PR Campaigns - The Good, The Bad and The Viral

With the beginning of a new month upon us, we’ve got a range of new and exciting, successful campaigns to share, focusing on travel intern-ships, an interactive health billboard, a frozen food campaign that has taken a new approach to finding time for ourselves and an innovative service that everyone believed was a hoax, but is now due to launch in 2018.


Swedish Billboard That Coughs at Smokers

A Swedish pharmacy chain has used a digital advertising board to cough at passers-by who smoke. The ad board uses extremely sensitive smoke detectors and when activated it plays a video of people coughing. The idea behind the stunt is to encourage people to carry out their new year’s resolution to quit smoking.

Although the company’s intention is to encourage people to stop smoking, it seems that the stunt also unintentionally shames members of the public. Due to this, the public has been divided on whether the campaign is ethically sound. Either way, the campaign has garnered a lot of attention for the company - so in PR terms it is a success. The campaign has been featured on The Mirror Online, the Huffington Post and The Express Online. We wonder if this would be as successful if it was run in the UK?


All Aboard for the Best Intern-ship!

This campaign offers the perfect antidote to the January blues as it whisks us away to the promise of golden, Caribbean beaches, sparkling waters, food and drink and even the promise of money.

Royal Caribbean, the luxurious cruise company, has pipped the rest to the post by claiming 2017's first 'best job of the year' stunt. Although these stunts are now quite commonplace with more ‘best jobs’ around than ever before, this one does stand out from the crowd as it was promoted on instagram and is hiring for Instagram.

Royal Caribbean announced that it was looking to recruit an intern via Instagram to ‘work’ on three of its cruise ships over the course of three weeks. The lucky recruit will get free food, drink and flights and also a healthy £3,000 in cash. Their role whilst on board the cruise ships, travelling across the oceans, will be ‘a hybrid between a photographer, documentary maker and storyteller’ - that can be translated to 'taking envy-inducing pictures and sharing them on Royal Caribbean's Instagram account'.

Royal Caribbean UK Managing Director Ben Bouldin has said, ‘our cruise holidays are filled with extraordinary moments and we want to find a talented storyteller who can help us capture the unique experiences that make holidays so special.’

What’s really interesting about this campaign is that Royal Caribbean has only chosen instagram as a platform for this activity – typically the age of the average cruiser is over 50 whilst recent statistics show that 90% of Instagram users are under the age of 35. The Instagram ‘job’ comes after research reveals the platform has redefined the way people book holidays. The research behind the decision comes from a poll commissioned by Royal Caribbean to find out whether or not social media is overtaking traditional channels of inspiration such as holiday brochures and comparison sites. We’re very sure that Royal Caribbean knows what it’s doing here but we would like to understand the inner workings; is the brand attempting to draw in a younger crowd? Are under 35’s influencers on the over 50s? My money goes on wealthy families looking to take that last family holiday before their kids fly the nest, they want something fancy that everyone will enjoy and Royal Caribbean seems like a good option – they are on Instagram after all – they must be cool!

The coverage has been excellent so even if the Instagram route is flawed at least they’ve achieved a broad wave of PR off the back of this campaign. So far, we’ve spotted the piece in Condé Nast Traveller, Mirror, Metro, Express, Daily Star, CNBC and other media titles around the world.


Amazon Prime Air is Flying Sky High!

In 2013, Amazon Prime announced that it would be creating a brand new delivery service to add to its forever growing company – by flying drones through the air to deliver packages! Press and consumers all believed that this was a PR stunt to see Amazon as an innovative and forward thinking company. But not many believed that it would follow through with the idea.

Come December 16th 2016, Amazon Prime Air proved everyone wrong and launched its first successful delivery - by air - within 13 minutes! No press or consumers were invited to view the first flight, which may have been due to the possibility of the flight failing and would have looked bad on them; however Amazon filmed the successful delivery and has now shared its content with press.

While deliveries will be available seven days a week from mid-2018, the drones can only fly in daylight hours and in good weather. Currently, the trial is only open to two customers, but Amazon says it hopes to expand this service to dozens of customers in the coming months. For those customers, Prime Air is available for no extra cost. This service will offer customers a lot of benefits such as guaranteed delivery within 30 minutes and may possibly save money on delivery vans, however there are cons…

The drones can only carry items weighing less than 2.6kg and can only be delivered to those who own a large garden and who live near the delivery depot. There is currently only one delivery depot which is located in Cambridgeshire.

So is Amazon Prime Air as good as Amazon hoped after its first successful flight and being picked up by press? We’re not sure. Amazon has said however that with the official launch date not until 2018 there’s still plenty of time for any flaws to be ironed out.

On the back of the promotional video of its first flight, press such as The Daily Mail, The Guardian and The Telegraph have covered the service before the official launch next year while bloggers and technology experts have been invited to the main depot in Cambridgeshire to see the service first hand.

Will Amazon Prime Air fly sky high or will it plummet to the ground? We believe it will be a great success if it continues to trial the service over the coming year and something that Amazon can add to its building reputation.


Frozen Food and Beauty….an Unlikely Pairing?

Frozen food brand, LowLow Ready Meals, wanted to deliver a stand out one month campaign in January during the New Year diet season. The brand wanted consumers to see frozen foods as a healthy option and that it isn’t just fresh food that’s good for you.

The brand wanted to broaden the appeal of LowLow’s frozen meals across its target demographic of 30 – 54 year old women and overall build brand awareness of the range.

The unlikely part of this campaign was that the frozen food brand decided to team up with ITV’s This Morning’s celebrity make-up artist Bryony Blake to have as their brand ambassador.

We know what you’re thinking, frozen food and beauty - it doesn’t quite blend however the campaign was called ‘Take 5 and make a difference’ and its aim was to encourage consumers to spend an extra 5 minutes on themselves – whilst it took 5 minutes for the frozen ready meal to cook in the oven. This included quick and easy 5 minute beauty and make-up tips provided by Bryony.

To support this campaign the PR agency ran a social media campaign including a live Facebook chat with Bryony herself. A dedicated micro site was also created which included many ‘how to’ videos and make up tips.

Furthermore two media events were hosted ahead of the official campaign launch during which journalists could meet with LowLow development chefs, sample the range and learn about the ‘Take 5 and make a difference’ campaign direct from Bryony Blake herself.

Plus, to top it all off, competitions ran throughout January in TV Choice and across five women’s lifestyle websites.

The results? The campaign reached over 30 million potential consumers, achieved 70 pieces of coverage including OK!, Daily Mail, The Sun, Metro, Woman’s Own and Real People. The social media campaign reached 330,000 consumers and the competition attracted more than 144,000 entries.

The success of the campaign is definitely owed to using Bryony Blake as a brand ambassador, without her we’re not sure it would have achieved the same success. We’re not entirely sure on the frozen food, beauty combination however it evidently works - so hats off to this PR agency!