Sunday, August 1, 2010

AdFest's Big Winners Are Uniqlo and JWT, Four Months Late

Regional Asian Awards Show's Challenges Include Growing Competition

"Lucky Switch" is a "unique integrated idea that enables Uniqlo to put their brand on other people's sites, which is quite cheeky," said Brett Mitchell, digital director at Droga5, Sydney, and president of this year's Cyber Lotus jury. The campaign also won the Best of Cyber Lotus.

Three other agencies walked away with Innova Lotuses this year -- Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Shanghai, for WWF's "Fate's in Your Hands" campaign; Projector in Tokyo for a Uniqlo calendar; and Beacon Communications, Tokyo, for Yubari City Project, which helped revive a debt-ridden Japanese city. The Innova category is judged by all the other jury presidents and rewards innovation.

WPP's JWT, traditionally a big winner at AdFest, won more prizes than any other agency network, including five Gold Lotus awards.

Unlike other years, winners won't be collecting their prizes in person at an AdFest awards gala. Asia's premier advertising festival, held every March in Thailand in Pattaya, a two-hour drive south of Bangkok, was first postponed until late May and finally canceled, due to Thailand's political turmoil earlier this year.

The judging was rescheduled for late May in Tokyo, then postponed again when foreign consulates in Bangkok closed, making it impossible for AdFest organizers to get visas to enter Japan.

More than 50 advertising executives finally gathered in Tokyo last week to judge the 2010 AdFest Lotus Awards, marking the biggest international advertising event ever held there.

The global recession took a toll on creativity in Asia as well as on entry numbers. The 13-year-old festival received 2,708 entries this year, down from 3,309 last year and an all-time high of 5,148 in 2008. Tokyo agencies sent the most entries -- 417 -- followed by Bangkok with 382 and Mumbai at 356.

Thailand's political problems and the recession's impact on award shows aren't AdFest's only challenges. The festival faces increasing competition from Asia's other major regional festival, Spikes Asia, held each fall in Singapore with support from the organizers of the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. And yet another festival, the Global Advertising Awards, is making plans to launch in April 2011, right after AdFest, and in the same country, on the Thai island of Phuket. According to the organizers, who claim backing from the Thai government and Singha beer, more information will be available on the awards show's website in September.

But the challenges facing AdFest didn't dampen enthusiasm among the judges.

Grand Jury President Steve Henry said he was inspired by the experimentation taking place in Asia. "It's been a difficult time for creativity generally for various reasons thanks to weaker financial conditions and changes in the media marketplace."

Certainly in London, Mr. Henry said, "There seems to be low morale within advertising agencies at the moment and yet here in Asia there seems to be more confidence and experimentation." 

Is Your Detergent Stalking You?

Brazil's Omo Uses GPS to Follow Consumers Home With Prizes

Posted by Laurel Wentz on 07.29.10 @ 12:23 PM

NEW YORK ( -- Unilever's Omo detergent is adding an unusual ingredient to its two-pound detergent box in Brazil: a GPS device that allows its promotions agency Bullet to track shoppers and follow them to their front doors.

Starting next week, consumers who buy one of the GPS-implanted detergent boxes will be surprised at home, given a pocket video camera as a prize and invited to bring their families to enjoy a day of Unilever-sponsored outdoor fun. The promotion, called Try Something New With Omo, is in keeping with the brand's international "Dirt is Good" positioning that encourages parents to let their kids have a good time even if they get dirty.

Omo accounts for half of Brazil's detergent sales and is already found in 80% of homes there, so Unilever's goal is more to draw attention to a new stain-fighting version of Omo and get it talked about rather than looking for a big increase in sales.

That made the idea of doing a promotion where the prize finds the consumer, rather than the consumer having to look for the prize -- and maybe not bothering -- appealing.

Fernando Figueiredo, Bullet's president, said the GPS device is activated when a shopper removes the detergent carton from the supermarket shelf. Fifty Omo boxes implanted with GPS devices have been scattered around Brazil, and Mr. Figueiredo has teams in 35 Brazilian cities ready to leap into action when a box is activated. The nearest team can reach the shopper's home "within hours or days," and if they're really close by, "they may get to your house as soon as you do," he said.

Once there, the teams have portable equipment that lets them go floor by floor in apartment buildings until they find the correct unit, he said.

Of course, Brazil has a high crime rate, and not everyone is going to open the door to strangers who claim to have been sent by her detergent brand to offer a free video camera. Bullet has thought of that. If the team tracks a consumer to her home but she won't let them in, they can remotely activate a buzzer in the detergent box so that it starts beeping. And if the team takes too long to arrive, and the consumer has already opened the box to see if she's a winner or just do laundry, she'll find, along with the GPS device and less detergent than expected, a note explaining the promotion and a phone number to call.

"Anything can happen," Mr. Figueiredo said. "We have to be innovative, but we don't know what reaction to expect from consumers."

In a big web component, the site (Portuguese for "try something new") goes live in August, and will include a map showing roughly where the winners live, pictures of each winner and footage of the Bullet-Omo teams hunting down the GPS-enabled detergent boxes, knocking on doors and surprising consumers.

"It costs more than a traditional promotion and is riskier because it's never been done before, but it's worth it," Mr. Figueiredo said. The technology aspect of the promotion costs less than $1 million, out of Omo's overall marketing budget of about $23 million.

"We believe in using new technology for promotional marketing," Mr. Figueiredo said.

Plus Bullet just likes figuring out how to ingeniously embed stuff in products. Two summers ago, sales of Unilever's Fruttare Popsicles soared when Bullet disguised 10,000 iPod Shuffles as popsicles and popped them in freezer cases. 
The agency's creatives had noticed while reading their iPod instruction manuals that an iPod can operate at temperatures below freezing. They immediately began freezing their own devices as a test, then constructed a fake ice-cream bar case that mimicked the popsicle but fit an iPod, and a wildly successful summer ice cream promotion was born.

A Look Back at 10 Ideas That Changed the Marketing World

From the Absolut Bottle to the Nike Swoosh, the Inspiring Stories Behind Some of the Industry's Greatest Innovations

By Bob Liodice

Published: February 15, 2010

Looking back at some of the greatest innovations in marketing and advertising over the past 100 years, the creative brilliance of these ideas is obvious. Yet the stories behind these examples involve bold thinking, the passion to champion new ideas and a high dose of risk. Our industry's visionaries often countered research results, drove themselves beyond the great idea and defied bosses and boards to push through their plans.

Let these stories inspire today's marketers, who have so many new tools at their disposal, to set aside conventional thinking and become the marketing innovators of the next 100 years.


In 1969, designer Roger Ferriter of Herb Lubalin Associates wouldn't settle. Feeling the work wasn't creative enough, the morning he was presenting new marketing and packaging ideas to Hanes for a low-cost pantyhose launch, he sought to showcase the product in a new way. While squeezing the pantyhose in his fist to see how compact they could be, it struck him that the package could be an egg. Immediately, he also realized that egg rhymes with leg. Adding a French flair, he named the product L'eggs, prepared sketches for that afternoon, and hatched one of the most successful product launches in history.


Lars Lindmark, CEO of Sweden's Wines and Spirits, teamed with Gunnar Broman, a Stockholm ad man, to create a liquor-export product. Bowman borrowed the name Absolut Pure Vodka from an inexpensive Swedish vodka and took inspiration from 19th century apothecary bottles for the unusual package. Ignoring opposition from art directors, liquor executives and focus groups, Lindmark began shipping. When he coupled the bottle design with the Absolut (something) campaign from TBWA, the bottle itself became its own marketing engine. Launched in 1979, Absolut became the No. 1-selling imported vodka by 1985.


In 1911, the ad industry was dominated by males, and the advertising they produced was predominantly product-centric. It took a woman, Helen Lansdowne, who headed the newly formed women's editorial department of J. Walter Thompson, to challenge the norms of the day. She refocused Woodbury's advertising on product users with ads that featured elegant young ladies enjoying the attention of dashing young gentlemen. The campaign she directed, "Skin You Love to Touch," is considered by several advertising historians to be the first modern ad campaign to use sex appeal.


The "1984" commercial introduced the Macintosh PC to the world for the first time. Airing nationally just once, during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII in 1984, the Ridley Scott-directed spot by Chiat Day represented the Macintosh as a means of saving humanity from "conformity." It mentioned Apple Computer only once. The board of directors hated the spot after viewing it for the first time when Steve Jobs and John Sculley asked for permission to run it. Steve Wozniak volunteered to personally fund half the cost of airing the ad, but luckily there was no need for that, as the board gave in and approved it.


The "We're No. 2. We Try Harder" campaign broke all of the rules. It admitted Avis was losing money, was short of customers and was second to Hertz. Test results from agency Doyle Dane Bernbach were so poor, no one today would allow it to run. But Bob Townsend of Avis believed in the tagline and knew it expressed Avis's management desires to be different, effective and outstanding. Almost 40 years later it is more than a catchy slogan -- it has become the essence of Avis.


In the early years of the automobile, Clinton Odell developed a brushless shaving cream. It was a great product with no marketing plan until his son, Allan, pitched him an idea in 1925: consecutive signs with simple verses, posted at the edge of highways. Clinton, not crazy about the idea, gave Allan $200 for a trial near Minneapolis. The signs delighted motorists, sales soared, and the iconic campaign eventually spawned 600 verses on 7,000 signs, many submitted by the public through an annual contest. Within a decade, Burma-Shave became the second-most-popular shaving cream in America.


In 1965, four brothers in Treviso, Italy, started the now well-known international fashion empire Benetton. In 1984, advertising only in Italy and France, they hit upon an idea. Focusing on the global appeal for racial harmony and peace, Benetton launched its "All the Colors of the World" campaign. In 1989, an intense collaboration between Luciano Benetton and photographer Oliviero Toscani produced a bold and startlingly different campaign. Removing the merchandise from its ads, "The United Colors of Benetton" featured symbolic multicultural photographs. Benetton's commitment to ethnic diversity remains the staple of its advertising today.


What do you do if you are Doyle Dane Bernbach and the small, ugly, foreign car you are promoting is competing with over-the-top, macho, American superhero cars? You advocate the negative truths about your car: It isn't big, beautiful or fast. Then sneak in the positives: It doesn't eat gas, oil or tires and doesn't require a big parking spot or high insurance premiums. By turning negatives into witty positives, DDB created an influential ad campaign that made the VW Beetle the best-selling imported car in America and proved that it pays to "Think Small!"


The brand promise, "Have it your way," took on a whole new meaning in 2004 with the "Subservient Chicken" campaign. Launching a new TenderCrisp Chicken Sandwich for the company and targeting young adults, VP-Marketing Impact Brian Gies wanted to launch in an unconventional way. Crispin Porter & Bogusky's solution was to launch an interactive website featuring a chicken that could do seemingly any command visitors typed in. The results? A million hits in a day, 20 million the first week, 396 million the first year, an average of a remarkable six to seven minutes spent on the site and a sales increase of 9% per week.


One of the world's most-recognizable logos was derived from truly humble beginnings. In 1971, Carolyn Davidson, a graphic-design student at Portland State University, met University of Oregon track runner and accounting teacher Phil Knight. Phil and his coach, Bill Bowerman, needed a logo for a line of athletic footwear for their new company. They named their product Nike, after the Greek goddess of victory. For $2 an hour, they hired Carolyn as their designer, and, inspired by the wing in the famous statue of Nike, she created the swoosh. Total invoice: $35.