Ketchum scooped this top honor for the third straight year, this time with a high-profile piece of work that led to genuine increased sales of Mattel's Barbie brand. This effort, which also won Product Brand Development Campaign of the Year, expanded Barbie's presence beyond core territory.
For the first time in Barbie's history, Mattel let consumers determine a new career for the doll. More than 1 million people voted online, and Computer Engineer Barbie was announced as a winner. The consumer vote was backed by a smart campaign that stressed serious career aspirations and continued to engage audiences on- line and through media relations, contributing to a 144% sales increase for the "I Can Be" line.
"A creative approach to keep a beloved icon fresh and relevant," said one judge. "Smart, engaging, and unexpected," said a second.
The campaign team expanded coverage beyond typical lifestyle and parent outlets by piquing tech media interest with invitations to the 2010 New York Toy Fair press conference where Computer Engineer Barbie debuted. Outlets covering the story included Wired, Gizmodo, and PC World.
Consumer engagement kicked off with a global survey and was sustained through daily posts by Barbie on her Facebook, Twitter, and blog pages, as well as through "direct-to-girl/mom marketing" tactics. The Society of Women Engineers and National Academy of Engineering were tapped to help create an authentic look for the doll and identify a spokesperson.
The effort garnered 1.1 billion-plus impressions in outlets such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Redbook. Social media reach extended to nearly 450,000 Facebook fans and 17,945 Twitter followers.
These outstanding results persuaded judges Barbie was the natural selection for PRWeek Campaign of the Year 2011.
Honorable Mention: The OutCast Agency and Bloom Energy: The Birth of a Cleantech Brand: Bloom Energy
Cleantech energy company Bloom Energy wanted to drive credibility for its brand, fuel-cell technology, and overall vision to distinguish it from legacy fuel-cell technologies and underline its challenge to the energy production status quo. Efforts took off after an exclusive 60 Minutes feature, which drew 75 reporters to a subsequent launch event with CEO Dr. KR Sridhar, board members including Colin Powell, and a panel of Fortune 500 CEO customers. Coverage included 1,050 print and online outlets, 350-plus broadcast placements, and interviews on CNBC and Good Morning America, all resulting in Bloom trending on Google and Twitter.
The Award Of all the outstanding campaigns we honor this year, choosing one for this accolade was no easy task. This award goes to the campaign that not only epitomizes the very best in PR ethics and tactics, it also displays the power of PR to help overcome tremendous obstacles.
Edelman and Adobe Systems: Creative Suite 5: Adobe Bites Back After Apple Clash
Edelman and International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX): Free Silva: Politics, Prison and the Power of PR
Ketchum West and Mattel/ Barbie: After 125 Careers, Barbie Gets Her Geek On
The OutCast Agency and Bloom Energy: The Birth of a Cleantech Brand: Bloom Energy
WPP and Ford Motor Company: Ford - Putting Ford Innovation into the Consumer Electronics Spotlight