Best Use of Public Relations: 2015

Communications efforts promoting awareness and positive perception of healthcare products, services, corporations and organizations to consumers, employees, healthcare professionals, the investor community and other stakeholder groups.

Free Killer Tan 
Agency: Area 23 
Client: Mollie's Fund 

“An exceptionally creative and proactive campaign that clearly exceeded all established [goals] and potentially saved millions of lives,” one judge said. 

This campaign began with a fake tanning salon set up in New York City. Street teams hooked the target of 18- to 24-year-olds with a free tan offer. But once inside the fake salon, unsuspecting New Yorkers were lead into their own funerals—replete with a giant RIP photo of themselves (taken in the lobby) next to a tanning bed casket, organ music, mourners and a dermatologist who discussed tanning dangers and alternatives. 

“A highly creative, totally out-of-the-box approach with stop-you-in-your-tracks impact,” a second judge said. 

Reactions, which ranged from nervous laughter to running, were filmed and edited into a prank-style video that was posted to Facebook, YouTube and Key online social news outlets were pitched when the video was released. 

Sororities and fraternities were targeted on Twitter and a print ad ran in college newspapers.

“The perfect approach for the target group,” a third judge said. “Great use of social media. Clever and targeted.” 

“An incredible approach to reaching young people who may think they are invincible,” noted a fourth judge. “It puts tanning in perspective to living. Great buzz factor and highly creative.”

Voices of Meningitis 
Agency: Biosector 2 
Client: Sanofi Pasteur 

As part of an ongoing initiative by Sanofi Pasteur and NASN (National Association of School Nurses) to educate moms and teens about the importance of meningococcal vaccination, Olympic swimming medalist Dara Torres raced high school swim teams nationwide. 

Judges found the effort unique, multilayered, creative and effective. 

Results included 358 million+ total impressions.

■ Area 23 and Mollie's Fund for Free Killer Tan
■ Biosector 2 and Sanofi Pasteur for Voices of Meningitis
■ FleishmanHillard and AbbVie for Synthroid and Follow the Script: Putting a 60+-Year-Old Brand in the Spotlight
■ MSLGroup Boston and Exact Sciences for Launching Cologuard: A Game Changer in the Fight Against Colon Cancer
■ PadillaCRT and Be the Match for It's on You: Inspiring the African-American Community to Step Up and Save Lives