11 of the best PR campaigns and activations of 2019 (according to you)

Each month PRWeek UK picks its top five PR and comms campaigns and asks you, our expert readers, to vote for your favourite. Below is a look back at each of the 2019 champions...

January: National Geographic – Missing Cat

A titanic struggle between PRWeek's five favourite campaigns in January was won – with more than 1,600 votes – by National Geographic's Missing Cat campaign. PR agency Tin Man executed the stunt, which involved a giant 'missing cat' poster that will gradually disappear over time, tragically mimicking what's happening to the world's lion population.

Nat Geo - Missing Cat Poster from Tin Man on Vimeo

February: Turkish Airlines – Lego Movie 2 in-flight video

A one-sided contest between PRWeek's five favourite campaigns in February was won – with more than 900 votes – by Turkish Airlines for its Lego Movie 2 in-flight safety video. 'Directed' by Lego Batman, the campaign ran alongside the release of the film and built on the extraordinary popularity of the original.

March: Avon – #Stand4Her

A two-horse race emerged during PRWeek's five favourite campaigns in March contest, eventually won – with more than 350 votes – by Avon for its groundbreaking #Stand4Her campaign. Catrin Pugh, who suffered life-changing burns in a coach crash, featured as the beauty brand's first model with a visible difference. Good Relations ran PR on the campaign.

April: Xbox – Visit Xbox

PRWeek's five favourite campaigns in April contest produced another nail-biting thriller, eventually won – with more than 650 votes – by Xbox for its innovative Visit Xbox campaign. The gaming titan reinvented some of its big hits as tourist destinations and threw in an interesting tie-in with Rough Guides for good measure. The campaign was by McCann London.

May: B&Q – Bee Pit Stop

PRWeek's five favourite campaigns in May was won – with more than 700 votes – by the Bee Pit Stop, a worthy campaign by B&Q that featured a giant 'honeycomb' installation full of pollenating flowers, with the aim of encouraging people to plant more bee-friendly spaces and raise awareness of the stripy insect's dwindling population. PR agency Good Relations worked with Helix on the installation build and Engine on the creative.

June: Jaguar Land Rover – International Women in Engineering Day

PRWeek's five favourite campaigns in June was won – with nearly 300 votes – by a clever and thought-provoking campaign for International Women in Engineering Day, on 23 June, which involved primary school children being asked to draw a picture of an engineer. PR agency W Communications was behind the initiative.

July: Paddy Power – Save our Shirt

PRWeek's five favourite campaigns in July ended up as one of the most popular contests in living memory. It was eventually won – with more than 1,000 votes – by Paddy Power's Save our Shirt campaign, which kicked off as a public- and media-duping hoax kit launch and morphed into an arguably ironic social commentary on how betting shirt sponsorship was getting out of hand. Agency partners VCCP and Octagon were involved in its creation.

August: The Ruth Strauss Foundation – #RedForRuth

PRWeek's five favourite campaigns in August was eventually won – with the remarkable total of 1,436 votes – by The Ruth Strauss Foundation's #RedForRuth campaign, the centrepiece of which took place on the second day of the England vs Australia Ashes test, and involved turning the ground red via a range of initiatives, all to raise money for a rare form of cancer. Hanover agency The Playbook partnered the foundation on the campaign.

September: E.ON – London's Lungs

PRWeek's five favourite campaigns in September was eventually won – with more than 1,000 individual votes – by 'London’s lungs', a campaign for energy firm E.ON to highlight the extent of air pollution across the country. A 16ft pair of transparent lungs, connected to a live feed of air-quality data from Greater London, was set up on London's Southbank, ahead of the global climate strike and London Car Free Day. The idea was created by Engine PR agency Mischief.

October: The Beano – Halloween & Boris Johnson

In an extremely tight contest, PRWeek's five favourite campaigns in October was eventually won – with more than 700 votes – by The Beano's Halloween campaign by Taylor Herring, based around a survey revealing the most popular costumes for children to wear on 31 October, with one name in particular capturing a plethora of headlines.

November/Christmas: Argos – The Book of Dreams

In one of the great contests of modern times, PRWeek's five favourite Christmas campaigns was won – by a margin of just 16 votes out of 8,397 – by Argos' Book of Dreams, the father/daughter drumming spectacular by The & Partnership London.

Working on any great campaigns for 2020? Email arvind.hickman@haymarket.com or rob.mckinlay@haymarket.com to get them featured in next year's Five Campaigns series...


Check out PRWeek's selection of the best PR campaigns of the decade here

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