In the real world, public relations are far more than press releases but more about the stories that you tell. It requires a pinch of creative tactics, a hint of inspired strategies, and a boatload of genius. And because there are so many ingredients in PR, no two campaigns ever look the same. You may find the very ancient method of media placement working for some businesses, and you may see a more modern viral video making waves for others.
You just have to find the formula that works for you. Why? Because the single biggest achievement that a company can reach for is a brand moment that stands out and sinks its hooks in.
As you brainstorm with your awesome team, thinking about the next PR campaign, We at Wizikey wanted to inspire you with few campaigns that have really done well for the brands in India. Here you go –
Brand: Bajaj Avenger
On Independence Day in 2017, Bajaj Avenger released a 1.44-minute video that packed a solid punch. The impactful campaign showed women riding bikes, cruising down roads at night and doing whatever they deem fit without any fear. At the end of the moving video, a quote by Mahatma Gandhi fills the screen:
“The day women can walk freely on the roads at night, the day we can say that India has achieved independence.”
On YouTube alone, the video has over 11 million views. On Facebook, the campaign crossed 5.7 million views. It asserts that even small and sweet things have immense power. The campaign gives a crystal-clear view of the influence of good PR and managed to get more than 50+ PR stories written about it.
Key takeaway – A perfect example of PR campaign capturing the love from the fanbase with amazing outcomes.
#CrossTheLine Brand: Star India Pvt. Ltd.
To increase the viewership of women’s Kabaddi, Star Sports created a campaign that told the “extraordinary stories of ordinary girls who lived in small towns and had beaten all obstacles to achieve national glory.” Launched in 2016, the novel PR campaign used a blend of social media, adverts, print, videos, and broadcast outreach.
The #CrossTheLine gave airtime to the trials women have faced in a sport dominated by men. Within a month of release, the campaign reached over 125 million citizens. Just two matches of the Women’s Kabaddi Challenge, the tournament the campaign promoted, surpassed the viewership figures of the whole UEFA Euro Cup 2016.
We use it as an example because it bought a shift in the perception of young girls in the country. With 218.2 million impressions, it inspired the gender to consider alternative sports too.
Key takeaway – A creative campaign strategy blended with a social cause hits the mark with your customers.
The video tells the story of a transgender woman, Gauri, who cares for and raises an orphan child, Gayatri, despite all the difficulties society throws her way. The Vicks campaign hoped to redefine the meaning of family. The goal was to show that you needn’t be connected through the blood to be a loving unit. It is care that makes people come together, and every single person deserves it
Vicks believes in the power of care. The campaign depicted this tenet to the T. It endorsed the vitalness of touch of care which is why in “48 hours, with no paid media support, or promoted views, PR alone generated over 4 million views” of the video. On YouTube, the almost four-minute-long video now has 10 million clicks. On Facebook, it’s been viewed 920K times with 44,000 shares!
Key takeaway: Creating compelling stories on public issues enhances the image of your company and gathers more audience.
Mumbai Life Line 3- Connecting the Unconnected
Brand: Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation India
To ease the bumper-to-bumper roads of the city, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited announced a new metro line called Mumbai Life Line 3. The declaration was met with a colossal hullaballoo as it required felling trees, displacing people, and massive pollution. In a short time, a brush of negativity painted the project. To counteract the image, MMRCL came up with the campaign.
The campaign used a mix of advertisement, digital programs and community engagement tactics to connect with 5 million citizens of the metropolis who were affected by the planned metro line.
The campaign is a perfect example of how PR can save a brand in a crisis. By engaging with the community, MMRCL educated them on the facts of life and how the new line would be advantageous to them. The campaign made such a big impression that a High Court order which stopped MMRCL from cutting trees to lay down tracks was revoked!
Key takeaway: A good campaign can work towards a larger good over immediate convenience and bring rationality to overflowing sentiments.
Brand: MSD for Mothers
Every year, almost 45,000 pregnant women die in India. Why? Because of negligence during delivery or absence of proper care early on. Culturally, we still think about just the baby when a woman is pregnant. Through the campaign, MSD for Mothers brought about a revolution in this thought process.
The purpose of the three-minute video was to raise awareness that a healthy, happy, and safe mom delivers a healthy, happy and safe baby. It got people hyped up to take action and keep mothers as a priority too.
We selected this case study as a sample because it went beyond social media, community engagement, and media outreach. It conducted qualitative research and created a rigorous new certification system – MANYATA. The certification is offered to private maternity providers that provide high-quality care.
As a result of the education the PR campaign gave, 77,000 mothers gave birth at MANYATA certified facilities in 2018. Its success led the government to launch the certification in 27 states.
Key takeaway: a single strategy can impact an entire nation if you put the effort into it.
Brand: British Airways
A six-minute video based on a real case; it shows a cabin crew member caring for an older woman during a flight. The passenger and the crew member form a bond so strong that the latter visits the home of the older woman. The British Airway’s employee is blown away by the hospitality she receives there.
The objective of the campaign is to show that “while service is driven by purpose and efficiency, but true care is only #fuelledbylove.” The simple video is packed with so much emotion that in a few days, it garnered 1.2 million views on YouTube. Today, it has over 10 million. The reason we hand-picked it was because the brand, British Airways, took the backseat.
Key takeaway – The focus of a PR campaign is to tell a story, a true one at that, rather than promote the company.
Aaj Likhenge Kal
Brand: Zee TV
About a minute and a half long, the PR video begins with a girl narrating the story of her father, who is about to find his seat on a plane. As the video rolls on, it becomes apparent the narrator is the pilot, and it’s her maiden voyage.
The campaign shows a man mastering his fear of flying for a daughter and a woman overcoming societal pressures to live her dream. The video ends with the brand’s logo and the campaign slogan – Aaj likhenge kal.
The national campaign, which won awards, gently nudged middle-class India to break through the chains of society and works towards their future. It encourages the viewer to write their own narrative. On Facebook, it captured 2.3 million views and on YouTube, 1.2 million – merely five days after release.
It was the tactic of the campaign to use television, radio, outdoors, print media and a musical anthem, all of which resonate with the audience, that helped make it to our shortlist.
Key takeaway: make an emotional connect with the major chunk of your audience; in this case, it was the Indian middle-class.
Brand: TE-A-ME Teas
Around the time the 2016 US elections were going to take place, and Donald Trump was just one of the candidates, TE-A-ME Teas delivered a huge box of green tea to him. The package, which had 4 years’ worth of tea, was hand-delivered at Trump Tower by two ladies clad in sarees.
But why deliver tea? It was a humorous attempt at altering the Presidential candidate for the better.
The PR campaign intended to show the world that green and organic tea is a phenomenal weapon against free radicals and that it can do wonders for anyone!
The subtle Gandhian strategy to improving Trump was not only funny but potent too. Back in 2016, when the PR video was released, it reached over 3.1M viewers in just three days. It made an impression not only in India but in over 80 other countries!
We shortlisted it due to the impact it had on the business. The organic traffic to the TE-A-ME Teas website increased by a whopping 9900%. The number of international companies interested in the brand surged by 1100%.
Key takeaway: a solid PR stunt will show quantifiable results.
Earth Hour 2010
Brand: WWF India
Back in 2010, WWF India launched the campaign against Climate Change to switch off all non-essential lights at 8.30 pm, on 27th March for an hour. That year 128 cities across India joined in with over 7 million people pledging to switch off.
With Abhishek Bachchan and then Chief Minister of Delhi, Smt. Sheila Dikshit as the leader in the movement, just some of the places that went dark for the hour were: India Gate, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, ITC Grand Maratha, Shivaji Park, Taj Lands’ End, and Bandra Worli Sea Link in Mumbai, Victoria Memorial in Kolkata and Husain Sagar in Hyderabad.
The campaign, without a doubt, is one that has left an indelible mark over the years. How do we know this? Earth Hour is observed in India (and over the world) every year, diligently. Every child, man, and woman knows about it. By the time 2017 reeled in, 30 million people in the country were participating. So much so, that #EarthHour began to trend on social media. And it is the reason why we give the campaign one of our top positions.
Key takeaway: fantastic PR campaigns translate into results that amplify with passing years.
Back in 2015, OYO Rooms released a short, six-minute film starring Manoj Bajpai and Raveena Tandon. A tribute to the Freedom Fighters of India, the video depicted an alternate era – a time where the British still ruled our nation. It showed what happens to a young Indian couple in Mumbai after they meet with a crash.
The video acted as the fulcrum that invited conversations using the #azaadi4me. It asked viewers to describe what freedom meant to them.
With in 3 days of its launch, the Independence Day video garnered 1.6 million views. While the eyeballs turned out to be fantastic news for OYO Rooms, it was the massive dialogue it sparked on social media networks that had the most power. This was the first time, India saw OYO as a mature and new-age brand with its values truly Indian.
Key takeaway: keep the PR campaign true to your beliefs and it will succeed in giving you the right visibility.
To say it briefly…
Word of mouth is the aim of any PR stunt, and each one of the 10 campaigns we spoke about confirms it. The more conversations you spark, the more value and glory your business gets. Let these case studies of head-turning PR campaigns be the truest source of your inspiration.
And remember… with one magnificent PR campaign that takes the media by storm, you can move from an appreciated brand to an admired one. Be the brand who captures the hearts and minds of consumers with a significant gesture.