2015 is fast drawing to a close, and with the countless campaigns that took place this year, which campaigns truly stood out among them all? This month, we round up three of what we think were the most outstanding public relations campaigns that took place this past year, and show you what you can take away from these for your business’s own PR campaigns for next year.
This extensive, multi-level year-long campaign was certainly memorable if not one of the most outstanding for many Singaporeans. Conceived to celebrate the island-state’s fifty years of independence from British colonial rule, its genius lay in the ease of adoption of the logo across a wide range of products and services. A simple red circle encompassing “SG50” in the white-and-red colours of the Singapore flag, the logo, designed by local designer Jackson Tan, was rife with significance. Even large international brands like Lego, Coca-Cola and Rolls-Royce wanted to be a part of the action and rolled out their own memorable and successful SG50 product campaigns. The extensive campaign and the SG50 celebrations have both attracted a large amount of local and international coverage (some examples HERE, HERE and HERE) and as a nod to its effectiveness, is still drawing coverage to date, 11 months into the campaign.
For multi-level and continuous PR campaigns, simplicity is key for consistency and memorability. You certainly don’t need an over-the-top logo or catch-phrase to front your campaign; in fact, the simpler these are, the easier it is for people to remember and for integration into a multi-pronged campaign approach. And that is ultimately what good PR is about: reinforcing positive brand image through multiple channels.
2) Balmain x H&M
With It model Kendall Jenner fronting the Balmain x H&M campaign, the autumn collaboration between French designer label Balmain and Swedish fast fashion chain H&M was poised for success. H&M traditionally teams up with a designer each year to come up with a special collection of apparel and accessories, but this year’s campaign saw almost unprecedented hype. Aided by a PR campaign comprising an ad video that went viral with more than 6 million views on YouTube, a high-profile runway event which boasted the likes of several top models walking the runway and a performance by the Backstreet Boys, It models wearing pieces from the collection at red carpet events and the #hmbalmaination campaign on social media, public interest in the collection soared to hysterical levels – as evidenced by the queues of people outside H&M stores all around the world in the days leading up to the launch of the collection on 5 November. Interest in the collection was at fever-pitch here in Singapore too! Within minutes of the launch, people were selling items from the collection at marked up prices on eBay, and people were bidding for them.
You may not have as big a budget to tap on celebrities the way that H&M could for their Balmain campaign, but your business can certainly learn a thing or two from this example. An ad video that goes viral certainly helps your brand gain publicity traction, so do invest resources into brainstorming and producing a video that has high potential to go viral. (More on how to get your content to go viral coming up soon, stay tuned!) If your budget permits, consider getting the big names of your industry to endorse the product by being seen using it without explicitly pushing for sales. Sometimes, the less that is said, the better – especially these days when consumers are less responsive to hard-selling tactics.
3) IKEA Soft Toys for Education
Swedish furniture giant IKEA has been running the Soft Toys for Education campaign for the past 12 years, but this year, the campaign received extra attention in the media because it did something quite different: IKEA got children from all around the world to submit drawings of soft toys and picked 10 of them to turn into real plush toys for sale in their stores! One dollar of the sale of each toy will go to children’s aid groups UNICEF and Save the Children. The campaign enjoyed widespread coverage this year on international news outlets and online platforms as well as on social media, thanks to the clever twist in campaign mechanics. As a quick gauge to its popularity: the campaign has been shared over 73,000 times and viewed more than 230,000 times on online the community BoredPanda since it published an article on it on 29 October.
This was not entirely a new idea, as American toy maker Budsies had previously done just this last year – bringing children’s drawings to life by turning them into actual toys! What this means for your company is that you can draw on what has been done before by others and put your own unique spin on it for your own PR campaign. Children and good causes also earn you brownie points in PR, especially these days when people need more feel-good campaigns in the midst of all the turmoil in the world. So don’t be afraid to look back at previous PR campaigns and, in consultation with your PR specialists, come up with an adapted strategy to what works for your brand for best results.