Public Relations

Marcia Silverman
Jury Chairman
Marcia Silverman
Retired Chair
Ogilvy Public Relations
“Year after year, I am constantly reminded how talented our teams are”

Year after year, I am constantly reminded how talented our teams are within WPP and this year was no exception. The entries for public relations and public affairs were of the highest quality of work yet, exhibiting creative problem solving, effective new tactics and substantial results.

We received dozens of entries from all around the world and across disciplines and my fellow judges, Jack Martin and Andrew Bleeker from Hill+Knowlton Strategies, and Walter Montgomery from RLM Finsbury, all enjoyed the challenge and found inspiration from our global colleagues.
After careful consideration, I am happy to announce that the PR Crème de la Crème winner for 2012 is Ogilvy Public Relations from the United States.

Their multi-country campaign for the Government of Mexico not only corrected distortions harming the country's entire economy from foreign direct investment to tourism, but also created a compellingly positive story about the inspirational new Mexico: a thriving, young, high-tech, multi-faceted powerhouse. Our decision was unanimous as this campaign truly stood above the rest as a demonstration of the real achievements PR can have towards business results.

Congratulations to our winners. Thank you to everyone who entered and keep up the great work.
Mexico: The Place You Thought You Knew-Case Study - Mexico: The Place You Thought You Knew
Ogilvy Public Relations New York
The Government of Mexico
Changing minds and opening eyes all over the world
Mexico was once associated with exotic beauty, diversity, and cities rich in arts and culture, but this changed when media coverage of the drug war sensationalised the violence and portrayed Mexico as somewhere unsafe to work, live, or visit. The country's reputation and economy were threatened. The crisis demanded a deep understanding of how media and individuals reshape opinions. Ogilvy PR launched a massive campaign with the Government of Mexico to correct these media distortions and create a compellingly positive story about the inspirational new Mexico: a thriving, high-tech, multi-faceted powerhouse. Engagement with online influencers, business investment testimonials from Fortune 100 CEOs, and a robust advertising campaign throughout Europe helped to showcase Mexico's diverse offerings. Social media ambassadors were recruited to share their passion for the country, creating positive awareness of Mexico online. The campaign caused a surge in tourism, with hotel and resort chains increasing Mexico investments by 127% since 2010. Foreign investment in Mexico rose by 9.7%. 400 media interviews produced 4.5 billion media impressions across four continents - more than the previous three years combined. The world now has a new way of thinking about the Mexico they thought they knew.


Mr. Bao
Ogilvy Public Relations Beijing
An inspiring character
Data-driven business insight, or 'Business Analytics and Optimisation' (BAO) was an obscure concept in China despite its potentially huge benefits. To promote these benefits and establish IBM as the trusted advisor to businesses, Ogilvy PR launched a campaign which personified BAO as a new celebrity to follow on Weibo (Chinese Twitter), named Mr. Bao. Mr. Bao, with his humorous, intelligent, quirky personality and his belief that technology could change China for the better, became a virtual brand ambassador for IBM BAO. By 'humanising' the phenomenon, it became fascinating and a must-do for businesses. The return on investment for lead generation for 'Mr. Bao' was 208 times the original investment. His Weibo content was exposed to 410,000 fans, gained 11,273 followers, and engaged 119 key opinion leaders. Mr Bao often appears at media events (played by an IBM employee), fostering relationships with clients by exchanging business cards and promoting his Weibo account.
Toughpad Launch
Cohn & Wolfe San Francisco
Some tough competition
How do you compete with the dominance of the Apple iPad in the tablet market? Cohn & Wolfe was tasked with solving this problem for Panasonic's Android-powered Toughpad family of tablets. A launch was crafted to raise awareness of the Toughpad, establishing clear competitive differences when compared to the iPad, and hailing Panasonic's long-term market expertise. The spectacular launch event took place at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, attracting more than 400 attendees including media, customers, and business partners. The launch included a wide range of features, from a 49-metre wide high definition video display, to a demonstration of the Toughpad's toughness in which the product was kicked around in a football. Celebrity athletes, charitable donations, and an engaging showcase of the Toughpad products targeted a broad selection of media and earned massive coverage of the launch, which was viewed 115,000 times on YouTube in the first week. Social media buzz was significant and the Toughpad was successfully positioned as a differentiated offering in the tablet market.
CSOP Pre-Launch Campaign
Hill+Knowlton Strategies New York
It's all about loyalty
Despite having an exciting and accessible new technology platform to offer companies looking to increase their engagement with consumers and shareholders, start-up LOYAL3 had yet to recruit any clients. The Hill+Knowlton Strategies team was tasked with assisting LOYAL3 in establishing a solid reputation, both on Wall Street and within Silicon Valley. The brand was established by developing a network of key advocates across the technology, branding, and financial sectors. Top-tier media influencers and events served as the channels through which H+K communicated the LOYAL3 message, eventually landing CEO Barry Schneider keynotes at Techonomy and AdAge Digital. These platforms enabled LOYAL3 to reach the world's top marketers and influencers. Even without clients, they were leading the conversation on brand loyalty. Strategically crafted messaging enabled speaking opportunities to galvanise conversations with potential clients. Through the campaign, LOYAL3 enlisted high calibre brand ambassadors to promote their platform, and launched its first client, Fifth & Pacific Holdings, with significant broadcast and media coverage.

Consumer Marketing

Boonie's Over Beer?!
Burson-Marsteller Sydney
Canadian Club
An unlikely hero
The challenge was to target conventional beer drinkers, and convince them to make Canadian Club whisky their preferred first drink of the night. To boost the existing 'Over Beer?' campaign, agency Burson-Marsteller made use of Australian cricket legend and infamous beer enthusiast, David Boon ('Boonie') and framed him as being 'over beer', along with an increasingly large percentage of the Australian population. Interest was ignited with a paparazzi-style campaign, made credible by hard facts and statistics about the decline of beer sales in Australia, and then amplified by national media outreach and targeted interviews. Boonie's intrinsic connection to beer from years as a beer brand ambassador made him an unlikely hero for Canadian Club. The plot was effective, delivering a return on investment of 2,630%, boosting sales by a staggering 70% during the campaign, and allowing the brand to retain its prestigious title of 'Australia's Fastest Growing Alcohol Trademark' for the second year in a row. Cheers!
'Thank You Mum' Olympic campaign
Hill+Knowlton Strategies London
Procter & Gamble
Honouring the mums
In order to celebrate what mums do for their children every day, Procter & Gamble engaged Hill+Knowlton Strategies to raise brand awareness around their 'Proud sponsor of Mums' UK campaign. In the run-up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the campaign engaged the mums of participating athletes, putting them in the spotlight with eight short films that acknowledged and celebrated their hard work, while demonstrating how Procter & Gamble is the 'Proud sponsor of Mums'. The athletes' families were offered support and free tickets to see their children compete in the games. Celebrity mums were recruited and the campaign brought 'everyday' mums into the conversation by inspiring them and making the games relevant to their lives. A Mother's Day campaign encouraged the nation to say 'Thank you, mum!' H+K achieved more than three billion UK media impressions. The campaign increased the familiarity of Procter & Gamble by 20%, with a 10% increase in favourability amongst UK consumers. Thank you, mums!
A Lifetime Commitment to Safety
Ogilvy Public Relations Shanghai
Goodyear China
Staying safe
During a time of anxiety over product safety in China, Goodyear embraced the opportunity to ignite a discussion on safety with consumers while other companies were avoiding it. Rather than lecturing the public, Ogilvy PR launched an emotional campaign, celebrating unsung heroes who have dedicated their lives to ensuring the safety of others, such as the man who spent 200 days a year alone on an island for 32 years to provide early warnings of typhoons! The campaign took the form of seven one-minute documentaries aiming to inspire a return to 'the spirit of safety'. The public was invited to submit personal short films about the safety contributions of their own community heroes. With 25 million online interactions and a 7% increase in consumer opinion that Goodyear tyres are the 'safest to use', the campaign was an overwhelming success. The Chinese public was reminded of Goodyear's long-standing dedication to safety and had one less thing to be anxious about!

Corporate & Public Affairs
Burson-Marsteller New York
Stating the facts
Ford Motor Company was the only auto manufacturer not to participate in the government bailout of 2008 to 2010. With tough United Auto Workers (UAW) Union labour negotiations ahead in 2011, Ford needed to underscore its business realities, set appropriate expectations, and provide the facts on key issues to media and opinion leaders. Because this audience would need extensive content in order to craft their own stories and opinions, was designed to provide the information in all the forms needed to discuss or write about the issues involved, with Ford's own themes of 'competitiveness' and 'profitable growth for all' featuring throughout. The campaign was a resounding success. A new contract between Ford and the UAW was successfully ratified on October 19th, 2011. More than 15,000 influencers visited during the campaign, and more than 3,000 people logged in to watch the live stream of the press conference when the contract was announced.
Street Dance for Change
Hill+Knowlton Strategies London
Making a difference with dance
Thousands of youths run away from home every year in the UK, and many of them are never accounted for. As part of its global Street to School programme, UK's Aviva has partnered with Railway Children, a charity fighting for these vulnerable young people. The challenge was to raise money for the cause and increase awareness of youth homelessness. Hill+Knowlton launched a digital campaign that encouraged young people to spread awareness of Railway Children's message by sharing a stunning contemporary dance video of the popular street dance troupe, Diversity, containing targeted messages and statistics about youth runaways. The public were called upon to upload their own dance videos to win Diversity tickets, and with every video view, £2 was donated to Railway Children. The campaign reached an audience of 38.2 million and received 90 items of press coverage. The target of £50,000 was reached in just over a week, with double that amount raised in total.
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