The worst PR stunts (so far) of the holiday season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — if you’re into poorly thought-out PR stunts seemingly designed to burn up “use-it-or-lose-it” marketing budgets. And so far, on this one and possibly only count, 2016 has not disappointed.

Domino’s pizza delivery reindeer
Domino’s is one brand that is already well versed in PR stunts. There was delivery of pies by drone in New Zealand and via an autonomous bot named DRU in Australia.

Last month, the brand announced it would deliver pizza to Japanese customers strapped to the backs of unsuspecting reindeer. However, after trials in Hokkaido, Domino’s abandoned the idea because Rudolph and crew proved too unruly and the food arrived cold. Domino’s is now dressing up scooters as reindeer instead. But, hey, at least we’re left with the footage of it all going wrong.


Febreze’s worst Christmas odors
P&G brand Febreze immortalized the U.K.’s worst Christmas smells (as decided in a survey) in the form of a dozen perfumes. “La Collection De Stinks” included the essence of trash bags, blocked toilets and Brussels sprouts. Sweaty Santa also featured.

Besides being totally pointless, this makes the list because unlike KFC’s previous smelly stunts, it has barely generated any press at all. The smells themselves get a passing mention in the brand’s YouTube skit with presenter Paul O’Grady, but that’s about it.

Monopoly’s helpline
From Christmas Eve, Hasbro’s official Monopoly helpline will provide mediation services for families who have got into an argument over their competing real estate empires. Experts, armed with the rulebook, will be able to give a definitive answer on who is right and wrong.

One redeeming factor: Those who call can also donate money to charity Childline, a hotline that helps young people who require counseling over issues far less trivial than board games.

Peta’s topless turkey

Last week, ever-naked animal rights campaigners Peta created two Christmas-themed displays for shoppers in Liverpool and Birmingham. A giant, fake Christmas dinner lay on the pavement with oversized Brussels sprouts, carrots and naked women posing as turkeys. The aim was to get people to feel empathy for the birds in the frozen section of the supermarkets, but few stopped for a closer look. While on social media, people got hungry for a turkey burger.

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