2016 Digital PR Awards: Cause Marketing/CSR

Co-Winners: Cohn & Wolfe - Colgate Encourages Consumers to Save Water Because #EveryDropCounts and MSLGROUP - Celebration of Service: Creating Independence at Home for U.S. Veterans

Cohn & Wolfe - Colgate Encourages Consumers to Save Water Because #EveryDropCounts

With this campaign, Colgate took a firm stance on water conservation, encouraging people to turn off the faucet while brushing their teeth. The cornerstone ad aired during the Super Bowl and Cohn & Wolfe fueled the campaign message, generating an unprecedented 2.7 billion consumer impressions through earned media and digital efforts—more than all of Colgate's previous coverage combined.

For the first time ever, the Colgate brand advertised during the Super Bowl by placing a compelling, powerful message in front of a huge global audience, giving the brand an opportunity to start a conversation. Cohn & Wolfe created a surround-sound campaign to drive awareness and views of the spot before, during and after the Super Bowl while simultaneously encouraging consumers to share content and pledge to change their behavior because #EveryDropCounts.

Prior to the Super Bowl, the team fed “Save Water” pitches to editors clamoring for a story exclusive six weeks prior to the big game media craze. In December 2015, the first look at “Save Water” was provided to The Wall Street Journal, which drove demand from many media outlets across categories seeking to cover the story.

The story of Colgate spending $5 million to advertise in the Super Bowl for the first time—to talk about water conservation—was a story that media rallied around. This was especially relevant since California, home of Super Bowl 50, was suffering the worst drought on record.

All in all, Colgate’s “Save Water” PR campaign yielded record-breaking results from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective. With more than 435 media placements secured across print, online, newswires and broadcast outlets, the campaign generated 2.7 billion impressions, almost twice the media coverage as all 2015 Colgate brand PR campaigns combined. That’s eight exposures for every person in the US—with 98% of placements classified as positive coverage.

MSLGROUP - Celebration of Service: Creating Independence at Home for U.S. Veterans

The Home Depot Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the world’s largest home improvement retailer, is focused on improving the homes and lives of U.S. military veterans and their families. Team Depot, the company’s associate-led volunteer force, is active year-round, with a concentrated effort during Celebration of Service, a two-month volunteer campaign.

Working with MSLGROUP to promote the effort, the 2015 Celebration of Service created safer, more accessible homes for more than 750 veterans and their families. Approximately 13,286 Team Depot volunteers in 315 cities partnered with 291 nonprofits to work on 367 volunteer projects. A #ServiceSelfie campaign increased the program’s reach on social channels as consumers and associates contributed more than a million social actions to raise $1 million for nine veteran-focused nonprofits.

The Home Depot Foundation challenged MSLGROUP to implement a campaign that would continue to inspire The Home Depot’s workforce and drive higher engagement among nonprofit partners and consumers.

In addition to media outreach, campaign execution included the #ServiceSelfie social giving campaign to engage consumers, associates, nonprofit partners and media nationwide. Participants were encouraged to celebrate service in their communities, and The Home Depot Foundation committed to donating one dollar (up to $1 million) for each social media action. Actions included sharing a #ServiceSelfie on Twitter or Instagram and liking, commenting on or sharing one of nine weekly Team Depot Facebook posts honoring nonprofit partners that serve veterans.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Accenture - Being Greater Than Program
  • Current Marketing - Brita and Stephen Curry Make a Splash
  • Happn - One in Three Women
  • John Guilfoil Public Relations LLC - P.A.A.R.I. and Police Responding to the Opioid Crisis
  • SAP - #One4 Project
  • Turkish Economy Bank - TEB's Women Banking