My top 3 PR campaigns of 2018
One of the reasons I love this time of year is for all the ‘year in review’ features, particularly in our trade press. It’s always a pleasant reminder of how many PR campaigns have made me stop, think or act in the past year.
Stand out campaigns
From the incredible global response to the Nike Colin Kaepernick ad to Huawei’s ‘power bank’ stunt to hijack Apple’s iPhone launch, the awe-inspiring #NeverAgain movement to Banksy’s shredder stunt, we’ve seen strong creative thinking and opportunity-taking in abundance.
There’s many to pick from but I wanted to focus on three campaigns which really did the job for me, meant something to me personally and which serve as great inspiration for creative PR thinking:
Rang-tan by Iceland
Was it or wasn’t it banned? There’s been quite a bit of debate on this front but at the end of the day, it didn’t really matter - the #NoPalmOilChristmas ‘banned ad’ generated incredible results for Iceland.
For a week or two it was all anyone was talking about on social media, a change.org petition to overturn the ban garnered over 1m signatures and it generated big headlines in the national media. It successfully drew mass attention to Iceland’s strong green credentials, which the supermarket has been slowly building over the last few years.
Follow up activity such as the life size animatronic ograngutan in London generated further headlines and social shares. 2019 is sure to see more brands delivering environmental messages (and hopefully action!) in their comms as a key driver for consumer behaviour change, and Iceland seem ahead of the game here.
The UN People’s Seat
For me, climate change has been the single most important story of the year (yes, even more so than Brexit!). It seems to be the year ordinary people really took note of the urgency and scale of the problem, particularly on the back of hard-hitting documentaries like Drowning in Plastic (please watch it if you missed it!).
So the UN’s ‘People’s Seat’ campaign was perfectly timed. It allowed ordinary people to have their say at the global Climate Change Summit, leading to inspiring people like 15 year old Gerta Thunberg putting forward their case to a global audience.
Media headlines were also generated around the world when Sir David Attenborough took the people’s seat to issue a stark and urgent warning to leaders and policy-makers.
Using such a respected and trusted voice as Attenborough to deliver this message really hit home and inspired many to change their own behaviour and join community initiatives to drive change at a local level. Incredibly, we’re finally seeing action as the global community commit to make the Paris climate pact operational in 2020. Long may it continue.
I loved this simple, brilliantly executed idea from The New York Public Library that started with a question: where are the actual stories on Instagram Stories?
Its Insta Novels campaign aimed to answer that question, by sharing classic novels in a series of beautifully animated Instagram Stories - an antidote to all the baby photos, pet portraits and food porn, which dominate the channel.
Libraries exist to make great stories more accessible to everyone, and the Insta Novels campaign does just this in digital form.
At a time when our libraries are increasingly under threat of closure, I love that institutions like the NYPL are thinking of creative ways to engage new audiences.
What were your favourite campaigns of 2018?
It was hard to edit this list down to just three campaigns, but these three really jumped out at me as meaningful, whilst also inspiring me to change my own behaviour.
I’d love to hear about your favourite campaigns of the year in the comments below. Have any campaigns inspired you to change your behaviour or buy something different?