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‘Leaked’ National Trust ad – spoof student campaign or change of brand direction?

This ‘leaked’ ad for The National Trust, hashtagged with #ExpecttheUnexpected, is certainly that:

The organisation (which aims to get more people out and about in the UK) has claimed it had nothing to do with the video, which has been viewed 40,000+ times.

Of course, the cynical marketing industry has been quick to doubt this (here’s The Drum’s piece which highlights the apparent social media ‘frenzy’ – too strong a word for the actual reaction, in my opinion), especially since the ad has since featured on the likes of The Telegraph and Buzzfeed.

national trust spoof ad

It looks and feels like a student video and as a comment on The Drum piece pointed out, it is possibly a response to this D&AD New Blood 2014 Award brief in relation to The National Trust, as one  of sixteen brand briefs that also includes ASOS, the BBC, Nokia and Sky. The award FAQ states its only open to people aged 18-23, students of any age or recent graduates.

Whatever it is, it’s not extreme enough to do any damage to The National Trust brand, something I know they’re very, very careful with (as a past client of my lovely ex-employers 10 Yetis) and they’ll welcome the additional coverage.

Cheers to Jamie Madisson (a friend I’ve known since we went to primary school together, fact fans) for tweeting with this.

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Rich started in January 2012. It has been named Vuelio's top PR blog. He runs consumer PR agency Radioactive PR, which has two offices in the UK. He also wrote 'Myths of PR', which went on to become Amazon's best-selling PR book within days of release. In March 2013, Rich co-founded blogger outreach service He tweets about PR stunts, campaigns and other media bits and pieces @RichLeighPR

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  • Patrick Johnson

    That is great. Except the copyright infringement wouldn’t be something the Natural Trust would do. I recognise the VO from youtube but can’t 100% nail it down.