The first half of 2013 in review – Top 15 PR campaigns and stunts so far

By on Sunday, June 30, 2013

I started for a number of reasons. Chief among them was the hope I’d be able to provide people with a way to keep an eye on the industry’s best work away from the award schemes out there, which, of course, only usually praise those kind enough to pay for the privilege. I guess I had three groups of people in mind: people looking for case studies (mostly students, in my mind), those seeking inspiration (practitioners planning their own campaigns) and thirdly, those studying or working within marketing who’d enjoy the odd spell of procrastination.

At the end of last year, I put together a post highlighting the 20 most popular posts I and (the brilliant) site contributors penned throughout 2012, which you can see here. It went down well and remains the most popular post on the site, so I thought I’d do the same again, looking at the first half of this year.

Whilst this Empty 13 campaign concerned itself with an apparently event-free calendar at the beginning of the year, PR people the world over have proven that there has been more than enough to react to, as well as executing fresh ideas of their own.

Before I forget, if you, along with thousands of others, would like to receive the best PR stunts/campaigns of each week, directly to your inbox, click here to subscribe.

So, without further ado, I bring to you…

The Top 15 PR (and marketing) campaigns and stunts from 2013 so far, in reverse order (and ranked purely based on the number of unique hits each post received)…

15. The ‘Gosline’ phone helpline set up by Blinkbox after Ryan Gosling movie break announcement – ‘distraught’ fans of the Hollywood actor can call this helpline to listen to recordings of the actor’s most famous movie quotes. Post by WPR’s Zara Free

14. Australia’s best job in the world returns for 2013 – though not quite reaching the heady media heights of its 2009 counterpart, Tourism Australia’s world famous campaign was back for 2013. Post by Louise Moran

13. Asda launches the twosie – Asda landed an early Valentine’s Day PR win; creating the (allegedly) romantic fabric animal equivalent of handcuffs for couples. For our American subscribers, I’m told ‘twosie’ is another way you guys say ‘poo’, which I would co-incidentally prefer to wear. Post by WAA’s Alex Mansell

12. Coca-Cola ATM gives away free money, asks people to use it to help others – free money sounds the same in any language, so this (genuinely) nice stunt by Coke in Spain worked on many levels. Post by Twelve Thirty Eight’s Inderdeep Gill

11. Fanta unveil world’s first tastable print ad to promote new ‘more orangey’ flavour – in what Fanta claimed to be a world first, ads were created that tasted like their new flavour. Odd, but still pretty smart

10. Durex launches ‘Fundawear’. Letting couples touch each other over the Internet! – boxer shorts, bras and knickers were fitted with mini-vibrators to allow users to ‘touch’ each other from miles away. Post by Twelve Thirty Eight’s Inderdeep Gill (for more information, we also ran a ‘Behind the Campaign’ guest post by the team behind this stunt from Frank Australia – read it here)

9. Snickers teams up with Google in brilliant misspelled search terms stunt – so, Snickers is still going stro– well, it’s still going, with its ‘you’re not you when you’re hungry’ marketing campaign/brand message. You know, the one that got them in hot water when celebrities were clearly paid to tweet but didn’t declare it, Anyway, this campaign was actually pretty clever, tying search marketing and PR into one neat package. Post by WPR Agency’s Jade Mansell

8. ‘Best bus stop ever’ – public surprised whilst waiting for a bus – to promote the message that ‘life is better with mobile’, here’s Qualcomm with a tamer telecoms-take on Push the Button

7. Stunt roundup: How the world of PR reacted to Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement – a look at reactive stunts executed to piggyback on the ex-Manchester United boss’ retirement.

6. ‘Chocolate’ press release sent to journalists to promote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical not so much a stunt or campaign as a unique way to deliver news to journalists and, by given how much this has been shared, the wider public, too.

charlie and the chocolate factory usb press release

5. David Beckham Runs Across LA in His Pants for H&M – to launch his H&M range of boxer shorts, David Beckham gave women all over the world what they wanted by prancing around in his undercrackers. It clearly worked; legions of people every month still wind up on this page having searched for Golden Balls’ golden balls. Post by WPR’s Zara Free

4. ‘Mysterious’ smiley face markings appear on sheep – here’s who’s behind it… – I played Poirot to unmask le perpetrators of this ‘mysterious’ PR stunt. Manifest London’s Louise Moran also noted the stunt in her post here, including another step of the campaign

3. Hansel & Gretel Hotel made of cake opens in Soho for one night only – you read that right. A hotel. Made. Of. Cake. This campaign to promote a new range of Tate and Lyle sugar took 14 artists almost 3,000 hours of baking and decorating time, using more than 600kgs of sugar. Post by JML’s Jonathon O’Connor.

edible hotel tate and lyle pr stunt

2. Resort refunds Katie Price’s honeymoon on condition she stays away for ‘future weddings’ reacting to the model formerly known as Jordan’s public complaints about her honeymoon, Sandals Resorts offered her a full refund, with one humorous condition…

1. Live Photo-shopping Surprises Stockholm Commuters – a great stunt from Stockholm, in which movie posters were made in real time featuring people sat waiting for the bus. Post by WPR’s Stephen Graham

So, there you have it. The most popular stunts and campaigns of the first half of 2013. All being well, I’ll be doing another post looking at the top 20 posts from 2013 at the end of the year. Until then, thanks for reading, sharing and making this worthwhile!

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