When you bring together two of the world’s best PR firms, the sum is far greater than you think. Weber Shandwick was proud to announce its acquisition of Prime in May 2014, a company that’s setting new standards in creativity around the world, across Europe and in Sweden. Together, we are even more impactful, engaging and award-winning than the sum of our parts. The sum of Weber Shandwick’s global breadth combined with Prime’s renowned digital and creative power. The sum of combining the only PR firm named to the Ad Age A-List with the world’s number one Cannes Lions-winning PR firm since 2010. Greater than that. And we’re committed to create, disrupt and innovate together, with each other and our clients, across the globe.
In recent years, Scandic has made the biggest hotel renovation in Swedish history. Prime's mission was to develop an idea that would make more people aware of the "New" Scandic and attract new audiences to the hotels. It was also to attract new media target groups to cover the interior changes and innovations. Together with Scandic, Prime developed a brand new hotel offering – Scandic To Go, the world's first mobile hotel room where guests can book their own dream location. Prime’s work on this campaign earned a 2014 Bronze PR Eurobest Award in the Consumer Services category.
The brief was to promote Sweden as a creative country abroad through one or more of its internationally successful creative industries to strengthen the image of Sweden abroad as a creative country in order to attract talent, tourism and investments. In 2011, Sweden was ranked as the world’s most creative country due to its high levels of talent, technology and tolerance. And tolerance, defined as openness and diversity, was where Sweden stood out the most. The strategy was to prove that being open to new perspectives and a diversity of ideas is crucial for creativity to flourish. So Prime helped launched Democreativity.com, a collaborative tool designed to create ideas, build on others’ and inspire creators all over the world.
In a digital age where there is endless inspiration for one’s home, how could IKEA continue to be the expert on life at home? IKEA took DIY to the next level and introduced DIY data with The Life at Home Project, an initiative where data from people’s home lives in eight iconic cities was made accessible through an interactive gallery and a data hacking interface. The IKEA-developed Data Mixing Board allowed users to generate their own findings. The project was launched on IKEA’s Democratic Design Day in Älmhult, IKEA’s birthplace, and over 80 international journalists came. A global launch followed where journalists and enthusiasts in key media segments were encouraged to assemble their own data.
Many people don’t answer phones anymore, especially smartphone natives. Changed communication behavior, hidden numbers and sales calls are among several reasons why. Communicating through voicemail is even more difficult. In fact, most people check their voicemail just to get rid of the notification. The inability to get a hold of someone is of course a problem when reaching out to friends and family, andit’s also problematic for companies and organizations whose responsibility it is to reach and inform customers and citizens. Therefore, Prime developed Calltag: a new app that lets callers ”tag” their call with who they are and why they’re calling so that whomever they are trying to reach knows who is on the other end of the phone and what their conversation will be about. Calltag is currently in beta, available for anyone to try and share feedback via App Store and Google Play.
Is it right that the penalty for child sexual abuse is the same as for littering? ECPAT Sweden, an organization that fights the child sex trade, says no. But how do you get people to speak of the unspeakable, and how do you create a voice for children to be heard in one of Sweden’s loudest elections? The penalty scale to call out this ”piece of trash” penalty was the core of a campaign tailormade for a digital activist era, using a digital hub, two short films and a memorable hashtag. The campaign was activated through ECPAT’s own channels and media contacts. The Minister of Justice made the issue a priority in the middle of the general election, and a main party used it in their campaigning. The Piece of Trash Punishment campaign is now said to be the most widespread in Swedish history. The campaign was honored with a 2014 Bronze PR Eurobest Award in the Public Affairs & Lobbying category.
Since 1997, accidents and injuries among young Swedish children increased by 51% as increasingly-connected lives lead to parents juggling more tasks and becoming more distracted. But accusing people of being bad or neglectful parents would not solve the problem. The Prime team worked with a psychologist to examine which everyday situations were the most distracting. These findings were dramatized in an interactive film, played simultaneously in split screen, forcing the user to focus on the ‘most dangerous’ situation. Personalized and shareable risk profile infographics revealed the child dangers that parents were good at spotting. Rather than lecturing, Prime helped the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency take a fresh approach: showing that the organization understood parents’ challenges and was there to support them.
The insurance company Trygg-Hansa is all about water safety. Even their logo is a life buoy. But in the effort to increase awareness and relevance of the organization among parents Prime discovered a terrible truth. Drowning is one of the most common causes of death amongst children. And children are drowning before they have a chance to learn how to swim. The problem is that, even though it’s mandatory to practice swimming in schools at the age of twelve, 70 percent of the drowning accidents happen long before that age. Prime also found that parents avoid taking their children to public pools to teach them water safety. Why? The financial and timely cost of doing so, in addition to religious and social concerns parents themselves had with putting on a bathing suit publicly. Child water safety had become a matter of social status. So Prime needed to democratize how children were taught to survive in water. Together with the Swedish Life Saving Society Prime launched the Baby Buoy – a certified three-step program that teaches infants how to float, in the comfort of their own home.
Never ask a child if they would like fish for tea, right? The Swedish Food Administration wanted children to eat more fish, but parents were resistant: cooking fish for kids was perceived as difficult and probably a waste of time. Prime turned this assumption around for Abba Seafood by letting children prepare and cook simple fish dishes. Enthusiastic 4-11 year olds ran pop-up Kids’ Kitchen Fish Restaurants in three cities, serving fish dishes to fully-booked tables of local adults, children, cooks, politicians and nutritionists. The imaginative campaign reached 2.6 million people, directly involving children and families, and boosted sales of Abba Seafood’s new fish sauces.
Sweden’s largest plumbing franchise had a problem. It needed more companies to join its ranks, but internal pride was low and recruitment was a major challenge. So Prime initiated a program to showcase the franchise members’ core expertise – making available life’s most essential element: clean water. And Prime provided it where people needed it most: sub-Saharan Africa. Ultimately, the campaign saved lives, boosted corporate pride, garnered raves from the media and delivered a stellar corporate story to support the company’s continued growth.
When the world in which we live is changing and disrupting exponentially, long-term plans for sustainable competitive advantage play a decreasingly significant role. Instead, businesses and organizations need to focus on building transient advantage, leveraging opportunities in the now in order to remain competitive. United Minds is an analysis and strategy consultancy firm that helps clients develop the ability to transform the opportunities of the present into lasting value. Our approach utilizes insight mining, opportunity mapping, deep sighting, context-driven business ideation, story identification and proof pointing. The unique synergy between Prime and United Minds has proved to be a winning concept over and over again, combining business intelligence with breakthrough communications to help clients every step of the way.
Print media is an endangered species. So we helped Metro to strengthen its relationships with advertisers and media agencies by addressing the biggest movement of our time – urbanization. By conceptualizing a global study on contemporary urban lifestyles we made Metro the go-to guys in the quest for reaching a new global consumer segment – Metropolitans. The Metropolitan Report also generated content for media and opinion leaders, positioning Metro as a major global urban media outlet.
NEW YORK and STOCKHOLM, May 6, 2014 – Weber Shandwick, part of Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG), today announced that it has acquired Prime, a leading, award-winning creative PR agency in Sweden, and its business intelligence arm United Minds, effective immediately. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Founded in 1998 by Carl Fredrik Sammeli, Prime is an independent agency of 130 employees with headquarters in Stockholm. The agency is focused on all aspects of integrated marketing, including public affairs, crisis management, digital and social media, corporate communications and business intelligence. The firm is widely known for its innovative and creative global and local campaigns for leading consumer and corporate brands. Prime has built an international reputation for breakthrough creative work, winning 14 Cannes Lions, 11 Eurobests, five Clios and 14 SABRE awards over the last few years, working with clients such as Ericsson, SCA, IKEA, Electrolux, the city of Stockholm and Civil Rights Defenders.
Prime’s founder Sammeli and Executive Creative Director Tom Beckman will become members of the firm’s global leadership team. Sammeli will report to Colin Byrne, Weber Shandwick’s CEO, EMEA; Beckman will continue to report to Prime’s CEO, Markus Gustafsson, and will be named chair of the Weber Shandwick Global Creative Collective, reporting to Gail Heimann, president of Weber Shandwick.
“We have admired Prime’s work for some time and are excited to have them join the Weber Shandwick family. Prime has led the way as our industry transforms with an exacting focus to provide integrated, creativity-led concepts across platforms. We have great synergy when it comes to client service, driving innovation and business philosophies,” said Andy Polansky, CEO, Weber Shandwick.
“Our ambition with Prime was always to embrace change and disrupt existing structures in the industry, leveraging the new possibilities created by digital and social, and bringing together traditionally separate disciplines as marketing, corporate affairs, business intelligence and sustainability,” said Sammeli, Prime’s founder. “As part of the Weber Shandwick network, we now get the opportunity to create innovative concepts and activation programs in a broader global context for clients. I feel a strong cultural match between Prime and Weber Shandwick, and I am quite impressed by the way they drive change and talent development in the organization.”
Like Weber Shandwick, Prime has pioneered a cross-disciplinary approach to PR and communications, recruiting from a diverse set of backgrounds – from PR, digital and advertising, to politics, journalism and management consulting. Through broad teams consisting of analysts and planners as well as creative and media specialists, Prime has developed unique capabilities to create strong concepts and activation programs.
ABOUT WEBER SHANDWICK
Weber Shandwick is a leading global public relations firm with offices in 81 countries. The firm’s diverse team of thinkers, strategists, analysts, producers, designers, developers and campaign activators has won the most prestigious awards in the world for innovative, creative approaches and impactful work, including being honored as a 2014 Ad Age A-List Agency and winning four 2013 Cannes Lions. Weber Shandwick was also named PRWeek’s International Consultancy of the Year and The Holmes Report’s Best Healthcare Consultancy in the World in 2013, in addition to earning numerous best place to work accolades. The firm deploys deep expertise across sectors and specialty areas, including consumer marketing, corporate reputation, healthcare, technology, public affairs, financial services, research, corporate social responsibility, financial communications and crisis management, using proprietary social, digital and analytics methodologies. Weber Shandwick is part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG). For more information, visit http://www.webershandwick.com.
ABOUT PRIME AND UNITED MINDS
Prime is Sweden’s largest PR agency. Based in Stockholm with offices in Malmö and Brussels, the agency consists of 130 specialists in all aspects of marketing, public affairs and crisis management, corporate communications and business intelligence. Prime’s approach is to embrace change and disrupt existing structures in the industry, leveraging the new possibilities created by digital and social, and bringing together traditionally separate disciplines as marketing, corporate affairs, business intelligence and sustainability to achieve the best business results for its clients. United Minds is the business intelligence unit of the agency. Prime has received more Cannes Lions awards than any PR agency since the creation of the PR category at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in 2009. Prime has been the only advertising and PR employer to be ranked on the list of where students at the Stockholm School of Economics want to work. For more information, visit www.primegroup.com or www.unitedminds.se.
Weber Shandwick is a leading global communications and engagement firm in 78 cities across 34 countries with a network extending to 126 cities in 81 countries. The firm’s diverse team of strategists, analysts, producers, designers, developers and campaign activators has won the most prestigious awards in the world for innovative, creative approaches and impactful work, including being honored as PRWeek’s Global Agency of the Year in 2015 and 2016, an Ad Age A-List Agency in 2014 and 2015, and The Holmes Report’s Global Agency of the Year in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015. Weber Shandwick and its Prime unit have won a combined 25 Cannes Lions since 2009. Weber Shandwick was also named a Best Place to Work by Ad Age in 2014 and 2015 and PRWeek in 2013 and 2014. The firm deploys deep expertise across sectors and specialty areas, including consumer marketing, corporate reputation, healthcare, technology, public affairs, financial services, corporate social responsibility, financial communications and crisis management, using proprietary social, digital and analytics methodologies.Learn More