‘Great media ideas are driven by imagination, not budget’

FOR A REAL WINNER, TRY PURPLE SHEEP...

FOR A REAL WINNER, TRY PURPLE SHEEP

You’ve probably already read more about that splashy aubergine campaign for eatons than you really wanted to, but I bet you haven’t come across too much ink devoted to the media planners. The creatives didn’t do it alone – the time has come to give the planners their long overdue kudos.

The media plan for Ammirati Puris’ eatons campaign was, in fact, the hands-down favourite in this, our fifth annual Best Media Plan competition. Not only did it win best plan overall, it won first place in three other categories, as well as placing in a fourth.

Why was it so popular? No doubt the quality of the creative helped, but mainly our 12 veteran judges appreciated the fact that the plan had a clear objective and made innovative use of existing media through unusual spot lengths and 3-D outdoor. Above all, our judges liked the plan because it was a complicated, cross-media campaign whose message managed to stay unified while coming at consumers from all directions.

In fact, the judges cited these same three qualities again and again in justifying their winning picks. As you move from the winner to the runner-up in the Best Plan Overall category, the media budget drops to $5,000 from more than $1 million. Still, Target Marketing & Communications’ ‘striking sheep’ plan for ZZZ The Bed Store won for the same reasons as the eatons plan: It had a clear marketing objective, it made creative use of existing media and it consisted of several different components, all seamlessly unified by a powerful theme.

Looking at the top plans, the lesson seems to be, as one of our judges commented, that ‘great media ideas are driven by imagination – not budget.’ Whereas in creative competitions there are murmurs of discontent about the ‘dog-walkers’ – small client assignments taken on at cut rates for the opportunity to get away with unvetted creative – when it comes to media plans, an inherent balance comes into play. After all, while media planners may have more freedom when they work for smaller clients, they also have to grapple with much smaller budgets.

All of the winners are listed below, and we have reproduced the complete media plan submissions for winners who received a runner-up standing or higher on pages BMP4 through BMP33 of this supplement.

Congratulations to all of those who placed, and many thanks to participants and judges alike for helping us once again to raise the status of media planning in Canada.

Duncan Hood

Special reports editor

HOW WE PICKED THE WINNERS

The winners of Strategy’s Best Media Plan Competition 2001 were chosen by a distinguished, 12-member panel of judges (see page BMP35). Despite busy jobs running media operations, the judges volunteered to stay after work and spend weekends evaluating dozens of plans for this competition. For this we offer our most sincere thanks.

This is how it worked: Any media planning operation in the country was entitled to submit as many plans executed during the 2000 calendar year as it wanted. Each plan could be entered in as many of our eight categories as deemed applicable(see below for the categories). Once each plan had been coded, it was sent out to six judges, each of whom awarded it a mark out of 10 for each category entered. The marks from the six judges were then averaged, resulting in a single mark out of 10 for each plan per category.

The plans with the highest marks in each category won those categories, with the second-highest scorers winning runner-up status and the third-highest earning second runner-up status. Participants could not enter the Best Plan Overall category directly. Rather, this award was reserved for the three plans that received the highest three scores in any of the eight regular categories.

The judges did not rate any plans that were worked on by their immediate operations or affiliated agencies; as much as possible, judges did not mark plans involving their clients’ direct competitors, either. The judges worked independently, and none of the judges or participants knew the results until they were released to the public.

WINNERS

Best Plan Overall

winner:

Ammirati Puris (Sears Canada – eatons)

runner-up:

Target Marketing & Communications (ZZZ The Bed Store)

second runner-up:

Palm Publicité Marketing (Labatt Breweries – Budweiser)

Best Plan for a Budget of

More Than $1 Million

winner:

Ammirati Puris (Sears Canada – eatons)

runner-up:

MindShare Canada (Unilever – Dove)

second runner-up:

Bryant, Fulton & Shee Advertising (Tripeze.com)

Best Plan for a Budget of

Less Than $1 Million

winner:

Target Marketing & Communications (ZZZ The Bed Store)

runner-up:

Corporate Communications Limited (Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale)

second runner-up:

M2 Universal Communications Management (Molson Canadian)

Best Use of Television

winner:

Ammirati Puris (Sears Canada – eatons)

runner-up:

Corporate Communications Limited (Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale)

second runner-up:

M2 Universal Communications Management (Molson Canadian)

Best Use of Radio

winner:

M2 Universal Communications Management (Durex – Sheik condoms)

runner-up:

OMD Canada (The Globe and Mail)

second runner-up:

Target Marketing & Communications (ZZZ The Bed Store)

Best Use of Newspaper

winner (tie):

Bates Canada (EDS) and

MindShare Canada (Unilever – Dove)

runner-up (tie):

Ammirati Puris

(Oland Specialty Beer Company – Stella Artois) and

M2 Universal Communications Management

(Pontiac/Buick/GMC Dealers of Ontario)

second runner-up:

Gee, Jeffery & Partners Advertising

(Atlas Wine Merchants – Silverthorne Vineyards)

Best Use of Magazine

winner:

Ammirati Puris (Sears Canada – eatons)

runner-up:

Ammirati Puris (Oland Specialty Beer Company – Stella Artois)

second runner-up (tie):

Gee, Jeffery & Partners Advertising

(Atlas Wine Merchants – Jackson-Triggs Vintners) and

MaxxMedia (Canadian Tourism Commission – Ski Canada)

Best Use of Out-of-Home

winner (tie):

Palm Publicité Marketing

(Labatt Breweries – Budweiser) and

Target Marketing & Communications

(ZZZ The Bed Store)

runner-up:

Ammirati Puris (Sears Canada – eatons)

second runner-up:

BBDO OMD (Excite Canada – Excite.ca trade)

Best Use of Interactive Media

winner:

Bates Canada (EDS)

runner-up:

M2 Universal Communications Management (Pontiac Aztek)

second runner-up:

PentaCom OMD (Daimler Chrysler – Neon)