PR Campaigns – The Good, The Bad and The Viral

The Sunny Bird PR team has found the best of the good, the bad and the viral PR Campaigns. This week brings a diverse mix of campaigns including making it easier to give money to the homeless, a designer who is inspiring women after the US election, a 4D tunnel that stimulates all five senses and two unique alcohol brands who want to be THE spirit people drink.

A Contactless Payment Jacket

That Helps You Give Money To The Homeless

 Amsterdam-based company N=5, has created the 'Helping Heart' jacket which features a contactless payment touch pad to help people give donations to the homeless using their contactless bank cards. By hovering your card over the pad on the jacket you are able to donate one euro to charity for the homeless.

The idea behind this concept is to make it easier for people to donate, as many people do not carry cash or change on them nowadays, preferring to use their card to make payments. Secondly, most people would love to help the homeless but many people worry that by giving money directly to them that you will inadvertently support their addictions.

The ‘Helping Heart’ jacket aims to alleviate this concern as once the donation has been made, the wearer of the coat can only redeem the money at an official homeless shelter in order to ensure that the money is never received as cash but in other benefits such as accommodation for the night, a shower or food. The money from the jacket can also be exchanged for vocational training courses and to create savings.

The jacket is currently in the prototype stage and being tested by several homeless people in Amsterdam. This PR campaign has made waves in Amsterdam and has also been featured on Mashable, and The Debrief. The gift of giving never sounded so easy, rewarding and helpful.

The ‘Dear Women Project’ Encourages Us

To Write To Women Who Inspire Us

The US election had everyone on the edge of their seats, but some weren’t that happy with the outcome. When Hillary Clinton lost the US election, women all around the world were shocked, including Chicago-based designer, Emily Asher. Emily found comfort after the shocking election results by remembering all the strong women in her life and the influential women who had become her role models.

Open letters thanking Hillary for her role in the election were being printed at the time and Emily had a thought - why shouldn’t we all write to the women who’ve inspired us?

“I started thinking about all the great women who had come before Hilary and all those in my own life whose words and faces had given me comfort and strength. I felt the power of their accomplishments and their words lifting me up. It was a feeling I wanted to bottle up and send to all the women in my life.”

This resulted in the Dear Women Project being born. The idea is to write a letter of thanks or encouragement to ten strong women in your life - family, friends, celebrities, politicians - and ask them to do the same, creating a chain of thanks and support.

Emily created a series of notecards featuring portraits of strong women from the past and present, which can be used to send letters to inspirational women, with 25% of profits going to non-profit organisations supporting women’s rights and causes. A six-month subscription to the Dear Women Project supplies two cards per month and costs $55.00 (£45). The two cards will feature different influential, famous women. Delivery is currently limited to the US but Emily is looking into delivering worldwide in the near future.

Emily hopes this campaign will encourage people to write to the women in their lives and that the handwritten notes the inspirational women receive will be kept and treasured. For more information, visit

This inspiring campaign has been covered by online press in the US and has also been covered by Metro, Huffington Post and Stylist in the UK.

A Kraken Valentine

It’s not always the campaigns with the biggest budgets which turn my head (in fact this is rarely the case), what I do appreciate is a campaign that’s original, knows its audience, taps into what’s going on and most importantly – makes me smile. My favourite rum brand (OK, OK, I might be biased) has achieved all of this with its latest campaign for Valentine’s Day.

Spiced rum brand, Kraken, is helping pirates and landlubbers alike to find love this year with the help of the hashtag #Rumantics and of course, the legendary Kraken Octopus featured on the front of every bottle who we now find out is called….Ken.

Also known as the ‘cupid of cephalopods', Ken is The Kraken's alternative to Paddy McGuinness or Cilla Black. Rummy singles are invited to tweet a selfie to @KrakenRumUK using the hashtag #Rumantics. A shortlist will be chosen for Ken to whittle down using his dating powers to two lucky daters who will be chosen to go on a special Kraken date together. The whole selection process will be filmed for fans to watch and will be broadcast on The Kraken's Facebook page on 10th February.

For those not chosen for the special Kraken date, some lucky folk will win Kraken Dating Kits which include everything needed to create the ‘Any Port In A Storm’ cocktail, original glassware, black roses and black candles, Kraken hoodies and a Kraken Valentine’s card. As well as gifts, guests can also attend Kraken haunts in London and Brighton over the Valentine's weekend, and enjoy a night dedicated to the festival of romance featuring a mystic character who will read love fortunes. Party-goers will also be able to win drinks and cocktail prizes.

This campaign is not designed to achieve print coverage (although it has made the trade titles); it has purely been created to drive traffic to its social media platforms. We’ll keep a beady eye on those audience figures over the next few weeks to see how this campaign blossoms.

Virgin Holiday – Tunnel to Barbados

Virgin Holidays wanted to create a disruptive, engaging experiential PR stunt to raise awareness of its direct holidays from Manchester to Barbados.

To do this Manchester based Smoking Gun PR decided to bring Barbados to Manchester for the day – with a little extra glamour brought by actress Michelle Keegan.

They did this by creating the world’s first 4D tunnel – complete with sounds and smells of the Caribbean that bought Manchester alive for one sunny day in June.

There were four main objectives for this campaign, these included:

·         Generating awareness of Virgin Holiday’s package holidays and direct flights from       Manchester to Barbados.

·         Creating an event that would build exposure across all media channels

·         Enable Virgin Holidays retail staff to capture sales leads on the ground

·         Capture the essence of the Virgin Brand – something brave with a touch of glamour!

To meet these objectives the agency commissioned a leading international 3D artist to create an illusionary tunnel which appeared overnight seemingly going to Barbados.  This painting was located in Spinning Fields, Manchester to take advantage of the great footfall in the area and on-target demographic.

Michelle Keegan was recruited to appear ‘inside’ the illusion – adding to media interest and underlining the ‘Manchester’ key message – this was to be her first corporate appearance since leaving Coronation Street adding to media interest.

The public were invited to interact with the illusion; picture sharing was facilitated on site using screens and backed up via a social media gallery, enabling further reach of the stunt, viral spread and also to enable data capture for sales leads.

Virgin Holiday retail offers were supported via the event, with branded sun glasses and water bottles being given away to help drive sharing of the event hash tag #MCRTunneltoBarbados.

Virgin Holidays’ retail staff were also on site to secure sales leads from the public.

As a result this PR campaign achieved 19 pieces of coverage including the Mail Online, OK Magazine, Hello magazine, The Mirror, Daily Star and two pieces in the Manchester Evening News – resulting in a combined circulation of 400 million.

Five tweets were also made by Michelle Keegan, #MCRTunneltoBarbados was trending on twitter in Manchester plus tweets of support were given from The Sun (Manchester office) I Love MCR, Manchester Gazette, Manchester Evening News, CityLife, Reveal & Hello!

Sipsmith Gin Host Winter Lounge Sessions

Step away from the hustle and bustle of London life and the harsh cold winter winds to find yourself in a cosy hygge embrace. Back in December, The Fellow Geronimo Pub (located near King's Cross station) joined forces with Sipsmith's, passionate pioneers of London’s artisan gin to bring back the pioneering hot gin experience for ‘ginthusists’ and to create a cosy winter drinking lounge. The purpose of the pop up event is not only to give city-dwellers a warm winter experience and share Sipsmith’s specialist winter drinks, but also to place Sipsmith into the minds of people ahead of the busy Christmas shopping season.

The brand launched the Sipsmiths pop up lounge on November 24th which was open to the general public until December 31st. Guests were able to discover some of Sipsmith’s winter warmers alongside staple favourites, in a setting that includes a roaring fire. On the launch day, the Sipsmith team were on hand to guide guests through the history of gin punches and the menu for the month. Sipsmith has done a couple of pop up lounges now, dotted all over London as they have been really successful and have received a lot of praise and I’m sure we are going to see a lot more!

Guests had the opportunity to taste a number of creations and become immersed in a brave new world of hot gin. The Fellow Geronimo Pub received lots of good reviews on its page, one being “Perfect evening for Gin lovers – I have been converted to Sipsmith”. The event didn’t get much coverage but the same event held at Ham Yard Hotel Roof Terrace in Soho, received a lot of coverage in the Metro online, Timeout London online and The Times.