2013 Digital PR Awards: Viral Campaign

Co-Winner: AMD - AMD Radeon HD 7990 eBay Stunt

In April 2013 AMD was about to roll out AMD Radeon HD 7990 graphics card, the world's fastest graphics card at the time of its release. The PR mission: Create and drive awareness of the card and its unique attribute as the world's fastest graphics card among influential technology and gaming press.

Just a few days before the launch, AMD used eBay to auction off an engineering sample of the AMD Radeon HD 7990 graphics card. The goal was to have the listing to appear genuine and organic, with no ties back to AMD. Prior to the launch of the publicity stunt, internal staff members were informed, including the VP of sales, PR and marketing groups as well as the corporate investigations department. Certain departments were strategically not informed of the stunt (for example, customer service) so that their reactions and responses to the incoming inquiries would be completely genuine.

The strategy paid off. Just two short days of the auction going live, the item reached a bid exceeding $90,000; not bad considering that the retail value of the graphics card is approximately $1,000. A few days after that there was a total of 56 articles published about the PR stunt, translating into 8.3 million worldwide press impressions.

Co-Winner: Channel Factory - Nestle Hot Pockets “Pocket Like It’s Hot”

Talk about a hot PR item. In 2012, the Hot Pockets brand team at Nestle was looking to boost awareness and engagement with its young adult male target in a unique way. The brand wanted to spark desire for Hot Pockets brand sandwiches with what’s hot, and what better way to do that than leveraging what’s hot in pop culture.

The PR campaign launched a video starring rap artist Snoop Dogg and 2004 #1 Rap hit song, “Drop It Like It’s Hot.” It also featured celebrities DeStorm, Andy Milonakis and a WWE wrestler Brodus Clay. The video was then promoted to targeted viewers across Channel Factory’s publisher network and leveraged to Nestle’s network of bloggers and influencers. (Channel Factory syndicates videos to maximize their probability of trending on YouTube and ranking on YouTube’s Most Viewed Charts.)

The video helped to reel in consumers and spike awareness about Nestle’s Hot Pockets. The video, strictly through earned media, garnered a total of more than 6.6 million views and more than 34 million media impressions. What is more, since the campaign launch Hot Pockets has experienced a 257% increase in YouTube channel subscribers and 24% increase in Facebook fans.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Harbinger Communications - Petcurean Pet Nutrition’s first consumer marketing campaign: launch of new brand positioning, Savour Every Moment
  • Ignite Social Media - Jeep Arctic Yeti Dig
  • Sony Computer Entertainment America - PlayStation 4 Sizzle Reel

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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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