Insights & News

2011 Campaigns We Liked!

While professionally, we spend our time focusing on the world from a public relations lens, we (like everyone else) are consumers too. We enjoy, talk about and share smart and creative ads and viral videos while having lunch in the BRG kitchen, passing each other in the halls and walking to Starbucks here in Old Town. In no particular order, here are some of our favorites:

Volkswagen’s “The Force” Super Bowl Ad

This ad comes up first on our list, as it was the most beloved by the team. We weren’t the only ones who loved it. The Force was the most viewed video on YouTube in 2011 with over 45 million views.

Meghan: I love that no words were necessary in this ad. You just turn on John Williams’ Star Wars theme and people will stop to watch the TV. Then you add an icon like Darth Vader and give him a simple, funny storyline and people will be glued to the TV.

Allison: The Force followed around a little boy dressed as Darth Vader attempting to put his “force” on everyday items around the house. It is a fun, witty and lighthearted commercial that also stays true to the Volkswagen brand and target audience.

Citi Credit Card Commercials

Understanding your target audience is important when putting together any kind of campaign. In this video, Citibank does a great job combining outdoor adventure with music to communicate a reward you can earn with ThankYou Points.

Erin: I really like the Citi credit card commercials where they show different things to do with your ThankYou Points. I love that they are outdoors and active!

Girl Effect

The Girl Effect is the brainchild of the Nike Foundation, NoVo Foundation, United Nations Foundation and the Coalition for Adolescent Girls. The Girl Effect is a movement about the huge potential for young girls to end poverty for themselves and the world as a whole. In 2010 they released “The Girl Effect” video.

Cindy: This video makes you think about all the young girls across the globe and the struggles they must overcome, not only to survive, but also to have a meaningful future. It made me think about how fortunate I am and inspires me to do more to help.

Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday was a movement sponsored by American Express that empowered people to “shop small” on November 26, 2011. Customers were asked to “like” Small Business Saturday on Facebook to show their support for small businesses all year long. Businesses were encouraged to use tools provided by the movement to promote their small business all year. As an extra layer, American Express partnered with Klout, providing social media influencers with $25 American Express gift cards to shop small and a suggested hashtag.

Jen B.: Shop Small was well executed with social media as well as traditional print, broadcast and online media. Amex benefitted from increased engagement with customers who chose to register their Amex cards via Facebook. There was also the halo effect of supporting small businesses. The nature of the campaign also lent itself well to local market media—every city and town across America has small businesses, so the story is relevant everywhere.

Walmart’s 12 Days of Giving

For the first time, Walmart awarded $1.5 million to 145 nonprofits that were nominated by Facebook users.

Kirsten: I really love Walmart Foundation’s 12 Days of Giving initiative that we’re supporting at BRG. People might not know that many of the nominations were submitted from people who received support in a time of need. They wrote their nominations from the heart to give back to an organization that gave them a better life. During the course of the campaign I was able to speak with the Executive Director from one of the winning nonprofits. Her passion and gracious attitude were inspiring. For me, it was when I truly realized the impact this campaign was having on communities across the country.

Louis CK’s Live at the Beacon Theatre

Louis C.K. did something unimaginable. He distributed his latest stand up special on his website for $5 even though he knew people could steal it. Within the first 12 hours he had over 50,000 purchases and made over $250,000. Within 12 days, he made over $1 million dollars and donated half of his earnings to staff and charities. Louis C.K. is a self-proclaimed Twitter hater, but truly utilized social media to spread the word. He tweeted about the special, posted outtakes on YouTube and even participated in an “ask me anything” thread on Reddit, resulting in an explosion of sales.

Shannon: It’s always amazing to see performers who are skilled at marketing themselves and know how to really connect with their fan base. As marketers, we can learn a lot about how connecting, empowering and trusting your audience can motivate them to action.

Warning: Language in this video is NSFW. You should probably watch it at home tonight.

Allstate Commercials

They say if it is entertaining, people will remember it. This is certainly the case for the Allstate mayhem television commercials. These commercials have been such a hit that they’ve taken off online with many of them having over a million views on YouTube.

Jane: I really admire the way Allstate, and other insurance companies for that matter, incorporated a higher level of humor and creativity this year. Insurance is a dry subject and is one of those things people don’t know much about until they need it. The Allstate commercials were great because they educated consumers about insurance in a fun and approachable way.

Nicole: I think all of the Allstate commercials are really funny and clever. Who doesn’t like to protect themselves against mayhem?

Morton’s Delivers

In August, an exhausted Peter Shankman took to Twitter before he took off on his homeward flight and jokingly asked Morton’s Steakhouse to deliver a steak to him when he landed. Much to his surprise, a delivery awaited him at the airport.

Jen M.: This was a brilliant move by Morton’s. When he got home, Shankman posted a blog, complete with pictures and expressed his gratitude. The post resulted in 400+ comments, 10,000 Facebook “likes” and 9,274 tweets. If you look up “Morton Peter Shankman” on Google 23,700 results are delivered. Whether this was a clever “marketing stunt” or not, this “campaign” demonstrates two things. First, monitoring social media mentions and responding in real-time is very important. Though each action won’t yield these results, customers appreciate feeling heard and taken care of and will pay the brand back via discussion with others. That can’t always be measured. Second, this took Morton’s under three hours to execute from the time the tweet was sent to the time the steak was delivered. Thinking outside the norm for three hours resulted in an enormous amount of coverage including the dissemination of positive sentiment about the company.

Kaiser Permanente Healthy Living

Having a healthy lifestyle isn’t always easy but with the right tools and the right support it can be made easier. Kaiser Permanente has done just that. Their Center for Total Healthprovides people with a place to start talking about health and take those first steps toward better living.

Laurie: After the holidays we all make those resolutions around getting healthy. I love the way Kaiser helps people take the first step toward wellness. It’s a truly integrated online and offline experience whether you follow on Twitter, go to their Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health in Washington, DC or catch one of their ads with Allison Janney talking about how to get started. Everyone is talking about prevention these days, but Kaiser does it in a way that doesn’t point fingers and makes you want to engage. If you take one step forward and two steps back, that’s okay. Just keep moving.