It’s been a pretty amazing year for creativity in advertising. Google Chrome celebrated its launch in Asia with a visually stunning animated retelling of the Ramayana, while Australian charity Get Up created the most viewed non-profit video of the year by solely using visuals to tell its story, without a single word of dialogue. With 2013 just days away, now seems like the perfect time to hand out a couple of honourable mentions. Here are my three personal picks for the best and brightest PR buzz of the year:
Ridley Scott’s Prometheus
Appealing to your audience’s inner geek can be risky. Co-opting a popular institution can be even riskier. Both risks paid off in this case, as the PR bods behind Prometheus staged a fictional TED Talk set in the year 2023, featuring fictional industry magnate Peter Weyland (co-founder of Weyland-Jetani from the Alien series). Functioning both as a teaser for the upcoming film and as an enjoyable little Easter egg for fans of the original franchise, the video acts as a perfect set up. It is actually arguable that the press campaign for Prometheus surpassed the film itself in terms of creativity and execution. Evidence, if ever needed, that anticipation can often be more enjoyable than the main event. The same can’t be said, however, for our next entry…
Red Bull Stratos
This came out of nowhere for me. I’d somehow missed the lead-up to Felix Baumgartner’s history-making space jump, but fortunately I didn’t miss the event itself. People all over the world held their breath as Baumgartner plummeted 128,176 and landed safely in New Mexico. A mind-blowing PR stunt; although I’m not sure it made me want to buy an energy drink.
It’s unusual to get goose-bumps in the height of summer, but this year was something of an exception. Buzz for the Olympic and Paralympic games began years ago for people living in the United Kingdom, when London won the Olympic bid for 2012. It was even the subject of a scathing satirical sitcom, “Twenty Twelve”, which chronicled the fictitious behind the scenes goings-on at Olympic headquarters.
But it was the excitement for the event itself that was truly amazing, from Channel 4’s “Meet The Superhumans” ad for the Paralympics to the opening ceremony (directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker Danny Boyle), not to mention the Twitter coverage that the games received throughout the summer.
Social media’s ubiquitous role in the Games also made history, and it will be interesting to see what new technology we will be using by the time the next Olympic Games come around in Rio in 2016.