Public Relations Campaigns of the Month

Public relations and advertising is something that companies strive to do right. Not only do these companies want their products and services to enter their prospective customer’s consciousness, but they want it to have a lasting effect. There are several different strategies that these companies can employ to do this. Below are the five most interesting, creative, and best PR strategies and tactics for this month.

1. T-Rex in Transit: The Life-Sized Sneak Peek at a National Geographic Show

Premier, a public relations firm located in the UK, made headlines this month for a PR stunt that it performed for a new show on National Geographic called T-Rex Autopsy which airs in June. The company loaded a life-sized tyrannosaurus rex on the back of a flatbed truck, making the fake creature appear dead and covered with a bloody sheet. The truck was driven all around London and several outlying areas. The truck then stopped at a press conference where the artist was interviewed.

This exhibition clearly used a PR tactic involving a shock and awe effect, as well as getting people to ask questions and seek out answers. As the dino was hauled through London, the company got the reaction they were hoping for. People were taking photographs, uploading pictures and comments to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and were even asking the driver where the dinosaur came from. Of course, this public relations campaign also came at a time where dinosaurs are being talked about, with the imminent release of the Jurassic World motion picture.

Creating questions that the audience will have to find the answers to themselves is a very effective PR technique. When these questions are posed to prospective consumers, they are more likely to initiate a search, and if the subject is interesting enough (such as being a huge dead dinosaur on the back of a truck), then they will actively search for an answer. This will also create a sharing effect that you will not be able to find for regular advertising, since the subject is entertaining to both the targeted audience and others as well.

This company used a very high-profile approach to the advertisement of this show. The use of the fake dinosaur that appeared to be very real, as well as the fake blood and autopsy sheet gave the residents of London a lot to question. The only hint as to what the display was for was a small sign on the back of the truck that said “National Geographic.” The artist and PR agency also meant to create a stir online with their stunt, which helped them to get the word out further and create more of a buzz about the show. Overall, the use of this high-profile and in-your-face tactics lands this prehistoric PR campaign on this list of the top five for this month.

2. Domino’s Tweet-A-Pizza Campaign

Domino’s has been a long time pizza contender in the pizza delivery market, going up against giants like Pizza Hut, as well as smaller franchises. Domino’s is rolling out a new type of order system that it plans to use for the foreseeable future. In order to reach the epitome of convenience, as well as to attract younger customers, this pizza chain is now offering deliveries through the use of only emojis on Twitter.

Of course, the announcement of this strategy created quite a buzz, with many hailing it as a great idea to conjure up a new base of customers that Domino’s has missed out on in the past. This also makes Domino’s the first and only pizza chain to use this type of ordering system. Patrick Doyle, CEO of Domino’s, said that he wants to go where the customers are, such as online social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. With over fifty percent of their orders coming from digital sources already, it would make sense to try to make it even easier.

With this strategy it is clear that Domino’s wants to create a buzz on social media, as well as gain more attention for their franchises. This PR strategy will also make it easier for customers to order pizza from Domino’s, skipping over all of the information that needs to be typed in on online registration and order screens or picking up the phone to order. For Domino’s this strategy focuses on convenience for their customer, as well as creating a buzz online. The company also wants to focus on where they believe their main customers are located; social media. This combination of social media tactics and creating an online buzz, as well as making the already-easy process of ordering pizza even less time consuming, Domino’s emoji order system is added to the list of best PR strategies this month.

3. Coca-Cola’s “Choose to Smile” Campaign

Coca-Cola is tugging at our heart strings and making us nostalgic once again with their “Choose to Smile” campaign. This campaign features a video on YouTube that shows several different videos of babies and young children smiling and laughing, followed by the facts that studies have shown kids smile and laugh 40 times more than adults. The question “did we forget the first thing we learnt” is then shown on the screen. This video received a staggering seven million views since it was put online in mid-May.

Coke has always been a company that tries to get a reaction with its feel-good advertising and nostalgia based public relations strategies. The company has had other campaigns, such as the campaign featuring coke’s efforts in Asia to get soft drinks and water to the citizens there that leaves the viewer with a good, happy feeling. Coke is also the creator of the advertisements featuring family-oriented polar bears and a jolly looking Santa Claus in funny situations around the holidays. Once again, they have created a feel-good campaign that aims to affect the emotions of the viewer.

This type of PR strategy is nothing new, and it is often extremely successful. For one thing, everyone can relate to being a child, which makes the target audience of the campaign essentially everyone. It also features pictures and videos of other human beings smiling, which, as we all know, tends to be contagious. Adding to this the nostalgia of our childhoods, Coke has created a campaign that makes us feel good without ever having to have had the product. This swelling of emotions was the goal of this campaign.

By the sheer number of views on the video, it is clear that this campaign, like many of Coke’s other campaigns, was successful. The video did make viewers feel a certain way and successfully projected the image that if you were to drink a Coca-Cola, you will be just as happy and jovial as you were when you were a toddler, as well as the message that it is still okay to smile. The caption to the video is right; it is extremely hard to watch the campaign and not let out a small smile. For that, this campaign will go down as one of the best new PR campaigns this month.

4. Starbucks and Spotify Team Up to Create a New Digital Ecosystem

Starbucks has had ties to music for a long time. Each of its 7000 stores has had music playing, catering to their millions of customers that visit the store for more than just a quick cup of coffee. Now, Starbucks has created a partnership with the digital music streaming company Spotify. From now on, loyalty members of Starbuck’s My Starbucks Rewards program, as well as employees of the company, will be able to influence the music played at the stores through the design of user-created playlists. These playlists will be played in the stores, as well as being available through either the Starbucks or Spotify app to users outside of the stores.

This teaming is a business and public relations strategy that goes back as far as businesses do themselves. Starbucks and Spotify have formed a strategic alliance in hopes that it will create a synergy, not only through sharing current customers, but also through bringing new customers to the table. The companies are hoping that Starbucks customers will now download and use the Spotify app, as well as current Spotify/Starbucks customers becoming more loyal and joining Starbuck’s My Starbucks Rewards program in order to get the free playlists.

This partnership is also utilizing two of the iconic business and PR models out there right now: customization and digital media. This new partnership will allow customers to create their own playlists that will be heard in Starbucks restaurants, making them feel as though they are a bigger part of the whole and have a say in the business. The use of digital media is also a very hot topic right now, and with Spotify being one of the premier digital music applications on the market, it is sure to create a buzz.

This strategy is very hopeful for both Starbucks and Spotify. Starbucks is attempting to create more customer loyalty through giving its customers and employees the power to influence what goes on in the store. Spotify is hoping to take advantage of being the only music choice in Starbucks stores, as well as being exposed to several new users from the My Starbucks Rewards Program. This partnership for customization and the use of digital media puts this campaign on the list of the best PR campaigns for this month.

5. Chevrolet is “A Brand for Me”

Chevy has been an American Brand for as long as many of us can remember, but in the past decade the popularity of American cars has gone downhill. This has lead Chevy to do a complete overhaul on its PR strategies, and in doing so it introduced the “BRAND FOR ME” campaign. This campaign has attempted to humanize the brand, reach out to its fans and advocates, push the marketing boundaries, and create stories that show Chevy as a brand that can be useful for everyone.

One of the prongs of this strategy was to reach out to its customers and advocates through real-time, social interactions. The main source of these interactions was through online social media. For example, through online social media monitoring, Chevy was able to get one of its Twitter followers a free coffee. Chevy also interacted with award winning writer John Green on Twitter. Through its use of social media, Chevrolet is hoping to show itself as a more human element that is listening to and cares about its customers and fans.

Another prong to this approach is the creation of great stories that will create a sentiment for the brand among current and prospective consumers. The commercial called “Maddie” shows one of these stores and features a women going through life with her dog, Maddie. At the end, after it goes through her college years and childhood with this dog, it shows the when the girl first got the puppy and got into her Chevy, the same car that she had at the beginning of the commercial. It shows the long-lasting friendship with the dog, as well as the long-lasting nature of the car. This commercial creates the good-feeling and sentiment that the campaign is aiming for. For that, it is also one of the best campaigns of the month.

Some other initiatives that the company is taking in order to reach its fans are a Chevy Camaro, one of the more popular models, Facebook page. This page features Bumblebee, the Transformers version of the Camaro, and has gained over 25,000 likes and several comments. Members of Chevy also comment on the page and solicit responses from fans. Chevy has also created a partnership with the Transformers franchise for Transformers 4 and featured several of its new models in the movie.

These five examples of public relations and advertising campaigns are some of the best for this month. They take advantage of in-your-face marketing and creating questions that the consumer has to answer, digital media and customization, and the creation of emotions that consumers enjoy. These are several examples of successful PR strategies.

You can read the official version on the 5WPR blog.