2013 Platinum PR Awards: Multicultural Campaign

Co Winner: Weber Shandwick—Pepsi Next: Wheel of Levy

Following the successful launch of Pepsi NEXT in 2012, which reached $110 million in sales during the first nine months, Pepsi NEXT kept its unbelievable momentum going by continuing to raise awareness among consumers looking for reduced sugar cola options—and unwilling to compromise on taste.

Pepsi NEXT stood by its commitment to listen to its consumer and found that the product resonated strongly within the Hispanic consumer segment. With that in mind, the brand enlisted crossover actor William Levy, who could speak to consumers in English and Spanish and built a custom program at www.wheeloflevy.com leveraging his comedic appeal and entitled “Wheel of Levy.”

On “Wheel of Levy,” the actor flexes his acting muscles to showcase six versatile personas in hot pursuit of one united goal—to get America to try a Pepsi NEXT—or free. Visitors get to “spin the wheel” and “watch a Levy” and can even select the language they’d like to hear Levy speak (English or Spanish). After viewing Levy, folks can register to receive a free 2-liter bottle of Pepsi NEXT.

The Weber Shandwick team worked diligently to secure placement across General Market and Hispanic outlets and to drive coverage among key influencers. Pre-media day seeding of William Levy photos resulted in coverage by major entertainment print outlets including Star Magazine and Life & Style as well as key online outlets such as Just Jared, Us Weekly, Hollywood Life and Celeb Buzz, among others. In addition, media day coverage included over 40 interviews resulting in over 75 million impressions across various media.

Consumers spent significant time with the brand as well; for example, site visitors spend an average of 2 plus minutes on the site, and the average YouTube video retention rate is 73%.  During a one-week period in April, there were over 63,000 people talking about Pepsi NEXT on Facebook.

Co-Winner: Wells Fargo and George Lucas' Red Tails: Turning a Corporate Sponsorship into an Integrated Marketing and Communications Campaign

In an effort to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to the African-American community, Wells Fargo developed a multi-platform campaign, The Wells Fargo Red Tails— which celebrated the achievements of the Tuskegee Airmen, while highlighting their connection to Wells Fargo history—to coincide with the release of George Lucas’ film Red Tails, which chronicles WWII's African-American Tuskegee Airmen.

To initiate interest surrounding the Red Tails campaign and strengthen core messaging, Wells Fargo launched an extensive integrated marketing and communications campaign consisting of multiple tactics, including hosting advanced private movie screenings in Wells Fargo's African-American priority markets (targeted based on specific African-American demographics); and, in alliance with community organizations, sponsored the official red carpet premiere of the film in New York, featuring the cast, crew and retired Tuskegee Airmen.

George Lucas' passion project, Red Tails, starring Terrance Howard and Cube Gooding Jr., took off with $19.1 million in its first three days. The Wells Fargo Red Tails celebratory campaign successfully connected with intended audiences and stakeholders on several fronts, including media relations efforts, which resulted in more than 67mm impressions with 425 media placements from wire distributions; and 13 unique story placements, including a national column with NNPA networks, "Have You Seen It.” Advertising highlights include garnering 5,764,309 impressions. On Facebook, engagement included 19,077 post views, 103 likes, 15 comments; and, on Twitter, there were 8,857 follower retweets.

Honorable Mentions:

  • American Pistachio Growers - The Power of Pistachios
  • Cohn & Wolfe - What’s Your “Wild Rabbit?” Hennessy Fans Go ‘Wild’ For the Pursuit of Success
  • Dell - Dell and PPR North America for Dell Advances Women Entrepreneurs
  • Havas PR and Transitions Optical  - Invigorating Eye Health in African-American Communities
  • HMA Cultural Marketing – National Influenza Vaccination Disparities Partnership (NIVDP)