Campaigns: Science - Small snowman makes a big impact

Campaign: World's Smallest Snowman
Client: National Physical Laboratory (NPL)
PR team: Proof Communication
Budget: £1,000
Timescale: December 2009

For the NPL's 2009 Christmas card, scientist Dr David Cox created the world's smallest snowman, made of two tin beads and measuring 0.01mm across - one-fifth the width of the average human hair.


- To generate national and international coverage

- To showcase NPL's nanotechnology expertise.

Strategy and plan

A release was put together explaining the technical process of creating the snowman and was tailored to different audiences. The story, with images, was sold into media as the festive season began.

A YouTube video was developed and released once the story broke. The PR team then managed enquiries.

Measurement and evaluation

The story appeared on more than 50,000 news sites and blogs around the world. UK coverage included The Times, The Telegraph, the Daily Mail, The Sun, the Daily Mirror and the Metro, and the story was covered in Germany, Russia, the Netherlands, Japan, Canada and the US. It was broadcast globally on CNN and covered by leading science and technology sites.


The NPL site saw an increase in traffic of nearly 700 per cent in the two weeks following the story. The YouTube video was viewed more than 415,000 times.

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