Best PR stunts 2017

The Best PR Campaigns & Stunts of 2017

Now that 2017 is well and truly behind us, it is time to reflect on all the great things that happened over the last 12 months. We’re ready to embark on New Year’s resolutions and live our best lives, but there’s no harm in getting a little nostalgic about 2017. From political debates to keeping up with celeb marriages and divorces, we’ve had a countdown for them all. But here at Ricemedia we’re reflecting on all things marketing and media, so here are our favourite PR campaigns of 2017:

January – Tostitos Chips:

Tostitos, an American crisp (sorry, chip) brand kick off our countdown with a cool and safety focused campaign from January 2017. They created a crisp bag just in time for the Super Bowl which could detect alcohol levels on the breath. The aim was to take as many as 25,000 drink drivers off the road during the sporting event. If the bag found any levels of alcohol on the user’s breath, the front logo turned red and the caption ‘Do not drink and drive’ appeared alongside a code for an Uber taxi. The code was then used to take $10 off the user’s taxi ride.

This is a great campaign with an innovative and safe spin on which jumps on the back of data which was already available. Between 2009 and 2013, a total of 294 injury and deadly accidents occurred on Super Bowl Sundays in California. All in all great awareness for the brand and a campaign which potentially saved lives!

February – Morrisons Supermarket:

Whether you’ve noticed or not, 2017 has been a great year for supermarket PR stunts. We’ve had Asda’s Pineapple plant which helps stop snoring and their foot-long eclair, which hit stores just in time for Christmas. But before all those, Morrisons launched a great PR stunt for Valentine’s day 2017. They began selling oysters for just 25p after a survey stated that only 40% of people in the UK had eaten one before.

A really fun campaign to get the people of Britain to try some new food and what better way to do it than selling a renowned aphrodisiac on Valentine’s day!

Best PR stunts 2017
Photo credit : Jon Super/PA Wire

March – Cancer Research:

Another PR stunt that focussed on safety and travel was Cancer Research’s March 2017 PR campaign to help people quit smoking. They placed an interactive outdoor poster in bus shelters to encourage smokers to breathe in and see how smoking is affecting their breathing. The longer the breath, the more of the message showed on the poster. However, smokers would have struggled to blow out for any length of time, a stop smoking helpline and advice would show on the screen.

As with the Tostitos campaign, this innovative way of showing people the effects of bad habits could, in turn, save a life!

April – Talk Talk:

Ahead of the Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko flight in April 2017, Frank Bruno and his son were drafted in by Talk Talk to help teach the nation a new type of boxing. Goggle Boxing sees the former heavyweight champion watching a fight from a different angle to the inside of a boxing ring- and that is from the comfort of his sofa.

The campaign was to promote Talk Talk showing the fight for the lowest ever price. The campaign was picked up on social media and some of the national publication titles, making it pretty successful.


Best PR Stunts 2017
Talk Talk


May – McDonald’s:

This stunt from May 2017 is sure to get your taste buds going! King of fast food and all round hangover cure, McDonald’s, launched the Fork to scoop up the last of your toppings. That’s right, it’s a fork made from fries, so now you never have to miss out on or struggle to get those few bits of toppings that fall out of your burger.

It’s the food item we never knew we needed until now. Sadly for us here in the UK, the Fork is only available in the USA.

June – IKEA:

Keeping within the foody tone, in June 2017, IKEA created an ace PR stunt in their Canadian stores. Just like the simplicity of their flat pack furniture, they created a flat-pack food recipe. The idea is pretty simple, the recipe is laid out on parchment paper and all the chef needs to do it put the ingredients in the allocated sections, then bring all together and bake!

This really is one that needs to be seen properly, so you can check out the video here.

Best PR Stunts 2017
IKEA Flatpack Food

July – Jose Cuervo:

Let’s step away from food at the moment and move on to drink. The 24th July 2017 marked national tequila day, so was the perfect date for tequila purveyor, Jose Cuervo, to come up with a great PR campaign. And boy didn’t they! Tapping into the knowledge that people like free alcohol (who’d of thought it?!) they created a tequila drinking fountain on the streets of Los Angeles.

An easy way to mark a national day and to get people drinking alcohol during the daytime!

August – Walkers Crisps:

And back to food. A tried and tested stunt that has worked for Walkers Crisps in the past is bringing out new flavours. But this time they put these new flavours up against some old ones. They claimed that people of the UK had to choose between three new flavours vs three of our most beloved; salt and vinegar, smokey bacon and prawn cocktail. The losing crisps would be discontinued.

Judging by social media the campaign caused quite a stir, with many people being up in arms if their favourite was to be stopped.


Best PR Stunts 2017
Walkers Crisps Choose or Loose

September – Marmite:

Another well-known food brand, Marmite, decided to play on something they are known for. And that’s whether you love or hate it. It’s an age-old question, so Marmite decided to put it to the test and roped in genetics company DNA Fit to find out if your genetics can show if you love or hate the stuff.

Whilst they figured out which part of our genetics would and wouldn’t like Marmite, outside factors do come into play, so it wouldn’t always be accurate. However, this is a clever campaign plays on their well-known slogan. To find out what your genetics say about you, you can buy your own DNA kit here for £89.99. Or to save yourself £87.99, you could just by a jar and decide for yourself.  

October – Burger King:

Going back to PR stunts with a slightly more serious undertone, in October 2017 Burger King brought us beaten up burgers to highlight bullying. In a clever viral video, an unnamed Burger King restaurant sold beaten up versions of their Whopper Jr Hamburgers. To which 95% of the people who were served these went on to complain about the state of their food. Whilst this was going on a child is also shown to be being bullied by other children. And here’s the kicker; only 12% of customers stepped up to intervene or report the incident.

This interesting social experience shows we’re happy to step in when something like out food isn’t being treated right, but not many of us would for another person. Food for thought indeed.

Best PR Stunts 2017
Burger King Bullying Campaign

November – Deliveroo:

Here we have a PR stunt, which came about from a different one going horribly wrong. In November 2017 Uber Eats, renowned for their foody partnerships, whereby they drop off free treats from different food companies. This time they were offering to drop off Krispy Kreme to Uber users. However, after an unexpected surge of users, the app crashed. Leaving many doughnut lovers without the sweet deliciousness of a free doughnut, which, expectedly, caused outrage.  

After seeing the disaster that Uber Eats had, the clever marketing people at rival company Deliveroo had a great plan. They rocked up to some of the busiest London Train Stations the next day to give doughnuts out to those who missed out on the Uber Eats promotion. A smart way to jump of the back of a news story and stick it to one of their competitors whilst they are at it!

December – KFC:

Last but not least, and sticking to an unplanned theme of fast food restaurants, KFC’s Christmas 2017 campaign has kept in line with their other recent PR stunts- turning their products into, err, other products. First came the finger-licking good nail varnish which tasted of the colonel’s 11 secret herbs and spices, then came the KFC bath bomb, for those who wanted the smell and taste to extend beyond their fingers. But how could they possibly top those two stunts?

By bringing out their own KFC inspired Christmas Decorations. Of course. For those fried chicken fans who are lucky enough to live in New Zealand, they could head to the KFC Facebook page to be in with a chance to win Christmas tree baubles in the shape of a Chicken Wing, Chicken Drumstick and a Bargain Bucket. The only true way to show your Chicken appreciation at Christmas time.

Best PR stunts 2017
Credit: KFC

Thanks for checking out our roundup, we’re excited to see all the new PR and marketing campaigns in 2018! If you’d like some advice regarding your Digital PR strategy, then do not hesitate to get in touch with Ricemedia – we’re more than happy to help!

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