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The Say Communications Award for Excellence in Product/Brand Communications

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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.


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

Category Sponsors

Key dates

Entry deadline 10th March 2023
Extended entry deadline 17th March 2023
(additional fee applies)
Judging days 4th, 5th and 19th
May 2023
Awards Ceremony 6th July 2023

Contact information:

For sponsorship opportunities:
Sales Team
Tel: +44 (0)1372 414200

General event enquiries:
Debbie Tuesley
Tel: +44 (0)1372 414243

Entry and dinner booking enquiries:
Charlotte Garnade
Tel: 01372 414253