3 Public Relations Stunts and Campaigns That Will Inspire Any Brand


Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR

In public relations, promoting and protecting a brand is essential. Speaking out may be golden but, in some cases, it can be deadly to a brand’s reputation. Deciding when or how to speak out or stay silent defines a real PR pro.

In the past, some amazing brands pulled off inspiring PR campaigns. Here are 3 of them:

#1. Carlsberg’s Probably Not Campaign

One of the most successful PR campaigns ever was run by the Carlsberg beer company. Through a genuine but bold move, the brewer inverted its “probably the best beer in the world” motto to “probably not the best beer in the world.” Not only did the company invert its brand’s motto, but Carlsberg Pilsner also rebrewed its beer in the UK and introduced a new pack that reduced plastic use by 50%. While at it, the company ran an ambitious and honest campaign that explained changes the company was making to remedy the “probably not the best beer in the world” tag. The result was that it drove conversations. Worth noting, within the first four months of the new ad, the brand advertising awareness among UK consumers doubled. Specifically, the brand’s awareness on YouGov BrandIndex doubled to 10.5.

#2. ‘Take Back Remote Control’: Channel 4’s Brexit Bus Stunt

Channel 4’s ingenious PR stunt involved parading a bus similar to the one used in the 2016 Brexit referendum. The aim was to promote the Benedict Cumberbatch-fronted drama that delves into the murky issues around the EU referendum, Brexit: The Uncivil War. Christened “take back the remote control,” the PR stunt subverted the leave movement’s “take back control’ narrative used before and after the 52% vote in favor of Brexit. To drive conversations, the bus toured London, Nottingham, Manchester, Leeds, Leicester, Birmingham and Bristol. Research showed that since 2016 (when the Brexit poll took place), there have been over 180 million tweets mentioning Brexit in the world. Two-thirds of these tweets came from the UK.

The result of the creatively crafted campaign: more than 1.3 million people tuned in to watch the Benedict Cumberbatch-fronted drama.

#3. AeroMexico trolls Texans

AeroMexico’s commercial adds a hilarious twist to middle America’s enmity and distrust towards Mexico. The irony in the ad is that Americans have Mexican roots but memories of their American-Mexican heritage have been lost to history. In an attempt to encourage more flights to Mexico, AeroMexico offers “DNA discounts” to all Americans with a Mexican heritage. Travelers are awarded discounts based on the percentage of their Mexican roots.

With its slogan “there are no borders within us,” the ad rides on the popularity of the promise of the American administration to build a border wall. Apparently, those in the ad that qualified for discounted fares could not hide their joy. In one hilarious instance, an elderly man responds with profanity when informed of his 22 percent Mexican heritage.The ad was a success in terms of starting conversations and has gone viral. Put into perspective, the video has received tens of thousands of likes upon posting on different twitter handles.

Ronn Torossian - How PR Firms Can Lead by Example with Diversity and InclusionAbout the Author: Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading PR agency.

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