**FEDMA: Small Countries Dominate Best of Europe AwardsBRUSSELS, Belgium -- Small countries have taken the lead in Europe in developing world-class direct marketing campaigns and winning Best of Europe gold awards, said Arthur Bell, who chaired this year's competition.
Awards were handed out at a gala dinner at the Conrad Hotel here last month, which 300 people attended. The event is the highlight of the annual Federation of European Direct Marketing forum.
Bell said several campaigns won two golds because they had been entered in two categories. However, there were no winners in several campaign categories, including telephone campaigns, database and software.
Bell cited several campaigns that not only showed great creativity but also scored big for clients.
"The important thing is the results they get," said Bell. "If they don't get results, they are not good campaigns."
Two golds, he said, went to the Scottish company Oneagency in the low volume-home and the consumer goods categories, for the launch of a new malt whiskey brand from an old distillery called Glenmorangle.
"Their campaign was low-key, personal and low-cost. What they did was enroll people in the Ardbeg committee -- that's the location of the distillery on a Scottish island -- to talk about single malt Scotch. They made people feel involved."
Names were taken from databases of "publicans," people who run British pubs, and known single malt drinkers. The company went from a zero start to a significant percentage of the market.
Low Direct won golds in print and print services for campaigns it ran for Sunrise Communications, a Swiss telecom. Low Direct targeted the 500 largest Swiss companies that might need telecom services by running ads in the NZZ, the leading Swiss newspaper.
Each ad was placed on the newspaper's front page and then hand-delivered to the target company's top manager.
"It appeared to be a freebie for the firm but it drew the attention of the CEO or [chief financial officer]," Bell said. "They cracked open the whole market that way."
An Irish company, Direct Marketing Associates, sent call center prospects genuine African drums made of wood and leather, pointing out that at one time the drums had been a state-of-the-art form of communications.
The first campaign, which won a gold award, garnered 7 million pounds ($10.5 million), more than paying for the drums that the Irish company had bought.
Other winners included FCB Direct/SA, which received gold for a publishing campaign for Unidad Editorial El Mundo, and gold and bronze for campaigns on behalf of nonprofit Ave Grandes Lineas. OgilvyOneWorldwide won gold in the business goods category for an IBM campaign. And Tribal DDB of Copenhagen copped gold in the financial services category for a campaign it ran for the Danish Postbanken.