Living in a world full of clever social media campaigns and celebrity endorsements, it’s hard to think of a PR stunt left in the book that hasn’t already been pulled. However, looking back, there have been several smart and original PR campaigns that managed to grab our attention this year.
From the inspired to the ridiculous, here are five of the most brilliantly executed PR campaigns in 2018.
1) Love and pasties: Greggs’ Valentine’s Day campaign
For Valentine’s Day 2018, Greggs tried their hand at Michelin Star dining. The nation’s favourite pasty chain teamed up with restaurant booking service OpenTable to serve sultry candlelit dinners in selected stores around the UK - complete with roses and candelabras. Billed as an “unmissable” Valentine’s Day treat, lovebirds were treated to four courses of Greggs’ finest cuisine. If you can’t say it with words, say it with a steak bake.
2) Blockbuster for a blockbuster: Deadpool 2’s release campaign
Anticipation for Deadpool 2 was through the roof, and Fox Entertainment managed to land one of the finest PR stunts of 2018 when they built the beloved Marvel hero his own Blockbuster Video. The campaign tugged at nostalgia, resurrecting the iconic video store for 2 days only, at a pop up in London. The store was solely stocked with limited edition VHS copies of the film, which fans were welcome to - if they could dig out their old Blockbuster card.
3) Jumbo Jeff: Jurassic Park’s 25th anniversary
NowTV took things to a whole new level celebrating 25 years since the release of Jurassic Park. To mark the milestone, they put a massive statue of leading man Jeff Goldblum in London, right next to Tower Bridge. The hilarious, and disarmingly gorgeous, piece of art surely got more than a few people to tune into the classic dinosaur flick. Sometimes the best marketing campaigns are the ones that don’t take themselves too seriously.
4) Bravo avocado: Virgin’s millennial discount
Avocados have become the enduring mascot of millennial culture, and Virgin Trains decided to poke fun at this in a PR coup that had heads spinning. In March Virgin announced that, for one week only, anyone aged 26-30 could get discounted travel if they presented an avocado at the ticket office. The outrageous stunt was in response to the immense popularity of their limited edition Avocard. The campaign proved to be a huge success, and a testament to the power of outside-the-box marketing.
Didn't bag a Millennial Railcard? Have no fear! Simply present an avocado in place of your railcard when booking your ticket and you'll be entitled to the same fantastic 1/3 off discount for one week only. Full details here: https://t.co/7Dp48RWzgp 🥑 #Avocard #railcard pic.twitter.com/NLhPfbD2yp— Virgin Trains (@VirginTrains) March 13, 2018
5) Libraries in the sky: easyJet’s book club
Statistics from the Department of Education showed that 1 in 5 children cannot read well by the age of 11, so easyJet decided to do something about it. Teaming up with children’s author Jacqueline Wilson, the airline launched the easyJet Book Club. The PR campaign saw 7,000 copies of beloved children’s books take to the skies, including classics like The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan and Alice In Wonderland. Kids were encouraged to ditch the in-flight movie and get hooked on some literature on their long haul flights. The campaign was a huge hit with the 750,000 families easyJet flew out of UK airports over the summer. This is just one example of the ways innovative targeted marketing can make a real difference to people’s lives.
After last year's success, our flying libraries are taking off again... But, they're bigger and better than before!— easyJet (@easyJet) July 11, 2018
300 Flybraries in the sky ✈️
17,500 kid's books onboard 📚
7 European languages to read 🌍 pic.twitter.com/dqTKZIHhYi
What PR stunts have left a big impact on you this year? Let us know via Twitter.