Activations such as Share-A-Coke and the #IAmMeAckermans campaign have in many ways revolutionised the marketing space: not only have organisations been rebranded using these concepts, but they have also contributed to the promotion of controversial movements such as the Dove Love Your Body campaign. These out-of-the-box strategies have earned their way into the public relations Hall of Fame due to their clever tactics that address the current climate that we find ourselves in. The role of public relations has changed- we not only focus on creating a favourable customer-centric image for the sake of sales, but we also want to foster positive perceptions around supporting good causes. It is important for an organisation to display a more personal side through marketing campaigns to show that they care about their customers, and what better way to do this than combining activations with public relations.

Share-A-Coke with
IAmMeAckermans campaign

Activations in the public relations space are an important function that brands need to be careful to get right: the incorrect combination can be disastrous such as the Woolworths Valentine’s campaign which was pulled due to the public outcry against the blatant, if not entirely out-of-touch, gender stereotyping. The creation of brand activations in the 21st century need to be incredibly aware of, and sensitive to, the inclusion of the demographics represented in South Africa.  Campaigns need to demand the attention of their customers, drawing them out from mundane marketing concepts they are constantly exposed to, to unorthodox methods which are wholly representative of the market. This ensures success in expanding their customer base and the brand’s public perceptions, which makes for holistic and strategic marketing campaigns. The Africanacity campaign launched by ABSA was very symbolic- their very public separation from Barclays provided them with a tactical platform to further develop their brand as one which caters for all Africans alike, and further positioning themselves as a Proudly South African brand.

Redzone twitter post
absa Circular logo

Aside from activations, guerrilla marketing is another concept which works well in terms of furthering your brand memorability. Known for its cost-effectiveness, the use of atypical marketing strategies has the potential to provoke an emotive reaction from consumers whilst also yielding high returns. Amarula used this strategy when they removed the elephant logo from their products in order to raise awareness of elephant poaching, terming it #DontLetThemDissapear. Not only did this create a favourable image, but additionally raised awareness around the poaching crisis. In this case, the public relations tactic was to strongly illustrate their involvement in animal conservation, creating a tighter bond between them and animal groups, and the public at large. This guerrilla activation worked well for the brand, positioning the brand in a new and innovative light.

Amarula Twitter post -#DontLetThemDissapear

At ATKASA, we are ideally poised to take your brand from zero to hero. All underpinned by meaningful, results-driven outcomes. Give us a call on 011 024 3847 or send us an email at and we will gladly guide you through an effective public relations strategy.