Promotions from Belgium, England, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands won 15 gold and 15 silver PRO Awards this year out of a record-breaking total of 112 entries in the European division of the 1998 World PRO Awards of Excellence.
Directed by promo Magazine and produced with the cooperation of the Association of Promotion Marketing Agencies Worldwide, the judging took place June 9.
Spanish agencies copped a truckload of awards this year, with Below Marketing, CP Comunicacion, Ros & Asociados, Sidney Comunicacion, and Think for Sale returning home with a total of five golds. Copping silver were Cano & Martinez Direct, CP Comunicacion, Grupo K Comunicacion, Izquierdo Beaumont Bennett, and Wunderman Cato Johnson.
English firms ran a close second with Billington Cartmell, Clarke Hooper Consulting, and The Marketing Store Worldwide each winning a gold, and Carlson and Perspectives bringing home a total of three silvers. Entries from Promarket in Israel and Karamba in Brussels performed well as each agency won two gold PRO Awards. The other big agency winner was The Sales Machine out of Paris, which returned home with three silvers.
European gold winners now advance to compete with the golds from the rest of the world for the World PRO Awards of Excellence, which will be judged, announced, celebrated, and displayed Oct. 6 to 8 during promo EXPO ’98 in Chicago.
Scoring the highest number of points overall, thus earning the title “Best Promotion in Europe,” was a campaign fittingly titled “The Best Selection” from Madrid-based CP Comunicacion. Run for oil company Gasoleo CEPSA, the campaign was aimed at reaching land and building managers via direct mail and getting them to arrange interviews with a CEPSA sales agent prior to purchasing fuel for the winter season. The two-part mailer included premiums such as a personalized Spanish football jersey and a personalized sporting newspaper in the recipient’s name. The managers were urged to call their CEPSA sales agent to find out about prizes being offered in association with the upcoming soccer season.
During interviews, the sales agents detailed an additional promotion that offered two tickets to the Spanish soccer team’s first World Cup game in France. Each fuel purchase offered one entry to a prize drawing. Leaflets, videos, and CD-ROMs were also given during the interview. The campaign made land and building managers aware of the advantages of heating with fuel oil.
Out of 1,235 managers targeted via direct mail, 1,063 interviews were arranged, producing a remarkable 86 percent response rate. The number of housing associations contracting for fuel was 37 percent higher than the previous year, and heating fuel sales jumped 2 percent over the same period of the previous year.
Judging the entries, were the chief executives and creative directors of several European agencies (no one voted on his or her own work), as well as client-side marketing execs and editorial representatives from promo media partners in Belgium, England, Germany, Holland, Italy, and Spain.
The increased number of entries, a 24 percent jump from 1997, made this year’s field the widest to date in terms of product variety and overall strength of the campaigns, according to promo magazine editor-at-large Kerry E. Smith.
“No matter how many entries there were from each country, every one was strong, and the one area where entries were especially strong was creative,” says Smith.