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Softening the blow

13 June 2016 | Abbie-Jaye Wilson

Liquor company, Beirão, released an excellent example of reactive PR last week in the form of a video.

Following a horrific kick to the head of England’s Harry Kane from Portugal’s Bruno Alves, during a pre Euro2016 ‘friendly’ between the two teams, Beirão decided to make a cheeky video directed at the unfortunate Tottenham star.

Whilst everyone watching winced at the sight of the brutal challenge (which earned a deserved red card), you may have spotted the bright yellow advertisement on the side line. The unfortunate (or perhaps fortunate) timing saw Beirão’s name plastered everywhere alongside the image of the kick.

Not content with merely having the name widely distributed as part of commentary on the incident, the firm seized on the opportunity to maximise the PR potential and realised a video of an apology to the striker.

In the firm’s video, a man was seen to handwrite a letter to Harry Kane, apologising from the company for what happened and to emphasise that they did not have any association with the tackle (you could say it looked like they sponsored the kick, with their banner shown so prominently behind the image). In a gesture of goodwill Beirão also wanted to soften the blow (pun intended) by giving Harry a bottle of its (now) world famous liquor, and give him a ‘different taste of Portugal’.

The letter contained some funny football/softer kick related wit, before ending with the comment that the colour of the card the company was sending was only yellow because of its branding – they agreed it was a red card challenge.

The cheeky marketing stunt has since been watched more than 300,000 times on YouTube, alone.

It’s a great example of thinking on your feet and seizing an opportunity that you couldn’t have foreseen, so well done to Beirão.