2013 Platinum PR Awards: Marketing Communications

Winner: The Asian Art Museum - Operation: Lost Warrior

San Francisco's Asian Art Museum (AAM) kicked off its 10th year in its Civic Center location with an exhibition from one of the greatest archaeological discoveries: China's Terracotta Warriors. The Emperor's First Legacy features 10 terracotta figures and 110 objects from underground sites surrounding the First Emperor's tomb and early Qin dynasty burial chambers.

To promote this blockbuster exhibition, AAM launched a tightly integrated PR and marketing campaign that was bold, memorable and unconventional. Its objectives were to create early awareness and buzz to help maximize exhibition revenue and attendance; generate awareness of the museum's location in San Francisco's Civic Center; position AAM as bold and living up to its new brand promise; and to “awaken the past, inspire the next.”

A month prior to the exhibition opening, AAM launched Operation: Lost Warrior. The premise of the campaign was this: The terracotta warriors are on their way to AAM from China. Along the way, one warrior gets separated from his friends, and is now lost in the Bay Area. AAM launched an urgent search and sought the public's help locating and directing the lost warrior to the museum before the opening. Other strategies included involving as many partners as possible. As a result, the campaign featured over 30 partners, including media organizations, shopping centers, hotels, and tourist and cultural attractions.

The campaign's effect was amplified as partners got the word out, and then again when the warrior made appearances at their location. During the campaign traffic to the exhibition landing page tripled and the response on social media was overwhelmingly positive. AAM saw increased levels of engagement on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and the campaign generated 15,000 new Twitter followers.

Honorable mentions:

  • Broadhead + Company - The Pursuit of 300: The Road to Higher Yields
  • Discover Student Loans – Stop the Panic!
  • Grey Canberra - Australian War Memorial: The Lone Nurse
  • Hanna Lee Communications - The World's Most Talked About and Most Profitable Bar Opening:  The Dead Rabbit, a "Gangs of New York" Style Cocktail Saloon
  • Makovsky + Company - Usage Survey: Taking on America’s Number One Killer
  • Novo Nordisk Inc. with Marina Maher Communications and The Rose Group  - Diabetes in a New Light
  • SBC Advertising - Elmer’s Celebrates First Day of School with Moms Nationwide


Comments Off


About Chris Seymour

Steve Goldstein is editorial director for Access Intelligence’s PR News brand, which encompasses premium, how-to content, data and competitive intelligence for public relations professionals; PR News Online; PR News conferences, webinars and awards programs; and PR News guidebooks. Previously at AI Steve was editorial director of min, min ’s b2b and minonline as well as managing editor of CableFAX: The Magazine and CableWorld. Before joining Access Intelligence, he was executive editor of World Screen News, and editor of Film/Tape World, which covered film, television and commercial production in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Deals of the Week

$150 Off PR News' Social Media Summit

socialmedia201602-180x150Join PR News in Huntington Beach, CA on Feb. 26 for the Social Media Summit, where you'll be immersed in real-world, tactical case studies from brands, nonprofits and agencies and get takeaways in pulling and analyzing social media data; emerging social platforms and apps and so much more. 

Use code “150” at checkout to save $150 o the regular rate.

$50 off the CSR & Green PR Guidebook

csr_vol7_print_digital-thumbPR News’ CSR & Green PR Guidebook, Vol. 7 captures best practices in communicating the positive relationships that organizations are building with their communities of interest. This six-chapter guidebook connects the dots between the effective communication of positive social contributions and corresponding improvements in bottom lines.

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription



Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

Comments are closed.