TOKYO, June 22, 2015 – Dentsu Public Relations, Inc. (Dentsu PR) has won awards in three categories at the Golden World Awards for Excellence (GWA) hosted by the International Public Relations Association (IPRA).
The winning entries were for Dole Japan Inc’s “Dole: The Wearable_Banana” campaign, which won in the GWA’s Sponsorship and Event Management categories, and Dentsu PR’s self-published English-language PR guide Communicating: A Guide to PR in Japan, which was selected for the In-house Publications category. These were the only entries submitted from Japan to pick up an award at the GWA this year.
This year’s GWA competition, the 24th, selected the best campaigns from round the world in 30 categories, divided between agency and in-house submissions. A total of 447 entries were submitted, with 50 being awarded. The entered campaigns were appraised by an 18-member international judging panel, and by a United Nations panel that selected the entry most closely fitting the UN’s aims and ideals for a special UN Award.
“Dole: The Wearable Banana” campaign, managed in cooperation with Dentsu Young and Rubicam Inc. for Dole Japan, Inc., built upon the current boom in wearable tech to create a banana that gives marathon runners vital performance statistics such as running time and heartbeat, and thus boosted Dole’s brand awareness.
Dentsu PR’s guide to handling public relations in Japan – entered under the project name “COM-MUNI-CAT-ING” – was praised as a thoroughly practical guide for foreign firms and organizations navigating Japan’s complex PR environment.
“The GWA awards recognize the creativity and management skills of a PR agency, and we’re delighted that projects we’ve been involved with were ranked among the best in the world,” said Takehiko Chikami, President and CEO of Dentsu PR.
The 50 category winners are now in the running for the Grand Prix award, to be announced on September 28 at the IPRA World Congress in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Award-winning entry overview
Dole: The “Wearable_Banana”
Entry companies: Dentsu Y&R, Dentsu PR
Award categories: Sponsorship (Agency), Event Management (Agency)
Entry company: Dentsu PR
Award category: Publications (In-house)
Details of winning entries
Dole: The “Wearable_Banana”
As a sponsor of the Tokyo Marathon since 2008, Dole distributes around 96,000 bananas to participating runners each year. However, for the Tokyo Marathon 2015, marking its eighth year as sponsor, besides the usual banana giveaway Dole and the agencies developed a new way to support runners.
Inspired by the growing wearable tech market, they developed the world’s first edible “Wearable_Banana” – a device that runners wear on their wrist and which displays race time, heart rate and real-time support messages via Twitter via a thin LED screen inserted inside the peel. It also lets runners know when the four Dole banana-eating stops were coming up on the course.
The two runners selected to sport the “Wearable_Bananas” in the Tokyo Marathon 2015 both finished the race and the campaign attracted the attention of not only the domestic media including terrestrial TV networks, but also major foreign media outlets such as ABC News, The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo!, The Huffington Post and Bloomberg.
Thanks to widespread coverage of the initiative, the profile of Dole bananas was significantly boosted.
Since the publication of the first edition in 1988, Communicating: A Guide to PR in Japan has remained the only English-language publication that explores the PR industry in Japan. The entry submitted for this year’s GWA was for the seventh edition published in October 2014. Much more than a collection of media data, the guide also contains information and case-studies explaining Japanese media customs, the cultural and social background, and practices that make Japan’s PR business so unique.
The seventh edition of the guide was among the most extensive updates yet, including new case studies of multinational companies in Japan and explanations of changes in government and guidance systems influencing the PR industry, such as the Japanese version of the Stewardship Code and NISA.
Significant revisions were made to the book’s design too. For example, the cover design, with bold typography dividing the word “COM-MUNI-CAT-ING” unusually into four, ignoring syllable divisions, reflects the content by implying that Western rules and norms don’t necessarily apply in Japan. Meanwhile, the choice of matte black text on uncoated white paper evokes traditional Japanese paper, and sans serif font and white space with limited use of red and silver accents conveys a Japanese design aesthetic, both visually and texturally.
The IPRA Golden World Awards for Excellence
The Golden World Awards for Excellence, hosted by the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) and judged by an 18-member panel comprising PR experts from around the world, promise global recognition and acclaim to the year’s best public relations campaigns and projects. Awards are given in 30 categories covering different aspects of the PR industry, including Business-to-Business, Healthcare, NGO Campaigns, Consumer PR for an existing product, Corporate Communications, Public Affairs, Event Management and Sponsorship, which are each split between Agency and In-house (company/organization’s internal PR departments).
The GWA competition is also supported by the United Nations, with the UN Award presented to the PR project that most closely follows the aims and ideals of the organization. The Grand Prix is awarded to one campaign out of all the category winners, with the winner announced at the IPRA World Congress in September. http://gwa.ipra.org/
Dentsu Public Relations, Inc.
Since its founding in 1961, Dentsu PR has provided support for a wide range of domestic and foreign companies, governments and organizations, as a strategic partner to enhance relations between clients and stakeholders. Its 253 employees, including specialist consultants in fields such as social media and digital marketing, enable the company to offer comprehensive support, from strategy proposals to creative solutions, in the areas of marketing and corporate communications.
For more information about Dentsu Public Relations Inc., please visit www.dentsu-pr.com