“And the 2015 Public Relations Campaign of the Year goes to Weber Shandwick and McDonald’s Canada McCafé Retail Launch.”
On May 20, 2015, the Weber Shandwick team jumped out of their seats and congratulated one another as their McDonald’s client walked on stage to accept the most prestigious ACE award of the night.
The Work Behind Winning
When asked to reflect on the agency’s big achievement and what it was like to compete in the ACE Awards, Jessica Greasley, account director from Weber Shandwick, stepped up to the opportunity.
In September 2014, Weber Shandwick devised a communications plan for McCafé’s first ever grocery launch. The essence of the communication plan focused on driving awareness of the retail launch to both consumers and the business sector.
Weber Shandwick demonstrated how the brand was innovative and appealed to a younger demographic through their campaign’s creative strategies and tactics. The global agency also took risks to try something new with Songza and the McDonald’s Canada internal team embraced this opportunity to engage their younger audience on a new digital platform. Greasley also explained how the agency’s partnership with the McDonald’s team also fueled the campaign’s success.
The ACE Awards Submission
The submission was comprehensive.
“All of the components in the submission emphasized how the campaign’s strategies tied directly back to the company’s business objectives.”
Greasley also noted the submission’s careful attention to distinguishing how their results matched their initial objectives and goals, which was instrumental to ensuring the campaign stood out. She even identified how showcasing the large scope of the campaign combined with the business and consumer phases and the planning and timing layout were key aspects of the submission.
In terms of advice to agencies developing their submission for the 2016 ACE Awards Greasley said, “Provide a good understanding of the insights that led to the approach. Having clear targets, and how you measured against it will make help the judges understand why it’s award-worthy.”
The Best In Show Presentation
With only 15 minutes to present in front of the judges, the team selected critical parts of the campaign to prove why it was deserving of the top award.
Their presentation communicated why the McCafé Retail launch should receive the prestigious award by:
- Demonstrating a strong understanding of the company’s audience and brand image
- Highlighting the agency’s thought process and initial research that was conducted to tailor the campaign’s objectives
- Showcasing innovative strategies such as the Songza partnership and proving why it was chosen to effectively reach McCafé’s younger audience
- Explaining the media relations strategy behind the campaign and timing it with International Coffee Day, which engaged consumers and garnered an overwhelming and successful amount of media coverage
The Importance of Celebrating the Public Relations and Communications Industry
After finding out the campaign surpassed Weber Shandwick’s targets (and stretch targets!) the team was confident that it was a strong contender to compete within the ACE Awards. “It was a great honour for the company and client,” said Greasly. Especially since McDonald’s has had a long standing partnership with the agency. Greasly also mentioned “it was all hands on deck”. Everyone from the agency contributed to the campaign and award.
Greasley informed me the agency is currently assembling their application for the ACE awards again this year, “As an industry, it’s definitely important to submit and recognize the great work that’s being done by communications professionals. Wishing all this year’s submissions the best of luck!”
To learn more about the campaign watch this video
Follow Weber Shandwick @WSCanada
Written by: Alessandra Manieri, Post-Graduate Student, Humber College