CAMPAIGNS: Product Placement - Awards basket full of PR goodies

Client: David Yurman, Wolford, TAG Heuer and Baccarat (all of New York) and Montblanc (Chatham, NJ)

Client: David Yurman, Wolford, TAG Heuer and Baccarat (all of New York) and Montblanc (Chatham, NJ)

Client: David Yurman, Wolford, TAG Heuer and Baccarat (all of New

York) and Montblanc (Chatham, NJ)

PR Team: Nike Communications (New York)

Campaign: Filling Academy Awards Basket Time Frame: February 28 to March

26, 2000

Budget: dollars 500,000 (dollars 100,000 for each client)

Golden Oscar statuettes are not the only prizes given away at the annual

Academy Awards ceremony.

Since 1989, the awards have provided presenters, as a thankful gesture,

with a basket of donated luxury items, valued between dollars 6,000 and

dollars 10,000.

This year, the challenge for New York-based Nike Communications was to

see that five of its clients, all purveyors of luxury goods, were chosen

for the basket and then to promote their inclusion to key media. Several

hundred items vied for selection and only 40 were picked.


To have its clients chosen, Nike had to submit a sample of each product,

along with its cost and a press kit, to Academy Awards producers. Nike

submitted an dollars 850 David Yurman bracelet, a dollars 1,700 TAG

Heuer watch, a dollars 450 Montblanc pen, a dollars 185 Baccarat crystal

heart and Wolford hosiery.

TAG Heuer had been featured in the basket the last three years and

Montblanc for two of those three.

According to Nike SVP J. Michael Christmas, the agency relied on the

merit and brand awareness of the products, confident they would be


Once all five were chosen, Nike had a one-month window in which to

obtain media coverage. The mere inclusion promoted brand awareness among

celebrities, Christmas says, adding, ’We hoped that it would foster

brand loyalty as well.’

But Nike was not just after celebrity goodwill. The other objective was

to reach potential consumers. ’In this celebrity-driven culture, their

choices resonate down to the consumer,’ Christmas says.


Nike narrowed the list of desirable media outlets to 25. ’The days of a

500-piece press mailing are over,’ Christmas says. ’We targeted the 25

places where we would like to see the story.’ All were provided with a

press release that promoted the basket and listed all of its products

but focused on Nike’s five clients. A representative from each client

account contacted the media individually.

The other 35 products didn’t do much PR, and Nike went to work on a

publicity plan that would reach what it considered appropriate media.

’If we didn’t do the press,’ Christmas says, ’it would have been just

another product giveaway.’


The payoff was exposure to desirable high-profile customers, Christmas

says. Publicity about the basket with some mention of at least one Nike

client appeared in all the outlets contacted, including programs like

Access Hollywood, Fox News Live and Entertainment Tonight, as well as

newspapers like USA Today, The Dallas Morning News, The New York Post

and The Chicago Tribune.

Magazines like InStyle and Entertainment Weekly also gave it ink. By far

the most exposure came from a story in the weekend edition of the Los

Angeles Times and an Associated Press story that moved worldwide.

As a result of the publicity, Mary Hart now regularly wears David Yurman

jewelry on Entertainment Tonight - which reaches an estimated 20 million

viewers. TAG Heuer sold out of the limited-edition watch, and Montblanc

is having difficulty keeping the pen in stock, Christmas says.


Nike plans to participate in the Academy Awards basket derby again next

year. ’We will definitely be putting our clients forward again,’

Christmas says.

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