PR is all about how you and your brand relate to the public. The influence that PR and marketing has on how a company is perceived is often summed up by that well known Bill Gates quote – “If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations.”
We’re almost half way through 2015, living in a digital era, and with the power of social media increasing all the time, successful PR and marketing campaigns play a crucial role in business growth and media coverage.
As technology advances, new and more creative techniques are being developed by brands to grasp the attention of their audiences against a barrage of other campaigns and the general distractions of everyday life. As a firm believer in the importance of an original and exciting PR and marketing campaign in promoting a brand, here are my favourite campaigns of 2015 to date:
- White Walkers descend on London in June
Image courtesy of www.mirror.co.uk
To celebrate the digital release of Game of Thrones season four in June, Londoners were surprised with a promotional stunt of the ice giants walking around the city. They prowled the streets, stopped traffic and took the tube, all whilst causing a storm on social media, and posing for some serious selfies with fans.
2. Salvation Army’s powerful social media response to #TheDress
In March, the internet blew up over the viral sensation of a certain dress’ colour. Was it white and gold, or blue and black? The original Tumblr post has gained over 73 million views and the Roman Originals dress sold out in less than half an hour. Taking advantage of the hype, the Salvation Army used #TheDress and shock tactics to increase brand awareness and abuse issues in a powerful charity marketing campaign.
3. Air bnb’s ‘fully functioning’ floating house
Image courtesy of www.airbnb.co.uk
For five days in May, a blue floating house took over the River Thames as part of Air bnb’s marketing campaign. The fully functioning house included two bedrooms, a living room, bathroom and a garden with real grass, a dog kennel and a bird house. The project was in celebration of new home-sharing rules in London, and a competition on their website allowed the winners to spend a night on board.
4. Calsberg’s free beer billboard
Image courtesy of www.theguardian.com
As part of their ‘If Carlsberg did…’ campaign, the brand put up a 12-metre wide billboard at The Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane in London in April. “We want to get the Carlsberg brand in front of as many beer drinkers as possible,” says Dharmesh Rana, senior brand manager at Carlsberg U.K. “To do this, we have to think differently with our approach and can’t just rely on great TV advertising.”
5. Brands and street signs drop A’s, B’s and O’s from their logos for National Blood Week
The #MissingType campaign aimed to raise awareness of the shortage of blood donations, with statistics showing that only 4% of us give blood. The much-lauded NHS PR campaign saw both small independent businesses and big name brands getting involved, including the world famous Downing Street sign. The campaign was not only an enormous media success, but also saw people registering to donate blood in unprecedented levels – a perfect example of PR being used as a force for good!
6. Uber’s free ice cream giveaway
Image courtesy of www.lamag.com
Just to prove how important PR campaigns are, my final choice is one that happened just last week! Despite the bad weather, this summer-timed PR move saw the taxi service, Uber, offering anyone the chance to order free ice cream through their app. In an effort to shake its controversial brand image and get people using the app to order taxis. Uber delivered complimentary Cornetto’s to people in eight UK cities. This simple but effective idea is a perfect demonstration of how a fun campaign can be used by brands to turn their image around and gain business. Even though the dreaded ‘no ice-cream available’ message upset a few people, we managed to secure ourselves some Friday afternoon treats…
PR and marketing is such a fun and exciting industry to be in, and these campaigns demonstrate how a successful promotion can turn a good brand into a great brand.