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2013 Is Big Year for PR at Cannes

Our reporters on the ground in Cannes, DGC’s Samantha DiGennaro, Erin Donahue and Megan McIlroy, attended the PR Lions last night, and 2013 is the year that PR agencies walked away with more Gold and Silver awards than ever.  Ketchum, Ogilvy PR, Weber Shandwick, Edelman and Havas PR all took home Lions, and PR Week has the full list of winners.

Even though PR firms made good headway this year compared to years past, the PR Grand Prix went to Melbourne ad agency McCann for their “Dumb Ways to Die” campaign for Metro Trains, in addition to picking up the Direct Grand Prix.

What made it so good? JWT CCO Matt McDonald tells Adweek why he wishes he made it.

PR Lions Jury President, Ketchum CEO David Gallagher said of the campaign, “It wasn’t that long ago when most of our content was centered around a press release and we were pretty happy when a press release was distributed and received and maybe even used by journalists to engage and amplify a message to the public. Those days are behind us. What we need now is content like this, based on real human insight that understands safety isn’t a fun message, that the way to reach children in particular needs to be fun, engaging and imminently sharable, and it needs to bring about real change.

Wise words for our industry. Check out the campaign video (sitting at a cool 49 million views on Youtube):

Nature Valley makes digital debut at SXSW Mashable party

Sunday night was the highly anticipated Mashable SXSW party at a giant pool hall/bar in downtown Austin called Buffalo Billiards. As throngs of party-goers waited outside, we crept in to check out the Nature Valley Trail View

display, say hi to the creative folks at McCann who came up with it, and enjoy some “Kow-a-bunga” (an energy tea that frankly, can stay in Texas).

Nature Valley, one of the main sponsors of the event, with their team at McCann recently launched “Trail View,” a website that allows you to explore some of America’s iconic natural parks from the comfort of your computer. Think Google street view, but over miles of hiking trails in Yellowstone, the Smoky Mountains and the Grand Canyon. The display at the Mashable party featured interactive big screen TVs where guest could explore the trails, as well as watch some of the behind-the-scenes footage of the McCann teams hiking through the great outdoors with all their cameras and equipment. The whole project took almost three months to film—not a typical assignment for a bunch of ad folks!

Nature Valley’s first big foray into the digital space is true to the brand, focusing on preserving nature while using cutting-edge technology to capture it authentically. The display had many people taking a break from beers and billiards to wander over and see what the beautiful landscapes were all about.  Congrats McCann on a successful launch!


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