Our PR and marketing campaigns roundup from the past decade
Modern advertising and PR has witnessed some outstanding creations from brands that have gone viral online and attracted the attention of millions around the world. As we enter 2020 and the new decade begins we have rounded up a selection of some of our favourite PR & Marketing campaigns to share with you. Let’s take a look at some of the best creative work by brands and agencies that have topped our headlines over the years. Here is our PR & Marketing campaign roundup from the past decade…
Cadbury x Age UK – Donate your Words
Leading our top list of PR & Marketing campaigns is Cadbury x Age UK – Donate your Words. To combat the growing crisis of loneliness amongst the elderly, Cadbury joined forces with Age UK to fight against loneliness in later life. The campaign was created in direct response to the statistics founded by Age UK that found 1.4 million older people say they struggle with loneliness, and another 225,000 people often go a whole week without speaking to anyone.
Cadbury introduced the sale of blank chocolate bars in a campaign to ‘donate your words’ with 30p from each sale supporting the deserving cause. The donations were used by Age UK to support older people through initiatives like its national advice line and telephone friendship service.
TV presenter Sue Perkins gained a glimpse into long term loneliness by spending 30 hours in complete isolation without speaking a word to anyone or using social media as a means of encouraging the nation to help by donating their words too, by chatting, calling or visiting an older person.
Jeremy Clarkson receives free Snickers bar
Jeremy Clarkson received a box of Snickers chocolates courtesy of the confectioner as a reactive PR stunt following revelations the host had come to blows with a producer off camera after being denied a hot meal after filming.
The PR stunt was an extension of the “You’re not you when you are hungry” campaign that shows chocolate being received by the hungry before they transform into a diva.
Social media users shared their mixed messages with thousands retweeting Snickers post whilst others expressed their negativity as they pointed out the serious nature of the alleged-assault, highlighting that Snickers tweet was both risky and controversial.
Paddy Power have a glorified reputation for shining a light on topical issues in a remarkable way, a way that is both memorable and clever.
In 2019, Paddy Power announced their ‘sash’ sponsorship across Huddersfield Town’s new shirt, which caused a wave of uproar from fans across the country. After it was unveiled this was just a prank, they revealed the real shirt the team would wear that season, which involved the logo being removed entirely, providing a sponsor free shirt.
The sponsor free shirt announced the introduction of the ‘Save Our Shirt’ campaign, where they called on brands to stop sponsoring football shirts, with the focus on convincing other betting companies and football clubs to support their campaign. The theory behind the hoax shirt was to spread the world on the issues surrounding shirt sponsorship and to encourage other brands to free up shirt space. Many fans on social media branded this campaign ‘actually genius marketing” and “genius and comedy all around”.
Back in 2014, another campaign showed Paddy Power’s taste for cheeky marketing tactics as they placed a wax work of former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson contained in a glass box outside the home ground, Old Trafford. The glass box read “In case of Emergency at Old Trafford, Break Glass” as a stunt following Chelsea’s 3-1 victory over the Premier League Champions, who struggled for victory under their manager at the time, David Moyes.
In 2018, Paddy Power showed their controversial side once more through a polar bear graffiti stunt that sparked public outrage. The company leaked supposedly ‘live’ footage of a Russian polar bear being emblazoned with the England flag, alongside a feature in The Metro which read “England ‘til I dye”, which lifted the floodgates to a wave of public concern. Fortunately, this stunt was to highlight the plight of the polar bear in the Russian Arctic.
Initially, the campaign misled the public but proved to be a successful way of grabbing the public’s attention.
Greggs introduction of their vegan sausage roll
High street bakery, Greggs proved just how big of an impact influencer marketing can have on a brand when they released one of their most daring stunts to date. Health-conscious veganism is an emerging trend over recent years as people are becoming more conscious of eating meat-free produce. Greggs sparked online discussion after announcing the release of their first ever vegan sausage roll. The vegan-friendly pastry was accompanied by a marketing campaign similar to one you would expect from the likes of Google, Samsung or Apple.
To introduce their vegan sausage roll they presented packaging resembling that of an iPhone to key influencers and journalists, as opposed to their normal brown paper bag. This skyrocketed sales with the help of a number of tweets from some of the industry’s biggest names including Ricky Gervais and Piers Morgan.
Irish cancer charity, Marie Keating Foundation and Molly Malone Statue
At the centre of one of the most impactful and thought-provoking PR & marketing campaigns over the last decade is the Marie Keating Foundation. As one of the most recognisable monuments in Ireland, the buxom statue of Molly Malone welcomes a unique case of tradition as it is thought that rubbing her breasts brings good luck.
This bold statue became the centre of the Marie Keating Foundation’s campaign to raise awareness of self-checking your breasts in order to potentially save your life.
As part of the ‘Take Notice’ campaign, the cancer charity delivered a thought-provoking stunt to shine a light on the importance of checking your breasts regularly by adding a lump to the statue. Visitors continued to feel the statue and pose for photographs, however not one single person commented on the added lump, even when directly asked if they noticed anything unusual. This lack of attention strengthened the importance of the message: if a lump on one of the most recognised statues failed to become noticed, then the everyday woman needs to become extra observed and cautious when it comes to checking their own breasts.
Liz Yeates, CEO of the Marie Keating Foundation explained the campaign’s message, saying:
Giant Rubber Duck on The Thames to celebrate jackpotjoy.com’s new ‘FUNdation’
Back in 2012, the River Thames introduced a 50-foot high and 50-foot wide rubber duck to celebrate the launch of Jackpotjoy.com’s new Facebook FUNdation – a bursary granting funds and rewards for daft ideas to encourage Brits to have more fun and make more people happy. Setting sail from London’s West India Dock and passing some of the capitals most famous skyline landmarks, the giant rubber duck reached London’s iconic Tower Bridge where the balustrades lifted to allow the giant spectacle to pass through.
Jackpotjoy successfully demonstrated exactly what it was promoting, and captured the attention of passers-by in the process, making the stunt more memorable than the brands that have replicated the idea since.
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