Report Ranks Most Honored DM Works

The Won Report, a new analysis of the world's major direct marketing awards shows, named a Nike campaign called “The Scout” by CP Comunicacion Proximity in Barcelona, Spain, as the most honored effort last year.

Second to Nike's effort was the “Stick” push by M&C Saatchi, Sydney, Australia, for client Sydney Dogs Home. NH Hotels' “Travel Agent” campaign by OgilvyOne, Madrid, Spain, claimed third place.

Created by Patrick Collister, founder/CEO of British creativity training and film company Creative Matters Ltd., the Won Report is modeled after The Gunn Report, an analysis of above-the-line awards shows focused on television and print.

“We're in an increasingly competitive business environment,” Collister said from Kent, England. “Both on Wall Street and the City [London's financial district], analysts are looking for indices to distinguish between the different ad networks' offerings.”

The Won Report, also available on the site at, examines international awards like the Direct Marketing Association's Echo, International Advertising Festival's Cannes Lions Direct and Cyber Lions, Caples, Effies, One Show, EPICA, Mobius and D&AD.

The report also looks at awards from each major country. It took into account Australia's ADMA awards, South Africa's Assegais and Spain's Premios Iman. Similarly, big awards shows from Latin America, Asia, Canada and New Zealand made the cut.

About 1,000 gold awards were given at these shows, Collister said. That is quite lower than those awarded for brand advertising, but direct's tally will grow as media budgets shift more to below-the-line marketing.

Collister gives three points for a gold award won at prestigious international shows like Echo, Cannes Lions and Caples. He awards one point to gold honors won at national awards. With that weighting, Nike's “The Scout” bagged 48 points, Sydney Dog Home's “Stick” got 42 and “Travel Agent” for NH Hotels received 40.

The Won Report slices and dices in many ways.

Consider the most awarded agencies globally. Spain's CP Comunicacion Proximity tops with 144 points. M&C Saatchi's Melbourne office follows with 84. Even if M&C Saatchi's Sydney office is counted, the shop still trails CP Comunicacion with 124 points. In third place is TBWA/GGT, London, with 72 points.

When examined by agency networks, Proximity Worldwide wins first spot with 384 points. OgilvyOne Worldwide follows with 268 points, and M&C Saatchi is third with 124.

There was little surprise in what the report cited as the top three award-winning advertising holding companies, which own networks and agencies within their rosters. Omnicom Group Inc., New York, bagged 884 points and WPP Group PLC, London, took 508 points. Interpublic Group of Companies Inc., New York, was in third with 340.

But independent agencies taken together topped Omnicom and others on the list of award-winning agency holding companies with 892 points.

“There were more privately owned agencies doing well below the line than above the line,” Collister said. “Direct marketing is much more egalitarian because budgets are smaller, which means clients are more demanding of better creativity.”

Drilled down for the highest-scoring DM campaigns from the United States, the Won Report shows Draft New York's for tequila maker Jose Cuervo at the top spot.

The Tremor Online Recruiting effort for Procter & Gamble Co. by MRM Partners, New York, was No. 2. A media kit for the St. Louis Black Repertory Theater Co. by Rodgers Townsend, St. Louis, ranked third.

Of the three most-awarded shops in the United States, The Martin Agency, Richmond, VA, garnered 56 points and the No. 1 spot nationwide and seventh worldwide. Rodgers Townsend, St. Louis, took 44 points and second place nationwide and 11th worldwide. MRM Partners, New York, was third, with 42 points and 12th place worldwide.

Despite the number of awards bagged by European agencies, the United States was still the best-performing country with 748 points. Britain was next with 604 points, and Spain came in third with 416.

“The Won List does not acknowledge it,” Collister said, “but Spain, tying with Britain with no fewer than five campaigns in the world's top 20, feels as if it must be the most creative country with two of the top three, and four of the top 10.”

Collister, who is open to speaking engagements on his new project, is displaying The Won Report online. It is also available for $40 plus shipping expenses for a CD or paper report.

The Won Report matters, he said, because agency holding companies and networks realize the growth in advertising is coming from direct marketing, integrated, media and design services. Targeted to agency executives, Collister said his brainchild “is really an important way of attracting talent” by tracking agency performance.

Without doubt, the new benchmark discloses trends. A reading of the 2003 awards shows that agencies have a better chance to snare prizes with a three-dimensional mailer. The lower the mailing volume, the better. A few winning mailings went to as few as 20 people, jacking up the cost per piece.

Collister, a Cannes Lions jurist and gold winner who served stints as executive creative director at Ogilvy & Mather, London, and EHS Brann Group, acknowledges high-volume flat mailings are the main source of revenue for most agencies. But few flat mailers reached The Won List.

Exceptions to that, he said, are Gordon's Gin work from London's Craik Jones and the “Burnt Mailing” for insurer Interpolis by Proximity's London office.

The report also reveals that creative agencies in most markets see little distinction between high-caliber direct marketing and quality print and TV work. He cited M&C Saatchi's Melbourne and Sydney offices as examples, along with two German shops, Springer & Jacoby and Scholz & Friends.

“Is it only in Britain that integration is still an issue?” Collister said. “That being said, Saatchi & Saatchi, London, is an exception, producing some outstanding through-the-line work for Toyota.”

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