The power of PR
The unveiling of new signings at football clubs are almost as competitive as the game itself these days, and the confirmation that Alexis Sanchez had headed north to Manchester United was no different. Jose’s latest addition was announced with a video of the star playing ‘Glory, Glory Man United’ on a piano while wearing his new jersey sporting the famous number seven and his first name – not the usual surname – on the back.
Fans instantly took to the web trying to catch a glimpse of the video, but only 24 hours later there was a new footballing star crashing the internet.
Not content with a simple claret and amber scarf above his head on the side-lines of the pitch, Peter Hartley took a leaf out of Man United’s book and made a parody of the Alexis Sanchez video to confirm his deal with Motherwell Football Club. The club’s PR team took one of the most popular videos on the internet at that moment and used it to their advantage by creating a spoof.
Rather than a full-sized piano, the defender was seen having less success playing on a child’s piano before making his way down the tunnel and running onto the rain soaked pitch. The video ended with Peter smashing up the piano and giving a cheeky wink to the camera – but really to Sanchez.
When the video was posted on social media, it was accompanied with the line ‘are we doing this right @ManUnt?’ which was a great way to attract even more views. Manchester United took it as a laugh and tweeted back a picture of Alexis winking.
On a serious note, this stunt demonstrates PR at its best and highlights how effective and engaging campaigns can be. During a busy time, and following one of the biggest footballing deals of the January transfer window, the Motherwell Football Club PR team thought of a way to cut through the noise and ensure they were able to generate some positive coverage for themselves while having a little fun.
This spoof has now had millions of views and interactions on social media, it trended in every country across the world and gained exposure on prime TV slots such as BBC Breakfast and Sky Sports. The video was cleverly shot to ensure all kit and stadium sponsors and advertisers enjoyed airtime whenever it was played. The audience that these companies have been exposed to from this stunt would normally cost them millions, but thanks to the creative minds at Motherwell they have enjoyed this success for free.
Peter Hartley being unveiled as a Motherwell player is definitely my top pick of 2018 PR winners so far – and I’m not just saying that because Motherwell is my hometown, honest.
Written by Sam Stewart, Account Manager