Citibank’s “Every Step of the Way” from Publicis Kaplan Thaler Recognized as PR Week Award’s Best Cause-Related Campaign

NEW YORK CITY, NY (March 7, 2013) – Reeling from the financial crisis and deep mistrust of banks, Citibank wanted to sponsor the 2012 Summer Olympics in a way that repositioned them as an enabler of progress and let people see that the bank supports people and their dreams. PR Week Awards took notice and recognized this effort with first prize in the “Best Cause-Related Campaign” category.

prweekawards1In honor of their partnership with the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, Citi’s “Every Step of the Way” program. This program enabled Citi customers, Citi employees and fans of the Olympic Games to support U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls and the organizations that helped them on their journey to the 2012 Games. To do this, Citi donated 50 million ThankYou Points ($500,000) to Team USA which fans could direct to an organization or cause that inspired each of the 13 Team Citi athletes.

Citi didn’t just want to put Olympic rings on their ads, so Publicis Kaplan Thaler created an ecosystem of integrated touch-points. The Facebook page acted as the central online hub and included a dedicated Facebook app. The smartphone app was a seamless experience that allowed the user to track an athlete’s progress and cheer them on, and at the same time, support that athlete’s cause right from their mobile device. Athletes provided exclusive content such as training and baby photos and then gave real-time updates about their training regimens and thoughts as they headed into the games. On Twitter, people followed #CitiEveryStep, and television spots got the word out there. During live Olympic coverage, an always-on Newsdesk was staffed 24/7 to cover athletes’ progress at the Olympics.

4010177winnernewimage_0At every turn people were invited to participate, from OOH, print, digital banners to social media, in-branch posters, ATM screens, and a robust NBC Live Extra sponsorship. This attracted news outlets from around the country, generating a torrent of free earned media.

This consumer-centric idea spurred nearly one million unique web visitors to Citi’s page, and almost three hundred fifty million engagements with digital assets.  By coupling heavy consumer-centric engagement with seamless way to raise donations, Citi successfully executed an integrated campaign and made a huge difference, paving the way for future American Olympians.

It was more than a campaign. It was a movement. And, it was a chance for Citi to remind people what it stood for at its 200 year-old core — Helping people, every step of the way.

Screen Shot 2013-07-17 at 11.47.33 PMEntering its 14th year, The PRWeek Awards has grown into an event PR pros look forward to more than any other to celebrate excellence and encourage aspiration. Each year, agencies and companies alike comprise their entries for the potential to win one of the esteemed 35 awards. The categories recognize excellence in campaigns, techniques, personalities, and business, and are awarded to the best corporate, nonprofit, agency, government, and education teams. A PRWeek Award is a unique symbol of achievement and leadership. It immediately sets the winner apart from all others.

The judges were elated with Citi’s “Every Step of the Way” program. “We liked the employee dimension of this fully integrated campaign,” said one judge. Another judge called the effort “inspiring and comprehensive.”

A list of all PR Week Award winners can be found here.


About Publicis Kaplan Thaler
kaplanPublicis Kaplan Thaler is a fully integrated advertising agency with digital, social and technology at its core. With over 650 employees, it is the flagship of Publicis Worldwide in the USA, the North American operating unit of Publicis Worldwide, the largest global agency network within Publicis Groupe. The Agency’s blue-chip client roster includes: Procter & Gamble, CITI, Nestlé, Merck, Pfizer, TriHonda, Wendy’s, L’Oréal, AFLAC, and NAPA Auto Parts, among others. To learn more about Publicis Kaplan Thaler, follow @PKTtweets, like on Facebook or visit

About PR Week
caples_logoThe world’s leading weekly PR publication and provider of multi-media content to professional communicators and reputation managers. PRWeek is the voice of the US PR industry and the leading source of news, analysis and opinion. Regarded as the Oscars of the industry, the PRWeek Awards always brings together top PR pros to honor the best work from the past year across 35 hard-fought categories.

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