Porter Novelli: Jack + Bill
Agencies' bread and butter is coming up with fresh ways to market their clients, but Porter Novelli used this innovative spirit to create a PR-firm first. During the summer of 2008, eight 20-something staffers set their sights on a whole new generation of up-and-coming brands and created a first-of-its-kind pop-up agency, Jack + Bill, inspired by PN founders Jack Porter and Bill Novelli. This entrepreneurial youth translated the successful pop-up store concept, with all its buzz-building power, to build an entity that redefines “business as usual” within the agency and for the industry at large.
“I loved this,” gushed one judge. “[It's a] great idea to empower younger employees to showcase their talent and teach the [senior] folks some new tricks.”
The concept truly came into focus when the youthful octet sought to design something fresh to launch emerging fashion trends leading up to New York Fashion Week last September. With no traditional path to follow, no client to report to, and senior staff only serving in an advisory role, the team turned the process into an opportunity to spread its entrepreneurial wings.
Staying true to its Millennial roots, the team created a blog, Twittered, and posted on Facebook throughout the process. Jack + Bill was brought to clients at no charge. Young designers who rarely have access to major agencies were targeted. Shunning the traditional client pitch, a “casting call” was created to allow fashion brands to compete to win free services.
Casting call applicants totaled 150. The Jack + Bill team took photos on their iPhones and sent them directly to a real-time Flickr feed; live blogged; and posted videos of the applicants on YouTube. Each step of the way, the team's efforts further cemented PN's position as an innovator, particularly in the social media realm.
The media took notice. Profiles of Jack + Bill appeared in The New York Times and on Fox News. Web sites ranging from The Huffington Post to People.com presented similar coverage. Clients of the pop-up agency have been featured in US Weekly and InStyle.com. The Jack + Bill blog has garnered 6,000-plus views and the YouTube videos also were viewed 6,000-plus times.
Agency staffers have been inspired and empowered, while PN clients, such as HP and Absolut, have shared their support for Jack + Bill. This has prompted new business queries from prospective clients ranging from financial services to menswear.
One judge said it's “a great innovation with lots of positive residuals for the staff, clients, and the agency.”
Chandler Chicco Agency and Novartis Pharmaceuticals: “Becoming Christopher” Play and Film
In 2006, Novartis acquired Chiron and its cystic fibrosis (CF) treatment, Tobramycin Inhalation Solution. It wanted to prove to the 34,000 Americans who have CF and their loved ones that it understands them. Enter Chandler Chicco and its proprietary arts-based learning initiative, Stage Right. CCA produced a play, Becoming Christopher, which premiered to more than 600 healthcare pros at the 2007 North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference. Lauded by a judge as “a bright approach with excellent execution,” it depicts the struggles of a 22-year-old college grad with CF. The play's response prompted a film version in April 2008, allowing for further discussion. Nearly 1,200 CF health pros and 125 CF centers requested DVDs. The CF community rated the film highly, giving it a 4.5 out of 5 for its portrayal of the challenges encountered by those with CF. One CF center head noted, “It should be watched and discussed by everyone [whose life is] touched by CF.”
• Chandler Chicco Agency and Novartis Pharmaceuticals: Becoming Christopher Play and Film
• Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide: IQ Mapping: Bringing Structure and Measurement to Influencer Outreach
• Porter Novelli: Jack + Bill
• Sabre Holdings / cubeless: Cubeless Connects Co-Workers
• Weber Shandwick: Supercharge Your PR Program: WeberWorks
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