How do you celebrate the 50th anniversary of your childhood’s heroes?
In late 2007, IMPS (licensor of the Smurfs) mandated cpz Ogilvy Public Relations with the German PR support of “Happy Smurfday”, the 50th anniversary of the little blue comic heroes.
To celebrate it, the Smurfs went on an event-tour to selected European cities, one of which was Berlin. PR was supposed to create buzz for the jubilee in Germany and to show that the Smurfs are as young, innovative and up-to-date as ever. The main challenge, therefore, was to find a way to present the Smurfs’ credibly as timeless comic heroes that fascinate every generation. To reach the extremely heterogeneous target group, the key to success was individuality: show that the Smurfs offer something inspiring for everyone – young and old, men and women, culture and comic fans. Thus PR strategy based upon a multi-layered story approach that used tailor-made story-angles to sell the complete Smurf’s story to every kind target media.
The “Happy Smurfday” turned out a great success for all participants. More than 30 German key journalists (TV, print, news agencies, online, radio) joined the press event to party with the Smurfs and took the chance to interview members of Peyo’s family, the inventor of the Smurfs. Amongst the media were leading German newspapers Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Die Welt as well as renown international news agency such as Reuters and AFP. All in all, the event resulted in 227 clippings, a circulation of 27.499.727 and caused 1.464.106.901 page impressions on various online news portals. The event and the supporting PR activities succeeded in initiating the Smurfs’ comeback and made people talk about the little blue heroes again.