Today, as we polish off the last of Quality Street and mince pies, we share our favourite PR campaigns of 2014.
Among many captivating and engaging campaigns, public relations’ hold on social media has been proven by the hugely successful ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, capturing the imaginations of all those nominated.
As we look ahead to 2015, the Approach PR team has picked its favourite PR campaigns of 2014. In addition to our most notable favourites, an honourable mention goes out to Mr Kipling’s edible billboard – yes, they really made a billboard filled with cakes!
Marc Jacobs unconventional, but innovative pop up tweet shop in Covent Garden was managing director Suzanne’s favourite campaign of 2014.
Summary: Marc Jacobs set up a pop up shop in Covent Garden where people paid for items using tweets to promote the brand’s new fragrance, Daisy. Shoppers had to take photos of related items and tweet them using the hashtag #mjdaisychain. Tweets were shown to shop assistants on the checkout to claim a key ring or free manicure at the in-store nail bar.
Why it’s my favourite: “It’s an ingenious way of creating interaction and real engagement with the target audience. Customers genuinely got to experience the brand within the ‘store’, feel pampered while getting their hands on related product. Great PR, great buzz and ‘always a winner’ freebies!”
Samsung’s David Bailey campaign left a lasting snapshot in the mind of our account director, Verity.
Summary: The campaign launched the new NX1000 camera by showing how ordinary people – plumbers, analysts, teachers, who just happened to be called David Bailey – could take shots as well as the photographer David Bailey. Cheil, the agency, recruited 143 namesakes from all over the UK, brought them to a secret location in London, trained them, gave them cameras and set them loose to show that with the Samsung NX1000, anyone can shoot like a pro.
Why it’s my favourite: “In partnership with agency Cheil, Samsung sold out of the camera in just 11 weeks and increased their market share from 2.8% to 55%. Great results from a clever campaign.”
Giving women the opportunity to take part in Movember, senior account manager, Katy, loved the #Misstache campaign by haircare brand, Aussie.
Summary: The Movember Foundation challenges men to grow moustaches during Movember to spark conversation and raise funds for its men’s health programmes.
In a bid to encourage women to get involved in the campaign too, it launched Mo Sista this year.
Haircare brand Aussie was the official female sponsor of Movember, and called on women to act as Mo Sistas. The brand launched its #Misstache crusade in October which asked women to play their part and tache-up for men’s health in support of Movember.
Aussie and Movember encouraged women nationwide to drape their locks on their top lips – whether it was a Handlebar, a Zorro or a Fu Manchu – snap a picture and share a photo via social media using the #Misstache for #Movember hashtags.
Why it’s my favourite: “The campaign saw celebrities as well as blogging and social media stars get behind the campaign by sharing their #Misstache selfies and encouraging the campaign to go viral. From TV presenter, Laura Whitmore, who was the face of #Misstache, to UK bloggers and vloggers such as Fleur de Force and Lily Pebbles, the #Misstache for #Movember campaign was an ingenious way of inviting women to show their support and play a fun and active role in raising awareness of men’s health.”
To promote Paddington Bear the movie, Visit London, NSPCC and STUDIOCANAL worked together to help create the Paddington trail – a campaign picked by account manager, Jen.
Summary: Led by an effective PR ‘stunt’ which saw 50 bespoke Paddington Bear statues placed around London for people to find, the campaign’s website helped the public along the trail in a bid to increase engagement for the launch of Paddington Bear the movie (called Paddington).
Why it’s my favourite: “It harks back to my childhood and brings back great memories of stories I used to read. I think this is the message that was effectively communicated to the audience, creating emotion of a family tale which is known by people from all generations. The idea of having Paddington Bear statues makes the launch of the film interactive, reminds older generations of the stories but is also a great way of engaging with young children. Launching this with tools to follow the trail and locate all 50 statues is a great family campaign which can be engaging and practical for people to do, but also generates good content for social media, supported by the #PaddingtonTrail hashtag, with photos and information of people’s adventures to locate each Paddington Bear.”
Account executive, Anisha, thought Greggs’ well-handled crisis management of their search engine nightmare was the PR highlight of 2014.
Summary: In August 2014, Greggs had a Google nightmare as the logo, which appears on the first page of search results, was switched to a copy with an offensive tagline. Rather than kicking up a corporate fuss, Greggs handled the situation brilliantly on Twitter, replying to comments pointing out the situation and (potentially) bribing the Google team with promises of doughnuts and sausage rolls.
Why it’s my favourite: “It was a great ‘how to handle’ situation which resulted in Greggs’ (and Google’s) amusing Twitter conversation being the focus of press coverage, rather than a backlash caused by the derogatory description.”
Marks and Spencer’s worked with Unity PR to create #FollowTheFaries – a campaign that flicked its wand and caught the imagination of our junior account executive, Rebekha.
Summary: A Twitter profile popped up at the end of October called @TheTwoFairies. It tweets in rhyme and performs random acts of kindness, granting wishes to people around the UK, including visiting a Cornish school covering it in snow.
Why it’s my favourite: “It’s a great feel-good Christmas campaign. Although it was ultimately sales-driven, as it aired during the run-up to its festive TV adverts, it still granted many peoples’ Christmas wishes and was a bit of festive fun!”
Junior account executive, Liam, will never get tyre-d of Welcome to Yorkshire’s huge Grand Départ success.
Summary: After years of in-depth organisation and planning, Welcome to Yorkshire won the bid to bring the Tour de France to Yorkshire for the first time in the event’s 111-year history. In Britain, cycling was seen as a minority sport, and it should’ve been a hard task to capture the imagination of the public. Welcome to Yorkshire worked tirelessly to make sure the Grand Départ was memorable. The event ended up being a huge success, with hundreds of thousands of people lining the streets to watch the race finally make its way through God’s own county.
Why it’s my favourite: “As a cycling fan, it was impressive to watch the race go over Buttertubs Pass. The whole event created a buzz around Yorkshire and increased revenue and tourism in the county. The huge increase in cyclists since the tour shows the lasting legacy it has on Yorkshire.”
What were your most memorable PR and social media campaigns of 2014? Tweet us @Approach_pr to share your top picks.