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Top Four PR Campaigns of All Time

December 5, 2018

If you have yet to realise the sheer power of Public Relations and its components, my friend, you are in for an exciting ride.

 

I am going to make an audacious statement: Successful PR Campaigns can create new traditions and abolish old ones. Yes, you read that right; traditions. Traditions have not always been there. Someone brilliant had to initiate something new, in an opportunistic setting, and they happen to be Public Relations and Marketing experts.

 

We hope your hearts are tough because we might just start bursting some of your bubbles. Presenting, our Top Four Favourite PR Campaigns of all time:

 

Carlsberg – probably the best beer in the world

 

The word “best” can go as far as subjective goes especially when it comes to beer preferences, but one thing is for sure, this company knows best on how to capture the attention of people and most importantly when it comes to PR, media. 

 

Using the same theme of being the “best”, they crafted a simple poster with the words “Probably the best poster in the world”. What made it the “best” was not for its size or its graphics but it was because it dispensed FREE BEER. How often do we randomly get free beer? This campaign blew up in social media and has garnered 3 million tweets in just a day. 

 

Beer is a social drink that is indeed better enjoyed when being consumed with good company. This publicity campaign reiterated that idea by bringing strangers together for a cup of free beer – showing the public that Carlsberg is all about togetherness, a strategic way to position their brand in a distinguishable spot. 

 

What we can learn:

 

A creative idea can overpower a splurge on advertisements. In this era of social media, netizens are enough to spread the message across. Of course, giving out your products for free is still cost incurred but is still relatively the cheaper bet from advertisements. More importantly, it allows your customers to experience your product first hand.

 

Bacon and Eggs

 

Bacon and Eggs are the classic American breakfast – a match made in heaven. But how exactly did this seemingly age-old breakfast tradition come about? Before Bacon and Eggs, Americans used to eat light breakfasts such as a humble bread roll and a cup of coffee.

 

Bacon and Eggs only evolved to be the iconic breakfast meal from the 1920’s onwards, thanks to the genius of Mr. Edward Bernays – one of the pioneers in the field of Public Relations.

The story goes like this: Beech-Nut Packing Company approached Mr. Bernays one day to ask for his help in increasing the demand for Bacon.

 

Being the genius that he was, Mr Bernays turned to a doctor to recommend a heavier breakfast that includes meat. So the doctor did, along with five thousand other doctors. Taking it from medical professionals, Americans were quick to adapt even when bacon was not the “healthiest”, and thus the birth of the Bacon and Eggs tandem.

 

What we can learn:

 

Not all campaigns have to be flashy. Knowing your audience and their priorities are key to encourage a change in consumer behaviour. This PR campaign heavily latched on to the persuasion method that used the credibility of authorities whom people trust, thus the tremendous success that even stayed long enough to create a whole new iconic tradition.

 

I <3 NY

 

 

A familiar logo with a compelling history.

 

New York was in a turmoil in the 1970’s; crime rates saw an all-time-high and thus, an all-time-low tourism rate.

 

The New York State Department for Economic Development sought help from an advertising firm to create a campaign that would attract tourists to visit New York. Then came Milton Glasler, the American graphic designer behind this iconic logo that we know today. He drew this while he was in a cab and refined it later, in hopes that a simple logo can be a symbol of hope for New York – to communicate that their love for their city is what can help it rise again. Despite the other contributing factors that revived New York, this logo has remained as the iconic symbol for that, especially for the locals.

 

According to a 2011 British Telegraph newspaper article, official merchandise such as t-shirts and mugs emblazoned with Glaser’s design, generates more than $30 million a year.

 

What we can learn:

 

To quote Glasler, his advice is to “… want to do things like that, where you feel you can actually change thin

 

gs.” Publicity campaigns have the power to influence mindsets and compel people to change their behaviours. Indeed, the logo withstood the test of time and is still the icon for tourism until today.

 

Share-A-Coke Campaign

 

This famous campaign was first seen in Australia, summer of 2011 – and has been a constant summer campaign since then.

 

Coca-Cola replaced their iconic logo with the words “Share a Coke with” and then a name at the other side of the bottle. At first, they took the top 250 names across the world but have added more names and even the words “Mom, “Dad” and “My Best Friend” in the subsequent years.

 

On its first launch, 250 million named bottles were sold that summer, in a country with only 23 million people. The success of this campaign has caused it to move beyond Australia to New Zealand, Asia and eventually America. When asked if they wanted to do anything differently, creative excellence lead, Jeremy Rudge, said that they would allocate a lesser budget for TV advertisements. This campaign was able to let their consumers take full creative control in social media. Obviously the campaign was underestimated as more than 500,000 photos were shared using the #ShareaCoke hashtag, and Coca-Cola gained an additional of 25 million Facebook followers as a result of this campaign. #WOW

 

What can we learn:

 

For well-known corporations like Coca-Cola whose products are everywhere, it is of utmost importance that their audience still feels a sense of personal connection to the brand, especially since Cola-Cola has long been associated with the idea of love, happiness and togetherness which this campaign successfully brought forth.

 

It is only when we realise the power of word of mouth that we can fully be confident to utilise the opportunities available to getting the same outcome for your brand. Now that you know this, it is time to ask ourselves, “So, what did they do right?”

 

While there is no ‘sure win’ formula that can lead to a publicity windfall, from this list we can safely conclude that  these companies/organisations knew specifically what they wanted to achieve in their campaigns. Having a clear goal at the end in mind is an essential step into engineering a compelling campaign that is in the end more compelling to the public.

 

It takes great ideas that will synergize, to do great publicity and these campaigns are testaments to that. Give Right Hook a call to give your brand the publicity it deserves!

 

 

 

 

 

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