5 campaigns that dominated at Cannes PR Lions 2018
PR pros have an issue with talking about their own work.
The belief that being in the spotlight is for clients, not PR pros, stays
strong. PR competitions are one of the rare occasions for the industry to
share their jobs well done, often being a source of valuable case studies.
Another edition of one of the worlds’ biggest creativity festivals, The PR
Lions, has just come to an end. Here’s a subjective selection of five
campaigns you should know:
On International Women’s Day, McDonald’s flipped its iconic arches upside
down. The idea was to encourage and inspire women by celebrating
company-related female success stories, with Patricia Williams as the
Ragan Consulting Group can help you find, tell and share your organization’s compelling stories in any format.]
Campaign results? McDonald’s arguably covered Google on International
Women’s Day, being the most searched brand on March 8th. With
campaigns carried out at this scale (over 1.6 billion impressions up to
submission date), it seems impossible to point out a measurable sales
effect, but that never was a direct goal of “The Flip”. Plus, many became
more positive towards the brand after hearing about the campaign.
(It’s worth mentioning, however, that the campaign also inspired an
internet backlash, sparking a discussion about female employees’ salary and
Each year, over four thousand men commit suicide in the UK.
London’s Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) teamed up with
adam&eveDDB LONDON to spark up a discussion on the dramatic issue. The
core of the campaign was 84 statues on top of the ITV tower—a symbol of 84
men taking their lives each week. The campaign also involved media
partnership and a helpline offered on the CALM website, where men
struggling with depression—or their loved ones—could find support.
In the two weeks following the launch of the campaign, CALM saw a 34
percent increase for the support offered via helpline and webchat. Over 170
million impressions on Twitter prove the discussion finally sparked,
leading to 220 thousand signatures on a petition to Secretary of Health and
inspiring a parliamentary discussion on male suicide.
One of the main pillars of crisis communications is the apology. When KFC
was hit with a major delivery problem impacting hundreds of restaurants
across the UK, the restaurant chain—along with Mother London agency—showed
how it’s supposed to be done.
Their full-page press ad carried a bold, believable and honest message
(‘FCK’). Using an attention-grabbing creative statement and letting the
public know they’re working hard to fix the issue, KFC won people’s hearts
We are The Silver Snipers
Ehrenstrahle DDB Stockholm, with a limited budget (approx. $20 thousand),
was supposed to promote Lenovo’s brand and product line among e-sport fans.
The agency came up with an original idea, mixing offline and online PR
activities. At the heart of the campaign were The Silver Snipers, a team of
senior players (aged between 63 and 81) of Counter Strike, one of the most
popular e-sport productions.
The team of appeared at one of the biggest e-sport events, challenging
professional Counter Strike players. The Silver Snipers also challenged the
belief that gaming is only for young men, resonating with Lenovo’s claim
that “Different is better.”
Finally, the digital activation over team’s website and social posts helped
achieve results far greater than assumed, with social media engagement
reaching over 670 percent of the target and coverage secured in nearly 160
To the last tree standing
Greenpeace & Ogilvy Poland managed to combine a popular video game
(Minecraft) with the meaningful cause of saving the Bialowieza Forest, an
area protected by UNESCO, comparable to the Yellowstone Park.
Logging in the primeval forest, carried out by the Polish Government,
polarized the discussion around environment protection between two groups:
the government supporters and its opposition, often referred to as
“leftists.” The main goal was to destigmatize the subject and facilitate
the public getting involved.
Building the campaign around Minecraft was an original idea meant to engage
a so-far neutral target group. The game has around 800 thousand daily
players in Poland, with many more watching others play on Twitch or
YouTube. The idea was to educate young people about Bialowieza and
encourage them to sign a petition to increase the size of the protected
The campaign reach was enormous: Over 100 million people learned about the
Minecraft “version” of the Bialowieza Park. Finally, it was spotted by
Microsoft (game producer), who decided to showcase the project on the
game’s launching screen.
What have been your favorite campaigns of the past year, PR Daily
Rafał Sałak is the head of communication at Prowly PR Software.