<< Back to Winners

Public Sector Campaign of the Year


Gold
Campaign Title

IDBI Bank salutes 26/11 martyrs with ‘Swim of the Century’
Client

IDBI Bank
Agency

Adfactors PR

 IDBI Bank, a public sector bank (it is 70 percent owned by the Indian government), was keen to commemorate the eighth anniversary of the horrific 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks that saw more than 350 casualties. Accordingly, it partnered with Sea Hawks—a six-member swimming team comprising personnel from the Indian Air Force and Mumbai police, and two civilians—to attempt a world record for the longest-ever 1,000km open-water relay day-and-night swim from Mumbai to Mangalore between November 26 and December 8 last year. Through the initiative, IDBI Bank showcased the ‘Spirit of Mumbai’ or the exemplary fortitude of its citizens and took a stand against terrorism in unity with the society.

As IDBI Bank’s long-time PR associate, Adfactors’ mandate was to maximise the PR potential of the initiative. The first strategic recommendation was to bill the event as ‘Swim of the century’. The agency reasoned that a larger-than-life event that sought to establish a new world record deserved to be branded accordingly. A four-phase media engagement programme was designed through the three-week duration of the swim in order to stoke stakeholder interest in the initiative. Of the four media programmes, the recommendation of holding a mid-sea press conference—a novel concept in India—was designed to draw in a large number of media representatives. The three-week media outreach involved more than 500 journalists, and garnered over 750 million (print and digital) impressions and over 13.7 million impressions generated from 4,433 tweets. IDBI Bank’s Facebook event page (#IDBISwimOfTheCentury) witnessed a reach of over 43,000 in 17 days.

Silver
Campaign Title

TRY! Noodle Cradle
Client

Kagawa Prefecture
Agency

Dentsu

 Kagawa prefecture, also known as the ‘udon prefecture’, has a problem with decreasing population, and it was essential to attract the attention of child-raising generations. That was why the prefecture started a PR campaign last year claiming “udon can stop your baby from crying”, based on research that found “the sound of slurping udon noodles resembles the in-womb sound”. But the general opinion was that Kagawa Prefecture was making a joke—but actually they were serious.

In order to verify this news, the lieutenant governor of the prefecture himself, conducted the ‘Verification experiment of the noodle cradle’. He demonstrated the surprising result that nine out of 10 babies stopped crying. Kagawa prefecture filmed the experiment and released it to the public as a PR video.

The verification video by the lieutenant governor spread in a matter of seconds after its release. When web news and TV programmes started to cover this video, a discussion over the truthfulness—“Do they really stop crying?”—was ignited on SNS and people started to try it for themselves. Finally a TV programme decided to verify the fact from its own perspective.

With this verification, 72.7 percent of people now believe in udon’ s miracle power.

Bronze
Campaign Title

Fur Out! Canine Idols Woo(f) Tourists to Akita
Client

Akita Inu Tourism
Agency

Dentsu Inc. and Dentsu Public Relations Inc.

 Although well-known worldwide as a dog breed, Akita remains relatively obscure as Japan’s Akita Prefecture. Despite being blessed with pristine forests and stunning vistas, it struggles to attract overseas tourists due to its distance from major cities, poor public transport access and no international airport.

As 80 percent of Taiwanese tourists visit Japan more than once—making them more likely to visit remote places—and typically follow Japanese trends and enjoy Japanese entertainment (particularly Japanese idol groups), the market seemed to be an ideal target to leverage Japan’s popularity to attract more visitors to northern Akita, providing a much-needed boost to the local economy.

The campaign morphed Akita dogs into an idol group, Mofu Mofu Dogs (“Fluffy Dogs”), produced a music video, ‘Waiting4U’, which introduced places, dishes and other cultural features of northern Akita Prefecture. The campaign launched at 11:01 on November 1, as “11:01, 11/01” sounds phonetically similar to a dog bark in Japanese, enhancing newsworthiness. Once the video hit 1 million unique views in Japan, a press release in Taiwan introduced Mofu Mofu Dogs as an Akita dog idol group trending in Japan, and a tour of video locations by Taiwanese travel influencers produced social buzz.

Generating 299 media actions as of December 2016, the campaign brought 8,203 overseas visitors to northern Akita—smashing through the goal of 6,500. Foreign passengers on the Akita Nairiku Jukan Railway surpassed 10,000 for the first time, and 397 of 399 groups came from Taiwan with 839 Taiwanese visitors using the train in December 2016 alone—a 4.6-fold increase year-on-year. The railway experienced a 300 percent year-on-year increase in group reservations; Taiwanese visitors to Korakukan Theater and Kosaka Mine grew from a few dozen to 1,400. Accommodations experienced similar increases in Taiwanese guests: Shinzantei in Kosaka City saw visitors increase from 281 to 418.