Hill+Knowlton Campaign for Norwegian Aid Development Named World’s Best PR Campaign of the Decade

by | Dec 19, 2019

The Born Again Simulator by Hill+Knowlton Strategies (H+K) was voted World’s Best PR Campaign of the Decade by readers of The Holmes Report. The work was developed by Gambit H+K Norway on behalf of The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and beat a total of 40,000 campaigns considered for the shortlist.

“We are very excited and proud that Born Again has been voted the best PR campaign of the decade,” said Marit Hverven, Norad’s Senior Communications Director. “It was a really good idea then, and it still is, even now seven years after the launch. Our goal was to spread knowledge about Norwegian aid work, which we succeeded in.”

The campaign was developed by H+K and Dekode in close collaboration with Norad to raise awareness of Norwegian aid work to young people. On gjenfodt.no, visitors could get a glimpse of what their life would be like if they had been born in a developing country, such as Malawi, Vietnam or Brazil, by having their Facebook timeline instantly “reborn”. Factors like education, child mortality, war and natural disasters as well as music, videos and memes were used to tell a personal story about the effects of aid work. In 2013, it was named Best Campaign in the World at the SABRE Awards.

Born Again put H+K Norway on the map as a creative agency. We dared to think new and differently around a big, complicated topic, and that’s the way we solve communication challenges today,” said Scott Allan, H+K Norway Creative Director.

“As Creative Director, it’s especially cool to see that we are able to compete against some of the best ad and communications agencies in the world. We are incredibly proud that clients and colleagues from around the world voted for our campaign.”

The content in the “reborn” timelines were generated using statistics, movies, news and the results of Norwegian aid work, made personal with photos and music videos linked to the different countries. During the campaign period, more than 200,000 young people generated new timelines, including Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon.

“This was one of the first digital campaigns that utilized Facebook’s user interface to tell a creative story, and in this way, it paved the way for social media campaigns around the world. This win proves that the best ideas stay relevant for a long time,” added Allan.

H+K has offices in more than 40 countries worldwide, delivering award winning campaigns to clients across all sectors and disciplines and with a focus on continued innovation for the industry. Recent innovations include Flight School +, a crisis communications training and simulation tool, Better ImpactTM, a new approach to brand purpose and CSR, and H+K SmarterTM, a behavioral science unit.

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