15. Infinite Group, Sony (2008, Retail Training/Mystery Shopping)
The older it gets the better this entry looks. The mystery shops were commissioned by Sony for Sony Centres and showed a big upturn in results whilst nicely motivating staff. This entry came to us on video as a hidden camera live mystery shop, filmed especially with the awards in mind. In so doing it used Sony technology to report on Sony staff’s knowledge of Sony technology. So it was clever – a witty approach, but there was no need to hide behind the gadgetry – this was a campaign that was all about results and motivation.
From the footage it was also possible to feel the pride and excitement that is taken from the job by the brand ambassador/mystery shopper.
14. Matt Ford, The Circle Agency (2007, Brand Ambassador)
When we first started ‘Brand Ambassador’ as a category it was designed to attract the faces in the field who wanted to make a career out of experiential events. Back in 2005 the long term career opportunities looked bleak for the ‘girls in baseball caps’ that we often heard about – bar a few ‘models’ who had had to start their own businesses to get anywhere. Matt, and his generation – and supportive switched on agencies – have turned that tide. His win in this category looked flawless to 2007 judges, but it looks even better four year’s later as he has become a fulltime employee at Circle, is still the trusted logistical and inexhaustible face of EA Games, and has the IPM’s Certificate of Experiential Marketing on his wall of achievements.
13. The Blue Water Agency, Nicorette (2007, Tactical)
This won with us and then won at the Direct Marketing Association as well, one of the few genuine field marketing campaigns to win their Field Marketing Award.
The campaign set a number of firsts. It sold Nicorette to the convenience and independent sector in advance of the government ban on smoking in public places.
Notably the campaign had very sound methods. It was ahead of its time by seeing the big potential of the convenience sector. It augmented calls with direct marketing, lowering costs. It turned a date – July 1st – into a sales event. Above all it was the clearest ROI methodology that our judges have ever witnessed.
Sadly the agency was taken down when its parent company Jenks collapsed about two year’s after this award.
12. TRO, Mini (2005, Theatre)
A big exciting show, private lounge exclusivity to product owners – the credit O2 gets for this type of activity might equally be assigned to this team who put themselves right at the cutting edge in 2004’s Motor Show simply by creating a stunt driving show full of entertainment and fun – something the Mini’s brand ‘personality’ lends itself to really well.
The agency/brand relationship is certainly one of the strongest in the industry – something we witnessed in later years as budget restrained activity nevertheless helped carry TRO to 2009 agency of the year success.
11. Imagination, Samsung (2005, Integrated)
This is really where the whole pop up shop, display showcase thing stems from. The Samsung Experience was – is – a permanent experience in New York, somewhere which acts as a brand home for Samsung.
The Samsung Experience has also been a learning ground for Samsung so that they can be at their most effective as a service when they do pop up – as they did magnificently at the Beijing Olympics. Samsung and Imagination have been silver winners twice at the awards. If we had a category for cutting edge design and build then we would surely have seen two golds.