PR winners - Cannes 2012

Cannes Lions has been inspiring Creativity for 60 years. In this lesson I've chosen 5 award-winning PR campaigns of 2012, campaigns with strong ideas, which demonstrated the strong impact it had on audience. Year after year, public relations agencies are struggling to overcome the barriers of traditional PR. Take notes!

by Adela Sescu
1 year, 9 months ago

PR Lions Grand Prix for Banco Popular de Puerto Rico

Agency: JTW San Juan, Puerto Rico

Name of campaign: The most popular song

This campaign’s goal was to change Puerto Ricans’ mentality and behavior by encouraging them to work. The bank partnered with local band El Gran Combo to change the lyrics of their popular hit “No Hago Más Na” (which translates “I Do Nothing”) and transform it into a motivational song. JTW San Juan, bank’s PR agency, designed a multimedia campaign, linking TV, radio, print, outdoor, web banners, and social - asking consumers to help make the new track the country’s most popular song. The song quickly became part of Puerto Rican culture, instantly becoming associated with the bank’s brand without even mentioning its name. Bank’s overall image and reputation index achieved a record-high of 80%, considering that each time the song was played the bank received 3 minutes of free publicity. Now that’s what I call a smart move!

As the largest bank in Puerto Rico, Banco Popular's success and corporate image depend ...
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Gold PR for Eterna Cadencia

Agency: DraftFCB, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Name of campaign: The book that can’t wait

“The book that can’t wait” is a special book, filled with a collection of stories from new authors. It has a unique ink that slowly disappears when it gets in contact with air or sunlight, which means you have only 2 months to read it- before it turns into a lovely blank page volume that you can then use as a journal. A publisher in Argentina came with this fascinating idea as most of the new authors, unknown authors, don’t get read. The "invention" got a huge media attention: broadcasted in the main national TV channels, covered by main national newspapers and radio shows. Insanely, the first edition was sold out in the same day of the launch, continuing with thousands of requests to procure the book. Such an innovative idea unquestionably deserves a PR award. The official video below gives more details. Take notes!

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Gold PR + Gold Outdoor + Gold Media for TNT TV Channel

Agency: Duval Guillaume Modem Antwerp, Belgium

Name of Campaign: Push to add drama

To launch the high quality TV channel TNT in Belgium we placed a big red push button on an average Flemish square of an average Flemish town. A sign with the  text “Push to add drama” invited people to use the button. And then we waited… says Duval Guillaume representative, Marc Wellens

And do you press the button? Of course, you do. Out of the sudden an entire drama scenario goes into action: an ambulance appears and the patient is dropped on the street, people fight, the police arrive and so on. I must admit this is one of the most inspirited and stunning adds I've ever seen- due to the surprising act, drama and the music- it’s an example of a spectacular campaign that have integrated traditional advertising methods into their overall social media strategy. The video became viral and the unique idea has created more buzz then anyone had ever imagined. Currently (Feb 2013), it has more than 43 million views on Youtube.

Update: In January 2013, TNT is launching an sequel to the first viral hit, called A dramatic surprise on an ice-cold day, which took place in the Netherlands. Click to watch the video.

Advertiser TNT Product TV CHANNEL Entrant DUVAL GUILLAUME MODEM Antwerp, BELGIUM Type of Entry: Technique ...
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Gold PR for La Redoute

Agency: CLM BBDO Boulogne-Billancourt, France

Name of campaign: The naked man

Well, I agree that bad publicity is good publicity, but only if you know how to play with it. Here’s an excellent example from the French e-retailer website 

Perhaps you remember that picture with a naked man in the background of a children’s picture that created a huge buzz on the internet last year. As you can imagine, La Redoute was facing crisis communication, so at that point they decided to react quickly, take back the control on its reputation and do that where all the mess started- social networks- by twisting the bad buzz into a good buzz. They’ve posted fake fails among the other pictures and challenged their audience to discover them. In only 48 hours, all 14 fake fails were found among 33,600 pictures on their website.

That’s a brilliant idea of apologizing and still driving traffic on the website having remarkable results: up to 100,000 fans on Facebook, the video had 220,000 views in less than 48 hours, increased of 70% on traffic during the operation, 1,200 press articles and a $1,069,000 earned media.

Advertiser LA REDOUTE Product LA REDOUTE Entrant CLM BBDO Boulogne-Billancourt, FRANCE Type of Entry: Sectors ...
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Gold PR for Art Series Hotels

Agency: Naked Communications, Sydney

Name of campaign: Steal Banksy

Art Series Hotels and Naked Communication found a unique way to attract more customers to stay at their hotels during weak season of summer. Starting the saying Bad men do what good men dream, they thought of a strategy that would explore the dark side of human motivation and create a sort of treasure hunt. Their solution was to hang a Banksy panting worth $15,000 and challenge people to steal it without being caught – “Stay the night to steal the art”. As everyone found this game pretty motivating and fun, the campaign attracted media attention from around the world: 1500 rooms booked in 4 weeks (50% above target), international media coverage across 61 countries (from The New York Observer, LA Times, Daily Telegraph UK, The Huffington Post, CNN), $ 2,1 million in PR value, almost 7 million tweet and increase of 112% on website visits.

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You can buy attention (advertising). You can beg for attention from the media (PR). You can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales). Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free. David Meerman Scott, Best-Selling Author & Speaker

I truly believe that Cannes Lions Festival is a “school” where juniors (such as I) can find their inspiration and mentors. At the same time, I must admit my subjectivity in choosing these campaigns, but you can always find more examples on their website. I already shared my favorites, now it's your turn: which campaign impressed you the most?

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1. The most popular song, by Banco Popular de Puerto Rico
2. The book that can't wait, by Eterna Cadencia
3. Push to add drama, by TNT TV Channel
4. The naked man, by La Redoute
5. Steal Banksy, by Art Series Hotels
6. Conclusion
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