Three public relations campaigns executed by Dentsu Public Relations Inc. in partnership with Dentsu Inc. have won major awards in five categories at SABRE Awards Asia-Pacific 2020 where the best work from public relations firms and public relations departments throughout the region was celebrated.

Selected from around 1,000 entries, the winners were a campaign for laundry detergent conducted for Lion Corporation, which picked up a Diamond SABRE Award and two Gold SABRE Awards, another for professional baseball team Seibu Lions, which also scored a Gold SABRE Award, and one for Japanese NGO Kiko Network, which carried off an IN2 SABRE Award.

The SABRE Awards are organized annually by international communications industry content provider PRovoke Media (formerly The Holmes Group) and recognize campaigns that meet ‘SABRE’ criteria – namely, Superior Achievement in Branding, Reputation, and Engagement.

The entry for Lion Corp also made the final shortlist for the Platinum SABRE Award for Best in Show (finishing 4th) and earned the campaign a place in the prestigious Global SABRE Top 40. Each campaign’s ranking among the 40 will be announced at the Global SABRE Awards ceremony on October 21.

First held in 2008, SABRE Awards Asia-Pacific enjoys the broadest participation of any PR industry awards in the Asia-Pacific region. This year’s entries were judged by a panel of 62 industry and agency experts from across the region, including Dentsu Public Relations Inc. Managing Director Motoko Kunita.

The prestigious Global SABRE Top 40 are selected from around 5,500 entries submitted to SABRE Awards’ regional competitions around the world.

Commenting on the agency’s success at this year’s event, Masahiro Makiguchi, president and CEO of Dentsu Public Relations Inc., thanked the judging panel for acknowledging the innovative creative concepts supporting the three campaigns.

“A good idea is crucial if a campaign is to alter perceptions and influence behavior, and I’m delighted that ours were voted among the best in the region,” he said.

Winning Campaigns (alphabetical order)

Connecting KIDS

Campaign: Connecting KIDS
Kiko Network/CAN Japan
Agencies: D
entsu, Dentsu Public Relations Inc.

When considering how best to mark the 20th anniversary of its founding, Japanese NGO Kiko Network noted that while there are many environmental NPOs/NGOs around the world, they are each working on their own (sometimes conflicting) agenda. This realization inspired the launch of Teenage Voice 2019, a campaign that sought to create a centralized platform showcasing the messages of youth activists to encourage more proactive collaboration among organizations. The core campaign materials were striking monochrome print ads and OOH posters featuring youth voices, which directed users to an online petition via a barcode. The campaign elicited 30,000 signatures in a week and reached a combined audience of approximately 90 million, with Greenpeace and Conservation International lauding the initiative. This spirit of cooperation coalesced in a Global Climate Strike, which saw 2,800 people take to the streets in Japan – almost unprecedented for a country where such protests struggle to gain traction.

SAVE LIONS Project by Seibu Lions

Campaign: SAVE LIONS Project by Seibu Lions
Client: Seibu Lions
Agencies: Dentsu, Dentsu Public Relations Inc.

Lions are still the kings of the African jungle, but they are a species at risk, with a wild population that has fallen by 80% over the past century. To meet this threat to its beloved team mascot, professional baseball team the Seibu Lions launched a project for their 70th anniversary season which channeled fans’ love of baseball into wildlife conservation efforts. The initiative began by cleverly restyling the team as the “Save Lions” (playing on the identical pronunciation of “save” and “Seibu” in Japanese), a hook that proved irresistible to fans and media alike. During the season, each time a player hit a home run the Seibu Lions donated money to the lion conservation activities of Oxford University’s prestigious Wildlife Conservation Research Unit. The team also reached out globally to secure additional project members, with more than ten companies and organizations joining the Save Lions conservation league in its first year – including several other sports teams also named after lions.

Saving Laundry from Zombie Odors

Campaign: Saving Laundry from Zombie Odors
Client: Lion Corporation
Agencies: Dentsu, Dentsu Public Relations Inc.

Aiming to expand its share in the liquid detergent market, Lion Corporation developed Top Clear Liquid Antibacterial, a new product that tackles the major laundry odor issues consumers face. But the company still needed a powerful message to differentiate itself in the highly commoditized detergent and odor-care market. The resulting campaign sparked dialogue by reframing the most common laundry odor nightmares – including the nose-wrinkling smells that can develop when clothes are dried indoors or are not dried immediately after washing – as ‘zombie’ odors. This spooky name was inspired by research showing that these smells keep coming back to haunt consumers and are easily transferred to other garments. A multifaceted, on- and offline approach was used to forge a link in consumers’ minds between zombie odors and Lion Corporation, with strategies that included releasing buzz-worthy creative corporate content and leveraging KOLs from multiple companies to drive education from a scientific angle. Despite the lack of a TV commercial, consumers embraced the concept as an accurate portrayal of their own discouraging experiences with smelly laundry, helping to spread the story on social media and leading to coverage on 11 TV programs. The campaign’s success won Lion a bigger market share and established Top Clear Liquid Antibacterial as the go-to detergent for combatting ‘zombie’ odors.

About SABRE Awards Asia-Pacific

The SABRE Awards comprise the Diamond SABRE Awards (judged in six categories including Company of the Year, CEO of the Year, and Reputation Management), the Gold SABRE Awards (including categories for Geographic Region, Industry Sector, and Practice Area), and IN2 SABRE (recognizing insight and innovation in content creation). The winning campaigns chosen at this year’s SABRE Awards Asia-Pacific event join those from SABRE Awards North America, SABRE Awards Latin America, SABRE Awards EMEA, and SABRE Awards Africa vying for honors in the annual Global SABRE Awards scheduled for October 21.

About Dentsu Public Relations Inc.

Since its founding in 1961, Dentsu Public Relations Inc. has served as strategic partner to a diverse range of companies, governmental bodies and other organizations. Some 300 employees provide clients with comprehensive reputation management solutions, creating new value and building advocacy through approaches including data analysis, insight-driven content design, and targeted information delivery. Dentsu Public Relations Inc. was recognized by the Holmes Report as Japan Consultancy of the Year in both 2009 and 2015, and as North Asia PR Consultancy of the Year in 2018. In 2019, Dentsu Public Relations Inc. was awarded the Grand Prix at the Golden World Awards for Excellence in Public Relations held by the International Public Relations Association.