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5 Favourite PR & Marketing Campaigns of 2019

Updated: Mar 4, 2020

As the first month of 2020 draws to an close, we are looking back on all the creative PR and Marketing campaigns that made us smile this year. From Ryan Reynolds' campaign with Aviation Gin, to green drinks that are actually "blue", keep reading for the Brand Dialogue team's round-up of the best PR & Marketing campaigns of 2019 (in no particular order).

1. Ryan Reynolds hits back at Peloton with Aviation Gin

One of the most contested campaigns this year was certainly the Peloton advert, where a husband gifts his wife an exercise bike for Christmas, inspiring her to bizarrely chronicle her fitness journey. Capitalising on the negative media frenzy following this advert, Hollywood actor, Ryan Reynolds, made a parody campaign for Aviation Gin - a brand he has a stake in. Enlisting the help of Monica Ruiz (the wife in question in the Peloton advert) Reynolds' ad begins and ends in a similar fashion to Peloton's - hitting back at the original version when we hear one of Monica's friends tell her, "you look great" at the end.

2. Innocent Smoothie bolts from the blue

Channelling the controversial blue & black (or white & gold) dress of 2015, Innocent Drinks sparked a similar debate with their newest smoothie, "Bolt from the Blue". After sharing an image of their so-called "blue" product on Twitter, the comments began to roll in, with most people agreeing that the drink is actually green. Soon enough, the debate became a viral joke, spurred on by Innocent Drinks' Twitter account who replied to comments with witty comebacks such as "nah fam, it's deffo blue" and "it's more like blue which you can argue is a type of blue. (blue). Blue". From there, the campaign gained further traction, culminating in the brand hiring Duncan from the boy-band, Blue to promote their new drink in a series of funny videos depicting the celebrity being forced to insist that the drink is blue. Garnering over 25 million impressions on social media alone, this campaign is definitely high on the list of the most successful digital marketing campaigns of 2019.

3. Cadbury raises money for Age UK

Fighting for a good cause, Cadbury partnered with Age UK following statistics that 1.4 million older people in the UK struggle with loneliness, with 225,000 of these often going a whole week without speaking to anyone. To help remedy this issue, Cadbury removed all the words from their Dairy Milk bars, choosing to sell plain purple chocolates with no branding instead. Donating 30p from each sale to Age UK, Cadbury also produced a two-minute film entitled "Donate Your Words" to raise awareness - this has since garnered 34,000 views on YouTube alone.

4. Nike salutes "crazy women"

The last few years have seen Nike stand up for a range of social causes, best exemplified by their decision to place Colin Kaepernick front-and-centre of their marketing campaign. In 2019, Nike continued with this strategy by challenging the common trope of a "crazy woman" through a video narrated by Serena Williams who evidences many so-called "hysterical" and "dramatic" women who have made history. "So if they want to call you crazy, fine," Serena Williams says at the end of the video, "show them what crazy can do".

5. Burger King has a secret

The longstanding fast food rivalry between Burger King and McDonald's has frequently been the focus of marketing campaigns on both sides. This culminated at the end of 2019, when Burger King announced that they had been sitting on a secret all year: they had hidden a Big Mac behind every UK Whopper advert made in 2019, proving once and for all that their burger was the biggest.

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