A Gold PRISM for Hill+Knowlton Strategies South Africa

In April 2014, Hill+Knowlton Strategies South Africa received a Gold Prism Award for its work on BrightRock's You Change Our Ad campaign. The entry won in the Crisis Communications category beating crises concerning a snake that escaped from a local zoo, issues around the launch of a low cost airline and contractual problems surrounding a firm's work on the Medupi power station.

The campaign was created in response to consumer's complaint about BrightRock's radio ad –about a dad meeting his newborn son for the first time. The implicit message of the ad, given the slogan "love change", was that outdated attitudes should change, but some listeners did not interpret it in this way. BrightRock and H+K decided to use this situation as an opportunity by turning what could have been perceived as a crisis, into a chance to engage with its customers (and potential customers).

In line with its overall product design, which allows financial advisers and their clients to work together to create a product that precisely matches each client's life insurance needs, BrightRock used this event to allow consumers to co-create a new advert by rewriting the ad script. The combination of radio and social media used in the response created excellent talk-ability and generated increased exposure for the brand.

Hill+Knowlton Strategies SA's Managing Director Roz Thomas said, "We are over the moon about the winning as we consider our clients to be part of our internal family....

So to see BrightRock be recognized for its hard work is an amazing achievement".

How the campaign worked

Entrants were asked to visit the Love Change Facebook page where BrightRock had set up a "You change our ad" application. Entrants were asked to read "the brief" to understand the objectives and the message BrightRock wanted the ad to convey.

Then, they simply filled in the blanks on the script template. Approved scripts (with no offensive or profane content), were posted to the gallery.  After the closing date for entries, the panel of judges chose the top 10 scripts and then, once the public voted for their favourites, the winner was announced.

Jessica le Roux won the competition and said "I am delighted to have been selected as the winner of this competition. The chance to see how adverts are made behind the scenes was a wonderful opportunity for me. I am also so pleased to see a company responding to consumers and not just paying it lip service."

The Prisms are the official awards of the Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa. The ceremony took place in Sandton.

Congratulations to everyone involved including – Jennifer Leppington-Clark, Rosemary Renton and Roz Thomas.