Top 10 PR and marketing stunts and campaigns of January 2016

By on Monday, February 1, 2016

I’m going to be completely honest with you – I need a hand.

(Feel free to scroll on down if you just want the good stuff).

PRexamples is now 4 years old. I wrote a couple of posts to fill it out before it, but this, on the 23rd January 2012, introducing the site, was the first proper post. If it was a kid, it’d be going to school this year.

Many of the site’s contributors involved in the site – a large percentage being students and younger professionals, as you’d imagine – have graduated and are into the working world, or have been promoted and have less time and/or energy to give to this sort of thing.

I hear lovely things about the site all the time; that it’s a good educational resource on top of academic theory, that it’s good for a bit of fun and/or inspiration, that it’s helped people into the industry and jobs.

But, contributors come and go. Whilst I and the guys at my agency can try to keep it up to date, it’s you – the PR community – that keep it going strong: with your posts, your tweets and emails highlighting stunts and campaigns and your sharing.

So, please help me out in the following ways if you can:

  1. If you’d like to write for the site – and it’s still hitting 30,000+ uniques a month, so not exactly dead yet – please do sign up to do so by clicking right here and filling in the short form. Encourage others to do so too- especially students and younger PRs who’ll benefit from immersing themselves in ideas.
  2. Please email me – rich [at] prexamples dot com or tweet @PRexamples or @RichLeighPR if you see or are working on any great stunts or campaigns.
  3. Please continue to share these posts in any way you can.
  4. Throw any ideas to improve the site using the same contact details as above. Through Google ads the site just about covers costs for Mailchimp – maybe there’s a better way so you don’t have to see them? Patreon? Whatever your thoughts are, I’m always open to hearing them, I just want to keep the site fresh and useful.

Cheers all, now – onto what you’re here for.

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 January 2016:

10. Carlsberg unveil what is ‘probably the best shopping trolley in the world’

With the brand marketing message that keeps on giving, Carslberg has had a go at pimping out a shopping trolley. Why beyond that?

God knows, but it is very cool. Also in the blog, some good ‘behind the scenes’ footage.

9. Former England player Stuart Pearce signs for UK’s ‘worst’ football team

If you live in the UK and/or are remotely interested in football, you might have heard about ‘the worst team in the UK’, Longford AFC.

In a clever piggybacking stunt from Direct Line, ex-England great Stuart Pearce has signed on to play for the amateur outfit – and he’ll have to pay match fees, too.

8. Car ‘reversed’ at high speed on public roads in cool new VW PR stunt

To promote its new ‘Trailer Assist’ feature, Volkswagen turned a trailer into a car built with a one-way see-through shell. They then attached a car to the trailer – backwards, and with a driver in to help with steering – to give the impression of a car being driven quickly and with accuracy in reverse.

I saw one or two people saying this was faked on account of probable illegality, but it seems pretty legit to me. A good solid visual stunt that relates nicely to the product it’s actually supposed to be promoting. That’s 2 out of 3 of my ‘every good campaign should have these’ checklist – the 3rd being ‘explainable in a sentence’. Which this definitely isn’t…!

7. Kwik Fit host classes to get you Fit Kwik

Throughout January, fitness classes were held at Kwik Fit’s New Kent Road centre every Sunday.

Dubbed ‘Fit Kwik’, the workouts involved car and van tyres – giving the brand the license to work ‘lose your spare tyres with our spare tyres’ into the campaign.

6. Swiss dating sites rates how (un)attractive you are

Swiss dating app Blinq unveiled a site that not only guesses your age (very well, based on admittedly limited testing) – but also rates how attractive you are.

Gaining plenty of coverage in the process, Blinq’s ‘faces‘ site uses technology from ETH Zurich and Computer Vision Lab to ‘let artificial intelligence guess your attractiveness and age’.

5. Commuters asked to try their luck in ‘Lucky Man’ vending machine campaign

Brands giving things – including cash – away in new and clever ways will never grow old, and here’s a nice example of just that.

In a stunt to promote Sky 1’s Lucky Man, a vending machine (paid for by a selfie shared on social media, obvs) gave commuters (again, obvs) free stuff of varying quality and value.

4. Airbnb igloo and subsequent shutdown is a PR stunt and that’s OK

So, somebody emailed to tell me I was being grumpy about this in this post, but I honestly don’t see how. Maybe it was where I offered to fight anybody at Airbnb that disagrees with me? WHO KNOWS?

To explain, Airbnb had somebody pretend to upload an igloo to the site in NYC. Then, in time-honoured PR fashion and after grabbing the coverage that came with what was a top piggybacking idea, the ad was removed. Giving yet more coverage, for which, well done.

Airbnb will do a few more stunts similar to this throughout 2016, you just see if they don’t.

3. Cadbury’s pop-up peace offering after changing the Creme Egg recipe

Cadbury has actually created a pop-up cafe in London where you can go in and buy weird and wonderful Creme Egg meals. They’ve called it the ‘Crème de la Creme Egg Cafe’. Props.

Unfortunately, if you fancy a Creme Egg toasty or Creme Egg with soldiers, you’re too late. The Greek Street cafe might be open until March the 6th, but it’s entirely sold out, according to this Eventbrite page.

2. Pop up Skittle store lets you pawn unwanted gifts for sweets

This fun post-Christmas pop-up stunt from candy company Skittles allowed visitors to swap unwanted Christmas gifts for sweets – then donating the gifts to charity.

Visitors to the pawn shopin Toronto, Canada were encouraged to barter to agree upon how many bags of Skittles their item was worth.

1. Commuters opting for the stairs are greeted by live band playing Rocky theme tune

The title pretty much says it all with this feel-good stunt to promote the release of boxing movie Creed, as commuters hit by the January blues were asked to ‘take the stairs for a motivational surprise’.

Nice and simple.

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