Comic Relief's charity Red Nose Day had never had a direct link with a branded product before. But this year, hairdressing product brand Wella became the Official Hair Partner.
Wella's PR agency, EHPR, negotiated for a sachet of Wella gel to be included with the 5.5 million Red Noses sold in 2003 to increase the brand's relevance, with a campaign big enough to support all aspects of the Wella business.
This would come through a strong corporate positioning for its consumer and professional divisions (and their sub-brands).
A key press release had a series of photographs of the Nose with different hairstyles, with a Wella 'expert' explaining how to get the Red Nose Hair look.
EHPR negotiated for Kelly Osbourne and Graham Norton to appear pro bono on six 48-sheet poster sites around the UK.
Six celebrities were invited to a photoshoot for a London Underground poster campaign, which were then offered exclusively to media partners in return for big-splash Wella coverage that included branding and key messages.
On Red Nose Day itself, EHPR sent a team of 'hit-squad hairdressers', accompanied by a regional radio station, to drive additional awareness.
Celebrity hair was auctioned on the TV and internet websites to raise funds for Comic Relief, which was then used as the focus for regional radio interviews.
To ensure the professional sector had not missed the sponsorship, a branded 'scratch and match' poster was sent to UK hair salons while the poster was inserted free-of-charge into Beauty and Hairdressers Journal magazines.
More than 135 pieces of coverage were generated, and both divisions reported an uplift in sales (Shaders & Toners up 165 per cent in Asda, Shockwaves up 13 per cent and Vosene sales up 33 per cent in Superdrug).
The Wella campaign raised £414,701 for Comic Relief, and independent research shows 55 per cent of 15 to 24 year olds were aware of Wella's partnership with the charity.
COMMENDED - HELP THE AGED PARTNERSHIP; BRITISH GAS
For the past four years, British Gas has partnered with elderly persons charity Help the Aged.
This campaign set out to raise awareness of the partnership and its activities, and to establish its social policy credentials via the media. The programme consisted of five campaigns.
Stepping Out has become a month-long event covering June for the last four years, giving older people the chance to take advantage of travel concessions and reduced entrance fees.
The partnership has also produced training materials on increasing age awareness, equality and diversity in the workplace, and encouraging employers to review and amend their employment policies and practices.
The campaign for 2002/2003 created an estimated 280 million opportunities for individuals to hear/see the key messages.
So far, British Gas has provided more than £4.3m of support to the partnership, and there have been 1.3 million beneficiaries of the campaign to develop and implement various schemes to improve the lives of vulnerable people.
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