Brand Pr Case Study
The crisis: Two Cadbury chocolate bars were found infested with worms in Mumbai, India. The Maharashtra FDA quickly seized the chocolate stock at Cadbury's closest manufacturing plant in Pune.
How Cadbury responded: The company was slow out of the gates. It released a statement claiming that the infestation was not possible at the manufacturing stage, while the FDA disagreed, prompting a tussle between the two. The media jumped on Cadbury, and the brand was under widespread assault.
Cadbury took its advertising off the air and launched an educational PR project that targeted retailers. It kept the media updated through press releases on the specific measures it was taking to correct its manufacturing and storage processes. The company also imported new machinery and changed the packaging of its Dairy Milk bars.
Four months later, Cadbury began advertising more aggressively. By then, the company's relationship with the media had improved greatly.
The result: Cadbury's sales in India plunged 30% in the wake of all the negative media coverage, and this was during a season when its sales usually increase by 15%. But over time, Cadbury began to recover.
Within eight weeks of the introduction of its new packaging and advertising campaign, sales had almost reached pre-crisis levels. The company announced eight months after the incident that its consumer confidence was back to to normal. Cadbury has maintained its position at the top of the Indian chocolate industry ever since.
But Cadbury suffered three years later when a salmonella outbreak wasn't handled nearly as well.
Sources: Rediff, Public Relations Consultants Association of India
The year is quickly coming to a close… The Samsung Galaxy selfie at the Oscar’s ceremony stole the show with the “most retweeted image of all time,” highlighting the unstoppable momentum of “real time” in communication. Ways of communicating with audiences have changed a lot this year. Companies are seeking to collaborate with influencers more in an effort to produce high-quality video content, developing heart-wrenching emotional marketing campaigns to deeply connect with consumers. Another year has gone by and once again (like in 2013) we’ve made a list of the top 10 communication campaign examples. In this post, you will see examples of charity campaigns, experiential marketing actions and more! Take a look at them, and let us know if you’d like to add any others to our list.
AirBnb new logo campaign: the Bélo story
Launching a new logo is always a risky business for any brand. And (if you are world renowned) the initial “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” reaction can be particularly significant. This is what happened to AirBnb when they decided to launch “the Bélo,” a new concept for their logo with an interesting story behind it… The new logo represents the essence of connection and a sense of belonging to an ever expanding global environment. AirBnb produced a video for this occasion explaining the reason of this new branding approach. They also created their own “custom experience” platform where every AirBnb user could personalize their own Bélo using a variety of colors, lines and backgrounds. But, what about those millions of users who already knew about the brand and were very active with their services? Brian Chesky, corporate CEO, sent them an invitation to an exclusive webinar where he himself explained the reason underlying this major change.
But, as I mentioned before: when you’re already very well known, it can be quite difficult to get worldwide approval, even though your communication campaign has been meticulously planned! Scathing reviews came out instantaneously… The Bélo was compared to animals, very specific body parts, foods, transportation, etc. However, despite all the judgment, the brand knew how to deal the criticism by creating this sarcastic infographic of the results.
Google fights against Ebola
While governments around the world were unsuccessfully trying to make up their minds about the best approach, sitting around and debating and discussing the best ways to combat Ebola…Google stepped up to the plate. In November, its CEO announced it would pledge $2 for every dollar donated through its website. They set up a specific URL onetoday.google.com/fightebola to explain this original social action and invite people across the globe to contribute to this worthwhile, timely cause. When you type “Google Ebola campaign” into a search engine, you’ll get over 22 million results with posts, news, articles and mentions of this initiative which made governments from all over the world feel ashamed as a result of their indecisiveness about how to best face this challenge. CSR campaigns are always a great initiative that aim to better society, but if they are launched at the perfect moment and in the best circumstances — as was the case for Google — they will become a huge boost to your brand reputation and image.
Summer of sharing: share a coke
This is a campaign that only a brand like Coca-Cola would ever think about doing… It was globally applauded and everyone was talking about it. There was a real feeling of excitement amongst soft drink consumers (mainly Coke folks) about getting a bottle with their name on it. (Or the name of a loved one!)
This summer, Coke is swapping out three of its iconic logos on 20-oz. bottles for the 250 most popular first names among American teens and Millennials.
With this viral initiative, Coca-Cola shared a personalized brand experience with their consumers in one of the greatest global communication campaigns ever to be launched, reaching people from all parts of the globe. They got PR hits worldwide, millions of mentions and pictures shared on social media. Hey, did you get your own bottle too? (I most certainly did, and I still have it on top of my fireplace!)
Burger King Proud Whopper “New” Product Launch
“We are all the same inside” was Burger King’s message during San Francisco’s Gay Pride Week this year. This “experience marketing” action, held in one of the main Bay Area Burger Kings, invited people to try a “new product,” launched for a limited time only called the “Proud Whopper.”
“What’s that?” many Burger King goers asked… Well, (after ordering the burger) when customers opened the rainbow colored wrapper a message appeared on the back side of the paper: “We are all the same inside.” In reality, the burger was not a newly launched product, but the same whopper as always in different packaging.
Due to its controversial message at a controversial point in time in the United States, this communication campaign ended up generating 1.1 million media impacts and became the #1 trending topic on Twitter and Facebook after only a week. The results of the campaign were far greater than imagined: achieving a better reputation for the company as a progressive, forward-thinking brand.
Apple: the power of having an iPhone
If you are using your iPhone just for calls, text messages now and again and to check the weather forecast, you may not be experiencing what an iPhone really is… This is what Apple tried to communicate through a series of TV and Internet advertisements throughout 2014 in promoting the launch of the 5s product. iPhones have so many practical uses that many people have just not tapped into. “You’re more powerful than you think” is the slogan that makes you start imagining how iPhone could transform your life. It’s especially cool to see how Apple is able to connect their brand with people’s “day-to-day” experiences – I mean, not just digital and online – but rather how an iPhone is a practical solution to meet people’s daily needs.
Don’t miss this video about how modern moms and dads can take full advantage of all the benefits that iPhone provides during early parenthood. Crazy funny!
Maybe just a few months ago you didn’t have the slightest idea what ALS was… but if you haven’t heard about the #IceBucketchallenge that means your internet consumption is really low… Are you living on the dark side of the moon? Because this is one of the most successful campaigns of the year and (for sure) one of the most profitable. Just to give you a comparison: In 2013 the ALS association’s campaign only raised about $2.8 million in donations, but this year (with this campaign) they received more than $100 million.
It was extremely viral. Several celebrities (including Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, where this campaign was most popular), bloggers, and a lot of social network users spontaneously participated in this action to raise awareness. Here you can see a Youtube playlist of the most viewed Ice Bucket challenges.
Very few people actually know how this campaign came about, so we’ve posted a video with the creator talking about why she started it:
World’s toughest job
In 2012, we were witnesses to one of the most beautiful and touching campaigns of all time: The Best Job, a Procter & Gamble creation. The campaign combined two elements: the London Olympic Games and a mother’s unwavering support, two fundamentals that lead many athletes to victory. This campaign was created to thank the mothers from all over the world for their contributions to the success in their children’s lives.
They repeated a similar action this year with their video named: Thank you, mom. This time it was American Greetings who wanted to highlight the importance of mothers’ jobs in our lives. 24 people applied for a very unattractive job ad which consisted of a never-ending list of requirements, insane hours and being available for calls at any time by your “associate” (even on nights and weekends). In the end, the interviewer unveils that what was supposed to be a “Director of Operations” position, is in fact motherhood. In a mere two days, the video was viewed over 2.8 million times!
If London were Syria
Sometimes, when we ourselves don’t experience a problem firsthand, we tend to forget it really exists for someone else. With this in mind, Save the Children developed this campaign and decided to launch a digital and global video in order to present this idea: what would happen if London were Syria. In the video, we can see how the life of a girl is destroyed in just one year because of the ongoing war. The most interesting part of this campaign was that one of its goals was to get people’s attention from many different countries and not just UK. There were more than 24 million views of the video in just one week.
The campaign was launched on 5th March to coincide with the anniversary of the start of the Syrian crisis.
Monty the Penguin
John Lewis has managed to make us all remember our childhood with “Monty the Penguin.” This campaign is not just a cute video of a kid playing with his best friend, it also has a wide range of elements that were combined to make it both successful and viral. The campaign has calls to action laced throughout the entire video and website content. After viewing the video on the website, you can buy the music from the advertisement to help the WWF protect the home of 1,000 Adélie penguins, you can buy the book telling the story of Monty and Sam, you can enjoy a 360º view of both friends’ life along with several other actions linked to this campaign. Each holiday season, the John Lewis company creates a particular web page for the designated holiday campaign of the year.
Monty even has his own Twitter account with over 35,400 followers…not bad for a Penguin, I’d say!
In today’s communication, technology plays a major role in companies’ PR actions. This is the most noteworthy example I found from this year. Pepsi created this campaign in which they used augmented reality mixed with facial tracking technology for Halloween. When people went to the restroom in a cinema, they were surprised (and sometimes scared) to see their own faces being morphed into horrifying clowns. The video has been seen over 1.6 million times on Youtube alone. And this is not the first time the brand has played with augmented reality technology either, this year they also launched the “Unbelievable bus shelter!”
Can you think of any other relevant communication campaign examples over the last year that we may have missed? If so, give us your feedback! We’d love to hear your thoughts!