PRO Award 2000 winners took some chances and produced some very healthy results.
Judges for the PRO Awards 2000 cheered when Momentum North America’s launch campaign for Tamiflu cold medicine was declared winner of the Most Innovative Communication Strategy category. Aren’t wizened veterans of any industry supposed to be above expressing emotion?
Not in promotion – where, as Marketing Drive’s Mickey Jardon noted during the judging process, “you always have fun.”
Winners of this year’s PRO Awards come in many shapes and sizes, many strategies and tactics, many industries and categories. But they all began with a concept that grabbed the attention of consumers or business customers alike, whether that concept was a tried-and-true formula (FCB Worldwide’s annual Camp Jeep campaign) or a new idea (Momentum’s technology-charged launch of American Express Blue). They all reached their targets through meticulous planning and stellar execution. And they all gained impressive results.
Speaking of impressive, Momentum’s performance this year certainly earns that plaudit. The St. Louis-based shop and its New York City office produced five different campaigns selected as finalists in this year’s judging, three of which earned top honors in their categories – including the Tamiflu launch that was ultimately crowned Best Overall Promotion.
On the subject of noteworthy, the work turned in by FCB Worldwide and 1-2-1 Marketing on Camp Jeep won in three different categories. Not bad for a six-year-old direct-mail program (which did, however, get a nice boost from the Internet in 2000).
There is, of course, much to be praised in all 32 campaigns recognized as PRO Awards 2000 finalists, which is why they rose to the top of the 176 entries submitted for this year’s program (which reflects an increase of more than 40 percent compared with 1999). There is, to be sure, something extra special about the 12 category-winning campaigns.
And there is something exceptional about Momentum’s Tamiflu launch, which was lauded by judges as innovative, perfectly executed, and extremely successful. They also said it was fun.
Campaign: Launch of Blue Agency/Client: Momentum/American Express To launch a new Blue card targeted to a younger demographic, American Express and Momentum devised a campaign centered on a free Sheryl Crow and Friends concert in New York City’s Central Park. The event aired via the first-ever national “trimulcast” on Fox TV stations, 60 radio stations, and the Internet at blueconcerts.com. A “Blue Crew” distributed 25,000 concert tickets around New York City to drive applications for Blue through an instant-win game. The number of cards in force exceeded company goals by 71 percent, while Internet applications exceeded goals by 150 percent. A post-concert survey found that 80 percent of those “very likely” to apply for Blue were not American Express cardholders.
Campaign: Intergalactic Encounter Agency/Client: In-house/Saban Entertainment Looking to top a hugely successful 1998 event tour for its Power Rangers franchise, Saban outdid itself by creating the World’s Largest Inflatable Moon Walk, and getting the Guinness Book of World Records to verify it. Joining again with retail partner Wal-Mart and master toy licensee Bandai America, it developed a weekend tour that hit 31 Wal-Marts, backed by an on-air sweeps and heavy local support. More than 4,000 fans attended each weekend, and more than 92,000 people entered the sweepstakes. Bandai’s sales increased by more than 400 percent and sales of other Power Rangers products rose 40 percent at each stop.
Campaign: Can You Resist? Agency/Client: Frankel/Frito-Lay Tie-ins to the May 1999 release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace received more media coverage for what they didn’t do than what they did. But Frankel’s effort for Frito-Lay helped the snack maker score its best merchandising sell-in ever (90-plus percent), increase market share by 2.8 percent for the all-important July 4th holiday, and spike brand regard by nine points among kids. The massive campaign centered on an instant-win game delivered in 110 million packages that let consumers choose their odds: play for one of two $1 million payoffs or go for a one-in-10 chance to win other prizes.
Best Use of New Media Campaign: Smell-O-Vision Agency/Client: Nickelodeon/Kraft Foods Nickelodeon once again showed why packaged goods partners like Kraft are always ready for a tie-in with Smell-O-Vision, a special programming block that let kids play along at home with 3-D glasses and scratch-and-sniff cards. The cable network ran promotional spots for five weeks directing viewers to grocery stores, where 25 million packages of Kraft Kids Brands carried the specs and cards. (Blockbuster Entertainment also passed out kits in its outlets.) More than 20 million viewers tuned in, which represents almost 40 percent of all children two to 11 with cable access – plus five million adults. Kraft’s volume rose 7.7 percent during the period.
Best Activity Generating Brand Volume Campaign: Austin Powers Groovy Giveaway Agency/Client: Communicator/Nabisco, Inc. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me was a smashing success for its theatrical marketing partners, and Communicator figured it could get equally good results by connecting Nabisco’s Cornnuts brand with the film’s fall video release. An instant-win game ran on 15 million packages and was supported by 10,000 P-O-P displays, print ads, a Web site, and stickers and inserts in the video. An in-school component got three million sample bags into the hands of pre-teens and teens. Fourth-quarter sales jumped 23 percent over the prior period, reversing a 10-percent decline. Trade support rose 30 percent.
Best Art Direction Campaign: Jordan to the Max Agency: Beyond DDB, Chicago Client: Giant Screen Sports, Evanston, IL Attracting attention for a film produced by an unknown company in a relatively obscure segment of the film industry can be daunting. But as any sports fan knows, having Michael Jordan on your team can make any effort a lot easier. Beyond DDB was hired by Giant Screen Sports to handle marketing for Jordan to the Max, a documentary about the basketball great produced after brothers Don and Steve Kempf (who had connections to Jordan’s Chicago Bulls) decided the giant-screen IMAX format was short on sports titles. Jordan had cooperated with the project, but was unavailable for any photo shoots, which left art director Megan Lane to pour through thousands of images to find the right ones. Once she had, the agency began using them for theater sales materials, press-screening invites, ad slicks, teacher-activity guides, and print ads and posters. Ultimately, 58 of the nation’s 137 IMAX theaters agreed to run the film (more than had signed up for Disney’s Fantasia release), and the movie has grossed more than $4 million. “The key art they designed was perfect,” says co-producer Don Kempf. “I’ve had calls from [Hollywood] studios asking who we used.”