Campaign: Diamond-studded F1 drivers in Monaco Client: Steinmetz Diamond Group PR team: Bleach Media Timescale: December 2004-May 2005 Budget: £350,000
Steinmetz Diamond Group is a rough diamond trader and master cutter, most widely known for producing the 'millennium star', the 203-carat centrepiece of the diamonds exhibit at the Millennium Dome.
In 2003 and 2004 the group joined up with the now-defunct Jaguar Formula 1 team to promote its diamonds at the Monaco grand prix. But while Jaguar this year slipped away from F1, Steinmetz was keen to continue its association with the most glamorous event in the motor-racing calendar and a sponsorship deal was struck with the McLaren-Mercedes team to embed Steinmetz diamonds in the team's livery. Bleach Media - a PR agency with a specialist jewellery arm - had previously worked on the Jaguar account and was retained to maximise coverage of the event.
To increase global brand awareness of Steinmetz's diamonds. To extract value from its continued sponsorship of Formula 1 and showcase jewellery to potential customers.
Strategy and Plan
Steinmetz created diamond-studded helmets for drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya. Both had their signatures picked out in diamonds on the side of their helmets and were presented with them by a model at a press conference on the Wednesday before the race.
More than 50 journalists attended the event, with McLaren and Bleach co-hosting a luxury meal on a boat in the harbour, which provided photo opportunities for the tabloids.
In addition, the team provided video footage for the travelling circus of national broadcasters that follow every grand prix around the world, hooking the diamond story to both the glamour and racing aspects of the Steinmetz campaign. With broadcaster CBS recently winning the rights to show F1 in the US, it was approached to run a feature on Steinmetz's stunt.
Bleach also flew in representatives of the European business press, setting up interviews for them to cover the financial side of Steinmetz.
Measurement and Evaluation
The diamond story was covered by major networks across the world (ITV, BBC and CNN, to name a few),while a feature on Steinmetz ran on CBS.
Articles appeared in The Daily Telegraph, the Daily Express and Racing Line, while radio mentions were achieved in Monaco and France. Raikkonen provided an extra bonus by winning the grand prix, a welcome contrast to last year, when Christian Klein's Jaguar crashed out of the race, dislodging a diamond from the nose cone of the car and losing it on the track (Diary, 4 June 2004).
Steinmetz reports that sales following the campaign have increased significantly.
The company and Bleach are subsequently planning a similar campaign for future grands prix over the next two seasons.
Kevin Garside, who was in Monaco to cover the grand prix for The Daily Telegraph, tells PRWeek: 'This was a heavy-duty PR effort. The association of Monaco glitz with the product was the peg on which to hang the story.
It was a very successful stunt and got lots of publicity.'
Greg Jones, director of Shine Communications, has clients including F1 sponsor Quicksilver.
Just when you thought Formula 1 couldn't get any more bling, along comes Bleach Media to turn up the glam factor a couple more notches. F1 is a sport awash with sponsorship and endorsement so in order to cut through the noise and hype, PR needs to be innovative and attention-grabbing. This campaign delivered against both of these objectives.
Bleach was clever enough to recognise that a combination of high-profile racing drivers, glamorous models and the most spectacular of the F1 circuits would attract all the global media. Just as clever was to come up with an idea that tied all of these elements together. Diamond-encrusted helmets are the last word in style for a sport obsessed with image and ego, and Bleach did a fantastic job in achieving worldwide media coverage around it.
The only question I would ask is whether Bleach was successful in communicating messages about the Steinmetz Diamond Group with this activity - rather than it being viewed by consumers as a generic diamond campaign.
I'm not sure if the diamond-encrusted helmets made the crucial difference in propelling Kimi Raikkonen to victory, but this campaign certainly merits a podium finish.
Creativity: 4 Delivery: 4 8/10