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The greatest PR campaigns of 2013

2013: the year that brought us a new royal, a horsemeat scandal and the death of Nelson Mandela. It also brought us some eye-catching PR campaigns. I’ve revisited some of the most mind-boggling PR campaigns and stunts of 2013 that have left me “oohing and aching”: sometimes in amazement and sometimes in sheer dismay.

Coca-Cola – Share a Coke
This summer, Coca-Cola created a campaign encouraging customers to share moments of happiness with their friends and family. The drink manufacturing giants replaced their iconic name with 250 of the most popular names in Great Britain. Twitter and Facebook were hotspots for people showcasing their named Coca-Cola cans and bottles.

Photo: Coca Cola
Photo: Coca Cola

Three – #DancingPony
In the light of the horse meat scandal, mobile network provider Three presented us with an entertaining reason why we shouldn’t add horsemeat to our diets by releasing an advert starring a Shetland pony moon-walking to Fleetwood Mac’s Everywhere. Three’s dancing pony was a hit, generating over a million Facebook shares, 28,000 retweets on Twitter and almost eight million views on Youtube.

The fun didn’t end there. Three then gave customers the opportunity to create their own dancing pony mash-ups. This Christmas Three are giving customers the chance to send out personalised e-cards starring the one and only Shetland pony. Who needs a reindeer when you can have a #DancingPony?

Nandos – #NandosFergieTime
The extra minutes apparently enjoyed by Manchester United at the end of games has become legendary. Following the announcement of Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement earlier this year, Nando’s decided to pay homage to Manchester United’s longest serving manager by implementing their own version of “Fergie Time”.

Nine of the Nandos restaurants around Manchester, including the Manchester Trafford Centre branch, stayed open for an extra five minutes as a mark of respect for the great man.

Nandos tweeted: “In honour of Sir Alex Ferguson we’re proud to introduce #NandosFergieTime – all our Manchester Nando’s will be open five minutes later tonight.”

Dove – Real Beauty Campaign
Since the launch of their Real Beauty campaign, Dove has been plugging adverts, videos and workshops universally to encourage consumers to understand that beauty is beyond what the media sometimes portrays. This year, the skincare brand created a fake editing tool advertised as a beautifying tool free for use on Photoshop. As you can imagine, the tool did the exact opposite by unediting changes that were already made to the image.

Durex – Fundawear
You know they say there’s an app for everything? Well I think it might just be true. Durex has taken sexting to a whole new level with the development of its app-controlled vibrating underwear, providing more fun for those in long-distance relationships. The condom manufacturer released a promotional video which went viral.

Snickers and Google – “You cant spel properly when you’re hungrie”
As part of their ‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’ campaign Snickers partnered up with Google to appeal to people like me – the habitual computer screen slaves.
Snickers identified the top 500 misspelled terms on Google; when one of these misspelled words was searched, an ad appeared asking the user to “GRAB YOURSELF A SNICKERS FAST”. Over three days the ad was seen by over 500,000 people.

WestJet – Christmas Miracle
Canadian airline West Jet performed a Christmas miracle for 250 guests during this festive season. If you’re feeling a little “bah humbug”, this video will hopefully sprinkle a little Christmas cheer! In less than a week the video went viral, drumming up almost 20 million Youtube views.

Colgate – Big Toothbrush Swap
Sometimes PR campaigns are not always a #win and can turn out to be a #fail, as Colgate found with their Big Toothbrush Swap campaign. The dental care company simply asked customers to hand in their old rechargeable toothbrushes in exchange for a free brand new Colgate ProClinical A1500 electric toothbrush (priced £169.99) at London Waterloo Station. As you can imagine the deal seemed too good to be true and resulted in the stand being extremely overcrowded and shut down after two hours.

In order to rectify their customers’ disappointing ordeal, Colgate took to the unlimited space of the web to give away 7000 free electronic toothbrushes.

Which campaigns were your favourite? Let us know in the comments.