AOY Honourable mention: BBDO’s winning insights

The agency's work bringing brighter mornings (and Tropicana) to Inuvik helped it nab the fourth spot this year.

Always a formidable opponent, BBDO continues to rank high by nabbing the fourth spot. This year the agency welcomed new clients like Wrigley Excel, Uncle Ben’s, and the Ministry of Health, and saw a shift in management as Gerry Frascione, president and CEO of BBDO North America, took over the leadership of the Toronto office after the departure of Dom Caruso. While the agency put forth five strong cases this year, it’s the Tropicana work that truly stood out for the judges. Pascal Chandonnet of Palm + Havas called it “a great example of a simple insight that could have lead to predictive executions. Instead, the agency has pushed the idea to the extreme limits to make their point, in a very remarkable and touching way.”

Quebec milk knits comfort

Milk in Quebec faced two significant challenges. First, children are the key milk drinkers and the population is aging, with the 65-plus segment now the fastest growing group. Secondly, milk competes in an expanding category marked by constant innovation, much of it now touting health-related benefits.
Milk did have one advantage – it’s not just a drink; milk is our childhood. The campaign for La Fédération des Producteurs de lait du Québec aimed to evoke the warm, safe childhood feeling, creating nostalgia.
In the 2009/10 fall/winter period, the economy and the influenza pandemic created insecurity, tension and stress. The goal was to show how Le Lait could counter that by recreating the comfort symbolized by a glass of milk. All communications efforts were aimed at evoking this comfort, and all led to a series of events called Les Soirées réconfortantes du Lait (Milk’s comforting evenings).
In addition to TV and radio, to spread the message “Lait, source naturelle de réconfort [Milk, a natural source of comfort],” an OOH campaign was developed in an array of formats. In an innovative twist, extensions (shaped like winter tuques) were tacked on to more traditional formats.
In digital, homepage takeovers introduced a Tricot Mania [Knitting Mania] game integrated into Facebook, making Le Lait the first Quebec advertiser to offer a free iPhone and iPod Touch game. The game challenged users to “knit” – Guitar Hero-style – an object that reveals itself to be a purple superhero mask.
Post-testing showed very high recall, attribution, appreciation and understanding rates, above norms for consumer goods (index at 411 vs. 100). The website received close to 150,000 visits – the tales from the events were made available to users and were listened to over 40,000 times – and Tricot Mania was played over 67,000 times.  And milk consumption in Quebec increased 1% (May 2010 vs. May 2009), reversing the general trend in milk consumption experienced throughout North America.

Tropicana brings the sunshine

For PepsiCo brand Tropicana Pure Premium, growth was leveling off, competition was getting stronger, the recession was having an impact and brand health scores were softening.
Canadians have an affinity with Florida orange juice – it represents a taste of the sun and positive energy. This led to the idea that getting the day started right takes more than a hit of caffeine – it takes the warm glow of the sun to wash away the fog of sleep. But in Canada, the sun’s not always there to get us going. Tropicana Pure Premium would become “Canada’s National Provider of Brighter Mornings.”
To launch the idea, BBDO went to Inuvik in the Arctic during the coldest and darkest days of winter. In a town that hadn’t seen a sunrise for weeks, in -45°C temperatures, they raised a 36-foot-wide artificial sun that emitted 100,000 lumens of light – equal to the light of the actual sun. Canadian filmmakers captured it for a series of documentary-style spots, and a crew from Breakfast Television covered the event.

TV launched during the Winter Olympics closing ceremonies, with the town of Inuvik getting a special premiere in a local “town hall.” On the same day, a Facebook fan page was launched, as well as a PR blitz and a grocery trade print campaign. Tropicana also became an official sponsor of Breakfast Television.
The viral spot has generated about 440,000 views on YouTube, while the Facebook fan page grew to 36,000 fans overnight. The campaign has been picked up around the world, appearing in over 65 media outlets with a total estimated reach exceeding 20 million impressions.
As a thank you to the community, $5,000 donations were made to the Sir Alexander Mackenzie School Breakfast program, the Inuvik Food Bank and a local daycare.
The “Arctic Sun” spot swept the FAB Awards in the UK, the Bessies, and took a Gold Lion at Cannes.

Frito Lay ups the viral ante

Doritos’ “Guru” campaign was a success, but with the young target (13-24) constantly craving new experiences, the new campaign had to feel different. Pop culture and knowing what’s cool is key for youth, and they love to brag and measure how they’re doing vs. their peers. The challenge became to create the most viral video on the web. Until now, you could see YouTube views, Twitter followers and Facebook fans, but nothing aggregated them into one viral score.
The “Viralocity” contest entailed naming a flavour, creating a video, making it go viral and getting the highest score, using a new measurement algorithm that tallied viewership from social media channels. Points were awarded for YouTube views, external embeds, unique referrers, shares, retweets, ratings and more. The bigger the footprint, the higher the Viralocity score and the chance of winning incremental amounts of cash, including a $100,000 grand prize.
To promote the contest, a 45-second TV spot and YouTube homepage buy coincided with the Superbowl. BBDO also worked with Facebook, Google, YouTube, MuchMusic and Astral to reach the young target. 

An Oscars-style awards show showcased the winner and rewarded some of the quirkier, more creative submissions.
During the promotional period, while the category grew at 2.8% VYA, Doritos grew at 11%. The campaign earned more than eight million video views, more than doubled the Facebook fans to over 67,000 and saw a 525% increase in YouTube subscribers. Overall, 145 million media impressions were earned – true Viralocity.

Mercedes-Benz gets Smart in the city

The Smart Fortwo sold well amongst a small niche who saw it as a fun second or third vehicle. But that market was drying up, and sales were in decline. It needed to be repositioned as a primary vehicle, and become a lifestyle choice, not just a practical one. There was one area it could own – Smart could be the car that takes full advantage of the city and tackles anything urban life can throw at it.
Print illustrated that the Smart Fortwo can give access to parts of your city other vehicles can’t offer. 
A driving event, Smart Expeditions, allowed guests to drive a route designed to highlight the Smart’s unique features while experiencing cultural and entertainment events. A Drive-Through Art Gallery was married with a live DJ. Participants were also treated to an exhibition of parkour runners who take full advantage of the city for their aerial stunts. The program was pre-promoted with wild postings and ambient executions. And to show Smart is the ultimate urban vehicle, a Smart car was attached to a giant bike lock, and another was parked in a tight space with a giant shoehorn.

Follow-up emails were sent, and photos were posted on the program site for people to share. There was an 81% increase in purchase consideration for participants and a 51% increase in brand opinion. Sales results were very encouraging in May (+37.1%), a big shift from the brand’s negative momentum in 2009.

The Paralympics don’t want sympathy

Canadians know very little about the Paralympics and many confuse it with the Special Olympics. The Canadian team’s relative anonymity makes it harder to attract viewers (and sponsorships) and to inspire physically disabled Canadians. Paralympic athletes epitomize the spirit of the Games. They compete with intensity and push the boundaries of human achievement. There are no million-dollar cheques, they do it for the satisfaction of winning. They don’t want pity; they want gold.
The “Save your Sympathy” campaign for the Canadian Paralympic Committee captured the rigorous training rituals of Paralympic athletes Ray Grassi (sledge hockey) and Stephanie Dixon (swimming), and brought to life their perseverance, passion and successes.
It launched with donated media during the Olympics in newspapers and on TV, as part of the Olympic Consortium. Online seeding and PR also complemented the effort. The first of two TV spots featured Grassi as he prepared for the ice. The entire sequence was shot looking down at him, and closed with the caption, “Sometimes you have to look down to find someone to look up to.” The second spot showed beautiful imagery in reverse slow motion of Dixon training for competition, concluding with the statement, “Save your sympathy for her opponents.”
Total earned media coverage delivered 7.5 million impressions in the first two weeks. An editorial written about the campaign took over the front page of the Toronto Star on March 14, just after the start of the Games.
The 2010 Paralympic Games enjoyed the highest viewership ever, with 13.6 million Canadian viewers tuning in.

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Gold: DDB does it again

Silver: Adrenaline & doubt fuel Taxi

Bronze: Welcome to the club, Sid Lee]

Finalist: CP+B’s winning evolution

Finalist: Lg2′s winning streak

Judging panel