December 18, 2020

Best PR campaigns of 2020

Best PR campaigns of 2020

2020 has been a year like no other. We’ve lived through lockdown and working from home, and seen the (vaccine-shaped) light at the end of the tunnel. Through it all, our industry has continued to bring stories to life, focusing on Covid-19 communications and business as usual activity for our clients. We’ve seen our industry excel in new and different ways.

Our team is passionate about making an impact for our clients (check out our case studies to see some of our work), but they’re also engaged practitioners who love sharing campaigns from around the world. Here we’ve collected some of their favourites; it’s a diverse list of the best PR campaigns with everything from KFC to the States of Guernsey Communications team.


#RateMyKFC

Emily Jaques – Account Executive 
KFC’s #RateMyKFC campaign began in April when the fast-food brand launched a leaderboard to encourage people to make their own versions of KFC during lockdown. Utilising the opportunity when a lot of the public were looking for lockdown activities and taking up the opportunity to cook. Their submissions were then graded by the KFC team and shared with their own comedic commentary, generating a lot of social media engagement. This campaign kept KFC in the public eye and helped provide a smile.

Don’t visit Wales

Dan Gallienne – Account Director 
Showing the power of what one person can do, Owen Williams’ ‘Don’t visit Wales’ parody posters were an inventive way of communicating the ‘stay at home’ message that was so vital during lockdown. He created the originals but loads of people joined in and the #dontvisitwaleschallenge was eventually trending on Twitter. A funny, and I think typically British, response to a global pandemic at a time when people really needed a boost.

Stay at home spoilers

Megan Thoume – Digital Content Executive

With governments around the world warning people to stay at home to stem the spread of Covid-19, two students from the Miami Ad School Europe in Germany had a brilliant idea to discourage people from going out. Fake Netflix billboards were put up in public spaces filled with spoilers from popular shows including Money Heist, Love is Blind and Stranger Things. But the campaign wasn’t endorsed officially by Netflix, and in fact the billboards weren’t even real; they were mocked up for use online. However, they didn’t need to actually exist for the campaign to remind people that they should stay at home for other reasons than avoiding spoilers.


Investment map

Chris Chilton – Managing Director (Operations) 

Opportunity2030: The Standard Chartered SDG Investment Map is an innovative campaign that revealed the $10 trillion private sector investment opportunity that exists in supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDGs are critical to safeguarding our planet’s future and have become a byword for responsible corporate behaviour. This campaign used that sentiment to drive its research and contribute something meaningful – in this instance a guide to investing in SDG linked investments. It’s a great example of the financial services industry using its resources for good, and doing so in a meaningful way.


20 second soap

Emily Chapman – Senior Account Executive

20 second soap from Verve is the first soap that makes you wash your hands for 20 seconds. Each block lasts 20 seconds, so if there’s any left in your hands, wash some more! It was created early in the pandemic to help combat the spread of the Covid-19 after health officials said that hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of Covid-19, slowing the pandemic by 24%.


The face of liberation

Brooke Kenyon – Managing Director (Client Services)

This grabbed my attention on so many levels, a thoughtful way to recognise what the island went through during Jersey’s occupation and one that put its island community at its heart. An impactful campaign which also becomes a historic record of a moment in time.


PS5 Oxford Circus launch

Francesca Lewis – Account Executive  

For Sony’s PS5 launch, the brand changed the underground signs at Oxford Circus to their iconic button symbols (circle, triangle, square and X). I love it when a brand is so well known they don’t even have to put their name on a stunt for people to know who’s behind it – it’s such a flex. It’s also a perfect space to pick with instantly recognisable backdrops of lights and red buses, although in 2020 they had to make do without the super-high footfall.


States of Guernsey Covid-19 communications

Mike Wilkins – Digital Content Director 

The States of Guernsey’s Covid-19 communication campaign has been a great example of getting across vital information to a concerned public at a worrying time. The campaign has been a big contributing factor in the island’s effective response to the pandemic which currently sees the island with just a handful of active cases. Its focus on the human side of communication made a lasting impact and created a community based around the hashtag #GuernseyTogether and launched Dr Nicola Brink into the world of celebrity bedtime story reading!


Travel Industry Recovery package

Laura Stoddart – Account Manager 

To help the hospitality sector and be seen as a trusted partner, Expedia Group offered a ‘Travel Industry Recovery’ package. This package was designed to help independent partners and small chains rebuild their business during the pandemic and included marketing credits to help hotels increase visibility on the platform, commission reductions and even offer training programmes and webinar events for furloughed or displaced hospitality workers. The activity received a ‘Highly Commended’ award by PRWeek UK 2020 for a B2B campaign having generated 350 pieces of coverage across 27 countries over the course of four days.


Marcus Rashford

Chris Leaman – Account Executive 

Marcus Rashford’s contributions this year have been phenomenal. The England football star has spent much of the year (when not playing at the very highest levels of the game) campaigning for the government to provide more support to those children who most need it. He started by convincing the UK Government to extend the free school meals programme over the holidays and has since moved to encourage young people to read. His campaign has focused on simplicity of message and principle, and not getting drawn into arguments with anyone critical of his involvement. His willingness to speak openly about his upbringing and to give his genuine opinion set the tone for change, and he became impossible to ignore.

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