PR campaigns happen all day, every day, all year around.
But to make PR campaigns successful, they need to be bold, stand out, and build a strong enough connection for people to stop, think and process the message that your brand or company want to share.
To choose just a few has been a difficult task, but here are four PR campaigns I’ve highlighted from 2018.
KFC FCKs up
Let’s start as we mean to go on, with food. The fact that KFC had a chicken shortage will never not be ironic and/or amusing, unless you’re me, and KFC is a religion.
Yes, KFC ran out of a chicken back in February 2018, which brought the UK to a standstill. But more importantly, instead of panic, the chicken restaurant turned to self-deprecation and a sense of humour to handle the crisis. It’s ‘We Are Sorry’ PR campaign saw an ad created that rearranged the synonymous ‘KFC’ on their bucket to instead display ‘FCK’, with the slogan: ‘WE’RE SORRY’.
The ad then redirected customers to its website to provide more information on the status of its restaurants.
How could DG have helped? We would have been on hand to receive any free chicken that KFC wanted to send our way.
Valentine’s Day at Greggs
Ah food, again. Greggs never fails to disappoint, both in its pastry delicacies and PR campaigns, and 2018 was no different. Who wouldn’t want Valentine’s Day at Greggs? Teaming up with OpenTable, Gregg’s Valentine’s dinner was launched in January which offered lucky couples a unique candlelit dining experience on come February 14th.
Serving up their famous pastries and baked goods, accompanied by dimmed lighting and classical music in a candlelit setting, Greggs got everyone doing two things: either talking about Greggs, or eating there.
A great idea which looked to amplify the bakery chain into a position of heightened sophistication and dining experience, I can only hope they run a similar campaign in 2019 to save me a few pennies.
DIESEL, or DEISEL?
Selling knock-off clothing to unsuspecting customers, that doesn’t sound like a good PR campaign, right? Wrong.
Opening a fake bootleg store in New York’s Chinatown, Diesel sold a counterfeit alternative, ‘DEISEL – For Successful Living’ in February 2018, which in fact was selling genuine merchandise. As part of Diesel’s spring/summer 2018 campaign strategy, Go With The Flaw, Diesel explored the idea of imitation being the greatest form of flattery, and people’s obsession for funny logos and knock-off brands.
The question is, did it work? Diesel’s founder Renzo Russo believes so, with the campaign encouraging fans “to feel free to wear whatever they want”, using the power of Diesel to spark questions around the idea of bootlegging your own brand, whilst actively taking part in the culture.
The link between obesity and cancer
The more serious and most important PR campaign on this list – Cancer Research’s anti-obesity campaign.
Did you know Obesity is the second highest preventable cause of cancer after smoking? We all know Obesity is an issue, but is it really second behind smoking?
Creating bill board posters which displayed “OB_S__Y” is a cause of cancer”, Cancer Research wanted to encourage people to actively guess what was the biggest cause of cancer after smoking, by filling in the blanks.
To strengthen the visual element of the campaign, Cancer Research reiterated its message by handing out fake cigarette packets to shoppers with french fries in it.
Of course, it was not without its fair share of criticism. People took to social media to vent their disapproval, accusing Cancer Research of body shaming. But sticking to its core message, Cancer Research impressively and professionally dealt with negative feedback in the best way possible; addressing the issue, and sensibly informing its sole aim to raise awareness between cancer and obesity, in an effort to lobby the government on policies which will help people keep a healthy weight.