Technology Campaign of the Year 2011

Sponsored by NYU-SCPS Master of Science in Public Relations and Corporate Communication

?Winner: WPP and Ford Motor Company: Putting Ford Innovation into the Consumer Electronics Spotlight

On account of public bailouts and the recession, car manufacturers have had a rough few years.

To move forward, Ford set out to establish its cars not just as automobiles, but also technology platforms. The company saw consumers increasingly make buying decisions based on the technology in a car. According to its research, 62% of 18- to 44-year-olds own smartphones, and this group buys 44% of all new US cars.

So, with the help of WPP firm Hill & Knowlton, Ford aimed to make a splash at last year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), an annual trade show dominated by household name tech brands such as Sony and Microsoft.

The Ford product unveiled at the show was MyFord Touch, a technology interface touted as a safe and simple way to connect drivers to their digital lives while in the car.

H&K interviewed key mobile industry analysts to get recommendations. It also researched media coverage of the prior year's CES. The team identified key titles, media outlets, and tech reporters to brief before and after the event. And the project had to be completed in 70 days.

"It was particularly smart to take Ford out of the auto industry and into a tech campaign," one judge noted.

Twitter and Facebook were used to flag the Ford keynote speech at CES, while a luncheon was held for key bloggers from Gizmodo.com, ZDNet.com, and others.

Ultimately, the team coordinated 100-plus in-person reporter and analyst interviews and garnered over 270 original stories in business, technology, and consumer press worldwide. CNET gave Ford the "Best of CES" award.

Honorable Mention: GolinHarris and Texas Instruments: SMASH IT

Texas Instruments set out to engage the engineering community to reinforce its innovative reputation and gain new customers. GolinHarris' research found engineers don't share a lot of content with peers, but do consume a lot of content. With that, SMASH IT, an online video series and website, was launched at the engineering trade show Embedded Systems Conference. The $30,000 effort generated 32,000-plus sales conversions, datasheet downloads, and sample requests. "Very creative," said one judge. "Targeting a b-to-b audience drove solid results."

The Award Both business-to-business and consumer campaigns are eligible, provided they are focused in the area of technology. These may include, but are not limited to, product launches or innovations, uses and applications of technology, or technological issues and advancements.

Finalists 2011

Edelman and Microsoft Xbox: "Halo: Reach" Launch Campaign

Fleishman-Hillard and AT&T: Highly Anticipated BlackBerry Torch Hits AT&T Stores

GolinHarris and Texas Instruments: SMASH IT

Porter Novelli and HP: Repositioning Printing for the Digital Age: The Launch of HP ePrint

WPP and Ford Motor Company: Ford - Putting Ford Innovation into the Consumer Electronics Spotlight

Sponsor: NYU-SCPS Master of Science in Public Relations and Corporate Communication. Named PRWeek's 2009 and 2010 "PR Education Program of the Year," this advanced degree from the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies provides a curriculum that is a thorough, leading-edge combination of theory and practice immediately applicable to your work environment. The faculty are industry professionals who bring unparalleled insight and understanding to their classrooms.

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