2013 Digital PR Awards: Video

Winner: Purple Door Communications - Fresh Step Presents the Catdance Film Festival: A High Meow Approach to Cat Videos

Fresh Step litter faced a daunting challenge. While the brand offers a superior (and premium priced) product, people didn't really care. People love their cats, but they hate cat litter. People may hate cat litter, but they love cat videos. But rather than focus on grainy, camera-phone live action offerings that are so popular on YouTube, Fresh Step and agency partner Purple Door Communications opted to create the Catdance Film Festival, a play on the famous Sundance Film Festival.

To get the festival rolling, Fresh Step commissioned 12 films that debuted online once a week for three months. It also developed a filmmaker contest with entries accepted online for a chance to screen his or her cat film at the first-ever Catdance Film Festival. The campaign featured a screening event timed with the Sundance Festival that encouraged social media activated donations to the ASPCA, and culminated with a national online vote to award a Catdance "viewer's choice" winner. The campaign was accompanied by media relations and social media efforts designed to support the promotion launch and premiere of each film, including creating the #catdance hashtag. Fresh Step also hosted a screening event in Park City, Utah, during the Sundance Film Festival.

The program helped increase Fresh Step PR ROI by 56%, compared with the previous year, while earned and social media generated more than 2,000 media placements.  Coverage of Catdance ran in several major media outlets including the Associated Press, Good Morning America, the Huffington Post and the Wall Street Journal.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Accenture - Accenture Online Video Re-launch.
  • APCO Worldwide - TV9: The Free Press Georgia Movement
  • DAVIES - Rosemont Copper: Cyanide Beach
  • Kaplow Communications - Skype brings reading to life by connecting classrooms with authors through group video calling
  • Sony Computer Entertainment America - Playstation4 Sizzle Reel
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - Veterans Crisis Line: Common Journey PSA
  • Weber Shandwick - Hellmann’s FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen

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About Matthew Schwartz

Group Editor, PR News: Matthew Schwartz is group editor of PR News, the leading source of trends, how-to content and best practices for PR professionals. Matthew leads the editorial strategy for PR News’ premium content products—including its weekly newsletter—and for its digital presence. Matthew was editor of PR News from 2003-2005. Prior to returning to PR News, Matthew was a reporter for Crain’s BtoB and Media Business magazines, where he covered business marketers and media companies. He was also editor of BMA Buzz, a biweekly email newsletter covering B2B marketing, advertising and social media, and contributing writer to Advertising Age Custom. Matthew has helped to launch blogs on behalf of ZoomInfo and direct marketing agency The Kern Organization. He also spent a few years in cable-news precincts, working as a writer/producer at CNN and Fox News Channel.

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