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  • Writer's pictureMacKenzie Wutzke

3 Notable Campaigns You Should Know About

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

Certain campaigns have the power to change the way the public views a product. PR and Ad teams work together to not only benefit their clients, but also help the general public. Of course, some campaigns stand out from the rest. Here are the top three notable campaigns that you, as a Public Relations or Advertising professional, should know about.

The Issue: In 1982, someone replaced Tylenol Extra-Strength capsules with capsules laced with cyanide and put them back on store shelves. Seven people died in the Chicago area. Johnson and Johnson needed to find a way to keep people safe without killing the product. The Process: Johnson and Johnson immediately took to the press and announced a total recall of all Tylenol products. They also established a hotline for consumers to call, held press conferences, and set up live satellite feeds to the New York metro area. Tylenol also revealed new triple safety seal packaging on their products. They also provided the victims’ families counseling and financial assistance, even though this wasn’t the company’s fault. The Outcome: Because of how the Tylenol crisis was handled, Johnson and Johnson recovered the shares lost and established Tylenol as a well trusted brand. Since this incident, the triple safety seal packages has become industry standard, and has kept the public safe.

The Issue: In 1993, milk sales were dropping nationwide, despite the efforts to broadcast the benefits of milk. The Process: Manning, the ad agency hired to deal with this issue, decided to switch courses. They highlighted the negative consequences of not having milk, like eating a peanut butter sandwich and not having milk to wash it down with. They sent out ads that shaped the way the public saw milk as a drink. They also used celebrity endorsements to influence the general public.

The Outcome: This campaign halted the decline in milk consumption. In fact 15 million more gallons were sold in the state of California in 1994. Without this campaign, the milk industry in California would’ve lost $255 million annually.

The Issue: In 1944, a massive outbreak of wildfires in natural areas were on the rise. In response to this, the Smokey Bear Wildfire Prevention campaign was created to educate the public about the issue.

The Process: At the beginning of this campaign, Walt Disney allowed the use of “Bambi” on posters for a year in order to give it a strong start. Other posters showing Smokey Bear pouring water on campfires were put into circulation and a song was even written for the campaign. Celebrities like Bing Crosby and Roy Rogers had “conversations” with Smokey Bear to show the importance of preventing forest fires.

The Outcome: Smokey Bear is a well-known character and the campaign still continues today. Since the efforts began, this campaign has reduced the number of acres lost from an estimated 22 million to 4 million annually.

Of course there are other notable campaigns but these three have had significant impacts on not only these organizations, but also on society as a whole. By using the media, celebrity endorsements, and a little bit of creativity, these campaigns have swayed the public’s view and notably impacted the world around us.

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