K&C Commentary: PR & Ad Campaigns

Every once in a while, a company puts out a campaign or a stunt that catches your eye – for better or for worse. Some of our team members pulled a few examples of PR stunts and ad campaigns that made a lasting impression and shared why they thought it worked.  

Anthony Thomas: "Your Goals"

One example that stood out for me was Spotify’s “Your Goals” campaign from 2018. Here are just a few reasons why it’s great:


  • They feel like digital ads but making them physical allowed people to engage with them in ways that helped drive social media engagement: “What we started to see is a lot of artists, when we put up a billboard, they will take a selfie in front of the billboard.”
  • It’s a great example of how tone can make or break a campaign e.g. I’m on Meth campaign: “Our job is to shine a light on those events that provoke people to strong emotion through music, and to use humor to relieve some of the seriousness”
  • And of course, a masterclass in leveraging user data. I feel like these insights generally appear during the research phase and internally guide the strategic direction but rarely make it to the consumer in such a matter of fact way.

CeCelia Hubbartt: "Look Whose Driving"

I’m a big fan of Volvo’s commercials, especially the Live Tests. Some of their more famous ones include celebs like Jean-Claud Van Damme, but most of them include employees of Volvo. A fantastic one features a 4-year-old test driver. These ads have been going on for years, so it’s a sustainable advertising option for Volvo.



My favorite part of the ads in this series is that Volvo puts their money where their mouth is. Anyone could talk about how durable their trucks are, but Volvo is out there showing it.


I’m a big fan of any company that is willing to try more “out there” ideas. Another great example of this is what Burger King recently did to prove they don’t use preservatives. It’s a cool way to engage an audience and show off what you can do.

Hannah Burn: "Jif vs. Gif"

Jif Peanut Butter recently teamed up with Giphy to finally address the ongoing debate on how “gifs” are pronounced. From this campaign, we learned that gifs are pronounced with a hard “g” because there can only be one Jif! 


I like this campaign first and foremost because it is witty. It feels nostalgic while remaining current at the same time. Jif peanut butter reminds me of my childhood – when I think of peanut butter I think of Jif. In that respect, I instantly connected with the campaign and I am sure many others have as well.  

On more than one occasion I am sure we have all heard people playfully arguing about how the fun little looping videos we’ve come to love and reference daily are pronounced. The campaign addresses this long-held debate in a playful collaboration that is a match made in heaven! 


Consumers had to be quick to purchase the limited-edition Gif peanut butter jars on Amazon, they sold out in less than a day. The brands also partnered together to create a new series of gifs you can be found on Giphy

Cassie Ogren: "Fearless Girl"

I like simple campaigns. “Fearless Girl” is one of the best campaigns I have seen due to the long overdue, but quick results it produced. The statue of the “Fearless Girl” stands in front of the giant Wall Street Bull. She is standing tall, hands on her hips with a defiant look on her face. There was no huge setup or ceremony.



This statue was placed in front of the bull in the middle of the night. Almost instantly, photos were taken and shared, and the buzz quickly created over 1 billion Twitter impressions in the first 12 hours. The result? Just 1 year after the creation of the statue, more than 152 of the organizations “Fearless Girl” targeted added women to their boards, and that number is climbing. One simple statue created much-needed change.

Cristin Kieser: "Shot on iPhone"

Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” has been one of my favorite campaigns since it began a few years ago. I love that it is a pretty simple idea that is executed perfectly. The campaign perfectly utilizes crowdsourced photos that celebrate the users before the product itself. Apple asks for submissions of images that have been taken on an iPhone and then selects the best ones to develop into full-blown ads, including billboards and videos.



I still remember the first time I saw one of the stunning billboards as I was driving through Minneapolis. I was immediately impressed with the campaign because of how it seamlessly promotes the product while also highlighting the users.


Even though this campaign has been going on for years, Apple has done a great job of keeping it relevant by consistently featuring new photos – including the recent addition of popular artists. The latest version of the campaign includes tour photos from 16 artists, including Travis Scott, Kacey Musgraves and more.


By constantly incorporating new ideas into an already successful campaign, Apple proves they are still one of the best in the world at creating game-changing and eye-catching ad campaigns.