We may tire of saying this every year, but where has the time gone? It is officially December, which means the countdown towards Christmas is on and social media is once again flooded with festive themed adverts and PR stunts.
Can you blame us for getting excited about November’s PR stunts? ‘Tis the season where some of the most exciting and poignant moments of the year in are featured in Digital PR. Here at Ricemedia, we have compiled a list of our most memorable moments in the lead up towards Christmas. What is your favourite thing that happened in Digital PR this November?
Iceland’s ‘Rang-Tang’ Video
This controversial advert has become viral across social media with over half a million viewers on YouTube. Emma Thompson narrates this heart-wrenching advert which tells the story of an orangutan whose home is being destroyed due to the palm oil industry. Iceland’s aim behind this political campaign was to raise awareness of deforestation and destruction caused by palm oil production- focusing on the devastating impact it has on the critically endangered orangutan. In a bid to reduce the usage of palm oil, Iceland have now become the UK’s first major supermarket to pledge to remove palm oil from all its own-brand foods. Unfortunately, this advert was pulled from our TV screens due to it being ‘too political,’ and therefore breaching political advertising rules. However, this hasn’t seemed to reduce its coverage. What are your thoughts on Iceland’s advert?
John Lewis (The Store): The Boy and the Piano
The frenzied moment that you have all been waiting for: the John Lewis Advert. In previous years we have laughed, cried and listened to the song covered on repeat. After last years Moz the Monster, John Lewis wanted to bring something a little different to our screens. The advert features Sir Elton John wistfully playing Your Song on the piano whilst reminiscing upon heartfelt memories of his past. The reverse chronology shows him transcending from the man he is today to an excited young boy waking up on Christmas morning and receiving his grandmother’s piano. The premise of the advert? “Some gifts are more than just a gift.” Perhaps it’s the emotion behind this advert that makes this a powerful PR campaign for John Lewis.
The ‘Real’ John Lewis: #NotARetailStore
Having the same name as a famous celebrity may be slightly confusing when introducing yourself to someone new or booking tickets online. But what happens when you have the same name as a giant retail store? John Lewis from Virginia knows how this feels more than anyone. With his Twitter handle as @johnlewis, he receives more than 50,000 tweets and complaints from shoppers who mistake his account for the retail giant. In a clever digital PR stunt, the ‘real’ John Lewis and Twitter created a comical advert which plays on the case of his mistaken identity and the massive spike of messages he receives around this time of year. The clever campaign pays homage to the retail store John Lewis by featuring iconic toys from previous adverts such as a telescope, a miniature moon ornaments, Monty the Penguin and Buster the Boxer.
Sainsbury’s ‘The Big Night’
Sainsbury’s new advert, ‘The Big Night’ features a heartwarming story of a young girl nervously stepping on stage to sing the New Radicals’ ‘You Get What You Give’ (which conveniently adheres to Sainsbury’s campaign theme: ‘We give all we’ve got for the ones we love.’). Amongst the Love Actually-style nativity scene-which includes children dressed as baubles, a camel, fairy lights and a plug- is a warm feeling which encapsulates the excitement and emotion of Christmas. The advert was directed by Michael Gracey, director of The Greatest Showman and is a perfect portrayal of a mother proudly watching her daughter perform at a nativity show.
The Heathrow Bears
Once again, the beloved Heathrow Bears have returned to our screens with Doris and Edward Bair. This year, the two bears have aged and have emigrated to a retirement home in Florida. Despite soaking up the sunshine, the couple begin to miss their quintessential British christmas with their family. In a bid to reunite with their loved ones back home, Doris and Edward decide to embark on the journey back home to see their family. This advert is a touching example of how being close to your loved ones is what makes Christmas such a special time of year. I wonder how many of Heathrow’s passengers will be returning to their family this Christmas?
Deliveroo ‘Missing Person’ Campaign #RideToFind
As highlighted above, Christmas is a time for reuniting with you family. During November, Deliveroo riders sported mobile billboards with faces of missing people across London, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol as part of a campaign with ‘Missing People’ charity in the hope of reuniting families and loved ones this Christmas. This campaign began as a trial but has already yielded amazing results. So far, 3 out of 4 people featured have been found safe and well. Chief executive of Missing People said “We hope this fantastic partnership will help us reunite families and loved ones this Christmas.” Let’s hope Deliveroo can continue bringing more people back home this Christmas! You can also help support Missing People by searching “Ride to Find” in the Deliveroo app.
So there you have it, some of our favourite PR stunts of November. With less than a month to go now until Christmas, keep your eyes peeled for any more exciting festive-inspired campaigns!