Monday, September 14, 2009

2008 Buzz Awards Winners

Dec 1, 2008

What makes some campaigns fall flat and others catch fire? This year's BUZZ Award winners know the secrets. They've masterfully linked message to media to produce the best in the exploding field of branded entertainment-from brilliant product placements to ingenious integrations.
The 2008 AdweekMedia BUZZ Awards competition, now in its fourth year, drew nearly 300 entries in 17 categories, with the Integrated category dominating the field at 54 submissions.
Winners in each category were selected by an esteemed judging panel of 16 industry experts from across the marketing/media spectrum, judging entries in their own field of expertise on the basis of campaign objective, creativity, execution and results. From the group of 17 winners, the Adweek, Brandweek and Mediaweek editors chose the most buzz-worthy of all, the grand prize winner. In addition to the main category winners, the submissions were submitted for "popular vote" by the agency/marketing/media communities to choose the winners of the new People's Choice awards, recognizing the three top vote-getters.
This year, we're pleased to present, for the first time, profiles of all the BUZZ
Award-winning campaigns in this special section and online at, detailing their strategies, executions and pop-culture-sweeping results. Get ready to get a buzz on.

And the winners are…

WINNER: AKQA for McDonald's
CAMPAIGN: The Lost Ring
This campaign also won the Buzz Award in the Gaming Category: Most seamless incorporation of a brand logo, character, jingle or product into the world of a game

EVENT: Best integration of a brand into an existing event
WINNER: ABC Domestic TV for Dr. Scholl's for Her
CAMPAIGN: Live with Regis and Kelly- High-Heel a Thon

FILM/MOVIE: Most memorable-yet natural-cameo by a brand in a motion picture
WINNER: Davie Brown Entertainment for Mountain Dew
CAMPAIGN: Transformers

VIRAL MARKETING: Best use of grassroots marketing to generate attention and awareness of a brand or product
WINNER: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners for Adobe Creative Suite

ONLINE: Most attention-getting and effective use of the online medium to market a product, such as through a blog, short film or a viral e-mail campaign
WINNER: Proximity Canada for Alka-Seltzer

MUSIC: Best integration of a product, service or message in music-based entertainment
WINNER: The Marketing Arm for AT&T

OUTDOOR/OUT OF HOME: Most innovative and effective use of outdoor media to market a brand or product
WINNER: Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners for MINI Cooper

PRINT: Most ingenious weaving of a consumer product into the pages of a magazine, newspaper or book
WINNER: Fallon Minneapolis for Sci Fi Channel

RADIO: Best brand integration into an on-air radio program
WINNER: OMD for Visa

REALITY TELEVISION: Best seamless integration of a brand into a reality show
WINNER: MediaVest Worldwide for Herbal Essences

SCRIPTED TELEVISION: Best seamless integration of a brand into a sitcom or drama
WINNER: R&R Partners for Valley Metro
CAMPAIGN: ABC's " Carpoolers"

SOCIAL MEDIA: Best use of social media sites, widgets and twitter
WINNER: OMD for McDonald's
CAMPAIGN: Big Mac Chant

SPORTS: Best-conceived and -executed branding of a sporting event and/or telecast
WINNER: MediaVest for Sprite

WIRELESS PROMOTION: Best use of wireless platform for a brand promotion
WINNER: Moxie Interactive for Fox Studios/ Jumper

INTEGRATED CAMPAIGN: Includes three or more elements from all categories
WINNER: Campfire for Verizon Fios
CAMPAIGN: My Home 2.0

PUBLIC RELATIONS: Best use of PR tactics to create marketing buzz
WINNER: Coburn Communication and AARP for AARP The Magazine

USER-GENERATED: Best use of user-generated marketing
WINNER: Catapult Action-Based Marketing for PEDIGREE®

PEOPLE'S CHOICE WINNERS: World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)
Sapient Interactive

The Buzz-Winning Campaigns - Outdoor/Out-of-Home: Butler Shine Stern & Partners, MINI Cooper

With a brand as unique and customizable as the MINI Cooper, an out-of-home marketing campaign must be equally creative. Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners pulled that off and more with its "Motorby" campaign for the automaker.

To generate both buzz in the MINI owner community and as much press coverage as possible, BSSP came up with a program that began with sending a special key fob to select MINI owners in Miami, Chicago, San Francisco and New York. As part of the package containing the key fobs, the owners were asked to go to the company's Web site and answer a few questions.

Then the fun really began. Working with a company called Wavetrend, which specializes in radio-frequency identification tags and readers, as well as its OOH partners Daktronics, CBS Outdoor, Clear Channel Outdoor and OOH Pitch, BSSP developed an RFID-triggered system that read the special key fobs when MINI owners drove by and displayed a personalized message on large LED billboards.

When a MINI owner such as, let's say, Steve, drove by the board on his birthday, the billboard would flash something along the lines of "Happy birthday, Steve."

"This campaign generated so much buzz because it had never been done before," said Lynda Richardson, media director at BSSP. "For the first time ever, a person could drive by an outdoor board, and the board would send a personalized message to him or her. Because of its uniqueness, the press across the nation really picked up the story to marvel at its fun and mind-boggling capabilities."

The high-tech wizardry also caught on with MINI owner groups and automotive-centric blogs. In total, the campaign directly led to 90 million media impressions across several platforms, including The Today Show, print vehicles Newsweek and The New York Times and Web sites and

The Buzz-Winning Campaigns - Radio: OMD, Visa

Video, as it turns out, did not kill the radio star. The venerable media category is alive and well, and it played an important role in a recent campaign by Visa. The credit card company, along with agency OMD, teamed with Clear Channel Radio to create an innovative program to drive short-term volume, or cash flow, through the Visa network.

The plan involved moving ad dollars from morning TV to morning radio and creating 15-second spots that were associated with commercial time for certain marketing categories, such as quick-serve restaurants, retail/shopping, travel and bill paying. For instance, one 15-second spot presented the idea of using your Visa card to pay for a fast-food purchase just before an ad ran for Burger King.
Station owner Clear Channel developed a turnkey program that seamlessly paired Visa's quick-hitting spots with more than 25,000 appropriate merchant messages in more than 120 markets.
The results were impressive: The radio campaign generated five times as many gross rating points as Visa had been getting with its morning TV advertising. Additionally, short-term volume through Visa's network rose 10 percent compared with the same time period during the previous year.
But perhaps most significant is this: Visa has singled out the campaign as a company-wide best practice, basically exporting the concept to other regions for study and implementation.
"We're constantly evaluating new techniques and relationships that enable us to drive growth, while highlighting the attributes of the brand and our products in a way that is topical and relevant to cardholders," said Elyssa Gray, senior business leader of media and creative services at Visa Inc. "OMD, together with Clear Channel Radio, created a highly innovative solution that not only resonated with our target audience but helped us achieve our objectives."

The Buzz-Winning Campaigns - Reality TV: Mediavest Worldwide, Herbal Essences

Most companies looking to be part of MTV's ultra-hip Video Music Awards program simply buy commercial time. Herbal Essences, along with MediaVest Worldwide, took that one step farther: They created a reality TV show around the event.

In the summer of 2007, Herbal Essences had just completed a relaunch that positioned the hair care product as fun and flirty. The company needed to keep the buzz going and set the tone for a fall promotion, which would be dubbed "Great Escapes." The answer was to use on-pack promotion-a first for the marketer- to drive consumers to for a sweepstakes in which the big winner would attend the MTV Video Music Awards and star in a reality TV program about the adventure.

The winner of " My VMA Fantasy Weekend" was a woman named Lauren, who traveled to Las Vegas for the taping of the VMAshow, received primping from a celebrity stylist and partied with MTV talent.

Lauren's dream weekend was chronicled in a 30-minute reality TV show that ran virtually commercial-free. Only two 30-second spots for Herbal Essences broke up the action.

According to an IAG study, 42 percent of viewers were aware that Herbal Essences was a sponsor of the 2007 VMAs, and 59 percent said they would consider purchasing the product after having seen the awards show. The reality show generated traffic to the Herbal Essences Web site, which recorded triple-digit increases over the year before.

"With the My VMA Fantasy Weekend custom 30-minute program, we were able to complement and amplify the excitement around the VMAs and further drive buzz for the brand," said Chris Dorne, vice president/director of production at MediaVest, which develops branded-entertainment campaigns. "Having the hottest awards show 'escape' to Las Vegas, a fantasy world for young adults, allowed us to organically weave Herbal Essences' Great Escape campaign throughout the 30-minute program, the weekend and all aspects of the partnership with MTV."

Unilever's Mudslinging Campaign

May 23, 2009

On a sunny afternoon in early 2007, a passer-by in an outlying district of Cape Town would have chanced upon an unusual sight, especially for South Africa. Some 250 men and women of a variety of races and nationalities were hard at work with rakes, shovels and hand tools in a garbage-strewn lot. Had the passerby returned three days later, he’d have seen that lot transformed into a playground. He might have guessed that this was the work of a church group or perhaps some international children’s charity.

And he would be incorrect. The activity was, in fact, one of the most unusual marketing exercises to come along in years—and also one of the most ambitious. The work gang’s ultimate objective was to find a way to market a disparate grouping of detergent brands under the Unilever corporate umbrella—but more on that later. The short-term goal was far simpler: to get filthy.

“We all ended up getting dirty,” enthuses Rohit Jawa, a participant whose day job is overseeing Unilever’s laundry-care marketing in South and Southeast Asia. “It was absolutely fascinating and so liberating.” What good could possibly have been served in flying 250 executives to South Africa just to get mud into their socks? It was the only way that Unilever global brand vp for laundry care Aline Santos believed could truly get the company’s far-flung family to buy into an unusual idea, especially for the detergent category: Dirt is a good thing.

“When we explain why dirt can be good, it clicks in every market,” Santos says. “What is the right purpose in every market? To justify that dirt can be good.”

Since the dawn of laundry-detergent marketing (for Unilever—originally Lever Brothers—it began in 1919 with the introduction of Rinso soap powder), dirt has been Public Enemy No. 1, with most every jingle and tagline devoted to demonizing grime in all its forms.

At Unilever, that approach changed beginning with a meeting in 2006, in which Santos brought researchers, regional marketing heads and ad-agency executives together to decide how to take the company’s plethora of detergents (in reality, one formulation that sells under a different name in each country) and unite them under one marketing message.

The initiative had begun when London-based CEO Patrick Cescau demanded a remedy to the market share Unilever was losing to competitors, especially Procter & Gamble’s Tide. Part of the problem was that Unilever’s popular and highly effective detergent formula had followed an approach that was highly decentralized. The detergent known in North America as All was sold in France under the name Skip, as Persil in the rest of Europe, in India as Surf Excel, and as Omo in Brazil, China and Vietnam. Each brand operated independently, which had resulted in locally entrenched marketing infrastructures and, over time, 25 or more different positionings, packagings and communications strategies.

Switching to a single brand name was, of course, out of the question. (In Brazil alone, Omo enjoys enviable name recognition and a 50 percent  market share.) But executives thought that unifying its marketing message would be effective—and one message stood out. Back in 2003, Unilever fabric care marketing director David Arkwright had come up with the concept that children develop life skills while playing (i.e., getting dirty). From this emerged the notion that dirt was a simple part of growing up—not bad, really, just natural. This concept eventually morphed into a working tagline, “Dirt Is Good.” In Brazil, the message had been tested and well received. Now it fell to Santos—and those she’d summoned to her strategy meeting—to apply that message to Latin America, Europe and much of Asia too.

That sounds relatively straightforward, given an organization of Unilever’s scale. After all, the maker of Lipton iced teas and Caress soaps in the U.S. flexed its marketing muscle before on global brands like AXE and Dove.

“Dirt Is Good,” however, was different. Not only would the notion of positive filth be a tough sell in places like Asia (where cleanliness is a kind of moral imperative), but there were also huge internal hurdles to overcome. Santos knew it better than anyone. As a 20-year Unilever veteran, she sensed that the regional VPs she assembled would be incapable of giving up individual autonomy in favor of a centralized marketing strategy.

“When I started, I thought we had a vision,” Santos recalls. “But as we worked toward that vision, what I found we had instead was something I call ‘passive alignment.’ People were just saying, ‘Yes, yes, yes,’”

At one point, after weeks of fruitless meetings, Santos threw down the gauntlet. “Either you are with us in this boat—or out!” she said. It had become clear to Santos that drastic measures were needed to effect the kind of cultural change she had in mind. In the end, though, the solution wasn’t a boat; it was an airplane—one bound for South Africa.

Santos dubbed her group the “DIG team” (short for Dirt Is Good), and once in Cape Town she presented an early form of her strategy to a larger audience of Unilever executives before everyone headed off to the playground site. As it turned out, grime under the fingernails can do a lot in terms of teaching branding strategy. One participant remarked, “If we can do this, we can do everything.”

Well, almost. Tapped to help with the project, consultancy EffectiveBrands developed a strategy to help each individual brand align its efforts with the larger initiative. EffectiveBrands constructed a three-part communications diagram that mapped out where exactly certain brands were with respect to the rest. But more importantly, it helped the individual brands see “Dirt Is Good” wasn’t really a cleaning message; it was a social one. “Dirt Is Good” was meant to tap into a common goal in every culture—that a mother wants to see her child succeed, according to EffectiveBrands’ founder Marc de Swaan Arons.

That notion was in turn harnessed by lead ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, which understood that finding a thematic thread that would resonate in a distinct array of cultures was essential to developing a shared marketing message. As Nick Kendall, who oversees planning at BBH, explains, mothers everywhere—regardless of culture, class or religion—want their kids to succeed, and a necessary part of child development is playing. From this emerged a workable tagline: “Every Child Has the Right to Play.”

The concept, Kendall explains, “forces you to think about, How does dirt help a child develop? What does it help a child achieve? We focused on the best metaphor possible. When you are to experience and learn something, nowhere [is there a better example] than in children.”

The first piece of marketing to emerge from the “Dirt Is Good” thinking was “Roboboy.” In the one-minute spot, a robot confined to a closet makes his way outdoors. As he touches the grass and leaves, his feet become human flesh, and then his hands. After stomping around in a mud puddle, the robot completes its transformation into a real boy. Locally adapted for broadcast in Vietnam, Pakistan, Latin America and, later, throughout Europe, the spot ends with the full motto: “Every child has the right to be a child.” The spot generated immediate and measurable results. In Brazil, Unilever detergent upped its market share by six points; nine in Pakistan.

Roboboy opened the door for other spots built on “Dirt Is Good”—a marketing ethos that soon proved to be both durable and expandable. In Argentina, for example, where Unilever’s detergent is sold as Ala, one spot featured a mother scolding her young son Dario for getting his sports jacket dirty—until she learns that Dario muddied his clothes by helping a girl climb over a wall so she could join her playmates. “So,” says the proud and bemused mother, “you have learned how to be a real gentleman.”

In a similar theme of chivalry, another spot for Surf Excel (Unilever’s detergent brand name in India) shows a schoolboy beating up a mud puddle for having the nerve to soil his little sister’s dress. “If getting dirty teaches you to do something nice, then dirt is good, isn’t it?” the ad asks.

“As marketers, we love to think that each brand is different, or ‘my brand is special,’” Santos says. “But there is no market today that can’t implement ‘Dirt Is Good’ on a cornerstone brand.”

Including the U.S. as part of its “America Needs Dirt” campaign to get consumers to embrace the outdoors (and, by association, dirt), Unilever ran a promotion in 2004 featuring retired Major League Baseball shortstop Cal Ripkin in which the community that collected the most points from Wisk sales would receive a complete makeover for its local baseball field. Wisk was chosen over All because the brand’s history of stain cleaning aligned most closely with the “Dirt Is Good” proposition. All was much more of an “all family brand,” explains Bill Littlefield, who ran Unilever’s North American laundry business before it was sold to private equity firm Vestar Capital Partners last fall.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the “Dirt Is Good” theme is that, as a marketing approach, it’s not entirely new. Workhorse automotive brands have driven their pickups and 4WD vehicles through mud for years as a badge of legitimacy. The Discovery network TV show Dirty Jobs helped to pioneer a whole demographic of Americans who respect those who get filthy as a routine part of keeping the world running. And, back in 1999, P&G revived a search for the “Dirtiest Kid in America” to promote Tide—and got 1,300 submissions. Though P&G’s fabric-care external relations manager Kash Shaikh maintains the promo “wasn’t about celebrating dirt,” 11 finalists dubbed “Tide’s Dirty Dozen” were routed through a grimy obstacle course in New York’s Grand Central Terminal and the messiest was chosen as winner. So, you decide.

Beyond dispute, “Dirt Is Good” has been a down-and-dirty winner for Unilever. Since its rollout, sales of the detergent brands included under the motto (all bear a “splat” symbol on the packaging) have grown from roughly $473 million to about $3.7 billion.

“Dirt Is Good” has even managed to trigger actual social change. Academic laws in Vietnam now allow for school recess. In Brazil, schools now compete for an annual “kids can play” seal that recognizes the winning institution for an enlightened approach to child development. “You can’t imagine how schools fight for it,” Santos says.

And, in the process, get dirty.

Why Pink Means 'Cancer' at Retail

Sept 9, 2009
Dorothy Allan, svp-retail strategy for TracyLocke has worked on direct, online and retail marketing and is now focusing on helping packaged goods companies get the most ROI for their shopper marketing efforts. So, she's seen the rise of shopper marketing first-hand, but has also witnessed a big change in the market over the last year or so because of the economy. As she notes, CPGs have to communicate value quickly in-store or they lose out. And that's too bad, because consumers aren't only motivated by price. Allan corresponded via e-mail with Brandweek editor Todd Wasserman about the current state of shopper marketing. Here is their conversation:

Brandweek: What does it cost to do a shopper marketing campaign these days?  Has it gone up recently because of all the attention focused upon it?
Dorothy Allen: Cost or fees tend to go up or down based on the number of programs in a retainer versus supply and demand like other industries.  That said, there has been an emphasis on shopper marketing this year with more importance placed on strategic hours.  Overall, I think the investment that brands are making in strategy has reduced their production costs, particularly if the objectives are clear enough to decrease the number of iterations in production.  You can do more with your hours in that scenario. I think brands that really understand shopper insights and their importance can see a return on their investment in the range of 5-25 percent. This discipline is like any other:  You get what you pay for.  You can’t cut corners and expect to achieve best-in-class results.

BW: What are some lessons you've learned in shopper marketing? (Granular
stuff, like "red doesn't work")?
DA: I’ve learned a lot about the human mind in this role.  We all make decisions in basically the same way.  We classify and sort information based on pattern recognition over the course of our lives.  We deselect before we select.  Our minds are designed to remove extraneous pieces of information to get to a decision, which is why shopper insights are so important.  It gets to the very heart of what’s getting in the way of making a choice.   On the granular side, there are principles of how human beings process information that need to be followed to achieve success.  For example, if you want to be able to read anything from 10 feet away, you need to use a font that is at least three inches.  If the store is dark, you need to use light colors for contrast.  Color has meaning:  Red is an action color; pink used to mean “girl” and now it stands for breast cancer; green equals the environment, etc.  The first thing and last thing you read, you will remember twice as long as the lines in between, and the last line you will remember two times longer than the first.   What’s the last piece of information on almost every Walmart point-of-sale unit? – “Save money. Live better.”  I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

BW: How has shopper marketing reacted to the economy?
DA: This year, there has been a lot of information that really makes a case for the entire path to purchase and a cohesive approach.  The In-Store Marketing Institute conference, as well as IRI and A.C. Nielsen, have begun to illustrate that the point of decision has crept out of the store.  Clean store policies are forcing brands to use their leverage outside the store, and thankfully for the first time in 10 years, consumers and shoppers are reading.  That is a good thing for brands.  If you group shoppers into segments, you’ll find that the shopaholic is “out” and the mission-minded, pragmatic shopper is “in.”  Value is the new darling, and brands have to find ways to quickly communicate their benefits to differentiate – or shoppers will default to comparing prices.  Shoppers are looking to brands to help them make better value decisions.  It’s not always about price, but price does have influence.

BW: Have you had any success with grouping products in store that hadn't
previously been put together?
DA: Actually, I did.  It was around reinventing and optimizing an entire C-Store (all categories) and redesigning the space based on category adjacencies.  It was a two-stage process that answered the question:  What categories win for the retailer and shopper, and how much and where should they be in store?  So, in effect we redesigned the space based on how the shopper wanted to move through the store, not how the operator wanted to run his store.  Results were a 25 percent lift in margin and 29 percent lift in sales, not to mention the savings he gained on a 20 percent SKU reduction.

BW: Have you had any success with mobile?
DA: Yes we have, and I think more broadly we (TracyLocke) understand that good digital is the result of thorough comprehensive contact strategy.  This is no different than the principles of direct marketing.  There are a number of good digital shops in the market, but digital that has high performance and contribution is aligned to what digital levers that consumers and shoppers want to pull – they’re in control, so we shouldn’t forget it.

BW: What are some recent campaigns that you're particularly proud of?
DA: I think the 7-Eleven Simpsons Kwik-E-Mart campaign was the most interesting.  Imagine taking 10 stores, removing the 7-Eleven brand, re-badging the inside and outside of the store to Kwik-E-Mart, and opening for business the next day, all coinciding with The Simpsons Movie.  That is experiential retail at its finest. The operators that opted in for the program had a lot of courage, and thus they had tremendous success. Internally, I think our “Moods of Mom” study for Frito-Lay was a great piece of work that helped us understand her emotional calendar throughout the year.  The insights from the initial phase guide our thinking to this day.