Tesco Christmas PR campaign

Memorable PR Campaigns from 2016

It’s hard to believe we’ll be saying goodbye to 2016 in a week or so. And what a year it’s been. From major historic political events, to high-profile celebrity deaths and Leicester City FC unexpectedly winning the Premier League: it’s been eventful to say the least.

The past twelve months have provided great fodder for marketing and PR pros, who’ve produced some cracking campaigns. So before we say a final farewell to 2016, let’s take a look at a few of the more memorable ones.

May: Ryanair

Ryanair ad

Let’s start with Ryanair. The low budget airline is no stranger to the limelight, and used Brexit as a tongue-in-cheek way to engage with its customers. The Irish airline’s ‘Brexit special’ invited people who were able to vote on June 23 to ‘fly home to vote remain’ and offered flights from €19.99 for a 48-hour period, starting on June 22.

A formal complaint was lodged against the company for breaking EU membership bribery laws but the campaign had already achieved what it set out to do and had received a huge amount of public and media attention.

In the aftermath of Brexit, Ryanair also held a flash sale offering cheap passenger flights to anywhere in Europe for one day to ‘beat the Brexit blues’. This is a great example of clever, relevant and real-time marketing and PR.

September: Totaljobs

In September, 25-year-old former pub chef Jamie Mudle won a competition on recruitment website Totaljobs.com. The prize was £1million investment to help him land his ideal job.

Mudle was a genuine jobseeker who was chosen following a thorough selection process which started with Totaljobs contacting over one million jobseekers on its website. Following a number of castings, Mudle was chosen due to his outgoing personality, employment history and his personal struggle with finding employment, all of which Totaljobs felt perfectly personified the issue of youth unemployment.

The jobs board matched Mudle with relevant jobs and set up meetings with industry experts, including star of The Apprentice, Claude Littner, to hone his CV and interview skills. In short, he was given a complete

jobseeker makeover, and went on to land his ideal role at Finery London.

The #MILLIONPOUNDJAMIE campaign did wonders for Totaljobs’ brand image. It took off on social media and in the national press, drawing attention to the issues of jobseeker confidence and youth unemployment, while pushing Totaljobs forward as a leader in the industry. Clever.

November: McVities

You may have heard the heart-warming story of Tristan and Maria Weedon last month. The couple absolutely love Jaffa Cakes. In fact, they bonded on their first date over their mutual love of them. So when it came to their wedding cake, 11 years on, Tristan and Maria knew it had to be Jaffa.

They messaged McVitie’s to see if they’d be up for making the Jaffa-packed cake, and were overjoyed when the biscuit brand agreed. The stunning cake featured over 1,000 Jaffa Cakes, and was constructed and designed by Paul Courtney, who created Prince William’s ‘Groom Cake’.

This was a great reactive piece by McVitie’s, which not only delighted the happy couple, but made for great PR, too.



December: Tesco

To help customers get into the festive spirit over the last few weeks , the supermarket giant delivered thousands of little free festive treats to people’s front doors.

Visiting towns and cities the length and breadth of Britain, the ‘Mince Pie Man’ delivered over 18,000 packs of mince pies, ranging from Tesco Finest* to Free From, and wishing each recipient a Merry Christmas.

The mass giveaway had a sweet spot to it, because if people weren’t home when Tesco called, they were given a voucher to go and collect some goodies from their local shop.

The story has been covered in the Metro, The Sun, Telegraph and Mirror to name a few, and it’s a perfect example of a simple and effective seasonal PR stunt.

Happy Christmas and have a happy and successful 2017!

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