PRWeek UK Awards Winners 2021: Best Use of Celebrity or Celebrities in a Campaign

This award went to Golin for Cadbury in an important campaign partnering Age UK in tackling the issue of loneliness among older people.

National hero: the late Captain Sir Tom Moore
National hero: the late Captain Sir Tom Moore

Winner – 'The Originals', Golin for Cadbury

Cadbury partnered Age UK in early 2020 with the aim of tackling the issue of loneliness among older people. Even before COVID-19 hit these shores, nearly a quarter of a million over-65s often went a week without speaking to anyone at all, so the pandemic threatened to have a devastating, isolating impact on this group.

Golin’s audience research revealed that while 18- to 45-year-olds were keen to help older people, the sadness of their situation often discouraged them from starting conversations – simply generating more coverage of the problem would not encourage that group to act. The agency decided to start a conversation to highlight the positives of talking to the elderly by hijacking podcast culture with their hidden stories. 

Who better to front this campaign than Captain Sir Tomas Moore, the centenarian whose life story and fundraising had lifted the national during lockdown? As host of The Originals podcast, he spoke to people ranging from women who had kissed Elvis Presley to a journalist who has spent more than half a century reporting on climate change, showing the elderly in a new light.

The series went live, accompanied by an emotive video in which 'Captain Tom' called on the public to join him in fighting loneliness among the elderly. Amid a news cycle full of gloomy stories about older people, this uplifting campaign achieved coverage in 64 countries, which in turn encouraged 3,500 people to sign up with Age UK to help fight loneliness during the campaign period – significantly exceeding the target of 500 set before the campaign. 

The judges said

A brilliant and important campaign with some impressive results. Campaigns often use young talent to reach younger people; seeing the opportunity to use Sir Tom to reach them was very clever and really worked.


Highly Commended – 'Fabric of the Community', W Communications and Brothers & Sisters for Grenfell Athletic FC

In this pro bono campaign, W and Brothers & Sisters created a football kit for Grenfell Athletic FC, a community-based football club created in the aftermath of tragedy. Shirts were sent out to 72 influential individuals from England captain Harry Kane to rapper AJ Tracey, and the resulting coverage drove sales of the kit, raising more than £30,000 for the club in 48 hours. 

Shortlisted

'Casa de Cantona' by Hotels.com with Hope&Glory PR for Hotels.com

'Long Live The Local' by One Green Bean for BBA

'Lost for Words' by Talker Tailor Trouble Maker for Royal London x Rankin

'Samsung: Freshly Laundered' by Taylor Herring for Samsung Electronics UK

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