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5 of the Most Effective PR Campaigns of 2014

Posted by Tom Shapiro on August 21st, 2014 at 4:53 am

PR has the power to extend your reach, engage members of your target audience and create strong connections to your brand. To that end, here are 5 exemplary PR campaigns of 2014, each one bold, brilliant and unforgettable.

1. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

By now you’ve seen countless individuals dumping a bucket of ice over their heads in support of ALS, including celebrities such as Bill Gates, Taylor Swift and Oprah Winfrey. Apart from the silliness, the “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” has been serious business. The ALS Association, a national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s disease, received $31.5 million in donations between July 29 and August 20 compared to $1.9 million during the same period last year.

That’s one heck of a successful PR campaign! And one heck of a great cause!

2. Most Shocking Second a Day Video

The Save the Children “Most Shocking Second a Day” video is almost too overwhelming to sit through. To raise awareness of the plight of children impacted by the war in Syria, it uses the popular one-second-per-day video format, taking you through the life of one girl’s happy childhood slowly and surreptitiously being overtaken by war in her home country. The closing line “Just because it isn’t happening here doesn’t mean it isn’t happening” kicks you in the gut with merciless force.

According to the Oxford Research Group, more than 11 million children have been killed in the Syrian war, and more than 1.2 million children have become refugees according to UNICEF. The situation is horrific. With more than 33 million views, the video is at least spurring many to take action to help children in need.

3. Urban Surfing & Human Bowling

Think you can’t set up a 260-foot Slip ‘N Slide through the steep streets of San Francisco and allow folks to go nuts? Think again. YouTube star Devin “Supertramp” Graham has a habit of making extreme videos, and with “Urban Surfing – Bear Naked” he documented the creation of the craziest Slip ‘N Slide you’ve ever seen.

Similarly, Devin and Bear Naked captured the hilarity of human bowling down a ski mountain. Everything about the event was oversized, including the giant pins and the giant balloon bowling balls, in which participants would travel down the hill until the pileup with the pins at the bottom of the mountain.

Memorable? Heck yeah! And with more than 4 million combined video views, successful as well!

4. #LikeAGirl

Adolescent girls have it hard enough, navigating through puberty and their teenage years. At some point in our culture, the phrase “like a girl” became derogatory, not exactly providing girls with a confidence boost when they certainly could use one most. With this backdrop, the Always brand launched the #LikeAGirl campaign to reclaim what it means to be a girl and to do things like a girl. Their goal is that girls everywhere keep their confidence through the sometimes difficult teenage years and that doing things “like a girl” is to be awesome.

When complemented by the Always brand’s involvement in other women’s empowerment issues through partnerships with UNESCO, Lean In and Girl Scouts of America, the #LikeAGirl campaign comes across loud and clear. And with more than 47 million online video views, the campaign hit quite a chord!

5. #TDThanksYou

Want to cry with tears of joy? I dare you to watch the #TDThanksYou video and try not to cry. In July, TD surprised more than 20,000 customers as TD employees across Canada distributed green envelopes each containing a $20 bill to every customer in more than 1,100 bank branches.

TD also surprised its customers with a twist to the traditional ATM machine by changing it into an Automated “Thanking” Machine. Whether plane tickets to Trinidad to visit a sick daughter, or college money and a trip to Disney World, or the opportunity to throw the first pitch at a major league baseball game, the ATM delivered dreams to TD's customers. TD’s campaign means the organization has been able to bank on more than 10 million video views!

Eager for more? Click here for 5 additional examples of crazy effective PR campaigns.

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