much to me… Beyond words.

It’s amazing in fact.

Therefore, I just wanted to say a big… No, a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who voted for me in the awards. 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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