The Best PR Stunts of 2019
PR stunts are creative campaigns that capture the public’s imagination. Some deliver, others fizzle and other PR stunts enjoy stratospheric success. So which stunts made the headlines over the last year?
‘Probably the best lager in the world’ must surely be one of the most recognisable advertising slogans but in 2019, Carlsberg took an enormous gamble – or calculated marketing risk – when it modified the slogan slightly. When it changed the recipe for its product, it altered the slogan to ‘probably ‘not’ the best lager in the world. So we changed it’. It was a success and one of the best PR stunts of the year.
It was an advert that struck a chord with Ford’s ‘backbone of Britain’ campaign captuing the imagination. Print marketing along with TV adverts and a strong social on social media championed the professionals of the UK economy, suggesting that they along with their Ford vehicle, were the backbone of Britain. This PR stunt showed that by tapping into the emotions of customers, a campaign can be incredibly expensive.
On The Beach
The online provider of beach holidays across European coasts and beyond cleverly tagged their summer PR campaign to tie in with #NationalBikiniDay. Launching their campaign online with their own hashtag #thisbikinican, they also celebrated the freedom for any woman to confidently wear their bikini. By placing the focus on hashtags like this, On The Beach cleverly brought positive attention to their brand and what they stand for. From a man-made beach in Manchester, we were proud to be involved in this viral online campaign.
Regardless of how you feel about fast food chains and outlets, they can be relied upon to come up with some very creative PR stunts. You can be forgiven, however, for missing this particular one as it was released by McDonald’s Sweden. But the smallest McDonald’s as a beehive was an absolute delight and one that helped to spread the message of looking after the world’s bee population.
The worldwide accommodation booking site has taken the travel and hospitality industry by storm and this PR stunt was one of its best. A couple won the chance to spend the night in a glass pyramid inside the Louvre in Paris. The mini glass pyramid mirrored that of the larger structure, a perfect photo opportunity for Airbnb if ever there was one.
The high street bakery came ‘under fire’ for one well-known celebrity when it launched its vegan sausage roll. The resulting furore handed Greggs success on a platter although you can still argue that this was a risk. The chain is known for its meaty pasties and other meat-laden products but it shows that sometimes, taking a risk can bring a whole new audience to a brand.
Brands will often sponsor large events and so it wasn’t a surprise to see FIJI Water at the Golden Globes in January 2019. But what was a wonderful PR stunt was the FIJI Water girl who managed to photobomb more or less every celebrity press shot of the night. Whilst it was initially a success, it was a double-edged sword for the company.
Some PR stunts are strategized and successful but others are successful because the hit all the right notes to capture the public’s attention. Here’s to 2020!