In Praise of Promotion

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

2005 PRO Awards finalists

Brands played hard this year — on the street, online, on film. Pop cans became cell phones; TV tie-ins launched burgers and roadsters. Our judges narrowed 500 entries to four finalists in 20 categories — listed below, alphabetically by client. Winners will be announced Oct. 18 at PROMO Expo in Chicago.

Multidiscipline (National)

Cadillac Under 5

Arc, Chemistri, Leo Burnett/Cadillac

Cadillac touted its zero-to-60 five-second rule with a contest for five-second films. Grand prize: a 2005 Cadillac CTS-V. Site traffic up 358%; 43,000 incremental requests for dealer info.

Unexpected Summer

MomentumWorldwide/Coca-Cola Co.

Coke turned 45 pop cans into GPS-cell phones; winners called via the can, then search teams tracked them to deliver prizes. Radio tie-ins and P-O-P supported. ROI beat goal by 26%.

The Hallmark Channel Mystery Movie Sweepstakes

Concept One Comm./Hallmark

Clues seeded on-air, online, via phone and e-mail let viewers solve film crimes for $10,000 weekly prize. Ratings jumped 82% for the quarter.

Candidate Zero

United Online/NetZero Internet

ISP NetZero fielded Candidate Zero in election-year with TV ads, events and giveaways for gas, groceries. Top-of-mind awareness hit 6% (from 4%); total awareness was 89% (from 86%).

Multidiscipline (Regional)

Hooray for Hoggywood

MARS Advertising/American Diabetes Association

Fundraiser let top donor kiss a pig (first source of insulin); Hollywood theme covered off- and online invitations, signage, outdoor, print ads. Raised 25% more than in prior years.

Boru: Clarity from Ireland.

Fathom Communications/Castle Brands

Irish vodka Boru hosted “Nights of Clarity” for Boston and NYC premise accounts, with coasters, posters touting Boru-isms; sales kits to 900 accounts. Distribution rose 48%; case sales grew 82%; dollar sales up 206%.

Xtreme Nutrition

CoActive Marketing/Kroger Stores

Krogers’ chain Ralphs had kids track fruit/veg eaten to earn prizes. A special edition of SI for Kids from Fresh Express pushed its sales 59%; up 60% for Naked Juice, 100% for Marianni; Yoplait sold 1 million units in a month.

Game Fuel @ E3

Mirrorball/Pepsi-Cola Co.

As the Official Soft Drink of E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), Dew awarded the first 10 Xbox 360 consoles (unveiled at E3). E-mail drew 35,000 “testers” for new “X” drink.

Promotional Advertising

Captain for President

BFG Communications/Captain Morgan

Captain Morgan led “Americans for a Better Party” with politics-free happy hours. Garnered 13.7% volume growth and accounted for 30% of all rums’ dollar growth.

All-Star Derby Design Contest

Summit Marketing/Lowe’s Home Improvement, Dremel

Retailer Lowe’s and toolmaker Dremel flagged Cub Scout Pinewood Derby Races. Posters in Scouting Magazine (read by 1.1 million parents); ads in Boys Life reached Scouts. In-store demos boosted traffic by 29,000.

Apprentice Early Order Program


An Apprentice cameo pre-sold Pontiac’s roadster Solstice. The 1,000 special-edition cars sold in 41 minutes after show. Of 41,000 registrants, 16% visited dealers. Solstice sold out 2005 production in 10 days.

Suave’s Search for America’s Smartest Shopper

141 Worldwide/Unilever

Bargain-hunters vied for $20,000 and a spot on E! Style’s The Look for Less. Sweeps gave yard sale “treasures.” traffic up 160%; 15,000 contest entries; 57,000 sweeps entries.

Event Marketing: <5 Venues

U.S. Open at Rockefeller Center

Momentum/American Express

AmEx cardholders got priority seats, tickets, special menus in Rockefeller restaurants. Player appearances, celeb doubles entertained. Hosted 337,000 tennis fans; 82% will return in 2005.

The CNN Diner

Civic Entertainment Group/CNN

CNN hosted politicians, newscasters and attendees of the Republican National Convention in NYC diner, (also a set for shows). CNN closed two major ad sales over milkshakes.

Meow Mix Café

Grand Central Marketing/Meow Mix

Meow Mix launched wet cat food with a NYC storefront serving cats and humans. The 12-day stint sold $20,000 (donated to ASPCA); hosted 2,000 visitors a day; earned 140 million U.S. media impressions.

ConQwest 2004

AMP/Qwest Communications

Teens snapped photos of codes posted on taxi-toppers, bus stop signs, billboards with a Qwest Nokia camera phone to earn points for $5,000 cash and a concert for their school. Garnered 6.5 million media impressions.

Event Marketing: 5+ Venues

Pace Trailgating Tour

Pro Motion/Campbell Soup Co.

Rodeos, fairs, NCAA and NFL games were spiced by Pace Picante Sauce tour. Hosted 1.1 million visitors; distributed 62,100 recipe booklets, 64,000 coupons.

VERB Anytour

Arc/Centers for Disease Control

CDC extended its VERB campaign with a 100-city tour pitching play. Engaged 840,000 kids; hit 73% national awareness (goal: 40%); gave away 850,014 premiums.

Quilted Northern Ultra/Komen Foundation Sponsorship

DVC Worldwide/Georgia-Pacific

“Ultra Care Stations” at 100+ Komen Race for the Cure events pampered walkers. “Quilts of Inspiration” fundraiser drew 1,422 quilt squares. Volume sales up 26%; dollar sales up 31%.

You +HP Experience

Infinity Marketing/Hewlett-Packard

HP wooed families and empty-nesters with demos of 40+ products via 12 interactive concourses. Sweeps added 400,000 to HP’s database; on-site and incremental sales topped $20 million.

Vehicle-Based Experiential

Raise the Roof Tour

Fuse/Eastern Mountain Sports

EMS outfitted its tour truck with a 23-foot climbing wall, hosting 53,000 visitors. Gave away gear and 30,000 branded premiums, 28,000 coupons.

Mexico Beyond Your Expectations

TV Promo Int’l/Mexican Tourism Board

Tour lured travelers to Mexico, putting a beach (with swim-suited models) inside a Plexiglas truck at chilly corners in New York, Chicago, Montreal, Toronto. Tallied 410,000 interactions.

Windows on Wheels

Buzztone/Microsoft Corp.

A 50-foot truck touted Windows gear (phones, music, cameras) in home and office sets. Hosted 13,000 demos; 67% of visitors were more inclined to buy.

WaMoola for Schools

Strottman Int’l/Washington Mutual

Bus toured L.A. and Seattle to get parents behind WaMoola (school donations for each check-card transaction). Card use jumped 42%.

Sponsorship or Tie-in

Burger King & The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

Equity Marketing/Burger King

Fans got 12 BK Kids Meal toys, five SpongeBob watches (SLO), inflatable SpongeBobs on QSR roofs (then stolen and posted on eBay). Sales grew 18%.

Toon Tour of Mysteries

Draft/Kellogg Co.

Scooby Doo starred in five DVDs packed in 20 million cereal boxes (and on 75 million packages). Sales rose 38%; volume jumped 52%.

M&M’s Ogre-sized Candies

Thomas J. Paul, Inc./Masterfoods

Shrek sequel inspired 50% bigger M&Ms in “swampy” or “pretty” colors; M&M Minis got collectible dispensers. Earned $21.3 million in incremental sales (goal: $20 million).

Shrek 2 Glow-In-The-Dark Halloween Wrappers


Glowing answers to Shrek questions on wrappers (a $6 million production investment) were tied to a storybook-style sales kit that wooed jaded buyers.

Direct Marketing

Camp SuperFly

Hamilton Comm./Baxter BioScience

Baxter, maker of Rx drug Advate, helped hemophiliac summer campers via mailers on camp-themed activities. Advate sales quadrupled.

Gatorade Athlete Awards

TPN/The Gatorade Co.

Coaches registered for kit to honor top high school athletes (all sports): pins, certificates, Gatorade gear, samples. Nearly 32% response rate; 56% of active coaches re-enrolled.

Customized MarketMail

Draft/U.S. Postal Service

USPS proved it handles die-cut shapes by mailing a curvy “thought bubble” to ad agencies (46,000 pieces). Some 4% requested more info.

WaMoola for Schools

Strottman Int’l/Washington Mutual

Mailers to schools with “History of Money” posters and offers of $500 in books spurred check-card transactions that trigger school donations. Web traffic spiked 31% over six weeks.

Innovative Communication

Boeing Dreamspace

141 Worldwide/Boeing

Trade-show launch of 787 Dreamliner drew buyers, pilots, press; sold 126 planes at $15 billion-plus; airplane orders rose 14% over 2003.

Cadillac Under 5

Arc, Chemistri, Leo Burnett/Cadillac

(See Multidiscipline, p. 10).

Captain for President

BFG Comm./Captain Morgan

(See Promotional Advertising, p. 10.)

The GM Hot Button

Momentum/General Motors

Shoppers sat in a GM car, pushed OnStar Button, talked to a live operator; 1,000 won the car. Some 2 million called in 56 days; GM sold 8,000 more cars than in the prior year.

Best Interactive Media Use

Cadillac Under 5

Arc, Chemistri, Leo Burnett/Cadillac

(See Multidiscipline, p. 10).

Arc/Centers for Disease Control

CDC created “ViRTS,” characters fueled by kids’ own play. Pulled 313,000 new registrants (123% over goal); recorded 622,000 hours of play.

Twix Tickets — Collect to Get


Ticketmaster gift cards under wrappers or via online codes added 33,000 registrants to CRM database.


Instant-win game tied to Dairy Council’s “24 oz. in 24 hours” gave 24 VW Beetle convertibles over 24 days. Web traffic doubled; 485,000 entries.

Long-term Campaign

Ultimate Air & Ground Game


NFL sponsorship reinforces FedEx’s air and ground capabilities. New in ‘04: umbrella theme over NFL, local, FedEx Orange Bowl sponsorships.

Red Zone Player of the Year

AMP Agency/Procter & Gamble

Football coaches laud top high school players. Web, in-school media, TV product placement, movie tie-ins, newsletters make Old Spice No. 1 deodorant brand with 20% market share.

Scion tc Unleashed

AMCI/Toyota Motor Sales

Targeted college towns in 2005, turning 30% of attendees into test drive leads; cost per interaction was $88 in 2005 from $186 in 2002.

The Truth

Arnold/American Legacy Foundation

Anti-tobacco tour recruits kids (ages 12-18) via music, videogames, DJ contests, branded gear. “Truth” directly responsible for 22% of 2000-02 decline in teen smoking.


VERB Anytour

Arc/Centers for Disease Control

(See Event Marketing, p. 11.)

Jeep 4×4 Cache-In Adventure


Geocachers used Jeep GPS to track goodies stashed worldwide via online coordinates. A sweeps awarded three Jeeps. Nine million geocachers played; 1 million entered the sweeps.

The Great Greek Diner Takeover

GEM Group/The History Channel

Greek diners served P-O-P and free salads on premiere day of Alexander the Great. Screenings in Atlanta, Boston Greek Festivals and spot radio helped secure a 2.7 rating (tops for THC).

Put It In Play

AMCI/Toyota Motor Sales America

Engaged “rejuveniles” (aged 18-34) with a playground-cum-road-rally to win iPods, T-shirts, DVDs, backpacks. Of 10,078 players, 32% asked for dealer contact.

Brand Awareness/Trial

Camp eBay


Camp eBay drew drivers eager to earn “camp badges” and win prizes via online and event activities. Over 300,000 registered; 80,000 purchased.

You +HP Experience

Infinity Marketing/Hewlett-Packard

(See Event Marketing, p. 11.)

Meow Mix Café

Grand Central Marketing/Meow Mix

(See Event Marketing, p. 11.)

Apprentice Early Order Program


(See Promotional Advertising, p. 10.)

Brand Volume

Garfield Rules

Centra Marketing/Ashley Furniture

Product placement in Garfield — The Movie prompted a sweeps (grand prize: trip to movie premiere), themed P-O-P. Recliner sales zoomed 90%, total sales 45%; retail display up 37%.

Spider-Man 2

Sony Pictures/Kellogg Co.

Kellogg and Keebler splashed Spidey across 105 million cereal/snacks packages. Sales up as much as 42%, volume as much as 68% (Smacks cereal).

Toon Tour of Mysteries

Draft/Kellogg Co.

(See Sponsorship or Tie-in, p. 11.)

M&M’s Ogre-sized Candies

Thomas J. Paul, Inc./Masterfoods

(See Sponsorship or Tie-in, p. 12.)

Brand Loyalty

Captain for President

BFG Comm./Captain Morgan

(See Promotional Advertising, p. 10.)

Guinness Mentoring

Colangelo Synergy Mktg/Guinness

“Guinness Believer” and “Guinness Legacy” sessions invite men 21-32 to taste, learn about Guinness.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Sweeps

Carlson Marketing Group/Visa USA

Online sweeps entries for travel agents for each cruise booked via Visa. Participating agencies sold 12% ($1.3 milllion) more than other agents.

Disney Homecoming

Upshot/Walt Disney World

Time-share owners got exclusive access to parks, shows via direct mail; 2,100 came, with 96% pleased enough to refer friends to the club.

Small Budget

Tostitos Family Connection

Marketing Arm-Millsport/Frito-Lay

Reunited a military family during promo at Fiesta Bowl: dad’s surprise appearance ran on live TV. A :40 spot (part of Tostito’s Bowl sponsorship) grew to two-minutes worth $405,000.

Guinness St. Pumpkin’s Day

Colangelo Synergy Mktg/Guinness

Halloween 3-D P-O-P spoofed classic horror flicks. Volume up 40% for bottled Guinness.

Macarena Across Manhattan

Mr. Youth/VH1

Models dressed like 90s characters (Monica Lewinsky, et. al.) danced the Macarena, gave away stickers to drive tune-in for VH1’s I Love the 90s.

Save the Music

Universal Consulting Group/VH1

“Rescue” events in NYC of musical instruments drove tune-in for VH1’s benefit concert for non-profit Save the Music Foundation.

Dealer, Sales Force or B2B

The CNN Diner

Civic Entertainment Group/CNN

(See Event Marketing, p. 11).

Diageo Bartender Initiatives

U.S. Concepts/Diageo

“Edutainment” programs courted 7,500 bartenders in 20 cities; brand recommendations went up 29%.

The Smarter, Not Harder Awards

Renegade Marketing/DoubleClick

Tongue-in-cheek mailings let staffers flatter the boss into nominating them for Smarter, Not Harder award (Cancun trip). Response rate: 12%.

Get Caught with the Gold

Eric Mower & Associates/Lenox

Reps gave samples to construction workers on-site, then returned later to reward workers still using its Gold blades. Sales lift: 231%.


Xtreme Nutrition

CoActive Marketing/Kroger Stores

(See Multidiscipline, p. 10.)

Go Beyond the Dress

Saatchi & Saatchi X/Procter & Gamble

Demos in Wal-Marts courted prom-shoppers with sample bags, style guides. Execution: 96% of stores. Sales lift: 95% for sponsor brands.

Spider-Man 2 and Wal-Mart

In-house/Sony Pictures

Heavy P-O-P, in-store radio/TV. Wal-Mart’s Spidey-licensed merchandise sales up over 40% to $400 million.

High School Football Concerts

iHigh Marketing/Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co, Musicland, Universal Music Group

Singer O-Ryan touted Wrigley’s Winterfresh, Universal artists, send fans to sponsor Sam Goody. Featured CD sales 465% above average.

Best Creative

Captain for President

BFG Comm./Captain Morgan

(See Promotional Advertising, p. 10.)

M&M’s Ogre-sized Candies

Thomas J. Paul, Inc./Masterfoods

(See Sponsorship or Tie-in, p. 12.)


Fallon New York/Virgin Mobile USA

Downloadable theme-song ring tone, P-O-P that mixed holiday symbols touted $20 off Virgin phones. Total of 440,000 downloads helped hit February subscription goals.

Sundance Film Festival & VW

Arnold Promotions/Volkswagen

“Support the Movies” tent let fans tout their fave films on T-shirts, e-postcards. Drew 15,000 to tent, 5,000 to lounge; traffic up 230% over 2004.

Best Idea or Concept

CNN Diner

Civic Entertainment Group/CNN

(See Event Marketing, p. 11.)

Unexpected Summer

Momentum Worldwide/Coca-Cola

(See Multidiscipline, p. 10.)

Meow Mix Café

Grand Central Marketing/Meow Mix

(See Event Marketing, p. 11.)

Oprah’s Wildest Dream Giveaway

Digitas/General Motors-Pontiac

Give-away of 276 Pontiac G6 sedans to studio audience, followed by sweeps on pulled $100 million in p.r. airtime; 27,000 sweeps entries.


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