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Text On The Beach? Britain’s 25 favourite beach reads in 140 characters

Posted on August 12th, 2015 in brand PR,Consumer Electronics PR,Consumer PR,creative publicity,Mobile PR,Online PR,PR Stunt,Publicity Stunts,Technology PR.


  • New ‘Summer Speed Reads’ initiative sparked by research by Samsung Galaxy S6 edge which suggests young Brits are ditching books for social media
  • The nation’s top 25 beach reads revealed – The Da Vinci Code, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Fifty Shades of Grey and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – shortened into Tweet-sized summaries
  • 75% of young Brits take their mobile phone to the poolside or beach compared with one in four (26%) who plan on reading a book
  • One in ten young adults have never read a novel

London, UK – Wednesday 12th August, 2015 The traditional summer holiday beach read could soon be lost to history according to a new study which reveals the younger generation are no longer taking books on holiday but instead spending their time lounging by the pool using their smart phones.


The ‘Summer Speed Reads’ initiative was specially commissioned by Samsung Galaxy S6 edge following their new research which quizzed 1,500 Brits aged 18-25 years old on how they spend their time on holiday.

The survey found that FOMO culture could well sound the death knell for the traditional beach read – indeed a mere quarter (26%) of those surveyed had plans to read a book when away compared with 75% who admitted they would be regularly checking their mobile phones on holiday for social media updates in fear of missing out on any news or gossip from their friends back home.

Samsung teamed up with Professor John Sutherland, Lord Northcliffe Professor Emeritus of Modern English Literature, at University College London to lead the study which canvassed the nation to name the top 25 most popular beach reads of all time.

Once the results were back, the Professor was challenged to condense the top 25 most popular beach novels down to 140 characters for the ‘Summer Speed Reads project’.

WARNING! For those who like to read books the old fashioned way, be wary as the list below contains spoilers.

Three quarters of young Brits would rather text on the beach than read a book   Metro News

Professor John Sutherland, Professor of Modern English Literature at University College London and winner of the Man Booker Prize, commented: “The ‘Samsung Galaxy S6 edge Summer Speed Reads’ study provides us with a fascinating overview of how social media has affected young people’s ability to concentrate, even in the most relaxing of environments such as a holiday resort. In the future we will see short version novels as standard as people increasingly seek instant gratification whilst they multi task even when they are away on their holidays.”

“This breakdown of the 25 most popular beach reads of all time is the truest representation of modern day pulp fiction allowing today’s easily distracted young holidaymakers to enjoy the most popular summer books in an instant and who knows, maybe they may just inspire some people to pick up an old fashioned book at some point!”

Further findings revealed:

  • 10% of young Brits say they have never read a novel
  • Average 18-25 year old checks their phone 14 times per day on holiday
  • 72% of those polled prefer short form writing and agree we now have shorter attention spans due to technology
  • Of those that do plan to read a book, 39% say they will struggle to finish it
  • 24% believe books take ‘too long to read’
  • 26% believe books are ‘too heavy’ or take up packing space’

Conor Pierce, Vice President of IT & Mobile at Samsung UK & Ireland says, “With the UK being one of the most connected smartphone markets in the world and with the rise of video, 4G and social media, people no longer want to be restricted to traditional holiday activities such as reading a novel. Customers that have switched to the S6 edge will find features like its quick launch camera, which launches in 0.7 seconds, is ideal for taking selfies on the beach or by the pool while its super AMOLED screen will give users the very best viewing experience when using it in the sunshine.”

The top 25 most popular beach reads are available to read here.




How to spot whodunnit: academics crack Agatha Christie’s code

Posted on August 3rd, 2015 in Book PR,creative publicity,PR Stunt,Publicity Stunts,Television PR.

NEWS! On the 125th Anniversary of Agatha Christie’s birth, scientists reveal the key clues behind the world’s best-selling novelist

  • Panel of experts reveal the secret to Agatha Christie – the world’s best-selling novelist’s success
  • Greatest mystery in fiction solved – how to spot ‘whodunnit’
  • Where the novel is set, the primary means of transport used throughout the book and how the victim dies, are all key factors that give away who the killer is
  • New research released today was commissioned by TV channel Drama to celebrate their Agatha Christie Hour, weekdays at 8pm, 3rd – 14th August


As Agatha Christie fans across the world celebrate the 125th anniversary of the best-selling author’s birth, new research reveals the formula for her incredible success and crucially – how to spot whodunnit!

The research, commissioned by UKTV channel Drama for their Agatha Christie Hour at 8pm, weekdays from 3rd – 14th August, tasked a panel of experts including Dr. James Bernthal from the University of Exeter; Dr. Dominique Jeannerod, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities at Queens University; and data analyst Brett Jacob, with analysing a selection of Christie’s top selling mystery novels** to discover the secret to her success and the ultimate formula for predicting who the killer is.


Key Findings:

  • The killer will be introduced within the first half of the book
  • The killer is likely to be emotionally involved with the victim, most killers are spouses or blood relatives of their victim
  • If there are a lot of land vehicles in the story, the killer is most likely female
  • If there are a lot of nautical vehicles and aircraft in the story, the killer is most likely male
  • If the victim is strangled, the killer is most likely male (or male with a female accomplice)
  • If the setting is a country house, the killer is most likely female (75% chance)
  • The language used throughout the book to describe a female killer is usually more negative than when describing a male killer
  • Female killers are normally discovered due to a domestic item
  • Male killers are normally found out through information or logic
  • If Poirot is the detective, and the cause of death is stabbing, the killer will be mentioned more frequently at the beginning of the book
  • If Miss Marple is the detective, and the motive for the murder is money/affair, the killer will be mentioned more in the later stages of the novel than the beginning.

Adrian Wills, General Manager for Drama said “Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time, so the television adaptations of her books are hugely popular.  To mark the 125th anniversary of her birth, the Drama channel decided to pull together 10 nights of some of her most famous stories in the Agatha Christie Hour, weeknights at 8pm from August 3rd. Given her on-going popularity, we wanted to know her formula for success, especially since the whodunit is such a classic of the crime drama genre.  We hope that her legions of dedicated fans will revisit their favourite whodunits with a better understanding of how to crack the ultimate code.”

Christie’s Work:

The study found that Christie features similarities in language style, word length and sentence length across her works. According to a team of researchers lead by Dr Jeannerod, a key element of Christie’s writing style is to keep it simple; using middle-range language and repeating it. In fact, according to research, the most used word in Christie’s novels is ‘said’.

Jeannerod’s team also found that the structure of a Christie novel can be simplified down to a list of key events: the body will be found early on; a closed group of suspects (achieved either by remote location or the confines of a social group) will be presented to the reader; the detective will then be introduced and a series of red herrings will follow; and finally, after the outcome, the solution will wrap up the story quickly and efficiently, leaving the reader satisfied.

The Main Clue:

As any mystery novel goes, the reader is subjected to the occasional red herring. Clues need to offer the reader an experience that satisfies expectations whilst avoiding disappointing predictability. According to Dr. Bernthal, Christie’s novels tend to include a “main clue” which is revealed “approximately half way through the text” and “it will usually be highlighted as it appears in the text,” so the reader is likely to remember it.

However, according to Bernthal, even if the main clue is easily missed or consciously skimmed over by the author, with Christie’s work, because the “the reader already remembers the clue, this creates an impression of fair play,” so the reader doesn’t feel cheated by the addition of a random detail they could never have spotted. He also reveals that Christie’s female killers tend to be given away by domestic items whilst the male killers are discovered by information or logic.

Working out the Formula:

Relationship to the victim (=)

Dr. Bernthal’s research highlighted that the killer is likely to be emotionally involved with the victim; the most common relationship being a spouse or relative. Furthermore, if the killer’s victim is their spouse, the most probable motive will be love, whereas murders committed by blood relations are more varied in motive.

Primary means of transport associated with the novel (=)

According to Dr Jeannerod’s team, the novels which include a female killer are more likely to feature land vehicles (such as cars, vans, trucks), whereas novels with a male killer are more likely to involve nautical vehicles and aircraft (such as boats and planes).

The sentiment of the language used in association with the killer (=)

By using a sentiment analysis program called “Semantria”, Dr Jeannerod’s team found that in general, Christie uses more negative language to describe her female killers, whereas with male killers, she uses “higher levels of neutral or positive sentiment”. It was also found that in her later novels, Christie portrays her culprits in an overall more negative light.

Method of murder and the detective characterized in the novel (=)

Jeannerod’s team also found that if the victim is strangled, the killer is more likely to be male (or male with a female accomplice) and that there is a correlation between the killer being a doctor and the victim dying from either stabbing or strangulation. The results also suggest that if Poirot is the featured detective, and the cause of death is stabbing, it is extremely probable that the killer will be mentioned more frequently at the beginning of the book rather than in the concluding chapters. However, if the detective is Miss Marple, and the motive for the murder is money/affair, “the culprit will be mentioned more in the later stages of the novel than the beginning.”

Setting for the novel (=)

Dr. Bernthal’s research revealed that if the setting is a country house, there is a 75% chance that the killer will be female.

Chapter of introduction of the killer (=)

Bernthal also discovered that the murderer will be introduced within the first half of the novel, and almost always within the first 20% of the book.

Number of mentions of the killer ()

Furthermore, the later the book was published, the more the murderer will be mentioned throughout the novel according to Dr Jeannerod’s team. In fact, it was found that on average the culprit had 11.7 new mentions with every new novel. The findings also reveal that “there is a 27% chance that the culprit will be mentioned most in the first quarter of the novel, a 36.5% chance for the second quarter, an 18.5% chance in the third quarter, and an 18% chance for the fourth quarter.”

Agatha Christie Hour will air on TV channel Drama at 8pm, weekdays from 3rd – 14th August



Kellogg’s unveil the ‘Special Kase’

Posted on July 22nd, 2015 in FMCG,Food and Drink PR,PR Stunts,Publicity Stunts.

Most tube travellers wouldn’t dare to eat the most important meal of the day during rush hour, but this week one commuter broke the unwritten rule of the underground by eating cereal on the tube in the most spectacular possible fashion.

The commuter caused a social media stir by coming onto the tube carriage with what appeared to be a regular briefcase, only to transform it into a mobile breakfast unit once she’d bagged a seat.

However, Londoners can rest easy as the cereal-scoffing commuter – which caused a sensation on Twitter earlier this week – has now been revealed as part of an elaborate marketing stunt by Kellogg’s to mark the launch of its new range of Special K cereal.


A crew of designers was specially commissioned by Kellogg’s to create the ‘Special Kase’, which was fitted with a fridge to supply cold milk, hidden side compartments to store bowls and a full set of cutlery, plus a space to hold boxes of cereal.


The custom made gadget, disguised as a wooden briefcase, also contains space for an espresso maker, juice extractor, glass holder and thermos flask for brewing a cup of tea or coffee and took 4 weeks to be designed and crafted by a specialist team.

Baffled passers-by looked on in amusement, awe, indignation and wide-eyed disbelief as the commuter sat down next to them and conducted her breakfast routine from start to finish.

The reactions were captured on hidden cameras.

The cereal giant had deployed an actress named Jo Cummins to frequent the busiest Tube lines with the ‘Special Kase’, all in aid of injecting a little bit of colour into the usual dreary morning journey to work.

Jo comments: “It was tough to negotiate a seat during rush hour but once I sat down, people couldn’t keep their eyes off the case. I had more conversations with members of the public this week than I’ve ever had in my whole time using the tube service. It certainly perked up the commute for some, while others were a bit taken back by my odd behaviour.

“Regardless of how much you love breakfast, I wouldn’t recommend travelling with a full bowl of cereal on the Central line around St Paul’s at 8:45am.”

Liam O’Brien of Kellogg’s comments: “Eating on the tube is often given a frosty reception, so it’s no surprise that when Jo poured the ice-cold milk on her Special K, she was rewarded with ice-cold glares from some baffled commuters.

“With almost 1 in 3 adults missing breakfast every day, we wanted to show that even for people with the busiest lifestyles, there’s always time for a morning meal. We hope the ‘Special Kase’ catches on and has people thinking inventively about how to eat the most important meal of the day.”

Prone To Dad Dancing? You may have EPS (Embarrasing Parents Syndrome)

Posted on July 22nd, 2015 in Attraction PR,creative publicity,Digital PR,Event PR,Experiential Marketing,Leisure PR,PR Stunt,PR Stunts,Publicity Stunts.

NEWS! Dad dancing, public displays of affection and trying to use youthful lingo top the list of things parents do which makes their kids cringe according to a new study which finally suggests the scientific reasons behind embarrassing parental behaviour.

The new study led by the acclaimed psychologist Dr Sandra Wheatley was specially commissioned to celebrate ISLAND BEATS - THORPE PARK Resort’s Summer-long music festival and quizzed 2,000 parents whose children are aged five to 20.

The findings finally provide a scientific insight into youthful parental behaviour revealing that once we reach the age of 40*, we start to feel on average 20% younger than our actual age – meaning a 40 year old dad dancer has an actual mental age of a youthful 32!

Indeed, the results found that over 75% of those aged over 40 feel younger than their age and pinpoints the key flashpoints where a flush of youth is likely to cause embarrassment…

Top 10 embarrassing things parents do:

  1. Dad/mum dancing – 42%
  2. PDA – Public displays of affection – to children or with each other – 41%
  3. Using outdated slang and trying to join in with youth speak/youthful lingo – 38%
  4. Wearing age inappropriate clothes – 23%
  5. Telling cringeworthy yarns/anecdotes/baby stories – 21%
  6. Tidying up after children – 20%
  7. Joining social media and friending children – 17%
  8. Being useless at ‘tech’ in general – 16%
  9. Birds and bees talk (facts of life) – 16%
  10. Drinking too much – 15%

The poll also found that 70% of the parents surveyed admit that they are stuck in a generational time-warp. Key findings include the fact that on average we stop learning new dance moves at the age of 25 and that many parents continue to confuse outdated slang such as ‘Duh’ (17%), ‘Take a chill pill’ (16%) and ‘As if’ (15%) with modern day youth speak. Kids were revealed to be the most embarrassed by their parents at age 14.

The new study follows the viral sensation over the last ten days of ‘Dancing Dad’ – a camera phone video of a father, dancing to The Vamps at the first gig of the festival which has clocked up over five million views online.

THORPE PARK Resort has responded to the study findings and video footage by creating a series of special cordoned off areas for dad dancing throughout the duration of their summer-long series of music events. The dancing pens allow flamboyant dads – and mums – maximum arm and leg space to show off their moves in a controlled environment.   The unique areas will be in place at the festival throughout the summer until 30 August when top chart acts including The Vamps, Little Mix, Professor Green, DJ Fresh and Rizzle Kicks will have all been amongst the headline performers.

THORPE PARK Resort has also invited the dad dancing viral sensation, Simon Jones, to the park to reveal his guide to his top five dance moves and try out the new dad dancing areas. On site during Little Mix’s gig, Simon recorded a video to take viewers through the cream of his catalogue – including the clap and shake, running man and robot.

THORPE PARK Resort’s Head of Park Operations Andrew Walker said: “We want Island Beats – our summer of live music and epic rides – to be a fun experience for all the family, free of tension and embarrassment. The restrictions we have put in place are as much for parents’ benefit as they are for their children’s. Our special dad dancing areas will be especially wide to accommodate flailing arms and classic dance moves giving everyone the space they need to smash it on the dancefloor. We encourage all kind of dance moves however we are completely banning air guitar – we appreciate dads will want to dance but we have to draw the line somewhere.”

The study identified parents feeling younger than their age (38%) as the top reason behind Embarrassing Parents Syndrome. Purposefully winding their children up came next on the list (32%), followed by trying to be funny at (24%). Not realising what they are doing (16%) and a well-intentioned effort to improve their relationship with their kids (13%) rounded out the top five.

The research also reveals that Embarrassing Parents Syndrome is set to reach peak levels over the summer as parents spend an average of 15 more hours per week with their children than during term time. But as 47% of parents admit, the sun brings out the worst EPS tendencies in parents, leading to Dr Sandra Wheatley putting together a guide on how to avoid it over the long six weeks, on behalf of THORPE PARK Resort.

Dr Sandra Wheatley, an expert in family dynamics and social psychology, said: “We all know parents can be embarrassing but now we know why! The study finally reveals what many of us have always known – our mental ages are way, way lower than the ages on our birth certificates! I have put together some simple steps to mitigate EPS over the long school holidays as families are thrust together.”

 Dr Sandra Wheatley’s advice on dealing with Embarrassing Parents Syndrome:

 For parents:

  • At all times try to remember how embarrassing your own parents were and then vow not to repeat the cycle as a mantra
  • Know that your kids love you as their mum or dad, not their mate – you are unique and irreplaceable
  • Cool clothes are cool mainly because of the person wearing them, not the clothes themselves

 For kids:

  • Try to remember that they are trying to show how much they love you – imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and copying you is their way of demonstrating how proud of you they are
  • If you can’t beat them, record them – video their antics and embarrass them back by showing their own parents what they’ve been up to
  • If all else fails, ignore them. They’re hoping your behaviour in your teens is “just a phase”; here’s hoping their behaviour in their middle-age is just a phase too!

 For all:

  • Be yourself – young or old – and love yourself and what you do that makes you happy. The fun that you’re having will shine through (and give each other ammunition to tease each other about in the future!)

ISLAND BEATS is hosting some of the UK’s leading bands and artists throughout July and August, the full line up:

Tickets to the ISLAND BEATS gigs start from £25 (artist dependant) and guests with tickets already booked for the day can upgrade to an ISLAND BEATS ticket for just £10.

For those who want to make the most of their day, book into the THORPE SHARK Hotel which offers bite-sized accommodation on Resort. Park tickets, first-to-ride, and breakfast included in all hotel prices.

Find out if your parents suffer from Embarrassing Parents Syndrome by taking the online test  


Someone made a Snoopy Kennel Drone

Posted on July 9th, 2015 in Film PR,PR Stunt,PR Stunts,Publicity Stunts,Stunt Of The Day,Viral Video PR.

This RC drone-copter was inspired by the new film which hits cinemas this Autumn, and it depicts the cartoon beagle with aviator gear soaring around on top of his little red dog house.

The drone was created by Flyguy Promotions which produces IFOs (Identifiable Flying Objects)


Guests at this year’s Comic-Con will be treated to the sight of the beloved Peanuts character soaring through the San Diego skies atop his signature red doghouse.

[source: The Daily Dot]

by @itsjamesherring