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Illustration of three bright pink megaphone in varying sizes. The largest megaphone is in the center and there are symbols being blasted out of it such as a heart icon and a hashtag symbol.

10 of the Best PR Campaigns of 2022 & 2023

TJ Kiely

Dec 6, 2023

Getting your brand noticed and not just seen is arguably becoming harder. The bar to entry for new brands is lowering, thanks to digital technology and talent access across borders. Consumers are constantly bombarded with advertising messages—as many as 10,000 ad impressions per day—which leads to overstimulation and a reluctance to retain information. But a strong PR campaign can be game-changing for brands that want to break through the noise and be remembered. 

Unlike traditional advertising or marketing, a PR campaign is designed simply to get people talking. It’s a way to put your brand in the spotlight, drum up some press, and make a lasting impression on your audience. 

What exactly goes into a PR campaign? Let’s look at some specifics as well as some of the best recent PR campaign examples from 2022.

Table of Contents:

What Is a PR Campaign?

Conversation bubbles and megaphone.

Let’s start with a definition. A PR campaign is a series of planned activities designed to give a company or brand publicity. Most PR campaigns have specific business goals, such as driving website traffic, getting notice about a new product, or drawing attention to a cause. Activities are carried out in a specific time frame relevant to the overarching goal. 

A successful PR campaign hinges on a strong communication strategy. Create the right message for your intended audience. Choose the right channels for your message. Know who else might be listening (e.g., your competitors). With communication as your foundation, your brand can start to make a positive connection with the public.

Tip: Want to learn how to create a PR campaign? This guideline will help you. Also, consider taking a look at our free PR in the Age of Influence Report.

Why Should Campaigns Be Part of Your PR Strategy?

In a world driven by sales messaging and calls to action, your public relations strategy can be a breath of fresh air for consumers. The brand isn’t asking for anything in return from the public. Instead, a PR campaign gives the audience a chance to learn more about the brand without marketing or sales pressure.

Taking this pressure away allows consumers to lower their guards and be more receptive to your company. A well-designed campaign breaks through their internal “ad blockers.” Campaigns aren’t just about the products or services you sell, but rather your brand identity.

As a result of a great PR campaign, brands can establish greater credibility with their audiences and build stronger media relations. Brand identities become stronger and more memorable. And in many cases, sales naturally follow.

Tip: Learn about the differences between marketing and PR.

How Does a PR Campaign Work?

We have already published another dedicated blog telling you how to create a PR campaign, but in general, they work like this:

Every PR strategy begins with a goal. Maybe you want to call attention to a new product or a rebrand. Or maybe you want to put your brand in a positive light after receiving some negative publicity. Whatever your goal, start your PR campaign with a goal and work backward to decide the best approach for sharing your message.

Some PR campaigns are nothing more than a well-written press release distributed on large media networks - for example via our press distribution service. News media outlets, blogs, and other publishers may pick up the press release and share it on their channels. You can share this same press release on your channels, too, such as a website, blog, email subscriber list, and social media. 

Or, you might choose to launch a solely social PR strategy. Social media PR targets your social audiences and relies on likes, shares, and comments to help you spread the word. You can also pay for ads to expand your PR campaign’s reach.

Other campaigns take publicity to new heights, though. For example, Red Bull’s New Moon event showed wingsuit-clad stuntmen descending from the sky with sparklers, creating the image that UFOs were landing on Earth. In the UK, a nude art installation promoted Sky Arts and its milestone in becoming a free-to-air television channel.

Whether a written press release or a live publicity stunt, a PR campaign’s role remains the same: to intentionally attract attention from an audience to promote a brand (and ideally receive some sort of response).

For help planning, executing, and measuring the impact of a PR campaign while minimizing their time and cost investment, get in touch to learn more about Meltwater's media database and PR reporting.

Best PR Campaign Examples of 2022

Ready to launch your own PR campaign? Glean some inspiration with some of the best PR campaigns we’ve seen in 2021-2022. 

1. for Ukraine Campaign

State of emergency sign.

For most of 2022, Ukraine has been plagued with war, unrest, and plenty of uncertainty. Millions of people have lost their livelihoods. With the war’s end nowhere in sight, many brands have stepped up to support refugees and those who have stayed behind to support and defend the country.

One brand campaign that stands out is The short-term rental company hit the ground running in partnering with international and regional nonprofits and governments to secure housing for up to 100,000 refugees. The company has been coordinating efforts to offer shelter and safety free of charge. More than 28,000 people have signed up through to offer temporary housing to others, while Airbnb founders have committed to match donations up to $10 million.

In addition (and thanks in large to user-generated social media PR), people around the world starting booking rooms at properties in the Ukraine as a way to support hosts during the conflict. This movement started as a way to send immediate assistance to those whose travel businesses had been impacted.

2. Penguin Random House’s Unburnable Book

Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale

In response to schools banning and burning books, publisher Penguin Random House launched an unburnable copy of Margaret Atwood’s acclaimed dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. The book represents one of many works that has notoriously been the target of book bans. Wrapped in a black cinefoil jacket, the book features white heat shield foil pages, nickel wire binding, stainless steel bands, and high-temperature adhesives to protect the freedom of expression. The book was placed on Sotheby’s auction, with proceeds promised to PEN America to continue protecting free speech.

3. Iceland’s Out-Horse Your Email Campaign

Horses running.

With travel back on the menu for millions of tourists, Iceland is taking advantage of people’s wanderlust and encouraging them to disconnect from work. The Out-Horse Your Email campaign is a clear winner in tourism PR. The country’s tourism board build a giant working keyboard – big enough to hold a horse! – and taught the horses to walk on it. Tourists can let the horses handle their inbox while they sit back and relax on their Icelandic vacation. The idea is to show that nothing is more important than taking time to disconnect and enjoy a well-deserved trip abroad.

4. IKEA’s Seed Ball Campaign

Potted plant growth stages.

A fun PR and social media campaign, IKEA created a playful take on its famous Swedish meatballs with its release of the IKEA Seed Ball – at least, the instructions on how to make one.

The Seed Ball is a savory, nutritious treat for bugs created in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund. Using simple ingredients like clay, dirt, and wildflower seeds, IKEA fans can craft their own seed balls to nourish the insect community.

5. LEGO's MRI PR Campaign

Lego MRI set.

LEGO has always been focused on childhood development and fun, so it’s no surprise their public relations strategy includes a little something for younger audiences. The company recently donated 600 LEGO magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner building kits to help children overcome fears of getting an MRI scan. Through play, role-playing, and interactive building, LEGO and hospitals can help children to build confidence while learning and having fun in an otherwise nerve-wracking environment.

6. Coinbase Super Bowl QR Code

QR code.

It’s bold of a brand to promote themselves so subtly on such a huge national stage like the Super Bowl. But the stunt paid off in spades for crypto brand Coinbase. The company paid nearly $14 million to show a black screen with a colored floating QR code. Curiosity seekers that scanned the code were directed to a link to receive $15 worth of free Bitcoin.

The ad proved so popular that the resulting website traffic crashed the company’s app. It racked up more than 20 million hits shortly after airing.

7. ITV’s Second-Hand Wardrobe Campaign

Group celebrating.

While many TV stars enjoy top-rated wardrobes from designer brands, ITV decided to take a different approach with its newest season of Love Island. The channel recently teamed up with eBay to announce that the show’s contestants would be wearing second-hand items in an effort to promote sustainable fashion.

With the fashion industry often coming under fire for their wasteful practices, this PR campaign encourages the practice of buying used, even when you’re a celebrity.

8. Dove #TheSelfieTalk Campaign

The selfie talk campaign.

PR and social media go hand-in-hand, especially when it comes to gaining a response from your audience. Getting your audience involved in a communication campaign leads to user-generated content that can naturally strengthen the impact of your campaign.

As a leader in body positivity for women, Dove stays true to its brand with its latest social PR movement, #TheSelfieTalk. Aimed at young girls and women, the campaign is a smaller piece of the larger #NoDigitalDistortion movement that is working to improve body image.

The brand features two digital download kits as part of its campaign: one for parents and one for teachers. Each kit includes ways to talk to kids and teens about selfies and how to embrace individuality and body positivity.

Are you interested in more Dove campaigns? Learn how Dove raises the bar with its #ArmsUp campaign.

9. Gymshark’s Mental Weight Campaign

Lifting weights.

A champion of physical and mental health, Gymshark brought awareness to the often-secretive nature of mental illness in a communication campaign. In a series of weightlifting photos the brand posted on social media, subtle statements on the sides of free weights remind us all that the loads we carry in our minds can often be as heavy as the weights we lift at the gym.

10. CPB London’s International Women’s Day Campaign

London's women's day campaign.

Combatting gender pay gaps and promoting inclusivity have been common trends among PR campaign examples. One creative agency sought to expose gender biases that many people have but don’t always recognize it with a recent poster campaign. The team researched common gender biases according to how children perceive men and women in the world. The company then turned those insights into colorful posters that were displayed throughout London. By helping to uncover unconscious biases, the company brought awareness to gender issues at a critical time – International Women’s Day.

Tip: Learn how to hire a PR agency and how to hire a marketing firm.

Best PR Campaign Examples of 2023

The best PR campaigns are those where creativity knows no bounds. Best of all, any brand can benefit from a little PR, whether you’re executing a local campaign or running a national promotion.

Let’s look at 10 brands that have nailed the art of PR in 2023.

1. Coca-Cola’s “Create Real Magic” 

When the clock struck 2023, AI seemingly landed on everyone’s minds. The likes of ChatGPT and AI art generator Dall-E shone a game-changing light on content creation, inspiring one of the most recognizable brands to leverage the publicity of these new tools.

Coca Cola's astronaut ad

The result was the “Create Real Magic” campaign, which encouraged customers to create their own AI artwork for the brand. Using popular tools like Dall-E, fans could add their own spin to how they envision the brand — regardless of design skills.

Not only did Coca-Cola find a fun way to engage and connect with fans, but it also amassed a large volume of user-generated content to share on social media and use throughout its marketing.

2. Oatly’s “FckOatley” Website

Many brands tend to shy away from potentially bad publicity. But Oatly decided that since bad publicity happened anyway, the brand should lean into it and take control of the narrative

In light of boycotts and online criticism, the brand created a website for people to air their grievances and learn more about the why behind the company’s decisions and the backlash (such as the Glebe Farm lawsuit). 

This tongue-in-cheek approach allowed the brand to acknowledge the public outrage but also control it, to a degree. The brand used the website to share its side of the story and show it truly does listen to its customers. The website carries multiple domains, none of which were promoted by the brand but rather discovered organically by the customers.

3. French’s Mustard-Flavored Skittles

America’s favorite mustard brand isn’t quitting its day job any time soon, but the past few PR campaigns indicate they have a serious sweet tooth that mustard just can’t satisfy. 

French's Mustard-flavored skittles

Take the latest PR stunt, for example. Earlier this summer, you might have seen bright yellow Skittles appear along the famous red flag logo. It wasn’t a trick — the brand really did collaborate with Skittles to create a mustard-flavored treat. 

Comments rolled in, spouting everything from, “This wasn’t on my 2023 Bingo card” to “Is this April Fool’s Day?” And it’s not the first time the brand has successfully sweetened its PR. They’ve also collaborated on mustard doughnuts and mustard ice cream!

4. Tito’s in a Can

PR campaigns aren’t always what they appear to be — and that's part of what makes them so effective. That’s the story with Tito’s in a Can, which as it turns out, isn’t exactly Tito’s in a Can.

Tito's in a can

Rather, it’s Tito’s in a Can. See the difference?

The website gives customers a clear breakdown of how it is — and isn’t — what you think. Rather than bottling Tito’s famous vodka in cans, it created a can-like koozie to keep your Tito’s cold. It’s an empty can until you add your Tito’s, at which point it becomes Tito’s in a Can. 

Lots to unpack there, but that’s enough to get people talking and enjoying the brand in a whole new way.

5. Dove’s “Stand Up for #KidsOnlineSafety” Campaign

Dove is no stranger to social advocacy, body positivity, and helping people feel good about themselves. Their recent hashtag campaign is no different, this time focusing on kids and their growing use of online channels. 

Dove's "stand up for the #kidsonlinesafety" campaign

Partnering with Common Sense Media and Parents Together Action, the campaign aims to draw attention to the Kids Online Safety Act, which is legislation to help protect kids from online content that may be detrimental to their mental health.

The campaign tracks with Dove’s previous commitments to caring for the whole person, not just how they look and smell. It also demonstrates that PR efforts can be powerfully effective with the right partnerships.

6. Casper’s “Get Paid to Sleep”

Studies show that more than half of Americans have napped on the job. Your current boss might not approve, but if sleeping sounds like a dream job (pun intended), mattress brand Casper has your back.

Casper's Get paid to sleep

The company offered a cushy job to a lucky few people—sleep your normal sleep for $25 per hour. The sleep participants also earned free Casper products, plus they could wear their pajamas to work. Sounds like a win/win.

7. Who Gives a Crap’s “Flush Your Ex”

Throwing a flaming bag of dog poo on your ex’s front step is so old-school. Cheeky toilet paper brand Who Gives a Crap found a better idea, and it’s way less messy. 

"Flush your ex" campaign

As part of a Valentine’s Day PR campaign, the company offered to “turn your ex’s empty promises into something that’s actually useful.” Customers could mail their old love letters to the company and have them turned into 100% recycled toilet paper. 


8. VisitLEX’s “Horse Kicks”

New York City is known for the Statue of Liberty, Philadelphia for its cheesesteaks, and Boston for its beans. When people think of Lexington, there’s no mistaking it for anything other than the capital of horse racing. So when the city’s tourism department needed a campaign idea, it naturally involved the city’s iconic history of horses.

Horse Kicks

The resulting campaign was a fake line of designer horseshoes, called Horse Kicks. These specialty sneakers began as a stunt to promote the city, but growing interest from the public turned it into a real collection of shoes, a storefront, a website, and lots of eye candy.

The campaign racked up more than 3 billion earned media impressions, millions of new social media followers, celebrity shout-outs, and even brand collaborations and custom orders from NFL and NBA teams and others. 

9. Walker’s “Heart-Shaped Crisps” Campaign

If you’ve ever thought your potato chip looked like a heart, a dog, or the shape of Florida, you’re not alone. Most chips aren’t perfect circles, and Walkers decided to call out that little detail just in time for Valentine’s Day. 

Walker's Heart-shaped crisps

The brand opted to give away £100K to anyone who found a heart-shaped crisp in their bag of Walkers. Customers were encouraged to send in a picture of their finds for a chance to win some cash. The PR stunt was a huge hit, but it got even better when one unlucky customer missed his chance at the cash since he ate his special chip before he could redeem it.

10. Vimto to Vimpto

English is hard, so it’s no surprise that there are several words that people commonly mispronounce: acai, GIF, and cache, to name a few. Bbrand names can be easily mispronounced too, but one company decided to roll with it for a PR campaign.

Vimpto rebrand

Vimto, a popular brand of drinks in the Persian Gulf states, heard one too many people pronouncing its name as “Vimpto,” which inspired a new campaign. The company added a “P” to its logo along with a new tagline: ‘Changing our name to Vimpto… seeing as you all pronounce it that way.’

It was relatable, honest, and humorous, making for a successful campaign — so much so that many Vimto drinkers thought the change was real! At least it got people talking, which is the point of every good PR stunt.

How will you create your next PR campaign? Meltwater can help you shine when you need it most. Our PR strategy tools and expertise help you create and manage your PR campaigns from end to end. Request a demo today by filling out the form below.