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My favourite PR campaigns and stunts across the last year

Posted by Rachel Nulty on 25th June 2019

Working in PR, I’m always looking for unique ideas that get the creativity juices flowing. So, I thought I’d take some time to highlight some of the best PR campaigns and stunts that have inspired me over the last year.

Drumroll please…

The death of Simon the Sloth by LifeDirect

Back in September 2018, New Zealand life insurance comparison website, LifeDirect cleverly killed off the brand’s famous sloth mascot in its TV ad in a bid to revive the brand amongst a younger demographic who view death as a distant issue, and persuade viewers to plan for their own deaths.

Poor Simon the sloth had been the company’s mascot for nearly ten years when he met his untimely demise by falling off a cliff while hiking. Naturally, viewers were concerned about his death, causing a social media frenzy with thousands seeking answers to what happened to Simon.

The very next day, LifeDirect ingeniously placed a print ad in leading New Zealand newspapers that took the style of an obituary, explaining how Simon had failed to identify the beneficiaries of his policy and inviting readers to stake their claim to a portion of his $10,000.

Entrants had to invent stories about how they knew Simon and why he would want them to have his money.

The campaign prompted 17,000 visits to the dedicated microsite and a 32% increase in visits to Lifedirect.co.nz, while brand preference increased 44%.

NOW TV erects 25ft statue of Jeff Goldblum

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Jurassic Park, a 25ft statue of Hollywood actor Jeff Goldblum appeared right next to London’s Tower Bridge.

NOW TV’s stunt was 250 hours in the making, with the 150kg model getting sculpted over a six-week period.

In his “iconic” shirtless pose, Jeff attracted a lot of attention, which even impressed the real Jeff in true Jeff Goldblum style: “It was lovely, I liked that whole statue. I don’t know what it looked like in the flesh, or in the concrete, I didn’t see it. I saw pictures of it.”

In the 24 hours following the unveil, there were 25.2k tweets mentioning Jeff Goldblum, with a cumulative reach of over 246 million. What’s more is that the statue became a sensation with 293 pieces of coverage worldwide. While NOW TV saw a 42% increase in Jurassic Park viewing figures.

Siemens FABRIC

Inspiringly, Siemens used the medium of fabric to tell stories about numerous major African cities to spark conversations about the ways in which data and smart technology can ensure that the African cities of tomorrow will be more connected, efficient and powered.

Using data visualisations, Siemens was able to see and understand the township and the challenges of each of the cities.

Once the data was collected, fashion designers from African countries transformed the data into one-off pieces to help tell each city’s respective stories, including about infrastructure and energy. These pieces were then showcased on a catwalk at a fashion show celebrating the technological innovations in Africa.

Siemens received around 57 pieces of coverage in top tier business and mainstream titles, while also opening up further opportunities for deeper and meaningful discussions for further developing smart cities in Africa.

Rachel Nulty

Rachel completed a degree in Public Relations and Online Communications in Dundalk IT, Ireland. During her degree she gained practical experience in the world of PR working as a Communications intern for a government body and began working at Wildfire in December 2016. Rachel spent some time travelling in Canada, where she developed a love of the outdoors, from climbing mountains to snowboarding  and skydiving, Rachel is always looking for her next thrilling adventure.

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