Everyday we are overloaded by thousands of branding messages trying to grab our attention. When one explodes you know it wasn’t just luck it was marketing genius!

True brand marketing genius is when you break through the clutter and make your brand newsworthy and social network friendly. If you do it well, it’s like getting millions of dollars in free advertising.

At Say What!, we watch for those PR stunts that spiked social media traffic and converted it into international news coverage. In 2012 our top 3 choices were an “energy drink on the edge of space”, a “dog in the driver seat in New Zealand” and “5 guys on one guitar” in Canada.

2013 was the year of the celebrities, and our Say What! top 3 marketing campaign panel salutes “a rock classic from outer space”; “a Disney girl reborn” and “an anchorman who was everywhere”. Look and learn from these breakout stunts and you could be on our list for 2014.

Bronze Medal for Top Marketing Campaign of 2013
Ron Burgundy launch of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Since early summer of 2013, it was almost impossible to not see or hear about a Ron Burgundy stunt going on somewhere in North America. Ron Burgundy is a comic take on a 1980s news anchor played by Will Ferrell and this was his year. To support the December release of the movie “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” a massive marketing campaign pushed Ron Burgundy to become part of the daily news through a well crafted and executed program.

Over the six months leading up to the opening, Ron Burgundy made endless public and on-air appearances and stunts including:


Silver Medal for Top Marketing Campaign of 2013
Chris Hadfield and the International Space Station

Chris Hadfield, Canadian Astronaut and Commander of the International Space Station (ISS) connected with the world like no one else has ever done from space. Through the use of a very strong social media campaign, he was able to connect and engage with people around the world and most importantly with children. The goal of the campaign was to improve the image of space exploration and to get kids interested in science. From a motivational message, Chris Hadfield constantly told children that anything is possible, just look at him, follow your dreams.

Over the six-month voyage we were treated to daily tweets and images from space, with constant live video feeds from inside the Space Station or Commander Hadfield:

Gold Medal for Top Marketing Campaign of 2013
the re-launch of Miley Cyrus 2.0

Congratulations Miley, you are the winner of the Say What! Gold Medal for Top Marketing Campaign of 2013.

Say what you want about Miley Cyrus, but you have to admit that the triumphant rise to the top of the worldwide stage by this former Disney kid star was no accident – it was marketing genius on hyper speed. In true entertainment marketing style it was a series of well planned and executed publicity stunts that caught international attention and was front page around the globe. And all of this free publicity help to put Miley in the Billboard’s Top 10 Artists of 2013.


The campaign was memorable with its bigger than life antics and public appearances everywhere including:

2013 was the year of the bigger than life celebrities with bigger than life marketing budgets for out of this world results… dream big my marketing friends and maybe you can use some of these ideas for Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford’s re-election campaign, after his 2013 he’ll need a miracle… but look at what happened to Miley!

Let us know your thoughts on these and other Marketing Campaigns that caught your attention.


Cheers grant

Grant Ivens, RGD
brand surgeon | rocket scientist
Say What! Communications Corp.
116A Main Street North, Markham, ON, Canada L3P 1X8
T 905.752.3110 grant@saywhat.com