PITTSBURGH – Gatesman, one of the Northeast’s premier marketing communications agencies, was awarded first place in the “Best Facebook PR Campaign” category at PR News’2017 Social Media Awards for its “Charlie® for President” campaign on behalf of StarKist®.

The campaign, which ran from Sept. 7 to Nov. 23, centered around Charlie the Tuna’s 2016 run for president. The iconic brand mascot was positioned as the “alTUNAtive” candidate running under the slogan, “I’m not sorry! I’m voting Charlie,” during one of the most talked-about U.S. presidential races to date.

“This year’s presidential race was a stressful time for everyone – and inescapable, especially on social media,” said Shannon Baker, President, Gatesman. “We wanted to disrupt that never-ending political conversation, and Charlie’s presidential bid created a fun escape for people craving a healthy distraction.”

Gatesman split the campaign into four phases modeling an actual presidential candidacy: the announcement, vice president search, vice president voting and Charlie’s concession.

Campaign highlights included:

  • Attack-ad-style Facebook posts targeting chicken and beef as inferior options
  • “Campaign Kit” incentives to spur audience participation and drive product trial
  • A vice presidential race for Charlie’s running mate featuring new StarKist character, Sallie the Salmon
  • A breaking news video announcing Charlie’s concession and his appointment to President of Charlie’s World, a digital environment featuring 360-degree technology, videos, coloring sheets, recipes and more

StarKist’s Facebook page received nearly 3,400 new followers, while the campaign garnered 460 million total media impressions and over $170 million in ad value.

The first-place honor from PR News’ 2017 Social Media Awards marks Gatesman’s 13th award in 2017. In March, the agency brought home three gold and nine silver ADDYs from the 2017 American Advertising Awards.

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About Gatesman:

Based in Pittsburgh, Gatesman is a fully integrated, independent marketing communications agency with expertise in branding, advertising, digital, public relations, social media, and media planning and buying. Gatesman’s award-winning, full-service public relations practice ranks nationally within the top 100 independent PR firms, and the firm is a partner in IPREX, a global communications network. The agency’s diverse client roster features leading global, national, and regional brands, such as StarKist®, Del Monte, Hormel Foods, UPMC, the Pittsburgh Penguins NHL franchise, S&T Bank, CONSOL Energy, SHOP ‘n SAVE,  Tobii Dynavox and Thorntons Convenience Stores. Gatesman was named to the Inc. 5000 list, noted as one of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in the U.S., for the past three consecutive years.