Five Campaigns We Liked in May: vote for your favourite

From zero-waste caf├ęs and TV blackouts to commuter 'copters and World Cup squad launches, PRWeek UK has painstakingly assembled its top May campaigns. Vote below for your favourite.

Samsung – #TVBlackout

After a three-minute uninterrupted washing machine cycle – and subsequently a feature-length version – was at the heart of Taylor Herring's first TV ad for Samsung, a new through-the-line #TVblackout campaign kicked off on 25 May with a 20-second ad showing a blank screen.

Designed to trick viewers into thinking their devices have been turned off, the darkness ends with the text: "This is your TV screen... most of the time; a void full of nothing." It then explains the features of Samsung QLED technology which has an 'ambient' mode meaning viewers need never see a blank screen again. Taylor Herring had carried out research showing that three in five British adults agree that large black TV screens can dominate a room.

The campaign includes 221 TV spots across 18 channels over 10 days, reaching an estimated 49m viewers. It will be deployed across cinema screens, digital advertising and at London's Piccadilly Circus (above).

There is also a live activation, with groups of 'TV people' picketing high streets with placards.

The FA – England squad announcement

With respect to England football manager Gareth Southgate, social videos of a middle-aged white man in a suit reading out of a list of names are never going to be that memorable.

As such, the FA (or more specifically, ad firm Wieden+Kennedy) decided to ask young fans from across the country to help announce the 23 members of one of the youngest England squads ever to head to a major tournament. This created an enthusiastic, comic, youthful vibe that emphasises the sport's grassroots base.

"The squad release video was shot on location at Wembley and in towns and cities throughout England with many of the youngsters able to pay homage to their own local idols. Among the football-mad teens involved were players from local grassroots clubs such as Moorside Rangers in Manchester and Sheffield Wednesday Ladies FC U16s," said an FA note on the video.

Great fun - let's just hope pizza fan Gareth Southgate doesn't have to finish the summer by giving any of his squad acting lessons...

Ecover – The Rubbish Café

Ecover opened a pop-up venue dubbed The Rubbish Café where consumers must pay for food using plastic rubbish.

Based in London's Long Acre in Covent Garden, and open to the public from 3 to 4 May, The Rubbish Café featured a zero-waste menu created by eco-chef Tom Hunt. Visitors were given suggestions of swaps they can make to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic packaging, while free refills of Ecover washing-up liquid were also available.

PR and the café concept was led by Red, while VCCP led the creative, Wholegrain worked on the website redesign, Media Bounty conducted the social media strategy and Wavemaker planned and bought the ad media.

Carabao's Commuter 'Copter

Energy drink Carabao took advantage of the inevitable fallout from what was described as the biggest ever shake-up to UK rail timetables by trolling Southern Rail with a London-to-Brighton commuter helicopter service on 23-25 May.

The idea, created by W Communications, saw Carabao make flight check-in announcements on its Twitter account, with commuters hoping to take advantage of the 30-minute airborne journey time needing to share a post with the hashtag #CarabaoCopterSOS.

The initiative, promoted through paid social, is part of brand campaign "The bonkers drink for bonkers lives".

Mark Perkins, executive creative director at W, added: "As millions of us will testify there can be nothing more bonkers than simply trying to get to and from work. Nothing epitomises that more than the people who have no choice but to use Southern Rail and all the indignity and frustration that goes with it."

British Museum – Mo Salah's boots

The installation of Egyptian footballer Mo Salah's boots in a British Museum exhibit on modern Egypt was well-timed, ahead of his (sadly brief) appearance in the Champions League final, before leading his country at next month's Football World Cup.

Also savvy was the placement of one set of boots in a photogenic open space, while another set was installed within an exhibition itself.

Yes, plenty of commentators chipped in with not entirely positive viewpoints on what this says about Britain's colonial past and confused present. Without heading down the road of 'all publicity is good publicity', surely this institution, both academic and charitable, can be applauded for making itself relevant and worthy of discussion.

As plenty of people pointed out, Adidas won't have minded the free publicity - free, that is, aside from the presumably astronomical sum it pay Salah to wear its shoes in the first place.

Read next: Five Campaigns We Liked in April - your winner revealed

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in