Audience Award 2011: The Contenders

We are really excited to announce the final eight contenders in the 2011 FMBE Audience Award, sponsored by Avantgarde.


A worldwide search has led a shortlist that truly reflects the brilliance of field marketing and brand experience. Eight have been chosen, which is a couple more than last year, because there was such a variety of marketing techniques to showcase. Encouragement can also be found from the variety of budget spend on display, from as little as €5000.

The finalists are presented in video and words. The videos follow below. The words can be accessed by hitting the relevant links.

For anyone interested in marketing, these videos are a masterclass on their own. They are worth the few minutes it takes to see them through – time better spent than a full day at many conferences.  The shortlisted finalists engaged their audiences in so many ways – through design, art, energy, complicity, sport, touch, thought, taste, patriotism, celebrity, intrigue and more. Have a look at the videos – you’ll see.

The eight contenders represent brand experiences delivered in Austria, Romania, Sweden and the USA.

Coca Cola, Imagicorps, USA The happiness machine comes to life. video

Dos Equis, Mirrorball, USA A boisterous 17 city performance cabaret video

Golfsmith/TaylorMade, Golfsmith, USA Golf heroes, war heroes + Trump hit it video

SSI Sales Services Int (Plus Promotion), Austria €5000 spend – national news video

Mountain Dew, Motive, USA The power of DEWmocracy video

Mrs Meyer’s, Mono, USA A sampling sculpture in San Francisco video

Rom, McCann Erickson, Romania Reigniting a nation’s pride video

SAS Scandinavian Airlines, In House Team, Sweden Social media takes flight video


The Videos

Our View: Why you should vote for finalist #1: Coca Cola, Imagicorps, USA

  • It was in the vanguard of the now pupular human vending stunts
  • It truly had the personal touch from a huge brand
  • It showed how simple fun generates real excitement


Our View: Why you should vote for finalist #2: Dos Equis, Mirrorball, USA

  • High production values make the experience transcend comparables
  • Massive investment from a brand with a lot of room to grow in the USA
  • Great example of how to elevate far beyond a standard sampling tour



Our View: Why you should vote for finalist #3:Golfsmith/TaylorMade, entered by Golfsmith, USA

  • Golf clubs are not often marketed in the street in the winter
  • Great leverage of celebrity and charity connection
  • Amazingly effective short term build


Our View: Why you should vote for finalist #4: Kurier,  Plus Promotions (SSI Group), Austria

  • Very low budget
  • Creative concept – product placement blended with flashmob
  • Positive cycle – readers generate news story generates readers


Our View: Why you should vote for finalist #5: Mountain Dew, Motive, USA

  • Brave ‘consumers in control’ campaign from a big brand
  • Incredibly persuasive in grass roots motivation
  • Huge real and online fanbase generated


Our View: Why you should vote for finalist #6: Mrs Meyer’s, Mono, USA

  • Used natural landmarks to make an experiencial build
  • Turned detergent samples into desirable treasure
  • Made a strong eco-connection


Our View: Why you should vote for finalist #7: Rom, McCann Erickson, Romania

  • Integrated sampling and field marketing with TV and outdoor
  • Genius idea for a false rebrand sparking patriotism
  • Massive upturn in sales and online following


Our View: Why you should vote for finalist #8: SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Sweden

  • Created a whole new travel market – especially from politically oppressive countries
  • Massive successful penetration into high spending target group
  • Second video (link here – on board experience) that evidenced flight staff’s charm and commitment


Coca Cola Happiness Machine (2010) by ImagiCorps

The Brand Challenge:
Coca-Cola is trying to increase brand loyalty amongst the college age demographic and is endlessly searching for new and innovative ways to reach out to students. This group is constantly bombarded by brand messaging coming in from all sides, so the challenge is to engage and surprise them in a way that resonates, is memorable and makes a connection to the brand on a more emotional level.

The Big Idea:
Coca-Cola produced a low-buget video of a Happiness Vending machine, which not only dispensed product, but would spontaneously give out flowers, games, pizza and other items to the surprise and delight of participants. This video went viral on YouTube with so many views it was touted as an extremely effective marketing effort with a huge impact at a very low cost. We wanted to bring the experience to life by bringing an actual happiness vending machine to college campuses across the country to engage with students in real time.

Why it worked:
This campaign is successful because it offers a simple, surprising experience for students – spontaneously creating happiness and laughter in their day on behalf of Coca-Cola.  The excitement generated when the happiness machine is discovered on a campus is contagious – students spread the word via text, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube letting others know what’s going on in their area.  This positive interaction with the target demographic creates a feel-good experience on behalf of Brand and helps to build the loyalty they’re after with this group.

Other Business:
ImagiCorps is a full-service experiential marketing agency specializing in design, engineering and production of custom displays, exhibits and promotional tours.

Dos Equis and Mirrorball, The Most Interesting Show in the World

The Brand Challenge
The primary challenge for Dos Equis, like most brands, was to increase brand awareness, drive sales and achieve loyalty amongst core consumers. The added challenge in this live experience was to meet the expectation from a brand that touts a relationship with “the most interesting man in the world”. The format needed to support the brand’s “Interesting” platform and strengthen the premium qualities by bringing the brand to life for our Social Explorer. These consumers have very active lifestyles and we needed to produce an experience that they could share with their friends and help benefit their social currency.

The Big Idea
Create a show unlike any the target had ever attended…. The Most Interesting Show in the World. Start with a world famous rock star, shock rocker Andrew W.K., to host a choreograhed assemblage of multi-talented performers from around the world, and best of all, make it free of charge. Roaming interactive  talent, amazing live music, special effects, death defying stunts and spectacular Dos Equis branding to transport the consumer into an environment of surprise, excitement and at times disbelief. This extravaganza ran from October 5th to November 3rd, 2010 in 17 US cities.

Why It Worked
It was so over the top, every show was filled to capacity which translates to over 20,000 consumers in 17 markets enjoying the experience. It not only was a production success, but it elevated Dos Equis to realms in social media hardly reached by most brands. It helped to amaze an audience that left forever appreciative of the efforts that Dos Equis will go to entertain it’s consumer. This type of commitment, and event activation, is part of the reason Dos Equis had a record sales year in 2010.

Any Other Business?
We get 3 or 4 calls a week asking if we sell mirror balls. We don’t. But, we built our reputation on selling the magic that happens UNDER the mirror ball – Live events and consumer engagements that exude an indescribable, ethereal and emotional spark which in turn, ignites lasting excitement and evangelism around brands. The process has evolved to incorporate the consumers’ social media habits, thus we extend the emotion of the experience far after the event ends. Almost everything we do at Mirrorball stems from one simple belief: “If you want to move the needle, then first, you need to move your consumer.”

Golfsmith’s NYC White Out Event

The brand challenge

On February 15, 2011 Golfsmith decided to launch the best driver to hit the golf market in a decade in a big, bold way.  The driver, the TaylorMade r11, is a unique product not just for its high-tech adjustability, but for the fact that the driver is WHITE.  So Golfsmith, in partnership with TaylorMade-adidas Golf, decided to build a driving range right on the streets of Manhattan.  The fully-enclosed structure was built beginning at 3am and measured 140 feet in length, 44 feet high and 17 feet wide.  To introduce this new driver to the world, Golfsmith and TaylorMade had two PGA Tour pros, Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer, show up to demo the new products and talk to the media.  And even Donald Trump made a cameo at the launch.  And launching the driver was not the only goal – we also raised $40,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project by giving customers the chance to hit a target at the far end of the driving range to help raise the funds for the WWP, and several warriors showed up to help us kick off the festivities.

The big idea

Why it worked

The NYC White Out event was picked up by media outlets around the world, including making ESPN’s Top 10 Plays of the Day, and garnered more than $3 million worth of media exposure from such outlets as The Wall Street Journal, Golf Magazine, Golf Digest, CNBC, Fox, The Golf Channel, CBS, NBC and CNN Headline News.  And we raised $40,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project.  The CEO of TaylorMade, Mark King, described the event as the most exciting and impactful product launch event he’s ever seen in the golf industry.  Golfsmith also leveraged the power of digital marketing and social media to get more than 2 million people to “experience” the event online.

Kurier with SSI Sales Service International, Kurier Flashmob

The Brand Challenge

The KURIER is the second largest daily newspaper in Austria with its focus on the regions Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland. The publishing house launched a new advertising campaign in 2010 with the slogan “I got it from the KURIER” focussing on the interaction with the reader. For the last years the KURIER has been increasingly suffering from the competition through free newspapers such as “Heute” and “Österreich”, which are distributed amongst travellers in metro and streetcar stations.

The Big Idea

The agency was briefed to create a spectacular and surprising image promotion in order to remind the metro users of the KURIER newspaper and make it the “talk of the train”.

A team of 20 promoters travelled for one day on many metro and street car lines in 4 Austrian cities (Vienna, Linz, Graz, Baden). When the train entered into the station, the promoters lined up and unfolded their KURIER newspapers so that everyone sitting in the metro was surprised to see this scenario. The promoters entered the metro – still reading their newspapers – and got off the metro at the following station. When the next metro entered the station, they lined up again, unfolded their KURIER newspaper… and did the same during the whole day.

Why it worked

With a very limited budget of only 5.000 € we were able to create much attention for the KURIER newspaper. Just one day of promotion had a very positive effect. Many different newspapers and websites wrote about this eye-catching activity. People discussed about it in the streets and on blogs.

Any other business?


Mountain Dew and Motive, DEWmocracy

The Brand Challenge

Mountain Dew and its DEWmocracy campaign engaged consumers in the co-creation of three new flavors of DEW. DEW Fans were given the opportunity to both decide and create the flavor, colors, packaging, and even advertising—then once on shelves, consumers campaigned and voted one into the permanent product lineup. Motive’s task was to bring the DEWmocracy platform to fans both online and off, encouraging them to rally behind their favorite new DEW through a series of offline events and digital campaign activities. To do so, we created The Flavor Campaign.

The Big Idea

With three DEW flavors on-shelf and votes being tallied, it was time to engage consumers in an all-out “get the vote out” effort. The Flavor Campaign was a mobile and digital grassroots initiative that took the form of a pseudo-political campaign in the name of each flavor. Three teams of DEW campaign leaders were deployed to different regions across the country in vehicles filled with flavor samples, real-time voting stations and an arsenal of campaign materials. Their mission: seek out supporters, rally fans, lead and incite local campaign activities, and acquire on-the-spot votes for their flavor.

Dates: 05/2010 – 07/2010

Why It Worked

The Flavor Campaign gave consumers an opportunity to become deeply involved with their flavor from the beginning, serving as the driving force behind its success. Fans were engaged via the program microsite, an array of communicative social media channels and almost 100 events and activities in 70 cities across the country. And every step of the way, their influence reflected the three-flavor race, with one new flavor eventually rising to the top and joining the permanent DEW product family. The Flavor Campaign was the first 100% consumer controlled grassroots tour, taking brand engagement into completely uncharted territory.


–          69 cities visited in four weeks

–          Over 120,000 one-on-one engagements

–          Over 2.5 million in-person impressions

–          30 crowd sourced rally/campaign activations

–          75 grassroots sampling activations

–          60,000 product samples distributed

–          20 posts on Facebook to nearly 1.5 million fans, averaging over 500,000 impressions per post

–          45 tweets on Twitter to over 30,000 fans

Quote from Brett O’Brien, Mountain Dew, brand director:

“The grassroots portion of DEWmocracy 2: The Flavor Campaign – tapped into the collective power of hardcore fans to help create the newest member of the Mountain Dew family, and Motive was an integral partner in this effort. We set out to evolve immersive, experiential marketing, and to be the first brand to link a large-scale grassroots program with consumer choice. From planning to development and execution of The Flavor Campaign, Motive helped us engage our fans through a unique combination of grassroots and online initiatives, all within the framework of the larger DEWmocracy 2 program. The agency enhanced the program by providing the grassroots teams with the ideas, resources and motivation to create campaign buzz and channel that energy into social media sites that extended the reach of their efforts. With the assistance of Motive, DEWmocracy has taken brand engagement to a new level.”

Any Other Business?

In a rapidly progressing new media landscape where one-to-one customer interaction is emerging as the cornerstone of brand building, Motive has flourished. We combine core capabilities in the digital, experiential and brand-building arenas, allowing us to create dynamic, multi-touchpoint programs—both online and offline. We constantly strive to strengthen reciprocal ties between the two, grounding consumer interaction in solid brand principles. And we’ve created a community model that begins with a dialogue, is sustained through shared conversation and results in strong, elusive, evangelistic relationships between brands and consumers.

Clients Include: Mountain Dew, Diet Mountain Dew, SoBe, Sierra Mist, Mars, Cartoon Network, Native Eyewear


Mrs Meyer’s and Mono, Mrs Meyer’s Clean Day

The Brand Challenge

The choice of household cleaners is a trade-off. Harsh chemicals are smelly to use and are bad for the environment. Green brands provide peace of mind, but often their performance leaves much to be desired. By positioning Mrs. Meyer’s products as cleaners that work hard but smell nice, our aim was to take the brand from a well-liked regional brand to a strong national player.

The Big Idea

To help convert new Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day fans, we transformed San Francisco’s iconic Ghiradelli Square Fountain into a supersized kitchen sink, complete with giant utensils and bubbles that contained dish soap samples and coupons. For each bubble taken, $2 was donated to the San Francisco Clean City Coalition.

Why it worked

During the two-day takeover of the Ghiradelli Fountain on September 11-12, 2010, 50,000 people experienced the Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day brand. In addition, $3,000 was donated to the San Francisco Clean City Coalition. The event received significant media coverage, including articles in Fast Company, PROMO, Media Life, and Inc. Magazine.

Any other business?

mono is a Minneapolis, Minnesota-based creative branding agency that believes in the power of simplicity. Founded in 2004 by Michael Hart, Chris Lange and Jim Scott, today mono creates innovative communications for a client roster that includes Apple, MSNBC, Tillamook, Harvard Business School, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, General Mills, Blu Dot, Parsons The New School for Design and Blue Cross and Blue Shield. To see more work, visit

Rom and McCann Erickson, All-American Rom

The Brand Challenge

Romania’s ROM chocolate bar is the traditional Romanian chocolate that we all grew up with. Launched in 1964 with the Romanian flag on its wrapper, it enjoys 95% brand awareness, yet its share and volume were plummeting with only 14.5% of people listing it as their favourite brand. ROM had an ageing, nostalgic consumer base and was losing ground with the young generation. In a category in which success means continuously attracting younger fans, ROM’s nationalistic values were a disadvantage. How could ROM, a chocolate bar bearing the Romanian flag, gain appeal to youngsters with few national values?

The Big Idea

Youngsters prefer ‘cool’ American confectionery brands (Snickers and Mars) to ROM. Our solution was not to fight against, but to join them and thus challenge the young Romanians’ national ego. We triggered a public debate about national values by launching a limited edition of an ‘American’ ROM – same product, same price, but branded with the US flag. We put the product in stores, encouraged sampling, announced the change in media, and stirred the debates. After one week, we made the reveal: the old ROM was back as Romanian as ever, while the American ROM became a collector’s item.

Why it Worked

The campaign reached 67% of Romanians and generated €300,000 of free publicity. The online response was phenomenal: in six days, ROM’s website had 75,000 unique visitors; Facebook fans rose by 300%; supporters launched petitions and organised a flash-mob in Bucharest. All brand image indicators exploded, especially ‘ROM is a brand for me’, which more than doubled – a 124% increase. ROM outperformed the market, with 20% growth (compared to 8.2% category growth) in the most relevant channel, hypermarkets, while the American ROM was sold out. Most importantly, ROM ousted Snickers to become Romanians’ favourite chocolate bar (79% increase of the indicator).

SAS Scandinavian Airlines, in house team

The Brand Challenge

SAS had fallen far behind many of its competitors in positioning itself as an LGBT-friendly airline, thereby also missing out on a lucrative and extremely loyal segment. To get attention from this somewhat demanding target group, we knew we had to come up with something that was innovative, supportive of the community and also fun. We decided to integrate social media, PR and brand experience for the first time, as we wanted interaction with the community. We also wanted to set ourselves apart from our competitors by proving we are gay-friendly rather than creating pretty ads saying you are a gay-friendly company.

The Big Idea

With same-sex weddings being a major global topic of 2010 and a Swedish royal wedding, SAS wanted to follow on from these events and host the world’s first gay wedding in the air. To find the couple, a competition was organised where couples promoted themselves to gain votes. With over 300 couples from all over the world competing and over 350,000 unique votes, a German couple became the first gay couple to get married in the air on December 6, 2010. As runner up was a Polish lesbian couple, SAS decided to also host the first lesbian wedding in the air.

Why it worked

As the first major global LGBT social media campaign ever, it was also the first LGBT campaign launched mainstream, resulting in much wider media coverage and online sharing worldwide. It was very topical as it was an extremely important issue to the LGBT community, thereby also getting its full support. As couples had to promote themselves to obtain votes, they spread the campaign onwards using both social media and traditional media, whilst media covered it due to its ground-breaking uniqueness. In total, the campaign reached over 150 million people worldwide, with 550,000 unique visitors to the SAS Love site.

Any other business?

The Love is in the air campaign was all created in-house (apart from graphics and website), created by SAS’ PR Director and  online Communications Director.

YouTube clips from the actual flight:

The SAS crew performing “I am what I am” onboard:

BBC clip

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