2013 Digital PR Awards: Digital PR Campaign – $500K+

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. The reason: While people love their cats, they hate cat litter. And people who don't think about a product are unlikely to shell out a few extra bucks for a premium offering.

So, Fresh Step and Purple Door Communications set out to do the impossible: Make people think positive and affectionate thoughts about a cat litter brand. The brand found the answer in leaning in to what people do love: cat videos. But rather than focus on those grainy, camera-phone live action offerings that are so famous on YouTube, Fresh Step opted to reinvent the genre and, at last, give the humble cat video a makeover by creating the Catdance Film Festival.

The Catdance Film Festival, a play on the famous Sundance Festival, culminated with an event in Park City, Utah. Leading up to that event, the key plan elements included: commissioning 12 films that debuted online once a week for three months; a filmmaker contest with entries accepted online for a chance to screen their cat film at the first-ever Catdance Film Festival; a screening event timed with the Sundance Festival that encouraged social media activated donations to the ASPCA; and a national online vote to award a Catdance "viewer's choice" winner.

Results exceeded all objectives. In fact, proprietary multivariate regression analysis found that phase one of Catdance delivered one of the highest ROIs ever tracked by the company. The Catdance program helped increase Fresh Step PR ROI by 56% from the previous year. In terms of earned/social media, the campaign generated more than 2,000 media placements and 300+ million traditional and social media impressions. Coverage included two stories in the Associated Press, two stories in the Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, US Weekly, Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, BuzzFeed and many others.

Honorable Mentions:

  • The Clorox Company - Clorox’s Bleachable Moments Gets a Younger Generation Buzzing About Bleach
  • FleishmanHillard - A Revolutionary Campaign to Rally Advocates for a Blank Slate
  • Global Strategy Group - The Digital Campaign to Help Re-Elect President Obama