Product / ServiceXXXX
CategoryB06. Innovative Use of Influencers
Idea Creation THINKERBELL Melbourne, AUSTRALIA


Name Company Position
Adam Ferrier Thinkerbell Strategy
Anjana Khallouf Thinkerbell Earned Media
Olivia Romas Thinkerbell Creative
Nic Buckingham Thinkerbell Creative
Jamie Herman Thinkerbell Account Manager
Nick Livingston Thinkerbell Production
Tarah Miller Thinkerbell Earned Media
Sophie Sager Thinkerbell Earned Media
Anubha Sahasrabuddhe Lion Client
Chris Allan Lion Client
Ed Stenning Lion Client
Sophie Breheny Lion Client
Zach Workman-Brown Lion Client
Kyle Hugall Lion Client
Katharina Basley Lion Client
Sam Pulsford Lion Client
Clare Tsubono Lion Client

Why is this work relevant for PR?

The role of PR was to leverage XXXX’s existing partnership with Budgy Smuggler to drive mainstream awareness for XXXX via earned news coverage. Our communications objectives were to raise awareness of XXXX’s long standing support of Queenslanders, and to influence consumer behaviour in order to drive XXXX-branded Budgy Smuggler sales and raise funds to support Surf Life Saving Queensland. We partnered with an instantly recognisable personality who lended well to the earned execution, and who could authentically endorse the campaign.


XXXX had partnered with Budgy Smugglers to launch a beer-inspired bathers range for both men and women. The brand engaged Thinkerbell to concept the launch of this new range of bathers in a ground-breaking and disruptive way. The objective was to gain as much attention as possible, especially amongst Queenslanders, the key target audience, in order to drive sales and raise funds to support Surf Life Saving Queensland. 100% of XXXX’s royalties have been donated to this cause to support Queenslanders and keep them safe on the beach this summer. Additionally, the traditionally ‘blokey’ beer brand wanted to shift its perception towards becoming more inclusive and championing more modern values.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

XXXX has been traditionally perceived as a ‘blokey’ beer brand and the brand wanted to move away from this and become synonymous with modern values, like inclusivity, while remaining relevant to their key audience, Aussies - especially Queenslanders. In a world-first, the creative concept engaged gender-fluid Queenslander, Courtney Act (Shane Jenek), as both the poster girl and boy to launch the Budgy Smugglers bathers range. Courtney wore the women’s bathers and Shane wore the men’s. They were each shot against a studio background separately and later retouched into the same image to demonstrate this. As 100% of XXXX’s royalties from the product purchases were being donated to Surf Life Saving Queensland, this was visually represented through use of surf props in the images.

Describe the PR strategy (30% of vote)

XXXX has a proud 144-year history of supporting Queenslanders. To keep Queenslanders safe this summer, XXXX launched a range of Budgy Smugglers bathers, with 100% of XXXX’s royalties donated to Surf Life Saving Queensland. XXXX has been traditionally perceived as a ‘blokey’ beer brand. But in a world-first, XXXX partnered with gender-fluid, beach-loving Queenslander Courtney Act (Shane Jenek) to be both the poster girl and boy to launch the Budgy Smugglers range. They were shot modelling both the men’s and women’s bathers for maximum reach - and to shift brand perception during the launch. The focus was on those Aussies, and specifically Queenslanders, who enjoy quality time under the sun with friends and family. The national media announcement was timed to coincide with XXXX’s busiest selling period - summer. Five key visuals were packaged with a press release and product was also shared with relevant social media influencers.

Describe the PR execution (20% of vote)

Thinkerbell secured a print exclusive in The Australian which was the first story to go live on 8 December. This included interviews with Lion spokesperson and Courtney Act. The story also appeared on The Australian online, and was syndicated in print and online across News Corp mastheads. The consumer press release was distributed nationally on 8 December to general news, lifestyle, LGBTQIA and drinks trade media. Thinkerbell conducted targeted pitches, and distributed the release via newswire to ensure maximum reach. A trade press release was distributed to marketing press. Courtney’s socials were leveraged and her content strategically went live from 8 December. Courtney conducted two additional media interviews - one radio interview on 10 December, and an online interview on 13 December. Lion’s Chief Marketing Officer was interviewed by CEO Magazine, with coverage appearing on 13 December. Thinkerbell’s founder appeared on Weekend Sunrise on 11 December in a dedicated segment.

List the results (30% of vote)

50 pieces of national coverage across print, online, broadcast TV and radio, social, with a potential earned audience of 6,942,417. 100% neutral to positive brand sentiment (64% positive, 36% neutral). Excellent quality of coverage including Weekend Sunrise, as well as widespread print and online coverage with News Corp including The Australian, Herald Sun, The Courier Mail and The Daily Telegraph. Story was syndicated across Nine and WIN News Queensland. Strong key message pull through and inclusion of campaign key visuals. Strong engagement and support of the partnership across Courtney Act’s Instagram with 934,859 accounts reached, 1,020,457 impressions, and 98,466 content interactions. Overall eDM campaign performance (totaled based on 2x eDM and audience segmentations) delivered a higher than average open rate, indicating a high campaign interest from our database - 34.69% vs 20.05% (Lion benchmark). In addition to this, the non-QLD eDM performed better than QLD-only eDM with a higher than average open and click rate. Paid social reached over 1M users and drove 1,117 purchases (1433 items sold) at an average cost-per-purchase of $20.07. Re-targeting strategy for driving conversions proved very beneficial, leading to a conversion rate of 51%. This is a testament to the XXXX page fans and lookalikes audience being among the most engaged across the entire Lion portfolio from a paid perspective.


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