Brilliant! public relations

1. The Bourne Supremacy DVD Launch

1. The Bourne Supremacy DVD Launch

First, there was the tacky postcard from Goa, palm trees and all, from Jason Bourne sent to dozens of DVD and entertainment reporters across the country. ‘We wanted the cheese factor,’ admits Toronto-based Capital C’s account director Jefferson Darrell, who led the campaign. Two days later the ‘Wanted’ fax appeared, complete with mug shot and vital stats on Bourne. Next, an e-mail with a jpeg of Niagara Falls – locale of a supposed Bourne sighting. And finally, a top-secret package (a manila envelope actually labeled top secret – how clever!) with communiqué and DVD inside. Consumers weren’t left out of the espionage game either, with an SMS campaign offering a chance to win copies of the film and $5,000 reward (seems Bourne had hidden the cash and stolen a cab to retrieve it). And the pièce de la resistance: true-to-life car crash scenes in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal of Bourne’s cab – complete with off-duty police officers – on the Dec. 7 launch date. (Escaped again. Damn you, Bourne!) Seems all the cloak-and-dagger stuff paid off however. Rogers Video says the DVD was the number one rented movie of the year and ‘one of their top-selling titles’ for 2004.

2. The Diageo No Carb Bar with Ted Allen

Coming up with a wicked PR strategy for one brand is hard enough, let alone four. So when Diageo Canada announced it wanted to simultaneously promote its Smirnoff vodka, Crown Royal whisky, Johnnie Walker scotch whisky and Tanqueray gin, it was enough to drive its Toronto-based PR firm Strategic Objectives to drink. Until they realized that a bar would neatly bring this quartet of liquors together.

But not just any bar. Led by account director Michael Shipticki and president David Weinstein, the team at Strategic cleverly tapped into the latest health craze by creating the Diageo No Carb Bar – and then they snagged a high-profile celeb to deliver the message. And talk about a perfect mix! Who better than Ted Allen, star of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy?

Two months ago, Allen made the trek north to Toronto’s trendy Drake Hotel, where he stirred up ‘virtually-zero-carb cocktails’ such as the Smirnoff Citrus Twister and Tanqueray and Tonic.

Apparently one part diet craze and one part hot celebrity equals results. More than 30 journalists from 18 different media outlets attended, amounting to coast-to-coast coverage ranging from larger, national outlets like The National Post, Globe & Mail, and Montreal Gazette, to smaller papers like The Victoria Times Colonist and the Halifax Daily News. At press time, more than 30 minutes of national TV broadcast coverage had been recorded and audience impressions had exceeded 59 million. Which leaves us with only one thing to say: Salut!