LONDON—Automotive giant Volvo and its Swedish agency Forsman & Bodenfors have secured the Platinum SABRE Award, presented to the best public relations campaign of the year, for “The EVA Initiative.” The win was announced at the EMEA SABRE Awards ceremony this evening, the first time the awards have been presented virtually.

The EVA Initiative built on Volvo’s heritage in safety and took that reputation to new heights, with the company offering its vast library of safety data to all parties, free of charge, in an attempt to crowd-source new safety ideas—with a topical focus on the safety of women drivers, long overlooked by the industry.

The campaign beat out four other finalists for Best in Show:

  • Survivors, a series of graphic novels to educate younger Russians about one of the key historical events of the 20th century, created by the Gulag History Museum and a team of agencies including Russian PR firm CROS;
  • Lifeboat: The Experiment, an experiential campaign by non-profit Sea Watch and German agency achtung!, which recreated the journey taken by African migrants for 30 ordinary Germans;
  • Zero Island, conducted for Neste by Finnish firm TBWA\Helsinki, which helped a small Swedish island achieve zero emissions and carbon neutrality 25 years ahead of the country’s self-imposed goal;
  • #DontBeAPirate, which saw telecoms company O2 reach out to motorists with an app that provided free data if the user doesn’t touch their phone while driving, supported by Seesame and others.

“The EVA Initiative—and all of our Platinum finalists—showcase the kind of creativity, authenticity, and purpose-driven public relations that dominated the landscape last year, and will be even more vital in the year ahead, as companies come to recognize the importance of building trust and emphasizing their values with action,” said PRovoke Media founder and chair of the SABRE judges Paul Holmes.

Elsewhere, it was a good night for global agencies BCW and Golin, each of which helped their clients to four Gold and Diamond SABRE Awards. Other multiple winners on the night included Edelman, Forsman & Bodenfors, and The Romans (three each), and achtung!, CROS, Hill + Knowlton, Hope & Glory, McCann Worldgroup, Miltton, Octopus Group, Ogilvy, Red Consultancy, and Tin Man (two each).

A complete list of SABRE Winners can be found here.