It’s thought that the PR industry is over 100 years old, with Ivy Lee recognised for inventing the press release in 1906 for Pennsylvania Railroad – named as the first ever PR client. Now considered an essential part of any business strategy, there’s an increasing volume of PR-driven content, including campaigns, stunts and coverage to compete with. After more than a century of PR pros creating engaging content and pitching for premium editorial space, it’s easy for a campaign to get lost in a sea of brand messaging. So how can PR teams make a brand stand out and demand attention?

One tactic sees a company temporarily change their branding to catch the eye of the media and public, such as Santander’s latest campaign with Ant and Dec. Launched on 3rd June, it shows the much-loved duo establish a rival bank titled ‘Antandec’, ripping off the classic branding of Santander. The campaign has been activated across TV, cinema, OOH, print, social, radio and has its own microsite. First reactions have been plentiful, especially across social media, with mixed sentiment – most negative responses focus on Ant’s recent drink driving headlines.

Santander aren’t the only ones switching up logos, with big brands like the O2 and Greggs also using the tactic. Earlier this year, the O2 marked Drake’s residency at the arena by temporarily changing the signage to O3. Referencing his famous song lyrics, “And you know me, turn The O2 into The O3″, the venue offered a competition for fans to win tickets to his show by posting a picture of themselves in front of the venue on social media channels using the hashtag #DrakeTheO3 – drumming up engagement.

Greggs also hit headlines just before Christmas last year after they reversed their logo in a clever execution to capitalise on Fenwick’s iconic Christmas window display, creating a buzz during the festive period. The largest bakery chain in the country grabbed attention again with another stunt, this time tapping into Lewis Capaldi’s recent success. The singer, who is known by his fans for his love of Greggs, was captured working at the Middlesbrough store, kitted out with uniform and personalised serving bags where the recognisable logo had been replaced with ‘Capaldi’s’ – generating headlines and engagement across social media. Linking to awareness days has also offered opportunities for brands to edit their logos, such as BAFTA and Pringles who swapped the traditional male characters in their logos for International Women’s Day.

Big or small, these kind of marketing tactics can work well as part of an effective integrated campaign, so get in touch with the Tonic team to find out how we could help generate engagement with your brand.