PRWeek Awards 2011: Consumer Marketing Communications (annual fees less than £100k)

The Royal British Legion is the charity that runs the Poppy Appeal and manages the national two-minute silence for Remembrance Sunday. Despite its dedication to appealing to the nation as a whole, it decided it needed to reach out to a younger audience.

Marketing Communications: Consumer (annual fees less than £100k) Award winner: The Royal British Legion ‘Selling the Sound of Silence’ with Burson-Marsteller
Marketing Communications: Consumer (annual fees less than £100k) Award winner: The Royal British Legion ‘Selling the Sound of Silence’ with Burson-Marsteller

To bring the charity into the 21st century, Burson-Marsteller devised a strategy to cater for the digital generation – but it needed a fresh tactic. The decision was made to record a silent track called 2 Minute Silence and release it during the week of remembrance.

Celebrities including Radiohead's Thom Yorke, David Tennant, Andy Murray, Mark Ronson, Plan B and Prime Minister David Cameron appeared in a silent video alongside ex-servicemen and women to support the track. The single and video were available from iTunes and other music download sites and all funds raised went to the Legion.

 

Brave, original and quite remarkable

Nick Band, chairman, Citizen Brando

Tailored editorial and broadcast content was produced to increase awareness among younger audiences. This included a feature in NME.com, frequent airing of the video on MTV and an airing on Sky Sports 1 before the England international cricket match against Australia. A double-page bylined story from Andy Murray appeared in The Sun incorporating celebrity quotes and support from David Cameron.

The campaign generated more than 260 pieces of media coverage that featured on BBC News, Sky News, ITV News, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio 4, The Times, the Daily Mirror, The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian. The single entered the charts at number 20 on Remembrance Sunday. More than 23,000 singles were sold, raising £20,000 for the charity.

The single attracted more than 35,000 likes on its Facebook page in just three weeks and the video trailer was watched more than 200,000 times on YouTube. Influential celebrity social media users such as David Beckham, Radiohead, Stephen Fry and Coldplay helped to gain further exposure.

Using modern media to encourage younger audiences to take notice of Remembrance Sunday has improved the outlook for the future work of the Royal British Legion.

The Awards 2011 book will be available in this week's issue of PRWeek

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