Digital PR
5 Min read

Ranked: 10 of the Best Digital PR Campaigns of 2019 (so far…)

Written by Rebecca Moss
@bexmoss

Taking a retrospective look at the biggest and best digital PR efforts of 2019 is something you’d probably expect to see towards the end of the year. 

But given the calibre of campaigns featured below, we thought why waste any time in talking about our favourites?

Nike – Dream Further

Nike has a stellar reputation for producing awe-inspiring adverts, especially when it comes to football. The 2019 Women’s World Cup was no different, with Nike enlisting the help of Wieden & Kennedy to create ‘Dream Further’, which follows in the footsteps of other inspirational campaigns ‘Dream Crazy’ and ‘Dream Crazier’. 

The three-minute spot sees 10-year-old Makena Cook step onto the pitch as a mascot, but she soon embarks on an imagined playing career alongside her idols including Australia’s Sam Kerr and England’s Fran Kirby. 

Although the ad promotes a limited edition ‘Dream Further’ jersey – the first-ever kids-only football shirt designed for girls – it was the USA Women’s team kit that broke records, becoming the most sold design ever in a single season on Nike.com. 

In terms of results, this campaign fared well, resulting in around 20 high-quality publications featuring a link to the campaign landing page, and almost 2million views on YouTube. 

KFC – Chicken Town

With its immense revenue and resources, you’d think KFC could easily shutdown the multitude of chicken restaurant knockoffs trading today with names like ‘QFC’ and ‘LFC’. 

But in an ad produced by agency Mother London, it calls upon the original chicken Don himself to simply send a godfather-like message – “a word to the wise, there is only one Colonel in Chicken Town.”

The ad has been viewed over 500,000 times on YouTube and received high praise from many, with the top-rated comment reading: “in a sea of crappy ads I actually did the unusual and searched for this one to watch it again – incredible job whoever the creative team is.”

Guinness – Guinness Clear

For this year’s Six Nations, Guinness launched a new product to encourage people to drink responsibly throughout the tournament. Best of all, it doesn’t cost Guinness a thing to create or distribute. 

Guinness Clear, or ‘tap water’ as it’s more commonly known, will “keep you hydrated and help you stay in control.” Made to a time-honoured recipe, Guinness Clear offers a flavour unlike anything else. 

But even with a tongue-in-cheek campaign mini-site supported by video content featuring rugby internationals Brian O’Driscoll and Lawrence Dallaglio, many people on social media were duped into thinking Guinness Clear was a legitimate product.  

 

Britsh Airways – Made by Britain

In today’s turbulent political landscape, where opinions remain divided and the future still uncertain, sentiments that unite the masses are few and far between. But to mark its centenary, British Airways has written a heart-warming love letter to the UK. 

Celebrities including Olivia Colman, Anthony Joshua, Garry Oldman and Grayson Perry provide a snapshot of modern-day Britain as they take their seats on a special BA100 flight alongside compatriots from all walks of life. 

But despite racking up over 12 million views on YouTube, it’s difficult to decipher what viewers really think, as British Airways has taken the odd decision to disable comments on the video.

 

 

Paddy Power – Save Our Shirt

Despite a track record for courting controversy, Paddy Power’s decision to splash its logo across Huddersfield Town’s 2019 kit in a sash-style design still managed to raise plenty of eyebrows. 

A couple of days later, Huddersfield confirmed many people’s suspicions by revealing it was a hoax, but not before unveiling its actual strip for the 2019/20 season, which featured no sponsor at all. Since then, Paddy Power has ‘unsponsored’ other clubs including Motherwell, Newport County, Southend United and Macclesfield Town as part of its ‘Save Our Shirt’ campaign. 

Speaking in digital PR metrics, this was one of the more successful campaigns in terms of media coverage and backlink generation, featuring on Forbes, the Sun and the Drum to name a few.  

“In terms of campaign launches and earned media, we are slightly blown away by how well it has gone,” Paddy Power head of PR Lee Price told PRWeek.

 

Brewdog – Advert

Yet another brand that takes an unashamedly outspoken approach to marketing, Brewdog claims that it’s ‘ditched the mainstream, embraced the alternative and drawn a line in the sand’ with this particular campaign. 

‘Advert’ is an attempt to increase craft beer sales against a backdrop of “mass-produced, industrial lager that monopolises advertising space.”

Not everyone believes that BrewDog is the anti-establishment maverick it claims to be, but Twitter was awash with praise for ‘Advert’ during commercial interruption of the Champions League final and Game of Thrones. 

 


The advert racked up over 43k views on YouTube and more than 5k articles written about the campaign, according to Google News.    

Pornhub – BEESEXUAL

PornHub has decided to capitalise on the fact it’s the 29th most popular website in the world by launching a philanthropic awareness campaign around the declining bee population. 

Each view of a ‘BEESEXUAL’ video results in a donation to charities including Operation Honey Bee and The Center for Honeybee Research.

“We turned short videos of foraging bees into what they really are: funny, kinky, nature porn featuring the voices of your favorite stars,” says the dedicated BEESEXUAL page on PornHub, which has attracted around 15,000 subscribers and nearly two million video views.

Comic Relief – Wise Words

Comic Relief never fails to make a powerful impact with its fundraising films. But this particular effort is stripped right back, highlighting the power of human nature and celebrating the charitable spirit of the British public. 

Bill Griffin, executive director of creative and brand, Comic Relief, said in a statement: “In these turbulent times, Comic Relief has an important role to remind the nation that we are more united than we’re led to believe.”

Donations are still welcome for Comic Relief 2019, but as of 30th July a total of £63,938,072 had been raised. 

 

 

UNHCR – 2 Billion Kilometres to Safety

Refugees travel two billion kilometres every year to escape war and persecution. In light of this, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) wants people to walk, run or bike the same distance to demonstrate solidarity. 

“At a time when we are facing so many misconceptions about refugees, it is vital that we remind ourselves of the real and dangerous journeys they are forced to take,” said UNHCR Deputy High Commissioner Kelly T. Clements.

The all-encompassing nature of this campaign, which includes a mobile app that’s compatible with fitness trackers, makes it as easy as possible for people to participate – the kilometre count is over six million so far. 

Mothercare – #BodyProudMums

Featuring ten mothers and their stories of having children, Body Proud Mums is a campaign that aims to celebrate the beauty of the post-birth body. 

One of the key motivations for Mothercare was to address the fact that over 80% of mums in the UK have admitted comparing their post-baby bodies to unrealistic ideals, while 90% of women aged 18-25 expect their bodies to compete with celebrities and what they see in the media.

The campaign photographer is Sophie Mayanne, who pledged in 2017 to never digitally manipulate skin in her work. Mothercare has also pledged to never use fake baby bumps for its maternity collections.  

 

 

We’ve produced our fair share of awesome digital PR campaigns in 2019 too. Get in touch to join the club.

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Post published on Tuesday December 10, 2019