Ronaldo, Turing, and a ‘terrifying’ song

Henry Warrington, partner at Third City, casts his eye over creative offerings from the past seven days. Check out his Creative Hits & Misses – first published in PR Week.


Ikea’s Cristiano

Product (dis)placement has been one of the most intriguing subplots to this year’s Euros.

What started with Cristiano Ronaldo removing Coke from a press conference was followed by Pogba dismissing Heineken and then Andriy Yarmolenko – sensing a brand opportunity – cheekily showcasing the sponsor’s bottles in his post-match interview. Someone was going to capitalise on Cokegate… enter Ikea Canada, nailing it with a simple design hijack – creating an ad for a reusable water bottle named Cristiano ‘for water only’, which soon went viral.

Bank of England and Snapchat’s Pride of Britain

The new £50 note featuring Alan Turing entered circulation this week, not only to coincide with the pioneering codebreaker’s birthday, but also Pride Month – recognising his posthumous royal pardon in 2013 for his 1952 conviction for gross indecency. What really brings it all to life is a partnership with Snapchat – anyone who comes across the new note can apply an augmented reality lens via the app, animating the image into a rainbow codebreaking machine that tells the story of Turing’s achievements.

The Lost Class

Looking to the US, former NRA president and current board member, David Keene, held a speech at the James Madison Academy graduation ceremony. He called on teens to fight those looking to implement tighter gun restrictions. “My advice to you is simple enough: follow your dream and make it a reality,” he said.

What David didn’t know is that the James Madison Academy doesn’t exist. He was addressing empty chairs – at what he thought was a rehearsal – set up to represent the estimated 3,044 kids who should have graduated high school this year but were instead killed in shootings. Video content of the stunt, organised by Change the Ref (which campaigns for tighter gun control), included real-life calls to 911 about school shootings.


‘One Britain, One Nation’

“Brainwashing”, “stomach-churning” and “hyper-creepy” are just a few of the comments used to describe the One Britain, One Nation song backed by the Department for Education this week. In a tweet, the government department suggested all schools across the UK should sing the song this Friday – featuring lyrics more akin to a North Korean TV broadcast (“Strong Britain, Great Nation!” is repeated four times).

Setting aside the fact some of the home nations seem to have been forgotten (Scottish schools have broken up while Northern Ireland was simply left out), it’s the nationalistic Hitler Youth parallels that turn it from cringeworthy into something far more terrifying.