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Purpose Driven Storytelling, Collaborations & PR Innovation: Co-op’s Road To Cannes Success

Blog post   •   Jul 07, 2016 10:00 BST

With International Andy Awards and Eurobest trophies already in the bag, Co-op continued their winning streak at this year’s Cannes Lions Festival, picking up the PR Grand Prix for their campaign “The Organic Effect”. But that wasn’t without creative collaborations, innovation and a clear story to tell.

Co-Op’s Purpose Driven Story

The campaign followed a typical - two parents, three children - Swedish family as they made the switch from conventional food to 100% organic meals for two weeks. The purpose? To show the positive health impact of organic foods vs. the family’s usual food, much of which contained pesticides. Following the family’s journey gave Co-op a story to tell, therefore further emphasising the points they were aiming to raise.

At FutureComms16, Alex Myers - Mynewsdesk UK’s annual PR event - Founder and CEO of Manifest London and New York, Alex Myers, described his role as a “storyteller”. And when asked by his 3-year-old daughter “why?”, he replied “because I like to make people feel happy”. And isn’t that the purpose of a story? To make people feel all sorts of something - be it joy, nostalgia, sadness or empathy. The Co-op’s story concerns caring for our loved ones and keeping them healthy and safe by making better food choices.

Both of Mynewsdesk’s recent campaigns, Mynewsdesk Now and #100Million Challenge aimed to tell unique stories that people can relate to. The purpose of Co-op’s story was twofold: to promote organic eating and to increase sales.

Combining Research, PR, Advertising & Production Companies...

The campaign initiative came from advertising agency Forsman & Bodenfors and was designed to strengthen the Co-op brand and boost the concept of organic farming. But an undertaking of such scientific depth and creativity requires more than just a brand and an ad agency.

Leaning on the research and guidance of Swedish Environmental Research Institute IVL, Acne Films were then able to document the stages of the tests and collate the film footage.

The study and documentary showed that when the family switched to organic food, both the occurrence and the number of pesticides were reduced. The video was viewed 35 million times, sales of organic food grew sharply and Co-op had its best year in two decades.

While employing several different resources could run the risk of “too many cooks spoiling the broth”, each agency and organisation had a clear role to play in the production of the campaign, and each contributed to the success of Co-op at Cannes.

“A successful PR initiative today is often the result of a partnership between a creative purpose driven narrative, different engaged stakeholder groups, innovative technology and traditional PR skills” said Jonathan Bean, Chief Marketing Officer at Mynewsdesk.

Global PR Innovation From Sweden (again)...

Swedish PR and ad agencies led the way at this year’s Cannes Festival, taking nine awards back to the homeland. Other Scandic winners included the Swedish Tourist Association for “The Swedish Number” and PR agency, Prime.

For a relatively small country, winning all these prizes shows there’s a lot of creativity flowing through Sweden’s veins.

“The Swedish PR community has been the subject of much global attention in recent years when you consider the large acquisitions of both Prime (by Weber Shandwick) and Deportivo (by Edelman) to bolster creative competence. When you combine this with the innovative technology from the country that gave us Spotify, Skype and dare I say it Mynewsdesk, it’s a magic combination” concluded Jonathan Bean.

Watch the video campaign here: