PR review: 2014

Never let it be said that PR, marketing and social media is easy… unless you’re trying to fail. This year, the industry has dug deep into its pockets of creativity to deliver great value for clients – with varying results.

Reactive PR has been key for brands to achieve extra kudos this year – think Lego‘s inspirational female toy kits or Fila‘s finishing touches to a Bansky masterpiece. But, moving into 2015, I predict we will see more companies embrace insane honesty – marketing to highlight brands’ faults in an attempt to develop trust with customers. It’s an interesting concept that US diner Arby’s and global hotel chain Novotel have already experimented with.

But, before ‘mad marketing’ takes off across the industry, let’s take a moment to recognise the agencies who have struck gold (and struck leaks) this year in the annual Prime Time PR Awards:

How did they do that?
Winner: Tower of London’s commemorative poppies
As part of a stunning art installation, more than 888,000 ceramic poppies were ‘planted’ at the iconic London landmark to mark the 100th anniversary of the a First World War. Beautiful and meaningful, it captured the hearts of the nation.

Finalists:
1) Taco Bell calls on fans for mystery competition
2) Burberry’s perfume campaign hits all the right notes

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Better luck next time
Winner:
Secret Cinema drove at 88mph… and stalled
Thousands of angry Back to the Future fans took to social media to express their frustration at the late cancellation of Secret Cinema’s launch event. This serious PR fail led to an apology, but more could’ve been done – besides Twitter and Facebook – to appease ticket holders.

Finalists:
1) A three-course reason why Death Row Dinners was doomed from the start
2) You’re going to need a bigger budget! Tara’s tacky PR stunt

Worth every penny
Winner:
Ad slogan ‘Christians make better lovers’ causes underground frenzy
Launching across the London Underground, creative agency Noah worked with Christian Connection to plaster platforms with posters reading ‘Another dating agency? Thank God!’ This campaign generated coverage in The Daily Telegraph, Huffington Post and Christian Today – as well as plenty of mentions on Twitter.

Finalists:
1) Usher confesses his love for Cheerios in new campaign
2) Weight Watchers’ café is fuelled by social media

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On a shoestring
Winner:
And the winner is… the ‘filmie’
It was a straightforward Oscars ceremony this year until Ellen DeGeneres got her Samsung phone out to take a selfie with a group of Hollywood stars and crashed Twitter. Just don’t mention the PR value of this stunt to Liza Minnelli!

Finalists:
1) The Academy tweets the perfect tribute to Robin Williams
2) Fila gives Banksy a run for its money
The Oscars' filmie

So, there you have it. The big 2014/15 review. Share the love Prime Timers, have a happy New Year and I’ll see you in January.

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