Holmes Report 18 Aug 2011 // 11:00PM GMT
DuPont, challenged Advocate Burson-Marsteller to come up with a way to promote DuPont materials for building facades to Greek architects, and to connect company products with innovation and modern design. With a very limited budget and limited awareness of DuPont skin materials in the Greek market, we thought of a great way to generate excitement amongst architects and launched a competition, which became the biggest architectural contest organized in Greece over the past years and increased DuPont business leads by 100% and online hits by 1000%!
Aiming to establish strong ties with Greek architects, who decide and recommend to clients what products to use in construction, Advocate B-M decided to adapt an international concept of DuPont, and launched an architectural contest. We challenged architects to submit their proposals to change the external facade of a much debated building, the Tower of Piraeus, using DuPont skin materials. We also researched potential partners and concluded that DuPont should launch the competition in partnership with a well-established trade magazine, Greekarchitects.gr, to maximize outreach and engagement with architects.
Advocate B-M was responsible for managing various aspects of the programme from strategic planning, event management, media outreach and stakeholder communications, to the generation of PR collateral, photography, digital seeding, and the measurement and evaluation of these materials.
Creativity – The Idea & Challenges
Through an original and engaging program we asked architects to propose a new, creative facade for a very controversial and much debated building, the Tower of Piraeus. This 22-storey 84m tall building is the second tallest building in Athens, has been abandoned for more than 30 years, and stands in an area of great commercial value.
We identified that the building would provide an excellent platform to reach out to the Piraeus local authorities, architects and the media. It enabled us to instigate great interest over the fate and future use of this gigantic empty space that haunts the skyline of the port of Piraeus and has been often called “the sleeping giant” due to its abandonment.
However, as this building belonged to the municipality of Piraeus finding a way to get them on our side, was a challenge. We thus, developed appropriate messaging and positioning to demonstrate the benefits of the competition, and managed to get the support of the Mayor.
We also managed to get the support of academics and known architects who agreed to participate in the contest, to demonstrate the importance and gravity of this contest. To ensure architects and media capture the essence of the competition, we organized a press conference and a workshop, were DuPont representatives, members of the Jury and the organization committee presented the rationale behind the contest. A microsite was launched and appropriate materials were developed.
Date Activity Objective
Jan 10’ Media and stakeholders outreach/
Partnership Building & Jury Selection Built partnerships and gained support from well-established associations and institutions to enhance competition profile
Feb 10’ Architectural Contest Launch
Media event & architects workshop Generated high-quality media coverage
Educated architects about the use and benefits of DuPont products
June 10’ Results Announcement
Media event, awards ceremony and projects
exhibition Fuelled dialogue over the future course of the building amongst media, architects, authorities & public
Turned into broader discussion about urban transformation
Our targeted efforts were successful, as media and architects understood the importance of the competition, and presented it as part of a broader conversation about Athens’ urban landscape. The discussion went on another level, with media reporting: “The challenge, was for the Tower to become the landmark at the port of Piraeus and to be highlighted, through its modernization, as one of the most important architectural buildings not only for the city of Piraeus, but for the whole city of Athens. The competition expanded the mere boundaries of a problematic locale such as the port of Piraeus and transcended into a whole architectural discourse matter about urban transformation in general”.
Evaluation & Measurement
The competition results exceeded client expectations:
• Changing the Face became the biggest architectural contest organized in Greece over the past years
• The competition attracted interest from major organizations and schools, including the Schools of Architecture of the University of Athens and Crete
• The project was included as a study topic in the academic curricula of many technical universities around the world
• The competition enhanced dramatically DuPont awareness in the Greek market and also delivered great business results:
o 6430 new internet hits – an 1000% increase
o 120 new business leads – a 100% increase and 230 new calls – an 160% increase
“The event became a HUGE success, not only in terms of numbers (which were equally impressive) but also in terms of developing the proper climate to allow the fusion between professionals and enthusiasts and open architecture to the general public to a degree that only a few other events may have achieved in the past.” Skysraper.com
"The "Changing the Face" Campaign we conducted in Greece proves the value of creativity to achieve great results with not necessarily multi million budgets" Eduardo Menchaca, Corporate Communication Manager EMEA & Government Affairs Manager Europe, Middle East and Africa, DuPont