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The Say Communications Award for Excellence in Product/Brand Communications

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Finalist

Raising brand awareness of 23andMe

by Weber Shandwick for 23andMe


Summary of work

Almost 12 years ago, one of the greatest scientific achievements of our time was completed when researchers decoded the three billion letters of the human genome. Today genetics is not just for scientists. Any individual can now explore his or her genes and benefit from the knowledge this provides. However, the ethics of personal genetic testing and concerns over data protection meant that when 23andMe – the leading personal genetics company – launched in the UK in December 2014, it was likely to be controversial. In fact, the team was anticipating just 50% of product coverage to be positive, not least because 23andMe’s health reports had not been cleared in the US. In just six weeks the Weber Shandwick team was able to educate key journalists pre-launch, align 23andMe closely with respected UK government genetics initiatives and position the company’s high profile CEO at the forefront of the story to drive the debate in a positive way. The results were outstanding. 232 pieces of coverage were secured (including 40 stories across the BBC network), an astonishing 90% of which were neutral or positive in tone. Importantly, the launch was a business success - we exceeded sales expectations for the first 30 days by 100% with clear spikes correlating to media hits.

Judges comments

A carefully managed brand awareness campaign with top media results. The simplicity of the idea was very clever and produced effective outcomes. It is a great show of a good old fashioned PR campaign that is solid and impressive in its media value.


Winner

Tamiflu - by Virgo Health for Roche


Finalists

Ensuring balance while enabling CHANGE: Introduction of a novel treatment option for alcohol dependence in the UK - by Clark Health Communications for Lundbeck UK Ltd

Managing IBS Better Together - by Pegasus for Buscopan IBS Relief

Raising brand awareness of 23andMe - by Weber Shandwick for 23andMe


Sponsors

Behind the Judging: Communiqué Awards

Behind the Judging: Communiqué Awards
Find out what the chair of judges Anna Korving, senior judges Sarah Matthew and Annabelle Sandeman and previous award winners Paul Tanner, 90TEN and Emma Reynolds, Cohn & Wolfe; have to say on how the judging process works, what the judges focus on, tips on what helps and what distracts within an entry and get insights into how previous winners have created that stand out submission.