Surekha Ragavan
Dec 11, 2019

5 best PR campaigns of the decade: Allison+Partners MD

APAC MD Serina Tan on her favourite APAC campaigns of the last 10 years.

Serina Tan
Serina Tan

The Best Job in The World by Tourism Queensland (2009)

Ben Southall, winner of the 'Best Job in the World' competition on Hamilton Island

In 2009, Tourism Queensland promoted the Great Barrier Reef as a global tourism destination with a website encouraging people worldwide to apply for The Best Job In The World, to be a "Caretaker of the Islands" to "house-sit" the islands of the Great Barrier Reef for half a year, based on Hamilton Island. The submission website crashed two days following the launch of the campaign, from excessive visits and application video uploading.

In 2009, social media (Facebook and Twitter) had only just began to take off in the APAC region. Targeted at the early adopters, it was a clever and creative campaign combining both traditional and social. The campaign resulted in user-generated content and conversations which ultimately went viral, drawing interest from all around the world. Follow ups from the campaign continued through to Ben’s appointment – he shared regular, authentic content about his experiences at Hamilton island, continuing to engage curious wanderlusters and adventurers globally.

ALS #IceBucketChallenge (2014)

The #IceBucketChallenge, which raised money for motor neurone disease, involved people throwing a bucket of icy water over their head before nominating someone else via social media to do the same and donate to charity.

Despite some controversies and being overly done in the later stage, the campaign managed to outperform its initial objectives. Originating from the United States, the campaign went viral in Asia within a short span of time. Top business executives, politicians and celebrities from the likes of Zhang Ziyi, Yao Ming and Takeshi Kaneshiro raised huge sums of money for ALS, and helped increase awareness about the condition.

Earth Hour: Use Your Power: Be A Superhero For The Planet (2014)

In 2014, Spider-Man became the first superhero ambassador for Earth Hour, the global movement organised by the WWF, with a message to inspire everybody to be superheroes and use their power to drive a positive change for the environment.

As an event-led PR campaign originally started by WWF in Australia, Earth Hour is a great example of a local action going viral and making an impact across the world. The 2014 event took the campaign up one notch by using a pop culture phenomenon like Spiderman as a superhero ambassador, and was timed with the Spiderman movie premiere.

Apple’s Shot on iPhone (2017-present)

In this campaign, Apple gathered the images from users via social media and managed to gather assets from 77 people in 24 countries, which were subsequently displayed on billboards, bus stops and train stations. The campaign also spread to Apple Stores and was expanded to include videos.

A creative showcase of real people, real stories. By crowdsourcing photos taken by iPhone users around the world, Apple was able to pull together user-generated content to showcase inspiring, authentic and real-life experiences that resonate with consumers.

Alibaba’s Single’s Day/Double 11 Festival

November 11 is Alibaba's day of massive sales across all of its platforms and has been compared to Black Friday in the United States. In recent years, other ecommerce brands have also caught on the fever, implementing similar promotions across their channels. The day has become the biggest shopping event in Asia that consumers look forward to each year.

"What started out in 2009 as Singles Day - a tactical campaign targeted at singles in China has since become a global sales phenomenon, raking in transactions worth billions of dollars each year – not just for Alibaba, but for other businesses in this region too."

Serina Tan is one of Campaign Asia-Pacific's 40 under 40 this year. Click here for the full list. 


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