2013 Platinum PR Awards: Product Launch

Co-Winner: Macy's Brings "Yes, Virginia The Musical" to Schools Nationwide

When you think Macy’s and product launch, an animated musical probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But that was exactly what the company rolled out as part of its fifth annual Believe campaign.

The Believe campaign encourages children of all ages to write a letter to Santa and drop them in a local Macy’s Santa Mail Letterbox. With each letter written, Macy’s donates $1 dollar (up to $1 million) to the Make-A-Wish foundation.

“Yes, Virginia” was first created by Macy’s in cooperation with JWT, the Ebeling Group and MEC Entertainment. The company decided to take the animated franchise a step further by introducing it as a nationwide school musical program.

100 eligible schools were awarded $1,000 dollar grants to help fund their own production of “Yes, Virginia The Musical.” Macy’s objective was not only to raise brand awareness and promote giving to Make-A-Wish, but also spread a message of hope, love and generosity around the country.

Co-Winner: Waggener Edstrom Worldwide  - The New Office: Launching a Subscription for All

Generating excitement around a new product is hard enough, but it can be even harder creating buzz for an update of an existing product many are familiar with. That was the challenge at hand for Waggener Edstrom Worldwide when it was tasked with publicizing the launch of a new Microsoft Office product.

Office has been a go-to productivity tool for more than a decade, so changing how people thought about the product was at the foundation of Waggener Edstrom’s objectives. Specifically, the agency needed to change the mindset from Office being a suite of apps, to it being a valued subscription and cloud computing service.

Waggener Edstrom used several tactics to progress its objectives including leveraging multi-channel touch points, use of compelling visuals, partnerships, celebrity endorsements and more.

Without advertising, PR drove 3.5 million Office 365 Home Premium trial sign-ups. At one point, copies of Office 365 were selling at a pace of one every two seconds. Microsoft secured a 74% key message pick-up rate in more than 1,300 media placements, plus more than 2,400 placements around the world. Also, the launched inspired nearly 140,000 tweets resulting in a potential reach of 528 million people.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Bank of America Introduces the ATM with Teller Assist
  • Current Lifestyle Marketing – Hidden Valley for Everything , The New Ketchup
  • Erwin Penland Inc. - Denny's Takes a Trip to Middle-Earth with Hobbit-Inspired Menu
  • Marina Maher Communications - Depend and the Great American Try On: Repositioning Incontinence rom the Bathroom to the Forefront of Pop Culture
  • Weber Shandwick for Unilever N. America – CLEAR Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy
  • U.S. Postal Service - Major League Baseball All-stars Commemorative Stamp Series
  • Weber Shandwick - Pepsi Next - Drink It To Believe It

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About Caysey Welton

Steve Goldstein is editorial director of events 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.

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