This year has been great for PR campaigns. In recent months, we’ve seen many brands exhibit creativity that’s led to success not only for businesses, but also for people.
While creativity has always been vital for brands to stay ahead of the competition, the pandemic seems to have heightened its importance.
In fact, a recent study from PRovoke Media discovered that nearly nine in 10 (88%) PR pros across the globe believe creativity will be either extremely or very important to business recovery post-Covid.
I completely agree that adding a creative flair to PR campaigns is important to stand out from the crowd. A key element of this is to ensure that these campaigns tell an engaging story that can successfully tap into human emotion.
The B2B Institute at LinkedIn, in partnership with WARC, and Lions, recently proved the creativity-emotion combo to be the most effective approach in a study of 10 years of successful B2B marketing campaigns. You can read our summary of the paper’s key findings over on Wildfire Labs.
Being able to pull at the heart strings, even if just a little, is the key to winning hearts and minds. These are some of my favourite campaigns who have done exactly that in 2022.
It’s ok to be sad AF
In January, BrewDog partnered with mental health movement #IAMWHOLE to launch an alcohol-free beer, named SAD AF, to help men speak out about their own mental health.
Research from #IAMWHOLE discovered that 84% of those who experience mental health challenges say January is the hardest month.
But it also discovered that 82% of men are more likely to open up over a beer, so the brand decided to launch its new alcohol-free beverage in the hopes that more men would be able to discuss their mental health challenges more openly (and responsibly).
To promote the campaign, #IAMWHOLE and BrewDog launched a heartfelt online video featuring Rizzle Kicks’ Joran Stephens and other celebs including Danny Dyer and John Simm.
I can definitely say this video pulled at my heart strings…
Hope is everything
Surely I’m not the only one who shed a tear or two during the last season of Netflix’s Afterlife?
The show is centred around the life of local journalist Tony, played by Ricky Gervais, and tells a story of his grief and depression after his wife passes away.
The one place Tony goes to find hope and solace is the local churchyard bench, which eventually helps him to open up and talk about his feelings to those around him.
In line with the launch, Netflix teamed up with CALM to install 25 benches in parks across the UK to promote healthy conversations around mental health.
Each bench, which has “Hope is everything” inscribed, features a QR code that people can use to access emotional support and resources if needed.
While the PR campaign is obviously a great way to get the public talking about the show, it’s also spreading an extremely important message that could encourage people to get the help and support they need.
MRI scans shouldn’t be scary
As someone who has never had an MRI scan, the whole process to me sounds very daunting.
But imagine what the thought of having one must feel like for a child?
With the aim to reduce children’s fears in hospital, LEGO recently designed model MRI scanners made from LEGO to help them understand the whole process and to reassure them of its safety.
The LEGO MRI scanners can even open up to show children exactly how the machines work to further reduce their worry.
While these aren’t available to the public to buy, LEGO will send custom sets to hospitals so young patients can learn all about MRIs before having the real scan.
Helping women cope with menopause
Menopause is a difficult time in the lives of many women, but it’s become a taboo to discuss it.
A study from GenM in partnership with Propaganda found that 87% of menopausal women feel unacknowledged by brands and society at large, and 90% reported it negatively affected their professional life.
In order to highlight the brands catering to a menopause audience, they decided to create a comprehensive PR campaign.
An ad in the style of an open letter was launched in The Guardian that emphasised how women undergoing menopause couldn’t afford to go unrecognised, and how catering to this market segment is a smart business decision.
Through these efforts, GenM was able to secure 55 partner brands, including JP Morgan, Royal Mail, WW, Holland & Barrett, and Diaverum.
Reach totalled over 142.5 million, with coverage across Tier 1 media, and an additional 800,000 via social, leading to a 174% increase in followers.
Gaming becomes less toxic
Online gaming can be really fun, with a vibrant atmosphere comprised of 665 million gamers forming a gregarious and largely supportive community.
That said, there’s been an ongoing problem with 79% of gamers having encountered chatroom bullying at some point when playing online.
To address this, game developer Chell partnered with Samsung to penalise toxic behaviour amongst the player base of Magic Quest, a popular Chinese MMO.
Samsung hijacked the game’s chatroom and linked the Abusive Language Detection System to the pricing database, making in-app purchases more expensive for players engaging in toxic behaviour.
Microtransactions are already a pet-peeve for gamers in general, so facing down real-time price increases provided bullies a significant wake up call.
Chell reported that in-game bullying fell by 40%, which shows demonstrating the costs of bullying can help reduce toxicity online. What’s more, the campaign also won the 2022 Clio Silver Award.
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