It’s been a brilliant year for PR campaigns and stunts, and we’ve been proud to have been involved in our own creative and newsworthy events– with the launch in March 2023 of P&O’s flagship Arvia in Barbados. More about that later – but it showcases the need to have a deep understanding of the target audience and to ensure that a campaign is purpose led and not just a gimmick.
We also want to highlight Onfido’s Fraud lab. The Identity experts created a state-of-the-art Lab with a team of experts demonstrating all forms of document and biometric fraud, from cheap fakes to deep fakes. The lab and the latest fraud trends for 2024 have been featured on BBC News, BBC Morning Live, Sky News and 5live Radio.
We’re highlighting some of our favourite external campaigns from 2023 along with some of our own in-house success stories. There have been so many to choose from but there’s a common theme to a good PR campaign – it ALWAYS has a clear objective, and you must be able to measure its impact…
Guilt-free flying or clever PR? Sky News concluded it ‘was a bit of both’ but they and all the media loved the story of Virgin’s first transatlantic flight fuelled by cooking oil. The campaign picked up blanket print, online and broadcast coverage- and demonstrates how Virgin are always at the cutting edge of technology. The airline is working hard to reach the government’s ambitious target to increase the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to at least 10% by 2030.
Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfTA0Yj_xoA
Come on Barbie lets go PR – and a big shout out for Barbie’s PR team. Since January 2023 more than half a million articles and have been dedicated to Barbie’s film and that number is growing.
We loved everything about Mattel’s movie launch PR and there were so many different, compelling layers to it, but the best consumer PR element was reports of a global pink paint shortage. Production designer Sarah Greenwood claimed that the film’s creation had led to an international shortage. Media outlets including CNN ran with this, and it encapsulated a key theme of Barbie PINK!!
Barbie loves a collaboration, and this in itself generated more PR. Some of the brands that joined forces with Barbie included Xbox, ZARA, Airbnb, UNO, Fossil, Kitsch, OPI, Bumble and even Crocs. Brand watchers say Mattel’s decision to turn its product into a movie and, in turn, transform the movie into a line of products was inspired.
Taking advantage of another block buster film release was also inspired. The 21st of July saw the opening of Oppenheimer, a film about the development of the atomic bomb – coined ‘Barbenheimer’ this created the inevitable mashups, memes, jokes etc. Margot Robbie was pictured on Barbie’s social media holding tickets to Oppenheimer.
Some of the other PR initiatives which we felt enhanced the movie’s PR included a Barbie themed hotel for the cast to be interviewed in along with turning the London Eye Pink and a Barbie themed Dr Who Tardis. Go Barbie!
This next public relations example just tickled me as I’ve been guilty of mispronouncing my favourite childhood drink and it had to make the top list..
The Vimto to Vimpto campaign was brilliant – the drink is one of the most popular brands on the British market competing with big names like Ribena and Robinson’s
Vimto knew that consumers were adding a ‘P’ when they pronounced the name and decided to create a fun, PR campaign around this.
Vimto announced it was changing its name to ‘Vimpto’, in line with how people tend to pronounce it. An image of a giant billboard that went viral said: “Changing our name to Vimpto… seeing as you all pronounce it that way.”
It created a huge debate online. It may have worked too well because people believed that the brand was genuinely going to change the name !!
Dove’s ‘Stand Up For #KidsOnlineSafety’ Campaign
Dove has become renowned as an ethical beauty brand and for its promotion of body confidence and increased self-esteem in women.
2023 The Campaign for Kids Online Safety saw a change of focus and Dove campaign for legislation to protect children’s self-esteem and wellbeing from “harmful” social media posts.
It is part of the beauty brand’s Dove Self-Esteem Project, which teaches young people about body confidence and self-esteem.
In the latest campaign, a three-minute video released on YouTube and distributed through various channels shows the long-term effects of young people watching other creators weigh and measure themselves as well as restrict dieting.
The emotional short film explores the real-life consequences of harmful beauty content and offers a glimpse into the lives of young people who are coming of age with social media.
It finishes with Mary, in an eating disorder clinic, recovering from the illness and encourages viewers to go onto Dove’s website and sign the Campaign for Kids Online Safety.
The initiative aims to address the rise in kids’ mental health issues linked to social media and is calling for platforms to make these spaces more “positive”.
Currently, Dove say eight out of ten youth mental health specialists believe social media is fuelling a mental health crisis.
By far the most challenging PR event for us in 2023 was the naming in March of the largest cruise ship built for the British Market – P&O’s super liner Arvia.
With her retractable SkyDome and bright, light spaces, she’s designed to make the sea the star and let the sunshine in – with that in mind, and in a first for P&O Cruises she was officially launched in Barbados with a simultaneous beach side and on-board ceremony.
Our team supported the streaming of the LIVE event which was technically challenging with crews based half a mile apart on land and at sea. Watch the highlights here:
Singer and entertainer Nicole Scherzinger was on board Arvia for the naming and Singer Olly Murs and a host of stars entertained crowds on the beach.
Our brief was to drive 100,000 viewers to sign up and watch the historic event which was live 213K views.
This PR campaign took a lot of time and effort with the objective of attracting positive media attention and creating a positive relationship with the client’s target audience customers who are serious about making conscience choices. Vegan sweet brand Candy Kittens doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it is serious about being a ‘purpose-led brand’ which sources honest ingredients with absolutely no nasties including no palm oil and most importantly no gelatine.
We supported the brand’s founder, entrepreneur Jamie Laing alongside their PR agency Dundas Communications to help them in their mission to build a community that sees sweets differently and to campaign to persuade the sweets industry to stop using gelatine.
The way to achieve this – we recommended was shock tactics. The research was commissioned just before Halloween when millions of sweet treats are consumed and found 67% of Brits are unaware that their favourite sweets contain ingredients made from pig skin, bone, and cartilage. These go into gelatine, a staple for many confectionary companies.
Shockingly, only 11% of people always read the list of ingredients before choosing a snack and only 1 in 10 (10%) think ingredients on snack packaging is very clear.
Jamie Laing was the spokesperson and his ‘no nasties’ messaging reached more than 13.1 million radio listeners with coverage on TalkSport, Global Radio Podcast and the BBC England regions late night show which has a weekly reach of more than 5 million.