When it comes to the world of public relations, there’s nearly always something going on. From filming whacky adverts to placing fake stickers of cocaine and dollar bills in the bathrooms of toilets to promote a well-known series, there’s plenty of innovative ideas floating around.
Here are some of the most exciting, effective, and downright clever PR campaigns that have taken place this year.
The Pop Up Geeks
The Pop Up Geeks are well known for their creativity in creating the best themed pop up bars on the planet, which have proven to be incredibly popular time and time again. Seeking to exploit the success of the world famous series Stranger Things, they decided to create an Upside Down themed bar, complete with everything any Stranger Things fan could ever wish for.
It went down a treat, although they did get a tongue in cheek reply from Netflix reminding them that they should seek permission from the show’s creators before promoting it.
The well-known, popular reality TV series The Apprentice once again had people on the edge of their seats this year, and so did the advert promoting it. It involved this year’s candidates taking part in antics like swinging on a large pointing finger synonymous with Alan Sugar’s firing finger, and going through a ‘La La Land’ style journey involving all the themes associated with the show.
It went down well, with a host of social media reactions proving that The Apprentice is still drawing attention from a large crowd.
The popular series from Netflix, Narcos, is now on its third season, so naturally the show’s PR team wanted to have some fun with its promotion. They placed stickers in bars around LA, New York, Miami and Chicago which contained cocaine themed quips and a realistic, 3D image of rolled up dollar bills and lines of the infamous drug. Certainly one of the more controversial ways to promote a show.
The famous Cantina Bar from the Star Wars franchise was bound to get heads turning when it appeared in John Lewis’ Oxford Street store. Latching on to the hype which currently surrounds Star Wars (thanks to the new films being released yearly), John Lewis put a realistic bar inside their store, complete with ‘Spice Smuggler’ cocktails and ‘Kessel Run’ mocktails. There was also a themed treasure trail around the store for customers to enjoy at their leisure.
To promote the new Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung decided to put out a poll asking for the 20 greatest views in Britain. They then went about touring a 7×3 metre model of their new product around each location, which included the likes of the Lake District, St Ives Bay and the Giant’s Causeway.
Marathons are a difficult endeavour to be sure, so the promoters of Baywatch decided to have a more relaxed event with their Slow Mo marathon in downtown LA. This involved some of the cast members, as well as a host of runners, recreating the opening sequence of the show to the classic theme song, drawing a good deal of attention to the release.
Not only was this a PR stunt which gained Apple a lot of attention, but it also allowed the company to reach out to people who they needed in their company. The tech giant hid a job advertisement in the source code of their website, prompting a lot of media coverage and potentially a lot of applications for the position.
This was a clever way of combining PR with the genuine need for a talented engineer, and certainly seemed to do the trick.
The ‘choose me or lose me’ campaign by Walkers was an effective way for the well known crisp brand to promote new flavours whilst also encouraging people to buy their product. They pitched some of their well known, established flavours, such as salt and vinegar, against some new, international contenders, such as lime and pepper.
The campaign certainly seemed to stand out as one of the more adventurous this year, with Walkers pitching products old and new against each other in a fight to the death.
Game of Thrones
As one of the most popular fantasy series to have ever existed, Game of Thrones is nearly always setting heads spinning with its countless plot twists and PR stunts. This year, bridge4 decided to see if they could determine the size of Drogon, Daenerys’ pet dragon, which they successfully did on their YouTube channel.
What better way to draw attention to the series’ fantasy elements than to analyse the size of its largest dragon?
Specsavers managed to cause a stir with their real time billboard campaign, which involved them referencing topical subjects relating to how people getting their eyes tested is more important than these news subjects.
The campaign is sure to have turned a few heads, and could well have more people going to check their eyesight, especially if they couldn’t make out the billboard.
These were some of the most innovative and effective creative campaigns of 2017. It seems that 2018 will certainly have a lot to live up to.