PUBLIC RELATIONS AWARDS 2000: Craft - Best Use of Broadcast



International Media Launch of Speedo Fast Skin


PR21 had the task of launching Speedo's Fast Skin - a new full body suit for professional swimmers that the company believed could improve times by up to three per cent. It was the result of four years' research and needed to be launched simultaneously in all key markets with the aim of as many athletes as possible competing in the suit at the Sydney Olympics.

PR21's plan was to make a connection between swimmers wearing the suit and the efficient 'hydro-dynamic' design of sharks. This provided a strong visual and emotional hook that was readily understandable in different markets.

PR21 produced a VNR that would act as the central communication device and built a conventional media relations campaign around this. A VNR was chosen as the primary tool in order to explain the complex technology behind the Fast Skin suit with the use of dramatic images. It was sent to 840 broadcasters worldwide by satellite in March 2000.

Once the VNR was distributed, the agency deliberately fuelled a controversy about whether the suit should be ruled illegal for international swimming events and was successful in getting the BBC to use the VNR in its coverage of the story. The VNR, which was shot on a budget of pounds 25,000 over nine days in the UK, the US and Australia, repaid the investment with transmission in over 40 countries. In the UK, as well as a BBC Six O'Clock News piece, the campaign also resulted in a seven minute item on Tomorrow's World, and coverage on Sky News, BBC Breakfast News, Sky Sports and The Discovery Channel.

The programme succeeded in generating worldwide interest in the product and achieving simultaneous media coverage in the relevant markets.


Putting Energy Behind the Millennium

British Gas

For the millennium celebrations, British Gas sponsored 1,400 gas-fired beacons which were lit across the country. The PR department's challenge was to leverage the spectacle to support the brand's 'think national act local' strategy. This was achieved with a VNR, and live outside broadcasts from, among other places, a gas platform in the North Sea.


Pig Industry Campaign

Shandwick Broadcast

With the pig industry having been in crisis for some time, Shandwick's challenge was to make the story fresh and reach shoppers and opinion formers alike. A three-stage campaign was devised and targeted at broadcasters. A comprehensive research document was produced, a 24-hour vigil began in Westminster, and the poor conditions of continental pig farming compared to those in the UK were publicised.


Yorkshire Building Society Stop the Charges

Bulletin International

Alexander McQueen designs for NEC

Television News Release/Attenborough Associates.

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