Japan takes PR Grand Prix

Yubari.jpgThe PR Grand Prix was awarded to Japan for Beacon Communications Tokyo for Yubari Resort's 'Yubari' a campaign to save a dying and bankrupt city through promoting its low divorce rate.
Jury president William Rosen, president, chief creative officer, North America, for Arc Worldwide, said the decision on Grand Prix was down to two. He described the Adidas NZRU promotion, which allowed people to use nanotechnology to write their names on a thread of the All Blacks jersey, as a compelling idea that really brought people closer to their team. However, after a lot of discussion 'Yubari' was a unanimous vote by the jury for Grand Prix. The jury felt that it was the exceptional piece of promotional work that was awarded for several reasons.
"We all felt that it truly showed the true potential of the promotional category. It was not only a program that changed behaviour, it actually changed people's lives and we thought that was a great example of the potential for the promotional category," said Rosen.
Additionally, it used a core activation idea that unified all media channels and all marketing categories.
Rosen said: "There was a real idea behind the work and we really thought it brought the brand together in a unique and honourable way."
The former coal-mining town shifted its focus to tourism but the newly constructed tourism constructions failed to attract attention and the population shrunk. By March 2007 Yubari was $330m in debt and was declared bankrupt. Seeking a minimal cost idea, the discovery that Yubari had the lowest divorce rates in Japan, inspired the idea of promoting it as a city with 'no money, but love'. An icon called Yubari 'Fusai' was created and three thousand newly married couples from all over Japan visited to bless their union. A variety of revenue generating ideas raised $31m to alleviate the city's debt. It is now on the road to full recovery.

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