Preston Kelly Wins 2010 Radio Mercury Award for Campaign of the Year

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The Minneapolis advertising agency garnered top honors for the “Fatpants Drive” integrated campaign.

"Fatpants Drive" Outdoor Boards--Various Stages

We really wanted to give a mock-drama voice to people losing their ‘fatpants’ in the radio spots, but it was also critical to weave them into a larger-than-life campaign that could rock the community.

After earning major kudos in a slew of creative advertising competitions in 2010—including recognition as Advertising Age’s Midwest Small Agency of the Year—Preston Kelly has already had a banner year. But on Monday night, the iconic ideas agency added another industry honor to its collection: the 2010 Radio Mercury Award for Integrated Campaign of the Year. As the advertising partner of the YMCA of Metropolitan Minneapolis and Greater St. Paul, Preston Kelly developed the award-winning campaign for the wellness organization’s “Fatpants Drive,” an initiative that blended radio and out-of-home advertising, as well as a microsite, to encourage members and non-members to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

“This campaign wouldn’t have shot off the ground without a fierce commitment to the YMCA’s grassroots point of view,” said Chris Preston, the agency’s EVP/Creative Director. “We really wanted to give a mock-drama voice to people losing their ‘fatpants’ in the radio spots, but it was also critical to weave them into a larger-than-life campaign that could rock the community.”

While the campaign’s three radio spots —“Dear John,” “Romantic Fatpants” and “Eulogy”— formed the backbone of the drive, the Radio Mercury Award judges recognized the well-rounded nature of Preston Kelly’s work. Paired with the humor-driven radio spots aimed at encouraging listeners to drop a pant size or two, a series of three-dimensional billboards also encouraged people to: “Lose the weight. Donate the pants.” Honing in on the YMCA’s community-driven mission, Preston Kelly’s “Fatpants Drive” asked participants to donate their increasingly oversized pants to charity, and the agency set up donation boxes in all 22 Twin Cities and western Wisconsin branches. To reflect the boon of donations, Preston Kelly added more “fatpants” to the billboards—first along a clothesline and then all over the board.

To fuel the community-oriented focus of the campaign, Preston Kelly also developed a microsite that served as the social hub of the campaign, allowing visitors to post photos of their “fatpants” via Flickr, read about real-life weight loss stories, learn about the YMCA’s fitness and wellness programs, and monitor the growing number of donated pants. But once YMCA patrons began calling area branches to inquire about where they could hear the radio spots, the creative team capitalized on that interest by giving visitors the option of listening to the spots and sharing them with friends.

As the only major awards competition devoted to radio, the Radio Mercury Awards is devoted to championing the medium and offers generous cash prizes to winners.

About Preston Kelly
Preston Kelly is a full-service, independent agency that creates iconic ideas for its clients, including financial services, insurance, restaurant, consumer packaged goods, outdoor recreation, retail and gaming. Selected as Advertising Age’s Midwest Small Agency of the Year in 2010, Preston Kelly has also earned several awards in the Annual Healthcare Advertising Awards, and earned finalist honors in the 2010 MPA Kelly Awards and the One Show. The agency also took home top honors for Integrated Campaign of the Year in the 2010 Radio Mercury Awards. In the last five years, the agency has won several Effies—a top marketing award that honors outstanding results. Preston Kelly is a member of Worldwide Partners, the world’s largest network of independent marketing and communications firms. To learn more about Preston Kelly, visit, become a fan on Facebook at or join the conversation on Twitter at You can also read our musings on the latest trends in advertising at


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