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Some of our favourite PR successes so far in 2013

From the straightforward to the hi-tech, from the brutally honest and truthful to the ridiculous and tongue-in-cheek, here's some of our favourite recent events in the world of PR.

Added on 29.09.2013

Digital Wizardry

Douwe Egberts Bye Bye Red Eye campaign

A coffee machine at an airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, had facial recognition software installed. When it detected a person yawning it would then dispense a free cup of coffee. Some two hundred weary travellers were given a novel pick me up, and the YouTube video reached 300,000 hits in 11 days.

Adobe Creative Days

This rather cheeky stunt to raise awareness of Adobe's events across Europe saw a bus stop poster replaced with a digital screen that was connected to a full and hidden editing suite in a van parked across the road. Unsuspecting members of the public were secretly photographed and then 'Photoshopped' into amusing situations literally in front of their eyes. At time of writing the YouTube video is close to breaking 17 million hits.

Simple but effective

The press release for the launch of the Sam Mendes' Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical was sent on a USB stick built into a 'bar' of Wonka chocolate, amusing and intriguing recipients.

A Powerful Message

Dove's 'Real Beauty' campaign has become a part of the national consciousness, and the latest episode showed clearly and simply how a woman's self-image is often far too critical. Volunteers were asked to describe themselves to a forensic artist who could not see them but would try to draw their portrait based on their own description, then asked to spend some time talking to another person, who would then also describe them to the same artist. The women were then invited back to compare the two portraits, with emotional results. The YouTube video has racked up over 56 million hits so far.

Turn a very public complaint into a PR coup

After her most recent wedding, Katie Price complained in the Sun about her 'honeymoon from hell' at a Sandals resort in the Royal Bahamas. Sandals took the opportunity to publicly issue a full refund "on condition that she does not choose our resorts for any future weddings or stays." The full statement from Sandals (scroll to bottom) is well worth a read.

Go with the flow

Sometimes all you have to do is give people what they want. When it was announced that the Alan Partridge 'Alpha Papa' film was to premiere in London, a Facebook campaign started to demand the premiere take place in Norwich instead. The slogan 'Anglia Square Not Leicester Square' spread rapidly as 700,000 people got involved on Twitter. Whether this was a true grassroots campaign or a carefully engineered spoof remains uncertain, but either way it has ended in triumph for the film with huge media exposure, including a brilliant statement from the man himself about how "hurt and litigious" he felt at "suggestions I've hastily cobbled together the lunchtime Norwich screening".