The Sunny Bird PR Team's Best PR Campaigns

As a fully integrated PR and communications agency, we certainly work on a wide variety of clients and PR campaigns. Whether we’re flying influencers to Bali, creating a killer social strategy or securing features in the national press, we’ve got it covered. With the team working on such a diverse range of clients and accounts, we’ve asked them to whittle it down and choose their favourite PR Campaigns. Get ready to feel inspired, there are some awesome ones coming your way!



“By far my favourite campaign has been working on Bliss Sanctuary for Women in Bali – a luxury women’s only retreat! Bliss came to us to promote the opening of its third sanctuary, organise celebrity stays, book press trips and increase its social media followers. By using Bliss’ USPs, such as unlimited food, spa treatments and yoga and the brand’s ethos of following ‘bliss on your terms’ we have attracted both media and celebrity attention. As a result, we secured TOWIE stars Lydia Bright, Debbie Bright and Georgia Bright to take a mother-daughter trip to Bliss, as well as Love Island 2018 stars Zara McDermott, Ellie Brown and Samira Mighty for a ‘Love Island girls’ reunion trip’. We also have also booked in Vicky Pattison and several high-profile US celebs to visit the retreat later in the year. Having celebrities and influencers share their stay on social media increased Bliss’ Instagram following by 20,000 followers in just three months. The buzz around the celebrity visits and the organised press trips has so far this year generated 47 pieces of coverage in top titles such as The Metro, Mail Online, The Independent, The Telegraph, Woman & Home, Feel Good You, Marie Claire, Stella - The Sunday Telegraph, Soul & Spirit and OK! magazine. This has reached over 33 million people which, if the same space was bought in advertising, would have cost Bliss £1.4 million! Best. Campaign. EVER.”



“A campaign that I really loved working on was helping organise the Eco Garden launch of The Green House Hotel. The Bournemouth boutique hotel had recently partnered with premium ethical vodka brand Black Cow Vodka to renovate its outdoor space using sustainable materials to make it a useable and enjoyable space for hotel guests and wildlife. To encourage people to use the space and increase passing trade, we wanted to position the Eco Garden as the perfect spot for a mid-morning coffee or sundown drinks.  In just one week, we had organised an exclusive evening launch event attended by over 100 local businesses, residents, press and influencers. At the event there was a gorgeous selection of Black Cow Vodka cocktails from the premium Dorset-based brand served alongside platters of Black Cow Vodka infused canapés and local cheese which all of the guests, and of course the team, thoroughly enjoyed! The launch created a buzz in regional and trade press in key titles such as Boutique Hotelier, Dorset Living magazine and the Bournemouth Daily Echo as well as social media coverage from local influencers and foodies which increased footfall to the hotel and made for a very happy client!”



“One of my favourite projects I’ve worked on has been the model search for the Perfect Dress Company’s launch. Delving into the core of the Perfect Dress Company’s ethos and researching models and influencers who share the same values and beliefs as the company has been so interesting, I have spoken to so many different women from a huge variety of backgrounds. Not only has sourcing, casting and meeting the models been exciting, it has also been hugely informative for the Perfect Dress Company brand – hearing the models’ stories and experiences from within the fashion industry has deepened our perspective and made clear to us the importance of Perfect Dress Company’s mission to empower women.”



 “One of the PR campaigns I enjoyed working on the most was promoting author and explorer Alice Morrison’s walk along the length of Morocco’s longest river. Alice asked the SBPR team to raise awareness of her adventure and her latest book My 1001 Nights by securing print and broadcast media. We approached national newspapers, women’s titles, supplements and travel magazines, carefully tailoring each pitch to highlight what would resonate most with the publication and its readers, whether that be the female explorer angle or the effects of global water shortage. In three short months the SBPR team secured 19 pieces of national coverage, including an interview on Radio 4’s The Today Programme which is broadcast to over 12 million people. The team also secured interview pieces in The Sunday Times, iNews, Lonely Planet and Conde Nast Traveller to name a few. In total, the coverage reached more than 14 million people which would have cost over £90,000 if the same space was bought in advertising, which Alice was very pleased with!”





The Good, The Bad and The Viral

The team have started 2019 with a creative bang (who said January blues?!) and scoured the world of PR for some inspiring and insightful PR campaigns. From a hard-hitting domestic violence campaign to gravy scented candles and gender-revealing pasta dishes, this month has it all.

So grab a cup of something warm and enjoy the team’s top picks for this month’s Good, Bad and Viral PR campaigns.

Domestic Violence Reversable Poems

Domestic violence charity Refuge launched a hard-hitting Christmas campaign aimed at turning attitudes of domestic violence on their head. Working in partnership with McCann Bristol, the charity ran a series of reversible poems, which, if read normally conjured images of a traditional family Christmas. But when read in from bottom to top the lines revealed the horrors of a household living with domestic violence.

The poetry campaign was promoted across Twitter and on the charity’s website, as part of a global initiative called 16 days of action (25 November – 10 December) to raise awareness of violence against women and girls.  It is part of Refuge’s ongoing mission to help victims of abuse, as research shows two women a week are killed at the hands of a partner or ex-partner in England and Wales, and another three women commit suicide each week as a way of escape.

Sandra Horley, chief executive of Refuge, said: "Domestic abuse is the biggest issue affecting women and children in this country today – it really is a life and death issue. Yet still too few women know how to spot the signs of domestic violence, realise that domestic abuse is a crime or know that Refuge is here to support them.

"We want women to know that, no matter what time of year, no one should suffer in silence and they should ‘turn’ to us for support."

The hard-hitting poems were featured in multiple publications including The Sun, Refinery 29, The Pool, Cosmopolitan and The Independent.

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KFC Sold Gravy-scented Candles

What could cheer you up more on Blue Monday than a KFC gravy scented candle?

KFC cleverly launched a limited-edition gravy-scented candle to bring happiness to KFC fanatics on Blue Monday!

There were just 230 limited edition candles up for grabs, they were available on a first-come, first-served basis. They were also free! To accompany the delicious gravy scent, KFC unveiled a new KFChill experience which allows users to listen to sounds of their KFC Gravy Mega Box. Choosing between the sounds of frying chicken, falling fries or simmering gravy.

KFC have released a chicken scented candle and bath bomb in the USA before but this is the first time a KFC scented product has been released in the UK.

This campaign achieved coverage in national newspapers such as The Sun, The Evening Standard and The Mirror, and The Metro!


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The Gender-Reveal Lasagna

Is it gross or pure genius? The launch of the gender-reveal lasagna (yes, we know this is not how you spell lasagne – but it is how they’ve spelled it so we kind of have to too!) pretty much broke the internet this month!

US restaurant and catering service, Villa Italian Kitchen, announced that they were introducing a new dish that would reveal the sex of your unborn child – the perfect addiction for your next baby shower?

The Italian creation consists of a secret pink or blue interior, made from layers of cheese, Alfredo sauces and Italian pasta. It doesn’t come cheap though, the dish is priced at $140 and serves 12 people.

Journalists from around the world took to Twitter to discuss the bizarre PR pitch that had just landed in their inbox, with one announcing: “Possibly the best subject line in an email ever: "Gender Reveal Lasagna?! – Villa Italian Kitchen Invites Guests to Celebrate their Bundles of Joy with Boatloads of Cheese!". The noise of tweets resulted in the #LasagnaReveal trending on Twitter.

Despite many negative responses to the latest way to reveal the gender of your little bundle of joy, the stunt did exactly what it set out to do and had everybody talking about it. A cheap photoshoot and some food colouring, and your brand is being talked about across the world! Plus, we’re sure they have been inundated with requests for the sought-after dish, boosting sales.

The news was featured in many publications across the UK and US including Daily Mail, The Independent, The Mirror, Grazia Daily, BuzzFeed, MSN, Metro, I Heart radio.



Clear Channel Homeless Billboard

A company called Clear Channel Sweden has teamed up with the government to protect homeless people when the weather drops to freezing conditions in Stockholm.

The company helped homeless people find their nearest shelter through innovative technology; they swapped the boring ads on billboards with directions to the nearest homeless shelter which we love. Across Stockholm, 53 billboards were activated for the program and they focused on areas that were most commonly used for homeless people. We think this is a brilliant use of technology and makes us happy that it is helping homelessness in one country, even if it is just a little.

Clear Channel International said “thanks to technology, we can develop solutions that can help people and cities”. This campaign had a positive response and featured in multiple publications including The Drum.



Uber links up with Calm to offer wellbeing exercises whilst travelling

Mindfulness and meditation is definitely a buzzword at the moment and it’s something that we’ve got involved with in the Sunny Bird PR office, with many of the team trying out the Calm app for guided meditations, which is why we love this collaboration between Calm and Uber.

The two companies have teamed together to help bring some relaxation to our hectic lives with their meditation exercises for Uber passengers. The apps have released four exercises of varying durations designed to fill a taxi journey lasting 3 minutes, 5.5 minutes, 12 minutes and 30 minutes. The campaign is accompanied by a survey that shows that 54% of Uber riders use their time in a cab to scroll through emails, social media and the news on their smartphones. Uber are aiming to turn taxi rides on their head – turning them into opportunities to relax and unwind.


This great campaign achieved articles in The Independent, Gizmodo, Metro and London Evening Standard.





PR Campaigns - The Good, The Bad & The Viral - Christmas Special

As 2018 draws to a close and we head into the holiday season we’ve been taking a look at some of our favourite Christmas campaigns from 2018. From scripts painted on train platforms, to stepping into Christmas with Elton John and slightly-more-exciting-than-usual socks we’ve narrowed down a plethora of Christmas PR campaigns to our favourite four… 

It’s A Wonderful Line

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Recently, the issue of mental health at Christmas has come to the forefront of the media, with many charities raising awareness that for some, it is not ‘the most wonderful time of the year’. In order to raise awareness of the issue and help people struggling over the holiday period, Virgin Trains has teamed up with their long-term charity partner Rethink Mental Illness for an uplifting festive campaign.

The script of the classic Christmas film, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ is appearing on train platforms over advent to show how powerful simple acts of kindness can be. The 1946 film is famed for being an uplifting Christmas staple, but it also deals with the difficult story of one man’s struggle with a life that hasn’t gone to plan.

The bright yellow text covers 7.5km of platforms on the Virgin Trains route from London to Glasgow at stations including London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, Carlisle and Glasgow. The platform text also includes online links offering simple ways to intervene when someone is struggling with mental health.

Throughout December, travellers will also be able to watch It’s A Wonderful Life on-board Virgin Trains while volunteers from Rethink Mental Illness will be fundraising at stations throughout the campaign period.

This thoughtful Christmas PR campaign has received widespread coverage in the likes of the Daily Mail, Stylist, Huff Post, The I, Lonely Planet and Heart FM.

Follow the journey on social media with #itsawonderfulline.

Merry Greggs-Mas!

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We’ve all fallen victim to the Christmas shopping mania - rushing into town to pick-up last-minute gifts only to be met with crowds of people and a rather miserable drizzle that seems perfectly designed to make your hair frizzy. Luckily, Greggs are on hand to help this year with its free gift-wrapping service.

To help alleviate some of the stress that the build up to Christmas brings, Greggs hired their own Christmas elves to treat customers to free gift wrapping whilst they enjoy a complimentary glass of mulled wine. The campaign was inspired by a survey of over 2,000 people that revealed 69% of the nation find Christmas stressful.

The stores also brought out their own range of Christmas stocking fillers such as branded Christmas jumpers and a sausage roll phone case (we’re adding that straight to our Christmas list)!

The campaign achieved coverage in regional papers such as Birmingham Mail and Time Out magazine. We think it was a great way to attract new customers and get the loyal ones in the Christmas spirit!

The Nation’s Least Favourite Christmas Present…

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We’ve all been there… attempting to buy Christmas gifts, only to resort to Marks & Sparks socks again. But, this year, Gigs in Scotland have cleverly taken on the nation’s favourite plan B Christmas gift with a twist…

Gigs in Scotland have turned the gift into a must-have for every music fan with their range of ‘Sock n Roll’ socks, which are actually a ticket into some of the country’s best music events for 2019!

Each pair of socks comes loaded with a unique gift card code, redeemable online at Ticketmaster and include tickets for TRANSMT festival and Summer Sessions. They’re the perfect gift for music-lovers!

We love the way this campaign combines the classic (and often deemed ‘boring’) gift of socks and gift cards to create a funny, relatable and most importantly, desirable gift that solves the woes of many Christmas shoppers. And with coverage on the Scottish Sun, Glasgow Live and Edinburgh Live it can definitely be considered a PR success too.

Step into Christmas with Elton

Every year we eagerly wait to see what heart-warming, tear-jerking advert John Lewis has created, but this year it’s caused mixed reviews. The short films featured in the run up to Christmas have previously featured Monty the penguin, trampolining dogs, monsters under the bed and the man on the moon, but for 2018 the brand has resorted to old-fashioned star power to sell Christmas with Sir Elton John singing his Your Song anthem.

The advert highlights the importance of gift-giving and how Elton’s gift of a piano from his grandmother helped make him the global icon he is today.

For the first time, John Lewis introduced an experiential element to its Christmas campaign this year using 83,000 stores to screen the film at 6am before it was officially shared on social media at 8am (also a breakaway from tradition as customers usually wait for it to appear on their TVs first).

Customers also had the chance to step in to the set of the advert and interact with props in 2,000 sq. ft experiential space. John Lewis even hosted a musical light show featuring Elton’s ‘Step into Christmas’ from the shop window every 30 minutes on the day it launched.

As much as we all love Elton, this campaign received mixed reviews with some viewers slamming it as an ‘awful’ advert for not being about Christmas. Some have also complained that the advert is a plug for Elton’s biopic ‘Rocketman’ set to launch next year and his last world tour. Another issue raised is that John Lewis don’t actually sell pianos, but since the complaints started rolling in, they have started selling them - the first time in decades.

Whilst this campaign received mixed reviews, we liked it for it’s truly integrated nature. No longer relying on just an advert to get Christmas sales up, John Lewis and Partners utilised creative, experiential PR stunts and social media to boost their presence.

As usual for any John Lewis Christmas advert, it has been shared endlessly with articles on Vogue, Independent, Guardian, Evening Standard, Daily Mail, The Sun, I News and Sky and many more.

PR Campaigns – The Good, The Bad and The Viral

September came around super-fast and with it the SBPR team waved a sad goodbye to summer (how is it autumn already?!). With switches from iced-coffee to regular coffee and the addition of scarves to our work wardrobes, the team searched the media for the best and worst PR campaigns out there to warm us up…

This month’s campaigns include a plastic-free PR campaign from Ikea, an innovative hotel campaign which secured a place on the Condé Nast Traveller Hot List and a controversial Brexit stunt featuring Theresa May in a sack!

Buckle your seatbelts…

The Last Straw for Ikea


Since Blue Planet II aired on our screens this time last year, plastic fever has gripped the nation with brands, consumers and corporate organisations taking steps to reduce their consumption of single-use plastics – and we love it! We at Sunny Bird PR love a conscious PR campaign that contributes towards making our planet a better place to live, and that’s why we love this from Ikea.

Ikea unveiled the ‘Last Straw’ display in the London Design Museum following its eradication of single use plastic straws in stores across the UK and Ireland. The installation aimed to act as a reminder of our collective responsibility to strive for zero waste lifestyles. This follows the company’s announcement in June that they intend to phase out all single-use plastic products by 2020.

Ikea accompanied this creative PR tactic with a social media campaign encouraging people to share the small actions they are taking to maintain a more sustainable life, using the hashtag #IKEALastStraw. What actions are you taking to go plastic-free?

Life’s a Beach for Panacea Retreat

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Having recently taken on an exclusive retreat, we thought it would be wise to see what the PR competition looked like elsewhere in the luxury travel market. One such resort catapulted into the UK travel media was the Panacea Retreat in Koh Samui.

As opulent as a Thai island may seem, the resort had some major challenges to overcome if it wanted to attract the affluent British travel market. Specifically, the Panacea Retreat was located on a hill with no direct beach access, wellness venue, children’s club or standalone restaurants outside of the induvial villas.

Not to be deterred, the resort’s PR team devised creative initiatives to turn each one of the hotel’s challenges into a newsworthy story. The inaccessible beach was transformed into a Beach Butler service. Guests selected the best beach for their desires (child friendly, remote, romantic) and were attended to by a butler who was there for their every whim from arranging lounge chairs, gourmet picnics and proffering sunblock.  A bespoke children’s programme was also developed with tailor made experiences from butterfly safari to Thai essential oil perfume making. In addition, a Gentleman’s Getaway was created at the resort’s largest villa featuring a private wine cellar, games room, poker room, boxing ring and infinity pools.

Within a year, these creative concepts had secured the resort a place on the Condé Nast Traveller Hot List as well as features in a plethora of esteemed publications including The Sunday Times, Tatler, Financial Times, Elle, Elite Traveller, Mayfair Times and The Daily Telegraph.

These creative tactics, and consequent media coverage, highlight the power and importance of PR in changing the way a business is perceived.

The Theresa May Sack Race

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We absolutely love this innovative, creative and funny campaign from London-based gym, Gymbox Victoria, who has turned Brexit misery into a promotional opportunity.

This hipster gym is offering exclusive 30-minute classes called ‘Brexfit’, where you can vent your pent-up negativity regarding the current political climate on leading MPs. Trainers hope this unique gym concept will allow you to channel your political frustrations into a calorie-burning workout.

The 30-minute class includes politically themed workout stations including the ‘Politician Punchbag’, (adorned with an image of Boris Johnson), ‘Corbyn Ju-Jitsu Throw’ weight-throwing, ‘The Jacob-Rees Logg Lift’ and ‘The Theresa May Sack Race’.

There is even a Cameron Quitters Corner for those who find it all too hard.


Gymbox spokesman Rory McEntee said: “We actually invited Boris Johnson to attend the class although he would have been bonking mad to turn up. The punchbag with his face on has gotten plenty of action though. While there’s nothing certain about our EU exit we are certain this is London’s best gym class for releasing frustration.”

We love how this gym grabbed onto the toxicity of Brexit – a topic that doesn’t have obvious synergy with a gym – and completely nailed it. So very often, a coattails campaign can seem desperate but this one struck the right chord between humour and…humour.

The gym succeeded in getting noticed for its punchy PR campaign and was featured across the board of London-centric titles and further afield including Metro, Time Out, Scottish Daily Record, AOL Travel UK, Belfast Telegraph, The New European and many more.

The Story Book Activated by Dirt


When looking at creative ideas to get people outdoors and active for one of our clients we came across a PR campaign in Africa by Unilever detergent brand Omo (known as Persil in other markets).

The brand developed what it is called the world's first "dirt-activated" story book for kids, as part of its ongoing "Dirt is Good" campaign.

In a bid to get children outside playing and away from technology, Omo created a book where pages only come to life when smeared with dirt, thanks to a special ink formula from printing specialists Colourtone Aries. Agency Ogilvy South Africa worked with artist Karabo Poppy to create the story, "The Tale of Spots and Stripes." It's a tale about unity, in which a leopard cub and a tiger cub roll around in the mud and then look the same.

The innovative campaign has been featured on Adweek, Campaign Live, PR Examples, AdAge, and Inspiration Weekly.

A Totally Paw-some Campaign!


We absolutely loved this campaign from Pedigree which launched the UK’s first ever digital dog!

Created by communications agency HyperNaked in partnership with Petplan Charitable Trust, Pedigree promoted its annual dog-adoption drive.

The week-long digital campaign encouraged users to take virtual dog Ripley for a web-walk to raise money for dog adoption. Every time a user walked Ripley, Pedigree donated £1 to the adoption drive and Ripley was walked enough for a total of over £100,000 to be raised!

The annual adoption drive aims to save 20 stray or abandoned dogs that are put down every year in the UK, according to charity Dog’s Trust UK.

The innovative campaign was featured in The Telegraph, The Daily Mail and was shared across numerous social media channels, including some National Parks and even @lovebournemouthbeach and @lovebournemouth!

PR Campaigns - The Good, The Bad & The Viral

It’s been a scorcher of a month here at Sunny Bird PR and the PR campaigns have been coming in thick and fast.  We take a look at some of our favourites this month and the campaigns that really should have stayed in the boardroom …

This month’s round-up includes a campaign involving pool-side inflatables, unfashionable emojis, cucumbers and a questionable beer caviar campaign...

“Catch Me if You Can”


Gym company David Lloyd created a quirky new concept to gain national media coverage in print and online. In response to a nation of binge watchers, the premier fitness club decided to equip its Personal Trainers with TV screens attached to their backs which clients can watch whilst running. The gym brand aimed to eliminate the excuse of not being able to tear ourselves from our screen by incorporating the nation’s favourite shows into their workouts. Clients are encouraged to select a show at the start of their workout, from a range of platforms including BBC iPlayer and Netflix, to coincide with the distance they aim to run. Once the workout starts, the aim is for the client to keep up with their trainer to continuously watch the show. Speaking of the new PTV classes, General Manager of David Lloyd Chigwell said: “We appreciate that the hectic nature of modern life means people often struggle to find time to exercise each week. Our new PTV classes aim to counter this trend, giving time-poor parents and young professionals the perfect means to stay up to date with their favourite shows while ensuring they stay active and healthy at the same time.” The inventive exercise class and clever PR campaign achieved widespread national coverage including The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, Cosmopolitan, iNews and the Metro, not to mention numerous regional titles where the company has gyms.

“Pass on Plastic”

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Simple yet effective, Sky’s ongoing Ocean Rescue campaign has repeatedly shown the industry how to do corporate social responsibility right! Their most recent tactic to tackle the issue of single-use plastics in our oceans was a social media led, digital campaign called #PassOnPlasticEmoji. Their aim was simple: to reverse the normalisation of plastic and support Sky’s ongoing Ocean Rescue campaign around a key calendar hook for them, World Oceans Day. Their tactics were simple too, as they petitioned Unicode (the company that makes emojis) to remove plastic emojis from the keyboard, to highlight the fact that these products shouldn’t be as commonplace in everyday life as they are. The campaign was not only a huge success on social media, but gained print and online media traction too, with coverage in The Sun, The Times and The Evening Standard. It’s a campaign that demonstrates that you don’t need a huge budget to make a huge impact.

“This Campaign Really Blew Up”


Our next PR campaign comes from who conducted a survey amongst 2000 British holidaymakers and found that pool inflatables were one of the most left behind belongings during their trips. While half of all visitors buy a pool inflatable, only 28 per cent take those plastic flamingos, unicorns, donuts, and inflatable fruit slices home after their trip! They took this opportunity to have some fun, and set up the world’s first ‘Inflatable Sanctuary’ for abandoned pool inflatables at a hotel in Majorca – a fantastic photo opportunity and a great way to recycle and reuse them. Each year thousands of blow-ups around the world are binned due to the hassle of carrying them home in suitcases, but visitors were able to “adopt" these abandoned flotation devices and reuse them for free during their holiday.

Guests at the hotel embraced the concept and provided them with a new home, snapping and posting away across social media. The tongue-in-cheek rescue centre achieved coverage in numerous publications including The Telegraph, Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller, The Sun, Daily Star, Lad Bible, Teen Vogue and Lonely Planet to name a few. This campaign seemed so simple to create, and at a low cost; obtaining a few staged photos of the inflatables with tags around their necks reading ‘Love me!’, succeeded in achieving endless national coverage themselves and the hotel involved.

Tip: If ever you’re stuck for PR campaign ideas, go down the simple, sweet and light-hearted route!

“Finger-licking Good PR!”

KFC teamed up with McCormick (food technologists) to create an edible nail polish to combine food and fashion in line with their brand ethos of a ‘fun dining experience.’ There were 2 flavours of the polish; original chicken, which was made into a nude shade and hot & spicy chicken, which came in a hot orange. The campaign was to address the main branding message of “finger licking good” and was promoted via social media and launched with one cryptic Facebook post inviting local celebrities and press as well as food and fashion bloggers to an exclusive tasting event. The nail varnish bottle was designed with KFC’s young and trendy target consumer in mind and is similar in style to the likes of cosmetic giant MAC.

The campaign achieved global media coverage including; The BBC, The Metro, The Independent, The Mirror, The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, YouTube, ITV, Allure, Huffington Post, Cosmo, Glamour, Bustle, Adweek, Buzzfeed, The Drum and Popsugar. This bucket load of coverage generated a reach of over 300 million along with 91% positive sentiment associated with the campaign and an increase in sales of 12% for KFC.

“World Cucumber Day Delights Hendrick’s Fans”


In the world of PR we often need to create angles, hooks and pegs (ways to get your clients in the media without any ‘new’ news) and an old favourite is the ‘national day.’ On World Gin day for example, every self-respecting gin-maker will be in at least one round-up or feature. The only down-side is that the gin market is very busy, so it can be a bit of a fight to get your brand heard.

And that’s what we liked about this campaign; Hendrick’s chose the quieter and more modest World Cucumber Day to take a slice of the media limelight. The brains behind this lie in the well-known marriage of cucumber and Hendrick’s, any gin-lover will tell you that it is the ONLY garnish to go with a Hendrick’s and tonic.

Not only that, there is a lot more media space on World Cucumber Day allowing Hendrick’s message to be heard loud and clear. The tactics of this campaign did not disappoint, the heritage brand didn’t just issue a press release to consumer media, they thought outside the box and introduced an experiential element which really worked.

On Thursday 14 June (World Cucumber Day) Hendrick’s placed pop ups in London and Manchester; physical booths with a Victorian theme where people went to collect a token that they could exchange for a free G&T in one of 200 bars across the UK until 20 June…The tokens? Actual cucumbers.

Not wanting to alienate the rest of the nation, the brand also created digital tokens available through its Facebook Messenger account and created an online hub (ideal for SEO) for World Cucumber Day which had cocktail recipes and videos on it.  Unsurprisingly Hendrick’s achieved great coverage for this campaign and was featured in The Metro, Mirror, Prima, The Ginkin, The Drinks Business and regional titles.

We loved the fun and quirky element to this campaign and also the effectiveness in really cementing the cucumber as an integral part of a Hendrick’s and tonic. It worked, and the brand achieved coverage in a strong set of titles.

“Beer Fear!"


And last, but definitely least, Carlsberg created a Caviar Beer for The World Cup to win over European fans. The idea was to give people a taste of Russian and Danish culture and give the brand a more premium quality to attract a different kind of consumer. Achieving coverage in The Drum, AdWeek and Fortune, it seems this campaign certainly hit the headlines, but was it for the right reasons? 

We all know that brands sometimes want to make a new name for themselves and get away from a reputation they once had. But the reality is, we will always see McDonalds as a fast food restaurant, Waitrose will always be expensive and Carlsberg will always be for mainstream football fans…

PR Campaigns - The Good, The Bad & The Viral

As another month whizzes by at Sunny Bird HQ, and we hope the good weather is here to stay, we look back at some of the best and worst PR campaigns we came across.

This month’s round up of thought-provoking campaigns include a tear-jerking Father’s Day stunt, a harrowing street art installation, and a clever anti-social media campaign.

‘Go Ask Dad’


Father’s Day is still a very important date for brands despite it not gaining a fraction of the traction compared to the Mighty Mother’s Day. For a ‘male’ brand it’s an important peg for PR Campaigns that needs to be carefully thought out and executed to return the best results.

Having looked at a few Father’s Day campaigns, it was this one from Gillette that won us over in the office. The big-name razor brand created a truly heart-warming campaign that tackled the issue of sons not asking their dads for advice in this digital age.

Research by Gillette found that 84% of guys say their go-to source for information is their phone and only 13% go to their dads. To prove that dads still know best, Gillette set up a simple yet effective stunt, they invited father and son duos to a studio to film their reactions to a new AI app. The sons were in one room trialling this new app and were told to ask it for advice whilst the dads were in another room. As each son asked the ‘app’ for advice it was actually the father replying through the phone speaking as the app. The sons’ reactions were priceless with many saying how great the advice was. Afterwards, fathers and sons were reunited with some emotional scenes which certainly brought a tear to a few eyes in the office.

This Father’s Day campaign did really well getting featured in industry news as well as top sites such as Huff Post and Mashable.

Suicide Sculptures

Last month saw a poignant PR campaign make national headlines as CALM, the charity that works to prevent male suicide, installed 84 sculptures of men on top of the ITV Tower. #Project84 positioned the figures, complete with hoods over their faces, standing on the edge of the building on London’s Southbank to raise awareness of the number of men who take their lives every week.


Simon Gunning, chief executive at CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), explained: "A non-traditional media route with physicality… gets an impact that you just can't get from any other kind of campaign.

"Seeing it on a screen would be a very fleeting experience and I think it would be impossible for people to understand the humanity in each of those statues. It’s that physical impact that’s jarred people."

The sculptures were created by American artist Mark Jenkins, who is renowned for his street art installations, with the support of bereaved friends and families who had lost loved ones to suicide.

The hard-hitting project was supported by ITV show This Morning across three days of programming dedicated to male suicide. It achieved widespread coverage in almost every national newspaper along with 150 million social media impressions and 32,000 uses of the hashtag #Project84.

The PR campaign also helped the charity gather more than 156,000 signatures for a petition to push for ministerial responsibility for suicide prevention.

Tesco’s Father’s Day Tannoy Takeover


Tesco were aware that in amongst the hype of the Olympics, the Euro’s and the generally busy Summer, Father’s Day can often get a little lost and be viewed as a low-key event. Statistics highlighted that just 16% said they do something special on the day with a much lower spend for Father’s Day compared with Mother’s Day.

This clever yet warming campaign by Tesco encouraged customers to record a personalised message to show their dads how much they care. The recording was then played in the store over the Tannoy whilst they were shopping.

This campaign was dubbed as a Facebook ‘thumb stopper’ and spread virally to TV channels, Social Media platforms and YouTube, racking up 602,946 views. The video generated 45million overall impressions and more than 17,000 shares. We particularly liked this campaign as although it was low budget, it was an emotive and personal campaign which saw dads in tears. It is not a surprise that this was put forward for the Shorty Awards for Branded Content.

Thanks to the rapid and brilliant response, Tesco then gave customers the option to go to the website and book their own slot to record their message to be played. Furthermore, Tesco sought to provide ‘additional value’ in the form of three tips; the first being a calendar reminder to plan something special for the day, the second, a link to the Tesco Real Food website to view Father’s Day themed recipes and the final tip, a link to Tesco Direct where customers could view and purchase pre-selected gifts for the special day.

Zova Creates a Great Feature… But is Completely Off Brand


We are in two minds about this next campaign. When we came across it, we were instantly drawn to its headline: “Dessert queen with 500,000 fans reveals how you can bake the perfect cake every time – and the secret to getting FIVE times as many servings out of your creations.”

We love a ‘top tip’-style feature as these often leave the reader feeling like they have gained something valuable from their afternoon browse, whether it be useful gym tips, quirky facts to drop in at the pub quiz or baking best practice. This feature is no different, suggesting that cakes should be cooled upside down, cut length-ways rather than in triangles and slathered in jam for a glossy, moisture-locking finish. The crux, however, comes at the end:

Katherine is the latest celebrity guest on Zova's Celebrity Classes, which is a weekly HIIT class provided through an app with the help of expert trainer, Vix Burdon.

While this is a lovely feature – good enough for the MailOnline to share with its two million readers – we just don’t see the benefit for the brand. Of course, people can be into both baking and exercise, but chances are slim that someone browsing for cake inspiration is in the mindset of downloading a fitness app.

Perhaps if Dessert Queen Katherine had made a point about the importance of balancing indulgence and exercise, or one of the tips had been of a health-conscious nature, we could have seen the relevance. But this was sadly absent, and we doubt Zova saw any new downloads as a result.

Wetherspoons Bucks the Trend


Pub chain Wetherspoons hit the headlines this month when it announced it is quitting social media. The ground-breaking news was covered by major news titles in the UK from The Sun to the FT, in news and in comment pages, not to mention Forbes and the Wall Street Journal in the US. Specifically, the chain said (via Twitter and other places) that it is closing all its accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

There were a number of reasons this was such a timely story. The rights and wrongs of social media are being hotly debated. Companies, individuals, governments, charities, politicians and everyone else are continuing to work out how we use social media in the most effective way, so to completely go against the flow and quit it completely is an interesting news angle. In fact, the success of Wetherspoons on social media is questionable. It was not exactly making waves as an influencer and it was struggling to maintain consistency across its more than 900 accounts.

Many are questioning whether others will follow suit, but we highly doubt it. Around 500 million tweets are sent every day, with millions of other individual users and businesses gaining a huge amount through well thought-through and carefully executed social media strategies.

Social media is a constantly-evolving feat, and it seems that Wetherspoons had developed a social media policy that simply wasn’t working for them. But whatever the full reasons behind the decision to change tack, it was a smart move to gain a ton of positive media coverage announcing it.



PR Campaigns - The Good, The Bad & The Viral

March was a super busy month, so much so that it's taken us a little longer to decide on our PR campaigns. With International Women's Day and Mother's Day all in one month (and an all-female office) we have compiled a powerful mix of campaigns from fighting gender issues online, allowing women to talk about their own body image, Markle's magic on Welsh jeans and a genuine Mother's Day campaign.

Innocent Drinks Keeps Us in Mum’s Good Books

As the big M Day looms we sit like sitting ducks for the target practise of the marketing teams from every consumable product on the market. It’s up there with V Day and F Day and X Day and we get to watch as marketeers everywhere attempt to shoehorn anything to do with mothers into the marketing mix.

There were a few campaigns that cut through the noise and one of those that did it well we thought was Innocent Drinks. The healthy drinks company unveiled Emergency Mother's Day Cards following its social media mantra to be useful and not ‘desperately shoehorn’ in product – music to our ears!

Innocent Drinks released four Mother’s Day cards on its blog and social channels in a bid to aid forgetful children who had forgotten about the special day for mums. The cards, which were printable when clicked on follow the company’s wider policy to create engaging, useful content for the social media platform.


Joe McEwan, head of digital and communities at Innocent Drinks explained that the Mother’s Day content was born from the success of the Valentine’s Day and Christmas Day posts, the first of which ran a similar card scheme and the former an in-depth DIY Christmas decoration guide.

McEwan said: “We’d noticed how popular the simple format of good words on a card had proved for previous events, we have always loved words, and tried to write things that actually add value to someone’s day.

“From day one we talked to people on our packaging in an interesting, engaging way, so that’s something we continue to do on our social channels. Our ultimate goal on social is to create content that’s so good you’ll want to tap your mate on the shoulder to introduce it to them. We’re not interested in dull, generic content. There’s too much of that out there already."

He was critical of brands trying to inject their product into social media discourse for the sake of it: “There is a time and place to feature our drinks in our content – this wasn’t one of them. In my opinion, there are few things more tragic in the world of marketing than a piece of reactive content with a product desperately shoehorned into it,” he added.

And we agree! We liked this campaign, enjoyed its usefulness, simplicity, the fact that it built on previously successful campaigns, how it gave something back to the consumer and it was strong shareable, online content. I bet your Mumma’s are proud of you Innocent Drinks Marketing Team!

The Auto-Complete Truth

The UN Women’s 2013 campaign, ‘The Autocomplete Truth’, is an example of a game-changing campaign. UN Women, also known as The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, was formed in 2010 to empower women around the world. A new entity at the time, UN Women set out to raise its global profile with the help of an advertising agency and clever PR.

“The Autocomplete Truth” began, according to the Dubai-based agency Memac Ogilvy & Mather, when the team googled the term “women should” and were astounded by the sexist autocorrect results: “women should stay at home,” “women should be slaves,” “women should be in the kitchen.”

From there, the campaign idea was simple: integrate the phrases created by Google’s autocomplete feature into photographs of women by placing them over the women’s mouths to symbolise silencing their voices.


Four images were created and distributed in print, on billboards and on social media along with the hashtag #womenshould to spark a global conversation online. An accompanying video was also released highlighting women’s achievements throughout history.

The Autocomplete Truth campaign created headlines around the world including the BBC, CNN, Time, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, Mashable, Buzzfeed, Le Figaro, Metro Sweden, Times of India and Elle. Overall, it was mentioned in the media close to 600 times. In addition, it was featured in leading TV and radio shows and was even presented in the 2013 NASCAR races. The #womenshould hashtag was a resounding success, tweeted in over 50 countries and getting over 134 million impressions on Twitter. At least 755 million people viewed the campaign globally. 

It made people rethink the situation of women today and put the issue on the global agenda once more. And all that was required to make this happen were four powerful images, a 1-minute video and a tight PR strategy.

The Welsh Jeans Celebrating the Meghan Markle Effect

There’s nothing quite like a Royal Wedding for generating press coverage, and here at Sunny Bird PR the team are certainly looking forward to a festive May. With Meghan Markle’s every sartorial move being extremely closely watched, brands that are lucky enough to be one of her chosen ones are certainly handed a great PR opportunity. But a recent campaign by Hiut Denim showed that it takes a bit more effort and good writing to turn a royal choice into a stunning headline.

In January this year, Meghan wore a pair of skinny black jeans by Welsh firm Hiut Denim during a visit to Cardiff. Her choice of denim was mentioned by Wales Online, but nowhere else. Fast forward to March, and Hiut scored articles in The Sun, The Daily Star, Marie Claire and PopSugar reporting that the same firm has seen a massive increase in demand (unsurprisingly) and now has a three-month waiting list for the jeans. The coverage included more information about the firm itself and the profile of its owners, as well as some great photos – not just of Meghan, but also the founders. The difference with the March coverage was that it used a great hook: news of the waiting list. There’s nothing like a bit of fashion unavailability to increase demand, and packaged together with the back story, profile info and some photos, and Hiut created a great story which was much more newsworthy than the event itself that was by then two-months-old-news. Even with global Meghan fever causing much excitement in the press, this campaign shows that with PR reporting something that has happened is not enough; how you say it and when is also crucial for scoring great coverage.


#Thisbody Uses Instagram to Not Tell Women How to Feel About Themselves

American plus-size clothing chain Lane Bryant has made its mark in the US with a string of hugely successful social media campaigns. One of our favourites is the #ThisBody campaign, which aims to empower and celebrate women no matter what their size.

The hashtag was supported by a video featuring famous plus-sized women including supermodel Ashley Graham, Orange is the New Black’s Danielle Brooks and Empire’s Gabourey Sidibe. It showed some of the awful comments that the women have received on social media, while they confidently danced in front of the camera. The message was clear: their bodies are whatever they want them to be, they don’t care about your opinion.

The campaign also featured photos of plus-sized models wearing t-shirts with the text “#ThisBody is made for ____” with different messages filling in the blank. These t-shirts were then made available for sale, for Lane Bryant’s customers to fill in the blank themselves.


There have been a number of campaigns focusing on body positivity in recent years, but this one really stands out as it doesn’t tell women how they should feel about their bodies but lets them decide for themselves and tell the world.

The campaign also showed the power of great ambassadors; with the celebrities in the video having a collective Instagram following of over 10 million. It was also on Instagram that the campaign made the biggest mark, with 93,000 photos having been posted with #ThisBody since.

PR Campaigns - The Good, The Bad & The Viral

Returning to work after the Christmas break can often feel like a slog, but a new year also brings new objectives, new ideas and plenty of rejuvenated energy. This year the team will be managing the PR for a rapidly expanding drinks company (watch this space!) which prompted us to take a look at some of the most effective industry related campaigns.

This month’s round up of wonderfully inventive PR campaigns includes creating the world’s first anti-ageing drink, hurtling a man into space, a community coffee competition and a clever marketing peg.

Hotel Chain Launched an Anti-Age Gin

Some PR stunts are deliberately designed to get picked up by journalists looking for a quick and easy ‘news’ story.

When Warner Leisure Hotels teamed up with culinary creators Bompass & Parr to create the world’s first ‘anti-ageing gin’ the hotel giant knew it could guarantee a headline or two.


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Dubbed ‘Anti-aGin’, the tipple’s ingredients include collagen and a variety of antioxidants and ‘skin-healing’ botanicals to help ‘reduce cellulite and sun damage’. 

Nicky Hambleton Jones, TV presenter from 10 Years Younger added extra kudos to the campaign by crediting the benefits of drinking edible collagen.

In addition to stocking the gin at 13 Warner Leisure Hotels across the UK, it was also available to purchase online at – selling out in less than 24 hours!



The clever concoction was covered in almost all of the national newspapers including The Daily Telegraph, The Metro and The Times.

The gin was also featured on BBC Radio, GQ online,, The Huffington Post and Mashable to name but a few.

The creative campaign is a formidable example of a brand generating buzz from something outside of the realms of its core products offering.

Starbucks’ Famous Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back – Better ‘Latte’ Than Never!

Starbucks used over 24 million fans on Facebook to help usher in the Autumn holiday season to announce the return of its popular drink – the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

In 2011, the coffee chain unveiled a Pumpkin Spice Latte challenge on its Facebook Page.



The beverage-branded Facebook game — a first for Starbucks — asked its users to compete to bring the Pumpkin Spice Latte to their cities a week before the drink's official release date.

"One of the things that we know about the Pumpkin Spice Latte is that we have a huge fan base around this beverage that we bring back every year," says Alex Wheeler, vice president of global digital marketing for Starbucks. "We wanted to do something fun and different this year and empower customers to bring it to their city first."

The Facebook application, included three different points-based activities. Beverage fans earned points for city shout-outs, solving a daily challenge or making a daily creation.

A daily challenge might’ve asked a user to watch a video or answer trivia questions. A daily creation, for example, would have a user create and share a postcard for his or her city. One city put together a beauty contest which focused solely on orange clothes, accessories, make-up and hair treatments – what a sight!



The city with the most passionate Pumpkin Spice Latte fans on Facebook in the U.S. and Canada was determined by points and got the beverage in their city a week early. The application featured an activity leader board, showcasing leading cities in real time.

The Facebook contest ran from August 22nd to 26th and the Pumpkin Spice Latte was exclusively released to stores in the winning city – Chicago – for one week after August 30th.

A great campaign grabbing the attention of real pumpkin spice latte fans in America, getting them involved to compete for their city to win!

Red Bull Tackles Space Travel

Red Bull has always done a great job at connecting with their audience through cool events and stunts. Back in 2012, it brought us one of the most memorable PR stunts in modern time: Red Bull Stratos.

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The stunt was collaboration between Red Bull and skydiver Felix Baumgartner and saw Felix ascend to 128,100 feet in a stratospheric balloon, followed by a free fall jump that was live streamed on Youtube. With this, Felix Baumgartner became the first human to break the sound barrier in free fall and helped provide valuable scientific data for space travel.

Before the big event, behind the scenes footage of the preparations had been released to the public along with interviews with the team. This helped build a hype around the event, resulting in a whopping 8 million people watching the jump live on Youtube and coverage in mainstream outlets across the world.

This campaign no doubt cost Red Bull millions, but must have provided immense value for the brand thanks to the incredible coverage that followed, all in line with the brand’s daredevil image. With a tagline like “Red Bull gives you wings”, what better way to reach your consumers than by throwing yourself into thin air?

Iced Coffee Rebrand for the Big Fella’s Special Day

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The world of iced coffee is an even bigger deal down under with leading brand, Farmers Union, outselling Coca Cola nearly 2:1 in South Australia – one of three brands globally to achieve this impressive feat of giant toppling.

Farmers Union wanted to celebrate Father’s Day in a big way and what’s bigger than a brand’s name? Yep, the brazen brand changed its name to Fathers Union as part of its campaign to celebrate Father’s Day. The iced coffee brand also launched limited-edition packaging featuring four unique Father’s Day designs: No.1 Dad, Total Legend, Big Fella and The Boss.

The campaign was accompanied by a series of ads featuring Adelaide radio host Dylan Lewis sharing advice to help dads enjoy the big day. The ads ran online and on radio supported by PR and outdoor advertising in the lead up to Father’s Day.

Darryn Wallace, Marketing and Innovation Director at Lion Dairy & Drinks, the company which owns Farmers Union brand, said, “We have a proud following of local South Aussie men so what better way to honour some of them this Father’s Day, than with the limited edition Fathers Union Iced Coffee cartons."

“Fathers Union Iced Coffee is launching exclusively in South Australia, the state in which the iconic drink was created back in 1977, to show our appreciation for, and celebrate, some of our most loyal fans who make Farmers Union Iced Coffee the icon it is today."

A fabulous, feel-good campaign – not only eye-catching and fun but also a great way to boost sales and talk to the Farmers Union fan base. The campaign achieved coverage in regional and trade media.