The campaigns that win gold

TWO campaigns that achieved a strong online response emerged as the gold winners at the 6th Malaysia Effie Awards on Thursday from a total of 85 submissions.

The advertisers, however, are very different − one a large and well-known telecommunications company, the other a pro bono association.

The top winners were Celcom Axiata Bhd’s marketing campaign, Bolt out of the Blue, developed by M&C Saatchi and Persatuan Dyslexia Malaysia’s (PDM) Dyslexia Did Not Stop Me campaign created by Geometry Global/Grey Group.

According to both Geometry Global/Grey Group and PDM, the announcement that their campaign was a gold winner caught them by surprise due to the fact that PDM is the only pro bono organisation that participated in the award show.

“It was unbelievable; we are up against the industry’s best,” says Grey Group Malaysia group executive creative director David Sin.

He tells StarBizWeek that the Persatuan Dyslexia campaign received response beyond its expectations, with the main goal to increase awareness among parents and schoolteachers about dyslexia.

“We do not expect our tiny campaign could go viral but surprisingly it went viral globally. It created conversations about the issue (dyslexia), which brings a huge impact for PDM itself,” he says, citing that the campaign was featured in The Huffington Post in the US and the Daily Mail in the UK.

For PDM, it is rewarding to be recognised and it hopes more professionals with dyslexia will come forward following its winning the gold trophy at the Effie.

“Grey Group and Vince Low (artist and illustrator for the campaign) were very serious in helping PDM and supported us with a creative invention,” says PDM president Sariah Amirin in an email reply.

The second gold winner for the night goes to Celcom Axiata Bhd’s marketing campaign, which M&C Saatchi account director Iskandar Putra says has received more than 300,000 hits within two weeks on YouTube.

“Based on the research conducted by an independent research group, Fournaise, Celcom’s Bolt campaign scored in the high levels − between 75 and 100 in terms of categories of appeal, message relevance and the desire to sign up,” he explains.

In terms of featuring sprinter Usain Bolt in the campaign, he says the credit goes to Celcom Axiata to be able to secure the world’s fastest man.

“It boldly underlines the brand’s dominance in network speeds and coverage,” he adds.

On the collaboration with Celcom Axiata, Iskandar says the relationship has thrived on trust and honesty; the agency (M&C Saatchi) believes in the Celcom brand and in turn, Celcom has trusted the agency to transform it from a brand perceived to be “me too” to “I want it”.

“The intention of the campaign is to develop a simple and effective campaign that delivers the message that Celcom has the fastest network across consumers,” says strategic planning manager Yoong Siew Mee in an email reply.

“If done right, having an impactful endorsement campaign using the right icon will deliver this message, which in our case Bolt was the perfect match,” she adds. According to Celcom Axiata chief marketing officer Zalman Aafendy Zainal Abidin, the campaign is about speed and to state Celcom’s dominance in coverage by using Usain Bolt to associate it with speed.

“We want to make a bold statement in our campaign. We believe the best way to deliver an impactful campaign is to use icons because they humanise the product,” he had said in a previous report. The telecommunications giant had also used sports personalities previously in its campaigns.

Besides bagging a gold award, M&C Saatchi also received a bronze trophy for client Volkswagen.

On another note, Malaysia Effie Awards 2013 jury chairman Judd Labarthe tells StarBizWeek on the sidelines after the award show that having 34 finalists from 85 entries is a “healthy number” despite the number of entries being lower this year from 102 in 2012.

“You need to be confident enough to participate in the Effie Awards and to be good enough to win,” he says.The two gold winners inspired the judges in a way that the other winners didn’t, It’s not about them being different but they just said, ‘Hey, there is something going on there’.”

“Winning a gold award is an amazing recognition. What is more important is helping clients amplify their business or strengthen brand awareness by engaging with customers to heighten the desire for their products and services,” says Malaysia Effie Awards 2013 organising chairman Nicky Lim.

He reveals that there will be an inaugural Asian Effie Awards to be held next year.

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