Memorable PR Campaigns in March
March was a busy month for PR campaigns. And there have been plenty of events for brands to piggy-back on from Comic Relief to Cheltenham Race Week.
Here are four of our favourites:
The ‘dirty bottle’: One Water
To coincide with World Water Day (Wednesday 22nd March), bottled water social enterprise, One Water created a ‘dirty bottle‘ to highlight the poor water conditions experienced by hundreds of millions of people worldwide. The re-designed sleeve makes the bottle look like it contains dirty water instead of spring water.
While it may seem counter-intuitive to sell a bottle of water that looks dirty, it’s a simple and effective way to make people stop and think. Duncan Goose, Founder of One Water said of the campaign, “if only a small proportion of the profits from the sale of every bottle of water went to clean water projects, we could make a huge impact on water issues worldwide.”
One Water, which allocates all its profits to clean water projects around the globe, hopes the publicity from the campaign will help it secure a deal with a supermarket to stock the water.
Putin Horse Stunt – Paddy Power
Cheltenham Race Week took place in mid-March. To celebrate, bookmaker Paddy Power organised a crazy PR stunt in Central London.
Do you remember way back when images of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin were revealed, showing him topless on horseback? Well Paddy Power marched a horse over Waterloo Bridge with ‘President Putin’ riding it. And the horse was led around various spots in London by another famous President: ‘Donald Trump’. Okay, so they were actors wearing heavy makeup and prosthetics, but it had the desired effect.
To tie it in with the Cheltenham Races, Paddy Power offered punters the chance to bet on Cheltenham/Politics Specials, including Ruby Walsh to be Top Jockey and Trump to be impeached in 2017 (odds of 8/1) and Willie Mullins to be Top Trainer and Trump to serve a second term (7/2).
It was a great story and won Paddy Power PR in numerous nationals and even in the esteemed Horse & Hound magazine.
Silent Piers Morgan: Comic Relief
Imagine 24 whole hours without hearing Piers Morgan’s voice or seeing his tweets. Blissful, right? Well, that’s exactly what happened on March 24th. Piers bagged himself some positive PR and raised £50,000 for Comic Relief by ‘begrudgingly’ agreeing to stop tweeting, writing, broadcasting and talking for 24 hours.
In addition, Piers – a passionate Arsenal fan – agreed to wear a Tottenham Hotspur shirt if the public donated £50,000. Surprisingly, there was no shortage of people willing to part with cash to see Piers suffer. Within minutes, his old foe Lord Sugar had donated £5,000 to shut him up, branding it ‘the bargain of the century’ in a video he posted on Twitter. And a host of other celebrities donated £1,000 for a day of peace.
This was a clever way to get the public and media behind Morgan, whose mouth has got him into trouble with both, on countless occasions.
VR Fire Escape Experience: New Zealand Fire Service
The fourth PR campaign on our March rundown highlighted how serious house fires can be and how important having an escape plan is.
In March, the New Zealand Fire Service launched ‘Escape My House’, an immersive and gripping interactive experience that takes place inside a real house. Using interactive 360 video, with a virtual reality (VR) option, New Zealanders were faced with an actual house fire and challenged to escape. They stepped into the lounge to find a small fire had started on a clothing rack left too close to the heater. What looked manageable was, in fact, already out of control – they had seconds to get out.
The experience aims to highlight how serious house fires can be and how important having an escape plan is. And both objectives were executed perfectly. Since launching on March 22nd, the online tool has been used by 120,000 people, it has been viewed more than 10 million times and shared on Facebook by more than 86,000 people.