PUBLIC RELATIONS AWARDS 2000: Craft - The Durrants Press Cuttings Award. Best Promotional Activity



BT Payphone Kiosk Karaoke Competition

Band and Brown Communications

Under pressure from the rise in mobile phone use, BT wanted a campaign that would underline its payphones' positioning as an essential and relevant part of UK street life.

The campaign also needed to stimulate calls from payphones and add value to the company's backing of the Message Home Helpline which was set up to allow runaways to send a message to their families and to seek confidential advice.

The agency decided to devise a campaign in which members of the public could become 'stars for a day', by capitalising on the popularity of karaoke. Band and Brown launched a competition to find 'the nation's best bathtime singers', with the idea of recording a special version of the Culture Club hit Karma Chameleon with singer Boy George, at Abbey Road studios.

The initiative was designed to support the Message Home service, tying in with Boy George's support for charities that work with the homeless, as well as using the singer's position as a national icon to help generate a similar affection for the BT payphone.

Entrants were invited to sing 30 seconds of their favourite song down a BT payphone. From 18,000 entrants, 450 were selected to take part in ten regional heats. Music industry experts picked out 100 winners who were invited to make the record.

It was released in January 2000, but could only be heard by dialing in from one of BT's 141,000 pay phones.

For every call made the company made a donation to Message Home. The campaign generated 400 pieces of coverage, and news reports on all the major television stations about the Abbey Road recording session. Message Home recorded a 300 per cent increase in calls between the launch of the promotion and February 2000.


Company Eligible Bachelor of the Year

The National Magazine Company

As the magazine's search for the UK's most eligible bachelors went into its tenth year, the challenge for the PR team was to give the event freshness. The proposal was to make the manhunt a regional affair with regional heats tied in with regional media followed by a national final. The search was co-ordinated through nightclubs with the media partner Galaxy Radio and the final received editorial coverage in the Sun.


Guinness Streaker Prevention Kit

The Red Consultancy

Red was asked to create activity to add something special to the huge commitment Guinness was making in sponsoring the 1999 Rugby World Cup. The solution chosen was to associate Guinness with the 'problem' of streaking at sports events, with the invention of a body sheath shaped like a pint of Guinness to drop on any streakers. The photo-call received national media attention.


End of an Era launch event

Cohn and Wolfe

Julia Heineken

Communique PR


Grant Butler Coomber.

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