19 September 2019 Awareness Digital Trends

#RaidArea51 is digital PR in progress

RaidArea51 has all the makings of a perfect digital PR campaign.

Tomorrow (20th September 2019), thousands of conspiracy theorists will supposedly storm the Nevada desert to reveal the US secrets stored in Area 51. For those of you closer in age to the area number, this phenomenon may have passed you by but in the new digital world, it’s been on the virtual front page for months.

According to Facebook, there are currently 5000 people heading to Rachel in Lincoln County, Nevada but in truth it could be many, many more. Social impressions are in the billions. It could be a couple of Star Trek fans in a camper van or thousands of young people using it as a platform to protest against the US’s application of secret intelligence!

From a PR perspective, what is interesting about RaidArea51 is that it’s been disowned by its creator, Matty Roberts who said that it was “just a joke” and that he simply didn’t expect it to spread as it did. But how did it spread? A closer inspection reveals that it had all of the marks of a perfect digital PR campaign.

Matty, Matty, Matty…tut, tut… Surely you know the power of a comedic meme? You must understand the importance of radical protest amongst the socially supercharged youth? Surely you’ve been to ComicCon and seen the world’s fascination with extra-terrestrial life? Tapping into the zeitgeist, understanding the broader cultural context for a campaign, communicating on highly shareable formats, are the first three things we counsel our clients when planning consumer strategies.

Only this morning, mobiles across the globe were buzzing with tweets and snaps declaring…. “It’s on and watch out!”. We’re watching the media over the next few days to see if the virtual front pages make it across to old school media.

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