Which Campaign Wins?
In the world of PR, you have to be able to think of interesting and exciting ways to get your business heard above the background noise. New and innovative campaigns are at the heart of every PR team. It needs to be something that will get your brand’s name and face out there, and something people will remember – now and into the future.
That being said, here are some of my personal favourite marketing and/or PR campaigns of all time:
Christmas ad campaigns are always my favourite. And even though we are heading into the summer months, you cannot forget some of the classic Christmas adverts brands have launched over the years. It used to be all about which music artist was going to have the Christmas number one song, but now, it’s whose advert is the best!
There have been a fair few successful ones in my eyes, from the 2017 John Lewis Man on the Moon advert, to last year’s M&S Percy Pig advert, but there’s always one I think about – and that’s how you know it was successful.
In 2014, Sainsbury’s Christmas advert was set in 1914 on the battlefield, to commemorate 100 years since World War One. It starts off with the opposing troops on either side, singing a Christmas carol on Christmas Eve from their bunkers. Then, the advert shows the two armies coming together as one; celebrating, playing a game of football and having fun. The true spirit of Christmas – unity.
This advert plays on the heartstrings of every generation, to remind us all, even at the worst of times, there’s always time for Christmas celebrations, which bring one another together.
Dove 2004: Be Real Campaign
We are taking a trip down memory lane with this one. In 2004, I was only a child and had no idea about the impact PR campaigns could have on someone. But now, 18 years later, this campaign is one I still know of and adore.
The Dove ‘Be Real’ campaign kick-started in 2004, turning the beauty industry on its head, embracing women of all different shapes and sizes. The campaign idea sparked from a survey Dove completed which revealed only 2% of women considered themselves beautiful (which has now increased to 4%). Beauty standards were and still remain so high, and there is an expectation to look and be a certain way in society. But Dove wanted to challenge that, reminding individuals that it’s okay to be exactly who you are.
Since then, in my eyes, Dove has remained the brand for inclusivity – appreciating everybody’s quirks and individual beauty. And the company hasn’t stopped there. They have continued to release campaigns reflecting this same message, recently launching a new campaign called ‘the self-esteem project’ aiming to help the younger generation with positive body image, which is more critical than ever as social media continues to play a key role in shaping societies standards.
ALDI 2021: Free Cuthbert
Now I don’t know about you, but I’m a big lover of cake – any kind! And we all know of the famous ‘Caterpillar Cake’ that I’m sure each of us had at a birthday party throughout our childhood. There is only one Colin, or is there?
Supermarket chain ALDI began their ‘free Cuthbert’ PR and social media campaign after Marks & Spencer launched legal action against them for their ‘Cuthbert the caterpillar cake’ looking too similar to the well-known and loved ‘Colin the Caterpillar cake.’
For some businesses, legal action is serious, and shouldn’t be joked about. But instead, ALDI took to social media to respond to the allegations with a tweet saying “This is not just any court case, this is…#freecuthbert” – playing on words from the famous M&S tagline ‘This is not just food, this is M&S food’. Within a few hours, the hashtag and ALDI were trending number one on Twitter. ALDI even made reference to the scandal in the 2021 Christmas advert, as at the beginning of the clip, you can see Cuthbert being taken away in handcuffs!
Not only did they win the heart of the nation with their witty humour, but they launched another campaign following on from this raising money for Teenage Cancer Trust, encouraging other supermarkets to join the #CaterpillarsforCancer movement. Sometimes controversy is key in PR – and ALDI’s risk paid off.
Each one of these campaigns has been successful (in my eyes) and left a mark in the world of PR. Whilst these are big brand names you already know of, they’ve come up with ideas to make them stand out from competitive crowds, by creating thought-evoking campaigns, to being a little scandalous.
And just because the above examples are business-to-consumer – it doesn’t mean that these types of risks and out of the box ideas can’t be applied to business-to-business campaigns as well. At Neo PR, we use a variety of tactics to stay ahead of the game for our clients. From news hijacking to expert-led thought leadership, we bring a fresh and modern outlook to the public relations industry. Interested? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org