Here is my overdue awards commentary – with apologies for its late emergence – after a glitch I had to do rewite! It is a quick insight into who won gold and silver awards and why. The full analysis will be in our print edition award’s special in November.
The Field Marketing Awards
Merchandising and Compliance
GOLD – Logobrand, Fox’s Biscuits
Logobrand continued a sterling win ratio at these awards with a campaign that built on previous wins showing the dynamic link between merchandising and selling at new product launch for Rocky. The entry showed how the Logobrand team and technology combined to help correct compliance issues such as book stock errors vs. real stock on the hoof, and were able to cross question the presence/value of negotiated second sitings via a robust real time ROI.
SILVER Elevate Retail, Mars Chocolate
Elevate Retail and Mars Chocolate were very nearly winners here. Their entry was strongly sales focused and also promoted a new product – Twix Fino. Judges loved it for its dynamism and sense of mission.
SILVER The Bailey Group, M&S
The Bailey Group started off a fine evening of award wins with silver here for an overview of their 6 category store relay for M&S.
Demo/ Direct Sales
Sponsored by Teamhaven
GOLD – Cosine – BT
The brand/agency team struck gold for an outstanding sales effort that proved to be the unofficial campaign of the year in the eyes of many judges as the agency demonstrated the brand’s top down commitment to developing its outsourced sales team whilst setting robust targets that the team smashed.
SILVER – REL – Red Bull
This was a compelling story of the difference that a great brand ambassador can make – in Scotland at Booker – when supported by a creative and flexible and resourceful support.
GOLD – Cosine – BT
More success for this team with an entry that showed how Salesforce software underpinned the gathering momentum behind the Feet on the Street campaign
SILVER – iD Experiential – Britvic
In one of the most in depth sampling and experiential partnerships, iD showed how that contract is elevated by a hand in hand approach engendering trust and results.
SILVER – Sales Placement Contract People – United Biscuits
“SPCPL’s working relationship with United Biscuits is such that although we know we are not their biggest Client in terms of turnover, we are made to feel like their only client.” P.Lockard, United Biscuits, Northern Ireland Field Sales Manager. This entry showed how this attitude and advanced techniques allowed the team to move the sales dynamic forwards from the push of van sales to the pull of distribution through field marketing.
GOLD RMG – freesat
This was a tough category to call with two already garlanded teams at the top. RMG edged it with one of the best award entries seen this year, clearly showing the benefit of intimate knowledge of the electrical retail estate had led to groundbreaking results with multiple testimonials.
SILVER REL – Red Bull
Red Bull’s improvement on last year’s fantastic entry in this category showed that there was still room to gain further successes for the brand in a team that is dynamic and perfectionist and creates goodwill with its retailers whilst pushing for sales.
GOLD – Taskforce – i Newspaper
The story about how Field Marketing led the good news story of the year for publishing proved an astonishing gold winner debut for Taskforce. The client’s total faith in their FM team was a glowing quality that was just enough to tilt the balance in their favour following a long judging debate.
SILVER – Cosine – Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference
Cosine’s in depth analysis of this tactical campaign made the difference for TtD as a brand, beyond just the products sampled. Cosine is in the vanguard, setting the standard for accountable sampling in store, a factor that has strong judging appeal.
Retail Training/ Mystery Shopping
Sponsored by Teletrack
GOLD BD Network – Nintendo 3DS
There were many entrants expecting to win this category, and rightly so as the standard was high. The versatility of Nintendo’s scheme with BD Network just offered more chances to shine than the rest. Retail training for 3DS was the part of the amazing success story for the product launch that went unseen and the theatre of BD Network’s events made them especially memorable as brand experience was brought to Field Marketing’s door.
SILVER Momentum – HP
This ‘Apprentice’ campaign, complete with Alan Sugar lookalike, has, like our gold winner, already seen gold success elsewhere (at the IPM awards, whilst Nintendo won Event Awards gold) and the story tells how retail training, led by highly effective brand ambassadors saw a massive turn around in fortunes for Palm. It was perhaps a harder brand challenge than the gold winner’s launch of a market leader, but it was just outscaled by Nintendo in a close call for the judges.
SILVER The Brand Company – P&G
The team that train key influencers in the science behind Fairy and Ariel has been seen at these awards before but this year, with its legacy theme, The Brand Company showed judges a stunning next level success that included their blueprint being exported around Europe.
The Brand Experience Awards
GOLD Sports Vision – Relentless
A good example of ‘who knew’? Sports Vision, owners of two major festivals, Boardmasters and Freeze chose this moment, and FMBE Awards, to unveil the full artillery of their marketing agency arm with a fabulous overview of all that they do for Coke’s energy drink Relentless. This is one where November’s award’s special will really help bring the depth of the relationship to light.
SILVER Ignite – Vodafone
Ignite’s fine management of Vodafone’s VIP scheme spans a portfolio of festivals and sporting events. They can consider themselves unlucky to run up against the Sports Vision team here and would have been a very worthy winner of this category.
Sponsored by Brandspace with Capital Shopping Centres
GOLD PrettyGreen – Cadbury
This is such a visible campaign, and marked a dynamism from Cadbury ahead of other Olympic sponsors by getting going at full tilt back in 2010.
Like all high profile campaign’s Spots vs. Stripes draws marketing press opinion wherever it goes, especially the 2011 work.
Here judges saw the 2010 season, and no one could doubt the infectious popularity of the roadshow in terms of bringing out the joy of participation and friendly rivalry nationwide. The award’s publication in November will share results.
SILVER Sense – Ryvita
The skill Sense has in elevating the sampling concept and making it a game changer for the brand came across here in this ‘effectiveness’ category. Judges noted how a simple creative idea gave consumers an array of new and unheralded options for enjoying Ryvita, establishing the versatility of the product in a new way, with great face to face targeting.
Immersive Event – Mass Consumer
Sponsored by Brandspace with Cabot Circus
GOLD Lodestar – Nissan
Lodestar’s triumph will make interesting reading in November’s award’s publication. The ‘Innovation Station’ for Nissan’s eco-friendly Leaf, is technically a permanent building as it is at the O2 for 36 months.
A contender, but not a winner of our Innovation in Action award, the real triumph here is the ability to bring the Leaf to the attention a high number of visitors with enough engagement and interaction to create a genuine intent to purchase from a small but valuable minority, extending the early adopter consumer base.
SILVER Amplify and Lovely – Wagamama
We have seen food and drink providers before who have made a dynamic upgrade to the festival experience with quality and panache, and so silver here was not for originality. It was testament to the agencies’ extremely slick delivery of the task in had, and wonderful enthusiasm from festival-goers that made this a stand out entry.
Immersive Event – By Invitation
GOLD The Lounge Group – Lynx
You had to admire the professionalism! We did not have many judges who were Lynx’s target market and the dream night out that won seemed like the world’s most frustrating stag night to this award’s chair but judges got passed this bias through the sheer professionalism of the way in which The Lounge Group delivered the Fallen Angels party for Lynx fans, creating an event by fans for fans that generated a mass of targeted social media amplification. It was brilliant and each reread won more judges round, edging out the silver winner after an adjudicator made the casting vote.
SILVER Willow Park Associates – Webroot
The travelling jamboree of IT superheroes was a surprise favourite amongst judges, proving that a little bit of unexpectedly immersive brand experience engagement can outstrip some of the big budget work that was entered. Using a character superheroes roleplay, the Webroot work showed off the value of an immersive journey, achieving genuine cut through using simple techniques that entertained an audience that is used to being targeted by teams with much less imagination.
GOLD Beattie McGuiness Bungay – Yorkshire Tea
Here is further evidence that FMBE is now attracting the ATL giants and their capacity to engage using top quality film and digital communications. Beattie McGuiness Bungay are known as lead thinkers in advertising and their entry showed how their home model has shifted to place ‘Live’ at the centre of advertising strategy.
Yorkshire Tea’s Little Urn and his sampling exploits to ex-pats across the States has made some of the most compelling amplification footage yet seen in the awards and the statistics back up the massive success of compelling brand storylines driven by live marketing.
SILVER Ignite – Vodafone
The silver winner was also the BE campaign of the year, not quite ousting Yorkshire Tea in terms of amplification but taking full command in our interruptive category.
Sponsored by Hand i
GOLD, PLATINUM Ignite – Vodafone
We had to get out the platinum ‘worldbeater’ award for this one, a campaign that took on many strong global entries and proved the multiple abilities that brand experience has and the creative and logistical lead often enjoyed by the UK.
Ignite’s tale of those who knew – Vodafone customers – and those who didn’t – saw the parts of the new McLaren Mercedes making their way across Berlin carried by fans for assembly in a central square and with star property, Lewis and Jenson adding the final few screws. The campaign had everything – fan power, social networking and a massive unexpected head turning interruptive event at the heart of he exercise – and great amplification.
SILVER The Field – Ubisoft (Just Dance)
When Just Dance rolled into town everybody soon knew about it. The design of the Just Dance wagon created excitement and drew crowds who then became the spectacle themselves as dancers clambered on board. It all made for a synchronized sound and light guerrilla promotion – a carnival float you could be a part of.
Targeting and Engagement
GOLD Tribe – Best Buy
The launch of Best Buy, specifically the Croydon store, was effective and accountable in every way. Finely targeted and evaluated, Tribe and Best Buy’s icing on the cake was a chance to enlarge the experience with a free concert at the O2. Retail launches often dodge the brand experience effort because of the implied expense, but as our award’s special will show, this was a great case study in how Tribe’s brand engagement team matched Best Buy’s store experience ambitions and led to accountable sales results.
SILVER Incredibull – Bayer Healthcare
The silver winner created an event to promote longer term contraception by precision direct marketing. The results were spectacular for both the brand and the category.
Brand Ambassador (Brand Experience)
Sponsored by Carlisle Retail
GOLD Mash – Tom Dyer
Tom Dyer, one of the most experienced brand ambassadors active in the field became a shoo-in for this award when the fruits of his self-written training course for event managers started to bear fruit in 2010. It was created for agency Mash and has become a benchmark that is upping the standards in the field every day.
Tom’s experience was put through a thorough test when managing the Champion’s League festival in Hyde Park for UEFA, when Barcelona and Manchester United rolled into town earlier this year.
SILVER Kreate – Stephen Bradley
The boundless energy of the amazing and award winning Nintendo 3DS launch was co-ordinated in the field by the outstanding Stephen Bradley
Brand Ambassador (Field Marketing)
Sponsored by Carlisle Retail
GOLD Infinite – Sunny Sanghera
The story of how Sunny arrived on the scene and immediately started to rewrite the approach to selling Ubisoft instore with dynamic theatre and zest can be read about in our award’s publication.
SILVER Momentum – Ben Ritmeyer
As the top performer of the Apprentice retail training campaign that reinvigorated the Palm handsets, Ben Ritmeyer fully deserved the silver accolade and pushed Sunny all the way in a hard fought category.
Agency Leadership Award
It can be taken as read that all the finalists in this category are bucking the recession for themselves and their clients whilst investing in the future. What RPM managed to convey, in addition, was the way in which all of the achievements – staff contentment, client wins, responsible marketing, creative energy and industry leadership were channelled back through PR and internal comms to create a virtuous circle.
Where next for Orchid Field Marketing? The agency was the youngest on our list of finalists and was adding to its entry paper right up to deadline with notable new account wins, including the major Fox account. In winning silver here, Orchid can also lay claim to the ‘New Agency of the Year’ title.
Small Scale/ Low Budget
GOLD Via – Mitsubishi Pencil Company
This is the sort of work that flies beneath the radar, an instore promotion at WH Smiths for Jetstream Rollerball. The simple promotional mechanism was expert handwriting analysis, proving that the obvious solution is often the most effective. Consumers, stores, promoters and clients loved this gem of a tour that cost very little and sold a vast quantity of pens.
SILVER MSF – Morrisons
The Kirkstall Lab store was one of the stories in grocery in 2010-11 as the success of it underpinned Morrision’s growing reputation for fresh produce. Underpinning the new open plan feel of the store is a chance to taste this food with a centrally sited chef.
This was, by a distance, the most innovative entry for an instore initiative in 2011 and worthy of a gold – we just didn’t quite have the category to contain it. The debate between the top two in this category raged long and hard but the complete story of budget and ROI just tilted – which will appear in the award’s special – just tilted the result to Via and Mitsubishi Pencil.
This campaign proved hard to categories but it also helped lead MSF into agency of the year contention for the first time where judges were suitable impressed.
Product Launch, mass appeal
Sponsored by PromoLogistics
GOLD BD Network – Nintendo 3DS
Anyone who looked through the list of finalists will have known that this would be a hard one to judge. It was awash with stylish promotions for sell out products. Many of the finalists could rightly ask themselves ‘how could we have done any better’ and the answer is, you probably could not improve much. But these awards are often a joint client and agency effort and Nintendo so obviously and completely entrusted BD Network to pull off their vital launch at retail and on tour – with now legendary results for the brand – that the win was undeniable.
SILVER Posterscope – Mini Countryman
This sell out car launch was innovative and came to FMBE with an award winning pedigree. Our judges could see why, but it was edged out here by Nintendo.
Product Launch, B2B led
Sponsored by PromoLogistics
GOLD Communique – Novartis
How very unusual! A brand experience campaign created an internal buzz before the woolly ‘pooch patrol’ hit the roads to sell a new wormer to vets. All field and brand experience techniques were called upon to make a new chewable tablet a success. The exceptional results will be revealed in November’s awards publication.
SILVER Line Up – Volvo
This launch to dealers in Portugal extended on the experiential elements for which the brand and agency team have become renowned – and reset their feedback benchmark even higher. It is a team that has reset the bar for B2B promotional events.
Sponsored by Mobile Technik
GOLD The Bailey Group – M&S
A big three from instore sampling – Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and M&S meant that judges had to take their time over this. Morrisons won bronze, perhaps by virtue of trying to convey the value of their full contract in one paper, rather than because of any failings in their team.
Both M&S and Cosine focussed on seasons of activity and the slim margins that gave the nod to M&S should get their chance for an airing in the award’s special.
SILVER Cosine – Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference
The excellence of this work impressed three sets of judges – in this category, in the tactical category and in the agency of the year consideration.
SILVER i2i – Nature Valley
Amongst these grocery giants, Nature Valley showed how brand specific influence can be brought to the fore with i2i. This work was never overshadowed in this category and showed how great sampling, store knowledge and impeccable evaluation can create true stand out and sales.
Innovation in Action
Sponsored by Hammerson
GOLD Posterscope – Mini Countryman
Gold at last for the sell out car tour that played on the ‘how many people can you get into a mini’ with a virtual reworking of the idea using photography and projection. The full ‘how it was done’ and ‘why it worked’ story will appear in the award’s publication.
SILVER Soho Events – The Telegraph
There were some heavyweight contenders in this category – Mindshare’s augmented angels for Lynx being a high profile fall gal as judges felt that the spectacular creative did not deliver the full array of results in comparison with other contenders such as this, a major task for the Telegraph from a boutique agency. The Pad Pod is a stunning display that creates excitement and provided a news function at country events and is keeping the traditional Telegraph at the forefront of technology when delivering its news to its heartland.
Stand/ Display Unit
Sponsored by International Outdoor Event Expo
GOLD Promotional Solutions – Nescafe
This was our only European entry to pull off a win this year, a café culture tour in the café cultured land of Holland.
The flexible, reusable and beautifully crafted stand managed to be ideal for sampling, for OTS, for small and large spaces, and to fulfil the pop up shop role when needed.
SILVER Bezier – Impulse
This was just a great case study in showing how an eye-catching FDSU in store can be held accountable for getting the tills ringing. The best instore display of the year by a distance!
SILVER The Circle Agency – Electronic Arts
Circle’s Xmas tour, currently labelled Play4Xmas, has seen many year’s of legacy and the stand has been through several fazes of evolution each time enhancing the flow, the logistics and the results. The tour is the most functional part of an elaborate brand experience platform but the client holds it to be the most important because of the unrivalled accountability.
GOLD The Bailey Group – Coca Cola
Sometimes even a giant and accomplished brand needs a helping hand to pull off a coup and the Bailey Group was ready to help when a promotion tie in with nail varnish in Boots saw a stock delivery delay made disproportionately tricky by a overly successful PR mention on breakfast TV that meant that the promotion was anticipated in advance by customers in store.
The agency won the day for all with calmness and finessed logistics, and very snappy merchandisers.
SILVER: REL, Waitrose
Team of the Year
Sponsored by the DMA – FM&BE Council
GOLD infinite – TomTom
infinite came back to the category with style. The agency last won this award in 2007 and showed with TomTom that training and unity have underpinned their impressive results. More detail is expected for the award’s publication.
SILVER PrettyGreen – Cadbury
Spots vs. Stripes set out on a long journey for an integrated brand experience campaign and that effort was underpinned by an all-round preparation and team cohesion the like of which we have not seen evidenced in these awards before for anything other than a field sales contract.
Staff Performance of the Year
GOLD Kreate – Nintendo 3DS
All of the top 3 had individual judges who held them as favourites in what was a very tricky judging session. In the end the staff team behind the 3DS launch won over a small majority, persuading judges of the creative complexity of their mission as well as the logistical scale, and evident success. Kreate created a sense of pride and prestige across staff who wanted to play a part in this launch, with hosting the VIP launch night party a jewel in a crown that also kept the full team alert nationwide, before and during the build up to the crucial midnight launch.
SILVER TRO – Kinect for Xbox 360
TRO should win awards for this work in general, and especially for staffing where it is clear they did not put a foot wrong in producing an army of top communicators to deliver 1000s upon 1000s of product demos.
SILVER Hel’s Angels – Courvoisier
Kinect and 3DS were always going to be campaigns that were high on scale and would set sales records. Hel’s Angels very nearly split these camps with their tale of artistry and creative panache with a small team of theatrical brand ambassadors who were each presented intimately to judges via mini CVs.
The story was very well told, principally because it was genuine and compelling. Courvoisier’s Complete History of Food event required the highest theatrical standards and immaculate service in order to convincingly take its audience back through many different historical eras in the same day.
Brand Experience led
Sponsored by Safestore
GOLD Mobile Promotions – Mercedes-Benz
Leveraging the legacy into the dimensions of an awards paper was the main challenge that faced this team, but a skilled overview highlighting the multiple values brought since 1986 made the judging task relatively easy. Iconic moments from the legacy included the poetic emergence of Goodwood Festival of Speed as a major force – and marketing platform – in autosport, hand in hand with Mercedes’ support, and Class Leaders on the Road a programme across several years that trained and refocused Mercedes’ 9000 frontline staff.
SILVER Initials – Cadbury
This campaign, Easter Egg Trails at National Trust properties, has been a multiple award winner at FMBE and is evidently the simple idea writ large. The idea – go to a country house for an Easter Egg hunt – is now a landmark on the British calendar that many British families would struggle to do without. It is impeccably delivered each year to a larger and larger estate and is Cadbury’s major undertaking during their peak sales period.
Field Marketing led
Sponsored by Safestore
GOLD REL – Red Bull
Such is Red Bull’s competitive spirit that a single gold at FMBE 2011 may seem a poor reward, but the evidence is there that this formidable team continues to improve. This Legacy Award though was a chance to rubber stamp the dominant success and ongoing elevated performance that is the result of the loyalty and enthusiasm brought by a team that consistently meets and surpasses all targets put in front of them. When a team member leaves the Red Bull REL team, it is quite often because they have been recruited by Red Bull HQ.
SILVER Gekko – Apple
The Store in Store concept is not looking so innovative now, a few years on, because it has been so successful. It is somewhat incredible to look back at Gekko and Apple’s original plan for this, just a few year’s ago. Gekko has allied its expertise with Apple’s success for a number of years and the sales team continue to innovate sales techniques in line with the client’s innovative products. As an agency Gekko enjoys formidable loyalty based on its energy and results.
Field Marketing Agency of the Year
It is hard to remember that Cosine is still a young agency. Its rise has been stellar.
This year’s battle with runner up REL and third placed Bailey Group was extremely close but the double gold winning campaign with BT was seen in this category, again as the FM campaign of the year showing the way forward for both FM agencies and these awards as outsourced sales teams become a greater part of the FM mix. An ‘Outsourced Sales Team of the Year’ is already a mooted category for 2012.
A big part of this award is versatility however, and Cosine met that with double silver for its Sainsbury’s sampling work and a fine case study in the finals for Bacardi Brown Forman.
REL’s all round performance showed an embarrassment of riches, and you can easily see why the agency is on a consistent growth curve. REL dominated the shortlist with work for brands including Unilever, Motorola, Lexmark, Waitrose, Camelot and Red Bull and were strong in both brand ambassador and team categories. It was a comprehensive display showing, more than any other agency previously, just how skilled and flexible FM solutions can be.
Brand Experience Agency of the Year
GOLD The Circle Agency
Ignite vs. Circle was the big decision. On the one hand Ignite had the campaign of the year in the bag with their Platinum award, but only one other brand on display amongst the finalists – the major impact event promoting NBA basketball.
Circle won one hard fought silver before this gold, but the agency impressed with multiple brands consistently delivering in all manner of environments – at festivals, in shopping centres, at business premises and at country events, big scale and small. The agency has built its reputation by delivering outstanding results for Electronic Arts, but this year saw a highly accountable demo tour for Pioneer’s in car entertainment, a highly effective staff motivational tour for Allianz and a lead agency role in a trans-Atlantic press and consumer product launch for Symantec. It was a tremendous flourishing of abilities and results and ushers in Circle’s emergence as one of the dominant players in the sector.
Ignite’s work with Vodafone, this year and in 2010, has shown that this agency can deliver to practically any commission, however ambitious, online and off, creative and effective. A number of its other commissions are big bold entertainment events – such as its work for NBA that impressed with its sheer professionalism and panache. As things stood it was a close call. A highly accountable case study, in support of Vodafone, might have been enough to edge agency of the year gold alongside their other accolades.