FORWARD Wins Gold SABRE at Asia Pacific Awards for Mills & Boon campaign

Winners were announced during the 2018 Asia-Pacific SABRE Awards ceremony, which was held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Singapore, on September 11.

FORWARD won a Gold SABRE award in the practice area of Consumer Marketing (New Product) for “Do You Dare?”, the launch campaign for the new Mills & Boon imprint Dare. Our Founder & Managing Director, Fergus Kibble, was there to collect the gong!

This award recognises excellence in consumer marketing, with the winning award chosen from the entire Asia Pacific region, including Australia/New Zealand, Greater China, India, Japan, Korea, and South-East Asia.

SABRE stands for Superior Achievement in Branding, Reputation & Engagement. The SABRE Awards run by the Holmes Report are one of the world’s leading public relations awards.  The awards are peer reviewed by public relations professionals across the region. 

For the full list of winners click here


About the Campaign

Taking on the challenge to relaunch the Mills & Boon brand and introduce a new sizzling series, we took an unconventional approach to launching a book brand- we created a game.

The game stimulated a conversation and enabled us to drive the story further, providing media with the opportunity to discuss what it was about reading and writing romance fiction that women in Australia absolutely loved.

Launched in the lead up to Valentine’s Day, the fun and revealing game brought the content from the Dare series to life, with fifty tantalising questions designed to stimulate an intimate conversation, helping players reveal their innermost thoughts and fantasies on romance and sex.

To provide a first-hand experience of the card game and Dare series, FORWARD seeded the game, along with the new book series, to key media and influencers, as well as making the game available to download for free from the Mills & Boon Australia website.

To ensure the campaign reached not only metropolitan areas but also key Australian regional areas, FORWARD developed a number of targeted stories by analysing Mills & Boon reader data. This allowed us to talk to a large percentage of the regional population and directly to the heartland of romance novel consumers.

The campaign achieved wide reaching media traction, including:

350+ pieces of coverage appearing in key target media across tv, radio, print, online and social media, with a reach of more than 116 million.

Coverage highlights included Pedestrian TV, Channel 10 – Studio 10, Sunday Telegraph,, Whimn, 2Day FM – breakfast, Hit Network, Mamamia and Daily Mail Australia. We started a national conversation on sex and fantasies, including Em Rusciano – 2Day FM breakfast host – creating a new segment on air asking questions from the game which challenged taboos around the topic of sex.

Sales performance showed Dare was the best performing series launch in a decade for the publisher, exceeding all expectations.

For a full case study on this campaign please click here