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4 Comeback Kings And Queens Of The Media World
Posted on December 17th 2012
As a big football fan and an avid supporter of Liverpool FC, whenever I think of comebacks, my mind is instantly filled with some of the greatest sporting achievements of recent years. Therefore, if I was asked what I think the best comeback of all time is, I wouldn’t hesitate to say Liverpool’s victory over AC Milan in the 2005 Champions league final.
However, rescuing victory from the jaws of defeat is not just exclusive to the world of sport. There are plenty of recent examples from other walks of life where a person, company or even product has risen from the ashes like a proverbial PR phoenix and come up well and truly smelling of roses.
Here are some examples of comeback kids doing what they do best.
Air New Zealand
In 2010, Kiwi airline Air New Zealand announced they were going to be entering a business partnership with fellow aviation company Virgin Blue which was met with criticism.
Even though the New Zealand airline had specifically stated that this relationship would involve Virgin Blue making the move towards a better standard of air travel, local magazine ‘The Listener’ claimed that this represented the first step towards Air New Zealand becoming a budget airline.
Sensing a public backlash, the CEO, Rob Fyfe, took to social media site You Tube to respond. The video was totally silent, conducted in sign language and poked fun at the magazines ironic incapability to listen. The hilarious video instantly went viral and turned a potential crisis into PR prosperity.
This is perhaps the most famous and widely discussed media comeback in recent years. I’m sure even the most out of touch of you will have heard about Brittany’s alleged mental breakdown during 2007 and 2008.
The trail of destruction blazed by this former teen pop star included attacking members of the paparazzi, kidnapping her own child, numerous 3am stumbles from night clubs and of course, the infamous head shaving incident.
Britney’s career looked as dead as John Cleese’s parrot in the Monty Python sketch as the whole world watched her continue to spiral out of control. That is until her PR people released a statement claiming that the singer’s demise had been down to the stresses of living in the public eye for the majority of her life. Cue widespread sympathy and support and a break from the torrid criticism, giving her time to pull herself together and mount a comeback.
Brittany is now as loved as ever having had her latest ‘Circus’ tour sell out in all arenas and has become a judge on the American X Factor.
It has been big news recently that everyone’s favourite social media granddad, Myspace, is planning a renaissance and is hoping to experience major growth. For those of you unaware of this site, which created so much interest in the 90’s, Myspace was pretty much the first social media platform to really reach the masses and is arguably responsible for the birth of social media being used in verb form as people everywhere asked their friends to ‘Myspace’ them.
Slow loading speeds and the development of more user friendly sites such as Facebook and Twitter ultimately led to its downfall, but thanks to a return to basics, some expert technology PR and a well-publicised takeover by singer and star of 2010 movie ‘The Social Network’, Justin Timberlake, it is planning a return.
The new layout is supposedly a closer resemblance to sites like Facebook and Pinterest with it being predominantly picture based but it is also sticking to what made it great in the first place-music. You will still be able to find all the latest bands, join their fan pages and download their songs as Myspace boasts the biggest catalogue of online playlists.
Whether it will ever truly return to the dizzy heights it enjoyed in the late 20th century is still yet to be discovered but we are already all talking about Myspace again so a comeback does indeed look likely.
All you younger readers may well be confused as to why Furbies have been included in a comeback list but this is not the first time these crazy critters have graced our lives. The Furby was originally launched in 1998 and was immediately dubbed as the must have Christmas toy for that year, resulting in massive demand. A festive free-for-all ensued as parents everywhere rushed to get their hands on one of these quirky mouse/owl/hamster amalgamations.
They were loved by kids and cult followings everywhere but drove families wild when they could not get them to shut up. Auction prices roses to hundreds of pounds as collectors began to value them very highly and supplies continued to dwindle.
However, even this bestselling toy seemed to have a shelf life and ultimately its incessant interactivity with anything, including the dark, empty cupboard that most were banished to the back of, led to its demise.
That is until this year when the makers Hasbro announced its re-launch for Christmas 2012. A full on PR campaign was put in motion, including an iconic advert in which the new Furby is seen singing the Lionel Ritchie hit ‘Hello’, placing it firmly on the Christmas list of an entire new generation.
Believe it or not, this is actually Furby 3.0 following the introduction of the Emoto-Tronic Furby in 2005. So as this Terminator toy prepares to ‘be back’ for the second time, it seems set to be involved in another Christmas success story.
Now that’s a comeback.