Publicity Stunts « Taylor Herring

Publicity Stunts

Estate agents and traffic wardens will be replaced by ROBOTS in 50 years, SyFy expert predicts

Posted on January 20th, 2015 in PR Stunts,Publicity Stunts,Technology PR,Television PR.

Exclusive research commissioned to mark the launch of new TV series, Extant, on Syfy

Human workers across a plethora of service sectors and caring professions could be replaced by robots within the next 50 years according to leading British scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock. 

She predicts that some therapeutic care for the elderly and even our children, as well as maligned service sector jobs such as estate agents, traffic wardens and call centre workers could to be replaced by Artificially Intelligent (AI) systems within our lifetimes.

Maggie Aderin-Pocock worked with an artist to reveal her vision of how robots might be used by humans in the future – and according to her they could be very busy indeed, possibly giving us parking tickets and even selling us houses!

Scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock reveals her vision of the futu

These images of the future of AI were commissioned to celebrate the launch of new TV series Extant, which starts on Tuesday 20 January at 9pm on Syfy. 

The series, from Stephen Spielberg and starring Halle Berry, explores the story of a female astronaut trying to reconnect with her husband and unique son, a prototype android called a ‘humanich’, after returning from a year in outer space.

Aderin-Pocock suggested that the rapid advances in technology achieved this century are projected to continue at an astonishing rate, allowing for fully functioning artificial intelligence to no longer be limited to the realms of science fiction. In fact, she predicts that robots will soon be able to replace humans in many areas of the workplace, taking on a variety of jobs across the service and caring sectors.

Scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock reveals her vision of the futu

She states that “to date, mechanisation has generally been used to do the manual, repetitive stuff that we don’t want to do,” explaining that this attitude towards the use of robots is likely to continue “once independently-intelligent beings are manufactured”. Traffic wardens (65%), estate agents (40%) and car salesman (33%) could soon be lost to history as research specially commissioned by Syfy asked 2,000 respondents which jobs they thought were most unpopular and could be amongst the first to go.

Scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock reveals her vision of the futu

The idea of using simplified forms of AI technology in the caring sector is already being tested, with therapeutic robots that respond to the user’s tone and facial expressions, and Dr Aderin-Pocock can only see this increasing.

Since we are living in an aging population, in the future many more resources will be spent on the care of the elderly and there is likely to be an increase in age-related problems such as dementia. Recent studies indicate that external mental stimulation and physical interaction increases the quality of life of older people in care homes. In response to this, there has been a development in therapeutic robots which have shown to have a beneficial effect on many, especially dementia sufferers.

Aderin-Pocock asks “which would you prefer to be in the hands of an overworked, underpaid, disenfranchised worker doing long hours for minimum pay, or a therapeutic robot designed to respond to your every need and engage with you intelligently no matter how many times you have asked the same question? Imagine then, that this unit has access to relevant information about an individual’s past, so it can respond to and converse with the person; finding ways to simulate their thinking as well as monitoring vital signs in order to flag changes early.”

But this could just be the beginning, once we are comfortable with the use of AI technology in the home and see its many benefits, attitudes towards its more general use may be transformed. Aderin-Pocock believes that this technology could filter down to other caring jobs. “Imagine parents or schools being supported by a dedicated childcare unit – your child’s personal friend and teacher; a unit that delivers the right levels of work and play, stimulating our kids to achieve more!”

Further advances in technology could also lead to humans investing in android companions with Aderin-Pocock suggesting wryly that there could be advantages to having a robot companion; “I can see the adverts now… ‘he won’t leave the seat up’”.

Some even believe that in the longer term these ‘perfect partners’ could “lead to a decline in populations, with our needs being fulfilled by artificial relationships restricting opportunities to procreate”. If we extrapolate even further we could one day see the creation “childlike androids that display just the right amount of independence to be interesting but not so much that they become difficult”.  Not a world away from the ‘humanichs’ featured in Extant and the ideas seen in the film AI.  “We are unlikely to see this sort of thing in our lifetimes if it happens at all but it is interesting to imagine the possibilities” said Aderin-Pocock.

 But, although this technological advancement could have a hugely positive impact on our standard of living, it cannot be ignored that it will also affect our employment prospects. If our jobs are completed more efficiently by AI, what room is left for humans? Nearly half of respondents to the Syfy survey (48%) revealed that advances in technology make them fear for their job in future, with 23% admitting that they think a robot could do their job better or more efficiently than they can. But it is not all bad news says Aderin-Pocock as “history has shown that the advance of technology often leaves us free to explore new avenues and we have adapted accordingly.”

Robots already play a vital role in space exploration where they literally go “where no man has gone before” and their use in the future is likely to increase. But what will we be doing with all our extra time? Aderin-Pocock predicts that many of us will be turning to tourism and some of it will be in space. It seems far-fetched now, but she anticipates a boom in human space travel where space becomes accessible to all of us. “It is a revolution we have seen before,” says Aderin-Pocock, “when the Wright Brothers made their first flight, no one was anticipating Easyjet a mere 100 years later – space tourism could go the same way with no-frills rockets lifting off to space hotels.” She explains that the cost of an out-of-this-world adventure could soon be within reach for mass consumers  as “prices come down due to commercial demand in the same way we have seen with computers, mobile phones and airline flights, all of which were once prohibitively expensive.” But looking at the challenges faced by Virgin Galactic and other players in the field, it may take longer than the evolution in air travel but she thinks that we will get there “within the next 40 years.”

Dr Maggie Alderin-Pocock says, “All this may seem the stuff of science fiction, but actually when you look more closely, science fiction has often led the way for technology development. Look at Captain Kirk’s communicator and tell me that it’s not a mobile phone – and his system probably did less than the latest smartphones we have today.”

 Extant starts on Tuesday 20 January at 9pm on Syfy

 

Uri Geller and Kellogg’s Throne Of Spoons

Posted on January 15th, 2015 in Celebrity PR,Consumer PR,creative publicity,Event PR,Experiential Marketing,FMCG,Food and Drink PR,PR Stunt,PR Stunts,Publicity Stunts.

LONDON, 15th January 2015: It’s a throne fit for a King – cereal giant Kellogg’s has unveiled Uri Geller’s latest creation, a magnificent ‘Throne of Spoons’ to celebrate its most exciting on pack promotion to date.

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The throne was inspired by the Iron Throne from hit TV show ‘Game of Thrones’.

The custom designed, one of a kind throne took Uri and Kellogg’s design team two months to build using a total of over 2,000 spoons – each was single handedly attached to the throne structure.

A handful of the spoons used to construct the throne were gifted to Uri over the years by a host of his celebrity friends such as John Lennon, Robin Gibb and Mick Jagger.

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The throne will take pride of place amongst Uri’s impressive collection of memorabilia which includes a crystal rock sphere given to him from Salvador Dali and a Cadillac covered with thousands of spoons from a host of iconic figures such as Winston Churchill, Elvis and Nelson Mandela.

The throne was commissioned by Kellogg’s as part of a new on pack promotion to send off for a free, personalised spoon.

The throne will be unveiled in all its glory at a free ‘spoon bending breakfast’ event on Saturday 24th January at Westfield W12 London, where Uri aims to bend his one millionth spoon whilst attempting to teach members of the public the secrets behind his ability.

Audience members can also have their very own Ned Stark moment and have their picture taken on the throne with Uri himself.

Uri Geller said, ‘I’ve seen and done some incredible things and the Throne of Spoons is certainly up there as one of them I’m really excited to be a part of the Kellogg’s project and hope everyone will pick up their free, personalised spoon to eat their favourite cereal with.’

To take part in the spoons promotion and claim a free, personalised spoon, simply pick up three packs of Kellogg’s cereal, enter the codes on the Kellogg’s website, choose a size (adult or child) and it will then be sent in the post.

The spoon can be engraved with either a name or phrase as well as a Kellogg’s character including favourites Tony the Tiger and Coco the Monkey.

A Kellogg’s spokesperson said ‘We wanted to bring the fun factor to the launch of this latest Kellogg’s on pack promotion. Uri looks fantastic on his “iron throne” channelling Ned Stark and we hope he inspires everyone to claim their free personalised spoon and join us at our breakfast in January.’

The Kellogg’s breakfast with Uri Geller will take place on Saturday 24th January at Westfield London W12 from 10am.

To find out more about the promotion, GO HERE  and to reserve a place at the breakfast, email spoons@kellogg.com

Pictures for editorial use here

William Hill invent The Liquid Christmas Lunch

Posted on December 23rd, 2014 in Betting Brands,creative publicity,Food and Drink PR,Health and Fitness PR,PR Stunt,Publicity Stunts.

LONDON, 23rd December: As the average Brit gets ready to consume a gut busting 7,000 calories on Christmas Day – and pile on 6lbs by New Year — a crack team of food scientists recruited by William Hill have come up with a brilliant, healthy alternative.

Thanks to high tech kitchen know-how there’s no need to stuff yourself with the traditional lunch as well as festive favourites like mince pies because now you can enjoy all those flavours courtesy of an extraordinary layered liquid lunch that packs just 294 calories.

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The culinary breakthrough came after bookmaker William Hill engaged food scientist Dr Rachel Edwards-Stuart, who has spent her career working with top chefs, including a three year PhD focussed on creating innovative flavour and texture experiences for Heston Blumenthal to use in his restaurant The Fat Duck, and Miguel Toribio-Mateas, chairman of the British Association for Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy (BANT).

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They were asked to create a balanced, high carbohydrate, low glycaemic load meal that provides all the nutrition needed for a jockey to remain light, yet full of energy and sharply focused before a big race. 16074689342_0cc2018d2c_b

The festive feast will be a boon for jockeys preparing for the William Hill Winter Festival at Kempton Park on 26 and 27 December. In the past many have had to restrict themselves to crackers and water for fear that seasonal indulgences would have them fail the weigh-in.

Using equipment commonly found in the modernist kitchen the meal consists of flavour extracts, foams and gels that are layered on top of each other so the diner can enjoy each individual taste as they progress through the meal.

The elfy Christmas dinner consists of the following layers: · Turkey gel · Umami-rich gravy · Carrot fluid gel · Dehydrated Brussels sprouts · Potato infused foam · Cranberry “air” ·

And it is topped with a pancetta crisp It is served with an espresso-style shot of mince pie extract and a spoonful of powdered brandy butter – an additional 38 calories. Jon Ivan-Duke at William Hill, says, “Christmas is a time when we all want to let ourselves go and enjoy all the different foods on offer but the top jockeys can’t do that.

“Typically jockeys trying to make weight will eat a restricted calorie diet in the run up to a big race, so the traditional Christmas lunch was most definitely off the menu for those racing at the William Hill Winter Festival at Kempton. The usual festive fare for jockeys riding on Boxing Day would be a slither of turkey, a couple of sprouts and a few water biscuits. Even then they will probably spend a couple of hours on race day in the sauna sweating off those last few pounds!”

Champion jockey A P McCoy who will be riding at the William Hill Winter Festival at Kempton Park on Boxing Day agrees, “This is a great invention for jockeys who are struggling to make weight for the William Hill King George but still want to feel part of their family’s festive celebrations. I always used to feel a bit left out when they all started tucking in to their turkey so this year I am looking forward to enjoying the full flavours of Christmas lunch, without having to worry about the calories.”

Food scientist Dr Rachel Edwards-Stuart says. “I am used to experimenting with tastes and textures but the brief from William Hill to prepare an appetizing meal that features all of the flavours of the traditional Christmas lunch but at a fraction of the calories was a challenge. I created a layered dish full of different flavours and textures that I hope will prove both delicious and visually appealing to our jockeys!”

Press Contact: Taylor Herring

Photos: here

Recipe: Place 40g cooked turkey in the bottom of a glass. Top with 40g homemade turkey stock, and leave in the fridge to set. (Note – depending on how concentrated your stock is, you may need to add a small amount of gelatine to the turkey stock to ensure that is sets solid). Rehydrate 10g dried mushrooms with 50g turkey stock, and then finely blend. Place turkey infused mushrooms on top of the gel. Add 15g of dehydrated Brussels sprouts (but you may want to keep a few aside to garnish the dish!). Prepare the carrot fluid gel by adding 1g of agar to 100g to carrot juice, bringing the liquid to the boil, leaving to set, and then blending with a hand blender. Add 60g of this mix to the layer of Brussels Sprouts. Top with 60g potato foam, which is made by pureeing 30g boiled potato with 15g semi skimmed milk and 15g water, and aerating the mix “with nitrous oxide” OR “in a cream whipper” Finish with 20g cranberry juice mixed with 0.5g soy lecithin, blended to create a foam. Add a slice of grilled pancetta or bacon to serve. To prepare the mince pie extract, add 30g mincemeat to 30g orange & mango juice and 60g water. Mix thoroughly and strain through muslin to collect the juice. Serve 40g in an the espresso cup. To make the powdered brandy butter, melt 2g butter, flavoured with brandy, and mix with 2g maltodextrin. Serve on a teaspoon alongside the mince pie infusion.

Nutritional Information: Nutrition information provided by Miguel Toribio-Mateas, Registered Nutritional Therapist and Chairman of the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy, BANT.

Ingredients for main and dessert: Brussels sprouts, raw 1.0 x 100 grams (100g) Butter powder 0.02 x 100 grams (2g) Carrot juice 0.6 x 100 grams (60g) Cranberry juice 0.2 x 100 grams (20g) Gelatin sheet mix 0.25 x 100 grams (100g) Lecithin 1.0 x 4 grams (4g) Maltodextrin 0.5 x 4 grams (2g) Milk, reduced fat, fluid, 2% milkfat 0.15 x 100 grams (100g) Mushrooms, all varieties, dried 0.1 x 100 grams (100g) Orange & mango juice 0.3 x 100 grams (30g) Pie, mince, prepared from recipe 0.3 x 100 grams (30g dry but only 10g accounted for after filtering) Pork, cured, bacon, cooked, pan-fried 0.5 x 1 slice cooked (6g) Potato, flesh and skin, raw 0.3 x 100 grams (30g) Turkey stock, homemade 0.8 x 100 grams (100g) Turkey meat 0.4 x 100 grams (40g)

Jingle Beards and Christmas Trimmings

Posted on December 11th, 2014 in creative publicity,PR Stunt,PR Stunts,Publicity Stunts.

LONDON, Thursday 11th December 2014: Hot on the heels of Xmas jumpers comes CHRISTMAS BEARDS – a brand new festive fashion trend which is set to take hirsute, fun loving hipsters by storm this yuletide season.

The festive facial fashion project is the brainchild of visual artist Katya Wildman from North London who was specially commissioned to create a uniquely seasonal take on the Shoreditch beard trend to celebrate the launch of the new Samsung Galaxy Note Edge handset.

The results are as hair-raising as they are extraordinary.

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Katya spent six hours creating four distinctive designs – The Reverse Christmas Tree, The Iceman Cometh, Festive Birds Nest and Mistletoe Madness. Each features some of her favourite seasonal staples including a Christmas tree, robin red breast, mistletoe, glitter, snow and icicles.

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She then photographed her brilliant beard-topiary – complete with flashing lights, baubles and even bird’s eggs – using the new Galaxy Note Edge, which features a unique curved screen that offers users an innovative new way to access information.

She says: “I have always been fascinated by facial hair – and now I have the chance to try out my festive designs on some bounteous beards. I used the Galaxy Note Edge to design the beards and photograph the models to create a series of portraits that may raise a smile this festive season!”

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Samsung are confidently predicting that CHRISTMAS BEARDS will become the must have ‘seasonal facial furniture’ for beardies this Xmas season.

Ines van Gennip, Marketing Director of the IT & Mobile from Samsung says: ‘We wanted to give beards a seasonal edge and I think we have achieved that with Christmas Beards which represent affordable facial fashion at its very best.

Our Christmas beards are edgy and unique – a bit like the Galaxy Note Edge, which is available from Friday! ’ 2014 has already been declared year of the beard. From Jared Leto, Bradley Cooper and Michael Fassbender at the Oscars, through to unlikely fashion icon and Eurovision-winner Conchita Wurst, chin ticklers have been the number one fashion item. Others who have followed the trend include Gary Lineker, Seth Rogan, Liam Payne and George Clooney.

The brand new Galaxy Note Edge is available on 12 December at Carphone Warehouse, Vodafone and Samsung eStore.

Whistl present Ballet BMX

Posted on December 9th, 2014 in creative publicity,PR Stunt,PR Stunts,Publicity Stunts,Viral Video PR.

London, Tuesday 9th December 2014: The delivery company Whistl (formerly known as TNT Post) has put a pioneering spin on the famous Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker Suite – by pairing a ballerina with a brace of BMX-ers.

In a video released today, the viewer is taken on a surprising new audiovisual journey through one of ballet’s most celebrated dances – set to a remixed version of the classic tune against a wintery theatrical backdrop.

Archetypal ballet movements including “chaines,” “jetes” and “pirouettes” perfectly mirror BMX stunts such as “cliffhangers,” “360s” and “time machines” as the festive film showcases a series of stunningly co-ordinated visual parallels between the dancer and riders.

The performance came about as Whistl wanted to share some seasonal cheer with their customers and the British public that also celebrated their dedication to innovation and delivering something unexpected.

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The video sees ballet dancer Amber Doyle, and BMX riders, Keelan Philips and Louis Morris, preparing for their performance, before the spectacular action unfolds in leaps and bounds.  Inspired by the classical Nutcracker choreography, the jaw-dropping ability of the BMX riders is matched by the grace and beauty of the ballerina as moves are reflected between the three.  Performing to the classical Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy movement, the BMX bikes act as partners for the ballerina as well as jumping and spinning daringly close to her.

Nick Wells, CEO of Whistl, said: ‘We’re known as innovators in the UK postal sector and wanted to do something that truly reflected our commitment to doing things differently. We hope that the public, our customers and our posties, love the original spin we’ve put on The Nutcracker this winter!”

Ballerina Amber Doyle trained at the Royal Ballet School and has performed at the Royal Opera House, Brit Awards and Royal Variety Performance, as well as appearing in Anna Karenina. BMX rider Keelan Philips is four time UK and two time European BMX champion, and Louis Morris is fast becoming one of the UK’s most in-demand riders thanks to his fearless attitude.

Keelan said: ‘This is one of the most interesting challenges I’ve had in a while! It was great fun working with Amber to choreograph all the moves we could do putting together our BMX street-style and her classical dancing. We hope everyone enjoys the video.”

Amber added: “Bikes and ballerinas aren’t usually considered natural partners, but you can’t deny the final performance looks stunning!