Digital PR Spotlight: 3 campaigns we loved in May 2024

In the month that brought us two bank holiday weekends, Eurovision, the much-anticipated third season of Bridgerton and plenty of rain (does anybody know when we’re getting a summer?), there were lots of campaigns to choose from.

We’ve put together a roundup of our favourite ones to brighten up your week, so grab a cuppa and check out the next edition of Digital PR Spotlight. We looked at what these brands did, why their campaigns worked and the coverage they gained as a result.

Airbnb: Icons

Fancy spending the night in the Pixar UP house? Or living like a superhero in the X-Mansion? We know that Airbnb doesn’t do anything by halves, and their Icons campaign is no different.

The brand has recently launched a new category featuring around 13 unique stays and experiences inspired by celebrities, films and events. Their most recent stays include the house from Pixar’s UP, suspended by 8000 balloons, and the X-Men mansion. 

Lucky travellers can use the app to book the Icons stays and experiences for free via random selection, or under £100 per person. Simply input your information and answer why you want to take part in the experience. The brand’s main aim is to create experiences full of magic and get people away from screens. 

The campaign secured hundreds of pieces of coverage across national and regional media to trade and lifestyle titles. 

Standout coverage

  • The Independent (DR 91): Airbnb offering stay in a real-life floating Up house – plus 10 other ‘extraordinary’ experiences
  • CN Traveller (DR 81): Airbnb announces new Icons category, including a chance to stay in the ‘Up’ house (and yes, it floats)
  • Skift (DR 81): Airbnb’s Icons: Gimmick or Marketing Genius?
  • PRINT mag (DR 78): Airbnb “Icons” Brings Imagination to Life
  • Creative Boom (DR 80): Airbnb gives you the chance to stay in Disney & Pixar’s most iconic home, and it floats
  • Forbes (DR 83): Italy’s Ferrari Museum Is Now Listed On Airbnb—Here’s How To Book It

Why it worked

Who doesn’t want the chance to stay in a house suspended by thousands of balloons? This creative campaign did its job – not only did it generate a lot of links, but it also got a lot of people talking. 

These experiences capture our imagination and allow people to step into another world. When you’re watching big films like X-Men, UP or Inside Out, you might be transported to that world in your mind for a couple of hours, and you might even wonder what it’d be like to be a part of that world. Airbnb took this to the next level to try and bring a bit of that movie magic to real life.

Icons ties into popular culture too. This kind of campaign is the best way to reach very specific audiences, widening the brand’s appeal and attracting potential customers who may not have used Airbnb before. Fans of these movies, sports events and celebrities involved in the Icons campaign will not only want to get a chance to be selected to stay at one of the stays or experiences, but they’ll also want to share it everywhere they can. 

This campaign was also ideal for social media as it features strong visuals, quirky shareable experiences and is ultimately memorable. With plenty of people rushing to try and win one of these stays and experiences, the brand gets exactly what they want; a buzz, plus audience engagement and awareness of its platform. 

This campaign is a great example of how it can use beloved intellectual property to help boost brand awareness, engage with their customers and stand out in a very crowded market. 

Easyjet x Eurovision Song Contest

Capitalising on one of the biggest events of the year, Easyjet did a study to find out how people wanted to celebrate the Eurovision Song Contest and launched it with a massive Eurovision party in the sky.

The special flight departed from London Gatwick and featured dedicated themed baggage drops, fancy dress, and a talent show at 40,000 feet – hosted by Drag Race star Tia Kofi. Easyjet welcomed Eurovision superfans from the world’s biggest Eurovision fan club – General Organisation of Eurovision – as well as celebrity and influencer mega-fans to join the flight. 

The study revealed the most popular fancy dress costumes – with D’Nash (Spain entrant 2007) taking the top spot – how many people will be watching from home, how people will be celebrating, which countries the Eurovision made them want to visit most plus which songs they were backing. 

The campaign gained over 50 pieces of coverage across a variety of sites, from national and regional titles, to travel, marketing and lifestyle titles.

Standout coverage

  • Evening Standard (DR 89): Eurovision fans planning on dressing up in national costumes for song contest
  • Daily Mirror (DR 90): Britain’s ultimate Eurovision superfans have landed in Sweden for this year’s contest
  • Travel Weekly (DR 75): EasyJet teams up with former Eurovision contestants to release original song
  • Hull Live (DR 74): Eurovision super fans descend into singalongs on Gatwick flight to Malmo
  • Marketing Beat (DR 63): Watch: Easyjet hosts sequin heavy Eurovision party with Drag Race’s Tia Kofi
  • Campaign (DR 85): EasyJet hosts Eurovision party at 40,000 feet

Why it worked

This campaign worked because it featured a quirky PR stunt, used a major event as the hook, and had a huge amount of interesting data. 

The key with a campaign centred around data is to make sure there are a lot of angles. This not only helps you get as much as possible out of the campaign, but also helps keep the story fresh, engaging and interesting to both journalists and their audience. The PR stunt alone would have secured links but the use of data means the brand is able to target a variety of titles and outreach different stories. 

Partnering with a celebrity, like Ru Paul’s Drag Race winner, Tia Kofi, also helped the campaign reach a wider, more engaged audience. Fans of not only the show but Tia themselves will actively engage with the campaign – especially on social media, which can help boost brand awareness, increase credibility and promote the campaign successfully.

Barclays: Swiftonomics

It doesn’t matter where you go – Taylor Swift is everywhere. Barclays Bank is looking to capitalise on the cultural icon’s popularity by looking into her billion-dollar world Eras Tour and how much that is going to bring to the UK economy. The Swiftonomics Report – part of the Bank’s Consumer Spend Research – combines hundreds of millions of customer transactions with consumer research to provide an in-depth view of Swiftie spending trends. 

The press release cleverly features popular Taylor Swift songs throughout and reveals that the tour – spanning four cities and 15 dates in the UK throughout June and August – will bring in almost £1 billion to the UK’s experience economy. It also looks at what Swifties are spending their money on, the items they’re spending the most money on and how much they’re spending in total. 

Media titles know anything mentioning Taylor Swift is bound to get engagement and clicks from her army of fans, and Barclays wants to capitalise on that. The campaign can also put the brand in front of a different audience. 

The campaign has secured over 500 pieces of coverage in a variety of national, regional, lifestyle, business and fashion titles.

Standout coverage

  • BBC News (DR 93): Swift tour to boost UK spending by £1bn – report
  • Daily Mirror (DR 90): Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour set to give UK’s flagging economy £1bn boost
  • Fashion United (DR 77): Taylor Swift’s ‘Eras’ tour to provide nearly 1 billion pound boost to the UK economy
  • City A.M (DR 83): Swiftonomics strikes with Eras Tour set to spark £1bn spending binge
  • The NY Times (DR 94): The Taylor Swift Economy Has Landed in Europe
  • Guardian (DR 93): Liverpool to transform into Taylor Town to welcome Taylor Swift

Why it worked

Global megastar? Tick. Insightful and interesting data? Tick. Relevant? Tick. This campaign worked mainly because it featured Taylor Swift, had vast amounts of insightful data and is very relevant and timely. 

Taylor Swift’s 152-date Eras Tour hit the UK in June and she’s back again in August, her relationship with Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce is all anybody can talk about AND she’s recently launched a new album. There are also numerous clues she’s ready to drop Reputation (Taylor’s Version) too. All of which means she’s very topical and has a highly engaged audience willing to click, engage with and share anything that mentions her name – a brand’s dream when it comes to wanting high traffic, engagement and links.

Plus, the data from the report means there are a variety of angles for the media to pick up on; whether it’s how much Taylor will bring the UK economy, what Swifties are spending their money on or how each city will benefit from her tour dates. This means the potential audience of this type of story is huge. Not only will nationals cover this type of story, but business, money, lifestyle and entertainment titles will be all over it too. 

Alice Lang
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