PR Campaigns - The Good, The Bad & The Viral

‘Tis the season to be jolly  (fah la la la la, la la la la) and our round up of PR Campaigns for December are well and truly in the festive spirit from giant, controversial advent calendars, to sandwiches that give back, endless Christmas dinners and most importantly at this time of year; those companies that are doing some good.

Beery Christmas Countdown

Popular beer brand, Bank’s Beer, has turned an old disused building into a giant advent calendar as part of its Christmas campaign. The building has 25 windows, each with a unique graffiti image and statement on Christmas – stating things we all think but wouldn’t dare to say!

Examples of the controversial window messages include, an image of a Christmas light covered house stating, “Sod global warming, its Christmas”, a snowman with yellow snow and my favourite – an image of a present with the caption “Half price next week”. The beer brand have created a talking point and proved themselves to be cutting edge and not afraid of putting themselves out there – a stance many appreciate in this corporate world of ‘safe’ messaging.


Although fun and a bit different this campaign hasn’t actually achieved any coverage for Bank's Beer apart from a few pieces of trade and one regional – still a fun way to start the festive season.

Winner, Winner, Christmas Dinner

This campaign comes from the king of roast chains, Toby Carvery, who is gleefully trotting down the ‘job of a lifetime’ PR Campaign route that we see so often.

The UK restaurant chain has launched a new job, where one ‘lucky’ candidate can become a Christmas dinner taste tester. We don’t know about you, but we usually eat around 2-3 roast dinners over the festive season and halfway through the third we never want to see a sprout again so we’re not convinced this ‘job’ will have that many applicants. Although getting applicants isn’t the point here is it…getting coverage is.


The job ad appeared on LinkedIn (nice and cost effective whilst also seeming genuine) and states that the employee will be traveling up and down the country tasting ‘different’ Toby Carvery’s Christmas dinners, passing judgement and getting them all for free.

The job used the hashtag #HireMeToby, where candidates would apply using it, submitting a 25-word piece on how they’re perfect for the job. The ad has created quite a buzz, being covered on Metro, Cosmopolitan and many more smaller titles. Good news for Toby, this quick, cheap and simple campaign has worked (although we won’t be applying).

 Care in A Manger

Out of all the festive campaigns we’ve seen so far, we’re most impressed with Pret-a-Manger, the brand is shunning traditional Christmas marketing tactics and will instead dedicate its marketing channels and digital media budget to the five charities it works with via the Pret Foundation Trust.

The foundation, which raises money to help the homeless, supports charities including Glasgow City Mission, The Choir with No Name, The Clock Tower Sanctuary in Brighton, Cardboard Citizens in Whitechapel, and The 999 Club in Deptford.

Pret’s digital media budget will be donated to charity content, including sponsored posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to promote videos, blog posts and news from the charities. On Instagram a portrait photography series will tell the stories of the people they work with through the different charities and Pret’s Apprenticeship Scheme for the homeless and ex-offenders.

Mark Palmer, group director of marketing at Pret said, “We’re delighted to donate our marketing channels and media, both physical and digital, to the Pret Foundation Trust and the charities we work with. It’s our way of saying ‘a little thank you’”.

PR support will also be given to each of the charities to help tell their stories to key media over the winter months.

Yesterday the company kicked off its Christmas menu where 50p from every sandwich and baguette sold from the range will be donated to the Pret Foundation Trust.


This campaign didn’t achieve consumer coverage (but we think it is more authentic for not having done so seeing as they didn’t have any marketing budget) it was however covered in the trade titles.

One of UK's Busiest Train Stations to Become a Homeless Shelter this Christmas

On Monday December 25, 200 homeless guests have been invited to Euston train station in London for a festive feast.

For the first time, Network Rail has teamed up with homelessness charities Streets Kitchen and St Mungo's to welcome those in need onto the concourse at Euston Station, which will be decorated with trees and garlands.

Around 30 volunteers from Network Rail are joining teams from Streets Kitchen and St Mungo's to serve a full Christmas dinner. Sandwich shops Pret (yep, they are king of the do-gooders this year) and Leon have also promised to lay on extra food. "The Pret Foundation Trust will be donating snacks and sweet treats," Pret told Mirror Online.


Steve Naybour, head of transformation in Network Rail’s track team, is running the event: "Using a station to give homeless people a Christmas dinner and some festive cheer is a great thing to do.

"Working on Christmas Day is pretty much par for the course for many of us who work for Network Rail, but this year, because I wasn’t scheduled to work, myself and a handful of colleagues came up with this plan to feed some of London’s homeless instead.

"St Mungo’s and Streets Kitchen have been fantastic. And I’m proud to say we’ve had lots of interest from Network Rail colleagues to volunteer to come along on the day to help out."

Street Kitchen's Jon Glackin said the event is a "shining example" of businesses working with community groups to bring a little solidarity in making a difference in the world.

He said those involved hope and suggest that it "could be replicated anywhere and everywhere."

This campaign is such a lovely, organic idea thought up by staff and supported by their employers – we love it – proper Christmas spirit!

Forget Hotels and Air BnB – This Festive Season You Could be Sleeping Inside the Coca-Cola Truck!

Nothing says 'Christmas' quite like the Coca-Cola Christmas Truck, but this year the brand is upping its game; one pair of lucky fans won't just get to see the truck during its UK tour – they will get to spend a night in it!

Coca-Cola has teamed up with for the special competition, which offers two people a once-in-a-lifetime stay inside the truck in London on Friday 15th December 2017. It's the first time ever that Coca-Cola is opening its doors to the iconic red truck for the ultimate Christmas sleepover.

There will also be a dedicated concierge in case guests need any extra comforts and of course, the lucky winners will be able to tuck into a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.

If people wanted to be in with the chance of winning they simply had to head to the Coca-Cola Christmas Truck listing on and explain why they were the ultimate Christmas fan. Christmas fans had until midday on Friday 8th December to enter the competition.


This festive PR campaign was featured in multiple online national titles including The Mirror, The Sun, Metro and The Evening Standard.