ATLANTA — Getting the Irish to buy more Guinness beer in a changing market is what won Dublin agency Target Marketing the top Diamond Echo from the Direct Marketing Association at its DMA·05 show last night in Atlanta.
Client Diageo tasked Target to add consumers to the Guinness database, retain the loyalty of existing customers and cross- and upsell within the product portfolio to encourage drinking Guinness Draught at home and in the pub. The challenges were many: rising prices of drinks in pubs, increase of in-home drinking, more beer brand choices and a smoking ban last year in all Irish workplaces, including pubs.
Appealing strategy, tactics and creative helped Target meet Diageo's expectations. The integrated campaign also won the admiration of executives judging the United States' most coveted direct marketing awards. Target took home a Gold Echo as well.
Target's win is the fifth straight year a foreign agency has snatched the Diamond Echo. Sydney, Australia-based iLeo was last year's recipient for its Virgin Money campaign and Melbourne shop M&C Saatchi took the honor in 2003 after ending the two-year run of Spain's CP Interactive and CP Comunicacion.
At the awards, a room full of direct marketers waved their hands in the air as emcee Wayne Brady sang a rap song they helped him write about g-strings for donkeys. Such is the stuff of the Echo Award's new format.
As he often does in his appearances on the TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” Brady somehow strung together a list of words supplied by the audience and created a song on the spot that not only worked but also was funny.
Brady also compared the process of selling himself as an actor to what direct marketers do. If mailing tons of pictures of himself doesn't work, then he knocks on people's doors. When that doesn't get him anywhere, “I wait until dinnertime and then I call,” he said.
Danish agency Kunde & Co Dialog in Copenhagen took this year's USPS Gold Mailbox Echo and a regular gold for client Berendsen Textile Service A/S. The business-to-business campaign was called “The Germ Ball.”
A BTB healthcare campaign by Harte-Hanks, Langhorne, PA, for client King Pharmaceuticals won the Henry Hoke Award for the campaign with the most courageous solution to a difficult sales and marketing program, as well as a bronze Echo. Digitas' consumer- and business-aimed interactive effort for American Express clinched the Digital Echo Award and a silver.
Also, OgilvyOne Worldwide, Chicago, bagged the A. Eicoff Broadcast Award and a silver Echo for client Allstate Property and Casualty Co.'s consumer and BTB campaign.
Aside from these five special prizes, the DMA this year awarded 18 gold, 35 silver and 41 bronze Echos. This is 10 more than last year's 84 Echos. Even entries were up this year, to 1,092 from 1,079 in 2004.
The United States won 46 Echos, up from 41 in 2004. Domestic agencies took five gold, 18 silver and 23 bronze.
Spain, Ireland, Denmark, Canada and Brazil each bagged two golds. Argentina, Britain, Germany and New Zealand each won a single gold Echo. At nine, Spain had the biggest tally of Echo prizes after the United States. Denmark won a total seven Echos, and Brazil and Britain each went home with six.
Mickey Alam Khan covers Internet marketing campaigns and e-commerce, agency news as well as circulation for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters