Choose Me or Lose Me
This summer saw Walkers launch its somewhat controversial ‘Choose Me or Lose Me’ PR stunt, putting the fate of three of its popular flavours in the hands of the British public. Threatening to replace three classic British flavours, Smoky Bacon, Prawn Cocktail and Salt and Vinegar, with three international inspired alternatives, Bacon and Cheddar, Paprika and Lime and Black Pepper, Walkers encouraged crisp fans to vote for their favourites by buying packets of crisps, voting online and joining in the conversation on social media with the hashtag #chooseorlose. The campaign caused quite a stir with the public who were concerned their favourite flavours would be replaced but luckily the old classics reigned supreme!
Long gone are the days of helpless princesses being rescued by their Prince Charming. Now Disney’s Princesses are the ultimate girl squad of strong, independent feisty women, inspiring girls all over the world. To support their Princesses as positive role models, 2017 saw Disney launch their ‘Dream Big, Princess’ campaign, asking 19 female photographers from 15 different countries to shoot positive images of strong, inspiring women. Shining a spotlight on a range of empowering stories, subjects included the youngest female to speak at the United Nations, Afghanistan’s first female cycling team and a teenage author of a STEM coding book for kids. Not only that, for every image shared on social media with the hashtag #DreamBigPrincess, Disney pledged to donate $1 to the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up campaign. Nice one Disney!
Even thinking about running a marathon is a mammoth task for most of us but with their self-professed ‘moon-shot’, Nike attempted to redefine what is humanly possible and break the sub two-hour marathon time. The huge marketing campaign, ‘Breaking2’, saw Nike and their Sport Research Lab recruit the three best marathon runners in the world and invest millions in an attempt to make history and solidify Nike’s reputation as the leading global sports fashion brand. From high production quality video content, PR opportunities with the runners, and widespread social media engagement with the hashtag #breaking2, the wide-ranging campaign generated significant hype surrounding the record attempt (as well as Nike’s new long-distance running shoes). Despite their valiant efforts, Nike’s runners just missed the two-hour target by only 25 seconds but received widespread praise even from their greatest rival Adidas. So, the sub two-hour marathon is yet to be conquered – Sam and Tiff, you’d better get more lunch break practice in!
In a PR stunt that took social media by storm on this year’s International Women’s Day, US asset management firm State Street placed a bronze statue of a young girl defiantly staring down Wall Street’s iconic charging bull. Intended to put pressure on the companies State Street invests in to add more women to their boards and to promote the State Street’s SHE fund, the ‘Fearless Girl’ campaign became a viral sensation, trending on Twitter with the hashtag #FearlessGirl and receiving global media coverage. The statue has seen hundreds of tourists, celebs and politicians venture to Manhattan to join the Fearless Girl for a photo in her defiant pose. Time for a trip to New York for the Brookes & Co girls?!
Fast food giant Burger King could be considered veterans of PR stunts and for their latest campaign, ‘Bullying Jr.’ they’ve decided to use their voice to promote an important anti-bullying message. In a social experiment to demonstrate how people often refuse to stand up to bullying, Burger King tested its customers to see who would defend a high school student being bullied and who would defend a ‘bullied’ (punched into pieces) Whopper Jr. burger. While a massive 95% of customers reported the ‘bullied’ Whopper Jr. burger, only 12% stood up for the high school student. But it wasn’t all doom and gloom, the ad ended with some heart-warming footage of some of the customers who helped the student. Now is it just me or are you craving a burger?!
There you have it, our round up of the top 5 PR stunts of 2017. Now we’re looking forward to seeing which brands’ Christmas PR stunts are the most successful. Time to grab ourselves a Gingerbread Latte (or two!) and embrace the Christmas chaos!