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Struggling supermarket chain Morrisons has ruffled more than just a few feathers with its latest stunt activity.

Desperate to compete with everyone’s current favourite store, Aldi, and position itself as the low price, high quality place to pick up your groceries, Morrisons has gone all guns blazing with the slogan, “I’m cheaper.”

Great idea, I thought initially. It’s simple, to the point and carries a direct message. It also lends itself to a wealth of fun PR and advertising opportunities.

So, when a giant baguette was projected onto the Angel of the North, carrying the chain’s new strapline, I was completely baffled. Creative stunts can be an extremely effective way of portraying a brand’s key messages quickly and boldly, but every minute detail must be taken into prior consideration if it’s to be successful.

None other than Antony Gormley – the creator of the installation – has publically expressed his outrage, stating that a clause was agreed that confirmed the statue would not be illuminated. North East residents have not held back at fuelling the backlash either.

Gateshead MP, Ian Mearns, slammed the supermarket saying it should have “used its loaf” before going ahead with the advert. He added: “I doubt very much that they had permission for this. Antony Gormley clearly never intended the Angel to be used like this, and Morrisons should know better. This is just tacky.”

The supermarket is understandably mortified by the public’s reaction. Inherently proud of being northern, Morrisons’ pricing strategy was structured to increase the brand’s appeal (not to mention sales) in the north of England, but instead, this may have done some long-term damage.

We love undertaking a stunt here at Peppermint Soda and enjoy reading about them in the news, too. But to get it right, you must do your research. It’s imperative to fully understand the area you’re dealing with, gain permission from all third parties and perform a SWOT analysis to gauge the various outcomes to calculate the pros and cons.

Here are a few that have hit the mark over the last few years and still have us talking about them today:

  • Paddy Power’s ‘Free Lions’ football t-shirts were created as a backlash to the new £90 England tops.
  • Ultimo’s stampede of campaigning cosmetic surgeons outside Selfridges after its new push-up bras went on sale in the store.
  • Chengdu’s panda-monium strikes London to draw attention to the UK’s first ever Panda Awareness Week.

Take note Morrisons – these are stellar examples of PR and show that the right stunt can be worth its weight in gold.