1. Nike – Colin Kaepernick Campaign
Nike launched a gutsy campaign featuring the outcast American football player Colin Kaepernick. Colin has been a polarising figure since 2016 when, as a player, he refused to stand during the national anthem to protest against police killings of African-Americans.
You would know that standing for the flag is fundamental to being an American. So this was a high risk strategy to get noticed, remain relevant in sport and claim a position of principle.
The immediate effect: Nike shares fell by 2% as initially there was a lot of criticism and people were even seen burning Nike merchandise to protest against the campaign.
But soon, support for the campaign started pouring in. Nike stock went up 5% afterwards, making this their most successful campaigns in recent years.
Nike ran a gutsy campaign no doubt but did they do it to appease the African-Americans who currently in the US have a much higher spend on sneakers than any other demographic? Well, I leave that to you.
2. Amazon – Alexa Loses Her Voice
Amazon debuted Super Bowl with a series of videos showing that Alexa (voice assistant on Amazon’s Echo, similar to Siri on Apple) has lost her voice. Here is the link to the full video ad. You should definitely watch it:
The campaign was a two-week user campaign that took place during Super Bowl 2018.
The immediate effect: The most talked-about campaign of the Super Bowl resulting in more than 1.5 billion media impressions. The campaign increased Alexa’s intent to purchase by 4% and contributed to a 300% lift in sales of Amazon Echo.
Not a bad list of actors to be able to have in your ad as well, including the world’s richest person – Amazon’s own Jeff Bezos at $112 billion (US).
3. KFC – FCK Campaign
What according to you can be the worst nightmare for a fast food chain like KFC? To run out of chicken isn’t it. Well, this year their worst nightmare came true.
In February, KFC joints in the UK ran out of chicken due to a change in its logistics supplier from Bidvest to DHL.
The situation was so bad that KFC had to shut down hundreds of its restaurants. Social media was flooded with #KFCCrisis and #ChickenCrisis.
Once the supply was resumed, KFC got back to the drawing board to mitigate the loss of brand due to this mishap. The brand ran a full-page ad on leading daily papers with this image:
The immediate effect: The PR stunt had an earned reach of more than 1 billion. Its brand impression score was back up to 1.
What started as a damage control soon became the best example of crisis management in recent history.