My Top 5 PR Campaigns Of January 2023

She’s *pretty much* on track, kicking off February with my round-up blog of last month’s best creative campaigns, just a couple of days late. Oh, and thanks for all the love on my definitive ranking of all the stunts I loved in 2022, I’ll add it to the ‘to-do’ list again come this December (that’s a scary thought).

January saw some clever content around Blue Monday and some progressive PR action from an AMAZING charity, as well as an OOH campaign that had marketing Twitter in debate. Plus, we can’t forget the hype around Harry’s book – and the brands that were clever enough to get involved. Here’s some more on that.

My Top 5 PR Campaigns Of January 2023

1. Prince Harry’s Spare – Bert’s Books

For better or worse Prince Harry wears the PR crown this month thanks to the launch of his debut novel, Spare. The Duke of Sussex was cripplingly candid in his autobiography and plenty of audio clips from it have gone viral across social, not to mention that the press in the run-up to the book’s launch was pretty intense too. Whatever you think of Harry and Meghan, I just loved how brands got involved in their own way with the launch, clearly seeing the value of capitalising on all the conversation. The best example of this I saw was from Bert’s Books, whose display said it best without really saying anything at all…

2. We Don’t Speak January – Equinox Gyms

Definitely the most poignant PR stunt of the month was delivered by Equinox, who, on 1st January announced they would not be accepting new memberships on that day. A really bold move considering most gyms probably experience a big spike over those 24 hours as New Year’s resolutions kick on. The brand’s campaign was all around how they offer their customers a lifestyle, not a ‘get fit quick’ solution to be dropped a few weeks into the new year. I really liked this one because it worked to remind people to do things for themselves – not for society. Great start to the year for Team Marketing 👏🏻

3. Bad Apples – Refuge

As the Met Police recently announced more action to tackle its problems within, Refuge Charity decided to highlight the scale of the problem by dumping over 1000 (plastic) bad apples outside of Scotland Yard, one for each of the 1071 police officers and staff members with current allegations of violence made against them. I think a lot of people would agree that more pressure needs to be placed on those on top to take these situations seriously. So good on Refuge for reminding us of the very bleak reality of abuse within the Police force. I always love a campaign with a cause, and this was certainly strong enough to grab attention on social and in the media.

4. United By Music – Eurovision

An honourable mention this month HAS to go to Eurovision, possibly my favourite public event of the whole year. As we all know, Liverpool will host this year’s competition in place of the winners, Ukraine, due to the ongoing Russian invasion. Such a sensitive topic needed some very clever, considered marketing – and I truly think the team truly delivered and then some. This year’s slogan is ‘United by Music‘ but better are some of the advertising materials that have come out this past month. See below. I love.

5. ‘Vimpto’ – Vimto

I enjoy brands who can poke fun at themselves, ones that come to mind instantly are the links of KFC, Innocent, DuoLingo and RyanAir – brands you’re probably all familiar with for their marketing efforts. One of the most recent to enter the chat is Vimto, who captured the attention of passerbys of a giant billboard by teasing at a name change, to reflect what most customers call the drink anyway (guilty!). It’s not the most groundbreaking stunt I’ve ever seen, but it’s silly and fun and I like it!

Conversation Corner – Drunk McDonalds?

You probably know by now where I sit on the ‘is all publicity good publicity argument’, however I can’t deny that, even though I didn’t like it, McDonald’s most recent OOH campaign certainly got us talking. So, introducing ‘Conversation Corner’, what do I think of the below?


  • I can’t deny this really sparked up chat on social media, with lots of people sharing the pictures
  • It’s quirky and different, which fits with the McDonald’s brand well
  • Slots quite nicely into the ‘here at all hours’ type message that McDonald’s have used in the past
  • Uses humour in marketing, which when done well, can be great
  • Keeps the reader engaged, or makes them look back, which means longer dwell time on the ad!


  • The conversation was mainly from marketers, my timeline may not be indicative of a wider audience
  • My biggest bugbear with this whole campaign is that it’s so unnecessarily complicated – me and my team had our brains working overtime trying to figure out what some of the ‘orders’ were meant to be
  • Humour can work well in marketing and advertising, but for me, it wasn’t strong enough here
  • Are drunk customers who they want to be targeting? D&D cases in Mcdonald’s caught on camera are notorious in the UK especially, but it’s a far cry from the brand image they aimed to achieve with the recent Emily In Paris collaboration – so which one is it for this business?

@jessicapardoePR I think…

That’s it for this month! Thank you as always for reading and for supporting me, and always happy to continue the conversation on my socials. Also, if you ever spot any campaigns you’d like to hear my opinion on, please do send them my way. Always happy to hear from you. Read my other blogs here whilst you wait for the next one.

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