2016: Our Favourite Campaigns

22 December 2016

2016 has been a signifcant year; Rio de Janeiro hosted a successful Olympic games, The Pokemon Company created the world-wide phenomenon ‘Pokemon Go’, exit polls have been questioned with Britain becoming the first country to leave the EU and America has elected a President who is arguably best known for being a reality TV star.

The PR industry has launched some fantastic campaigns this year in the midst of the mayhem, some trying to inspire cheer amongst negative news, and others taking a serious tone. Here’s our pick of 2016’s best PR Campaigns: 

1. The Missing Type Campaign launched by MHP Communications and Engine during National Blood week was truly inspiring. The campaign saw 1,000 organisations and companies removing the letters A, O and B from their signage and branding to highlight the 'missing types’ of donated blood groups. The public were also encouraged to support the campaign by removing letters from their names on social-media accounts - all of which was hugely successful; a record 30,000 people registered as new blood donors in the first 10 days of the campaign alone, and the campaign has been relaunched by 21 countries. #MissingType

2. For World Aids Day, Premier PR and Havas Worldwide worked with Durex to launch a campaign to create an official #CondomEmoji with the aim of encouraging people to share the hashtag. It called upon the Unicode Consortium to approve the world’s first safe-sex emoji after research has shown that 84% of 16 to 25 year olds said they felt more comfortable talking about sex by using emoji’s. Durex capitalised on the awareness generated around World Aids Day to set a significant reminder about the importance of safe sex. Whilst Unicode Consortium sadly rejected the campaign’s bid, it drew 750,000 endorsements and NGOs and charities have shown their support.  

3. Marks & Spencer and Unity launched the campaign ‘Spark Something Good’, inspiring employees, customers and the nation to help out in their communities. The campaign’s goal was to mobilise a large number of volunteers to transform 24 community projects in 24 hours. Projects included renovating a community farmyard, re-distributing unused food in supermarkets, creating a new dining room for a soup kitchen and painting a mural for autistic children. The initiative was a great success with staff and the public, with thousands volunteering locally. Research has also proved that it made people feel confident in the M&S branding and made people want to shop there more often. #SparkSomethingGood

4. ‘Don’t get Frozen Out’ launched by W Communications was an ice cream-powered campaign. Ben & Jerry’s and HOPE not hate collaborated in the creation of the campaign with the aim of encouraging Londoners to register to vote in the mayoral election.  Centering around the slogan “democracy only works when it works for everyone!” Ben and Jerry’s launched a series of ice creams with election focused titles such as ‘Go on… Give a Fudge’ and ‘Empower Mint’ - showing that food really is the way to our hearts! 

5. Every year, the John Lewis Christmas advert is the most hotly anticipated advert of the season. This year, John Lewis took a joyful approach and with the Buster the Boxer campaign lighting up the faces of adults and children across the country, staying true to the retailer’s values of thoughtful giving. John Lewis partnered with Snapchat to create a bespoke Buster filter and used the hashtag #bustertheboxer to promote it on Twitter. They also unveiled the windows of their flagship Oxford Street store to reveal a world of woodland animals, along with donating 10% of the purchase price of soft toys to their partnered charity The Wildlife Trusts this year. #BounceBounce

It may have been a year of ups and downs, but 2016 has certainly brought us some thought-provoking and innovative campaigns. We look forward to seeing what 2017 will bring! 

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