Top 10 PR and marketing stunts and campaigns of August 2014

By on Monday, September 1, 2014

Here, in reverse order and based solely on the number of unique views each post received, are the top ten PR and marketing campaigns throughout August 2014:

10. Canadian bank rewards customers with Automated Thanking Machine – with 11m views, this campaign delivers in the feels stakes, but also in the viral ones, too. In short, big bank has soul, gives loyal customers free stuff (some of which may or may not be emotionally manipulative in a bid to procure lovely viral video tears a la WestJet). Quite lovely though, so if I agree to stop my PR cynicism and you can agree to stop yours you might like it. Post by political student and Politics Beyond Politicians blogger Ciaran McCormick.

9. Charity Benefits From Downton Abbey’s Bottle Blunder – a plastic water bottle was left in a publicity photo for Downton Abbey. Whilst the internet mocked away, some clever sods at the BBC realised they could take it on the chin and react in the best possible way by partnering with charity Water Aid. Post by Taylor Herring’s James Herring


8. Puma #foreverfaster campaign backfires – a Twitter campaign intended to send personalised ‘thank you’ posts from its athlete ambassadors was, shockingly, subject to Twitter funsters who worked out that by changing profile names, they could make the athletes ‘say’ rude things. Although hardly the worst ‘backfire’, it’s definitely worth highlighting as another in a long line of personalised campaign efforts. Post by The Splash Partnership’s Niki Goddard

forever faster

7. Swipe Right On Tinder To Adopt A Dog – in a clever Tinder takeover by US animal rescue organisation Social Tees, dogs looking for homes infiltrated the feeds of the ahem, ‘dating’ app users. At the time this post was written, one of the ten dogs had already found a permanent home through the campaign. Post by Taylor Herring’s James Herring

6. Lidl treat journalists to ‘flash’ 3 course spread – for less than £10 a head – in a night of commitments to British-grown produce and job creation – IKR YAWN – cheapy supermarket chain Lidl went all-out for the 185 journalists and important types assembled, laying on a ‘flash’ 3 course meal. After the dinner, the attendees were presented with a receipt showing that each of the ingredients had been bought from Lidl – and that the night had cost less than £10 a head. Smart.

5. Barclaycard Launch World’s First Contactless Donkey – I can’t say the same for anywhere else, but in the UK, melancholic donkeys transport children up and down many of our beaches. Barclaycard has created a saddle that holds a contactless card machine, to ensure parents can never use the excuse of having no cash again. Post by Stickyeyes’ Jess Maccio


4. Tardis Crash Lands In Parliament Square ahead of Doctor Who launch – this perfectly judged photo-led (old school) campaign to promote the launch of the new Doctor Who series – Peter Capaldi’s first – got fans VERY excited. Also related – Stansted Airport’s arrivals board also noted the return of the Doctor! Post by Taylor Herring’s James Herring


3. Fins-bury Park punters given fright with shark fin boating lake prank – to promote the launch of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, an old 2005 Banksy stunt (of which I could find little online – but it is mentioned in this Guardian piece from 2007) was rehashed as ‘shark’ fins were placed in the boating lake at the fortunately named Finsbury Park. Post by Gemini Search’s PR recruiter Jack Field

2. Diamond in the Sky stunt – a £12,000 diamond was sent to space – and upon popping, dropped somewhere near Lea, Gainsborough to promote a jeweller’s ‘interactive universe’. This treasure hunting stunt is similar to another effort you might have read about this month, where an artist hid £10,000 worth of gold bars on a beach in Kent. Post by The Splash Partnership’s Niki Goddard

77 diamond

1. ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ raises millions for ALS – you’ve ALL seen it. As the post says, this latest feel-good charity campaign has raised about a bajillion pounds for charity. Ready-made ice manufacturers are silently planning to take the rest of the year off. Post by independent PR consultant Will Hoyes.


Thanks for reading, PR fans.

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