Plaster brand Band-Aid won the Grand Prix for channel integration at the WMAs this week for a multiplatform campaign in Japan to appeal to young people hunting for their first jobs.

Why it matters: Band-Aid’s victory is a lesson in how small budgets can sing when smart creative and media strategies are deployed across a well-chosen set of platforms. It is also the story of the market leader (48% of total market) using sophisticated communications work to differentiate its products and justify a price premium in a growing and ever more competitive market.

The campaign, by BBDO Japan for Johnson & Johnson’s Band-Aid, spoke to students about to embark on their first job-hunt, a high-pressure, shoe-leather process in which they are expected to attend many interviews all while wearing uncomfortable smart shoes. Blisters, then, are practically mandatory.

WARC Media Awards

For the full insights, read the Grand-Prix-Winning case study here: Band-Aid: Job-Hunting in Sneakers.

Find all the winners of the Effective Channel Integration category here.

With a mission to support those “trying to live their best life,” the strategy would be to talk about protecting people from pain by advocating for sneakers to be allowed at job-interviews.

The media strategy centred on the experience of hurtling around a city:

  • Twitter: a go-to channel for job-seekers looking for information on the firms to which they’re applying. Good to check while on the train.
  • Out-of-home: large, high-traffic train stations near major employers. These also drove sales, as people tend to buy plasters and cover their blisters before changing trains.

Helpfully, these channels could easily be pointed at the employers themselves, engaging the second part of the strategy: speaking directly to employers – 'Dear HR managers, isn't it time to say it's OK to wear sneakers for job-hunting?' The brand backed this with PR to boost the campaign on high-reach TV and Radio channels without having to buy traditional spots.


  • Genuine altruism needs recognisable sacrifice. As the case study points out, Band-Aid’s business feeds off the need for plasters. That a firm would act to eliminate the pain that sustains it stood out to the target audience who respected a brand honouring its mission.
  • Simplicity was key. A good idea smartly delivered was able to deliver more than the 10% year-on-year sales growth target(!). It tapped into a cultural tension and all the emotion that runs beneath it.
  • Know the market: “The system for change often looks different in each country. Swim along with the current to turn the tides in your favour.”

Sourced from WARC