With 2019 recently drawing to a close, we felt it would be a good time to look back on the best PR Campaigns of 2019. So, which PR campaigns were most effective in 2019?
January: National Geographic – ‘Missing Cat’
Developed and executed by PR agency Tin Man, National Geographic’s ‘Missing Cat’ campaign was used to cleverly highlight the demise of big cats and the extent to which their extinction is a risk.
The giant poster of a ‘missing cat’, which is in fact a painted poster of a large lion as opposed to a domestic animal, occupies 260 square feet of ground space. It was created using chalk and paint by street artist Dean Zeus Colman, and the poster took over 12 hours to finish.
The fact that the poster will eventually disappear from sight, as humans walk over it and cause its gradual destruction, tragically reflects the way in which lions are disappearing from our planet due in part to human interference. The innovative PR campaign was therefore effective due to combining a sad fact with an emotive purpose.
February: Turkish Airlines – Lego Movie 2 In-Flight Video
Aimed at promoting safety whilst flying, Turkish Airlines’ Lego Movie 2 in-flight video built upon the well-established success of the first Lego Movie and its previous accompanying Lego Movie in-flight video.
With Turkish Airlines’ original safety video released in August 2018, the follow-up ran alongside the release of the sequel in the cinema. It took 979 hours to produce and required the use of more than 20,000 bricks.
March: Avon – #Stand4Her
WIth a campaign run by PR agency Good Relations, Avon launched what was deemed to be a groundbreaking #Stand4Her campaign. Catrin Pugh, who was severely affected by burn injuries sustained in a coach accident, was the first model with a visual difference to be hired by the beauty brand as part of this campaign.
Avon’s campaign forms part of their new worldwide aim to help improve more than 100 million women’s lives every year. The campaign was developed following internal research, which revealed that 80% of women cite feeling excessive pressure from the media to be perfect.
April: Xbox – Visit Xbox
Launching a PR campaign conceptualised by McCann London, which centred around virtual travel, Xbox celebrated a new form of tourism. Allowing the gaming giant to demonstrate Xbox One X Enhanced games, which have been designed specifically to optimise the world’s most powerful games console, users are encouraged to explore the breathtaking scenery that’s now available to them.
The campaign was developed to encourage gamers and non-gamers alike to become gaming tourists and discover virtual locations from the past, present and future through Xbox. Some of the locations featured were also entirely other-worldly, creating a sense of discovering something exclusive to the gaming world.
May: B&Q – Bee Pit Stop
B&Q’s Bee Pit Stop PR campaign was a combined effort, with PR agency Good Relations collaborating with Helix to establish the installation and Engine to determine the creative direction of the project. The campaign featured a giant ‘honeycomb’ filled with pollinating flowers. It was strategically designed to provoke people to plant further bee-friendly spaces and increase awareness of the species’ declining population.
June: Jaguar Land Rover – International Women in Engineering Day
This thought-provoking campaign, which was initiated by PR agency W Communications, was carried out in a primary school. On 23 June 2019, primary school children were asked to draw an image of an engineer as they viewed them. With the aim of tackling gender stereotyping and challenging perceptions, the campaign coincided with International Women in Engineering Day.
July: Paddy Power – Save our Shirt
Launched to powerfully demonstrate how betting sports sponsorship was going too far, Paddy Power created their ‘Save our Shirt’ campaign. PR agencies VCCP and Octagon were both involved in the development of the campaign. The campaign was brave given the bookmaker’s own undeniable involvement in betting. However, this arguably made it all-the-more innovative, as they used their position within the industry to ironically highlight what’s wrong with such sponsorship. Both the public and the media were mistakenly led to believe the shirts were a legitimate attempt by Paddy Power to sponsor Huddersfield Town and heavily impact upon their shirt branding. So, what started out as heavy criticism of the bookmaker’s agenda quickly turned into a refreshing yet ironic public discussion on how sponsorship via sports kits has gone too far.
August: The Ruth Strauss Foundation – #RedForRuth
Hanover agency The Playbook worked with The Ruth Strauss Foundation to deliver this bold campaign. The main focus of the campaign was initiated on the second day of the England vs Australia Ashes test, during which time the Lord’s ground was turned red to raise money for a rare form of lung cancer. Ruth Strauss was the wife of Former England director of cricket Andrew Strauss, and she died from the currently-incurable illness. The campaign was therefore both poignant and emotive.
September: E.ON – London’s Lungs
Created by Engine PR agency Mischief, this campaign for energy firm E.ON was created to highlight the staggering extent of air pollution within the UK. A 16ft monument of a pair of transparent lungs was set up on London’s Southbank and connected to a live feed of air-quality data. The campaign was timely, as it was executed ahead of London’s Car Free Day and the global climate strike.
October: The Beano – Halloween and Boris Johnson
Developed by PR agency Taylor Herring, The Beano’s Halloween campaign drew upon the results of a survey which revealed the most common costumes worn by children to mark this particular day of the year. The company promoted its long-running comic book and associated merchandise by creating three distinct looks that would be suitable for Halloween: Boris on his bike, stuck on a zipwire and at Bullingdon Club, Oxford University’s private dining club.
November: Argos – Book of Dreams
Launched on 1 November 2019, Argos released its Christmas 2019 advertising campaign. The campaign featured the first use of the iconic Argos catalogue in their Christmas TV advert in a decade.
The festive campaign celebrated a tradition that’s well-established in many families: circling gifts you’d most like in your Argos catalogue. Referring to the catalogue as the ‘Book of Dreams’, the advert sees a father and daughter achieve their dreams, as he notices that his daughter has circled a drum kit. The kitchen then transforms into a stage complete with a drum kit and he begins to play the drums in this nostalgic and heart-warming advert. The daughter is woken by him playing the drums and decides to join him, as they start to play a special gig, which includes adoring fans.
A digital collection of catalogues from the last 40 years was released on the Argos website, and it led to more than 1.8 million visits within the first two days alone.
December: The Children’s Society, Silent Choir
With high-profile artists including KT Tunstall and Freddie Long donating their silence to the track, so the voices of young people coping with challenging circumstances can be acknowledged.
The silent track signified the hard-hitting reality for thousands of kids who will be suffering abuse in silence this Christmas. It can be streamed on Spotify and follows on from the Silent Choir’s performance in London, Piccadilly, where the singers only sang when somebody donated money.
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