Magazine article Marketing

Awards Preview: Practice Made Perfect

Magazine article Marketing

Awards Preview: Practice Made Perfect

Article excerpt

The Marketing Society Awards will showcase the industry at its most effective.

Most awards ceremonies are a chance for congratulatory back-slapping. However, The Marketing Society Awards for Excellence offers something more: the opportunity to learn about best practice and spot trends in the industry.

This year's event, which takes place on 18 June, will be no exception. The entries spanned industry sectors from retail and FMCG to telecoms and the public sector, with many reflecting consumer concerns about health and the environment.

The latter was most prevalent among the work submitted for entry by retailers. Marks & Spencer, whose marketing director Steven Sharp won last year's prestigious Marketer of the Year prize, has been shortlisted for its 'Behind the label' campaign. The store is using the positioning to highlight its ethical and environmental standards as well as encouraging customers to consider their importance across the retail sector.

Tesco showcased its Green ClubCard campaign to illustrate how rewarding positive environmental decisions can encourage consumers to change their behaviour for the better.

These retailers are not the only entrants to show that marketing can drive positive change. Through its Jamie's School Dinners work, Channel 4 showed how a campaign can move an issue on from a specialist area to a national, populist and mainstream debate. The broadcaster demonstrated how its integrated campaign led to a change in government funding and the introduction of nutritional standards for school dinners in state schools.

The issues of improving diet and cutting obesity extend to other entries, too. Sainsbury's, which uses Oliver in its advertising, has submitted its Active Kids campaign for an award. As well as increasing sales at its stores, the supermarket claims that Active Kids has made a genuine impact on the way physical education is taught in schools.

Breakfast-cereal manufacturer Weetabix also used the health message to revitalise its brand and promote the launch of Oatibix, creating a cold-oat category within the sector.

Danone, meanwhile, cited its direct approach and implicit understanding of consumers' intestinal conditions for its ability to move its Activia brand into the mainstream despite stiff competition.

In the baby market, the launch of premium range Plum Baby focused on good-food values. And to demonstrate that indulgent brands can tap into a health message, Richmond Foods showcased its Skinny Cow low-fat ice cream.

Food manufacturers were not the only ones concerned with health and wellbeing. The British Heart Foundation's 'Under Your Skin' campaign, which was aimed at smokers, tackled the difficulty of engaging a group of consumers who may have become immune to hard-hitting tactics.

With 58 shortlisted campaigns competing for 14 awards, these entries provide only a glimpse of the competition. All marketing disciplines are represented, with categories ranging from the coveted Grand Prix to New Brand, Marketing Achievement, Internal Marketing and Brand Revitalisation.

Those attending the awards will not only have the chance to learn about the best in marketing practice but also to meet and network with those who have made it happen.

DATA FILE - AWARDS

Venue: The London Hilton Park Lane Hotel

Date: 18 June

Table bookings: Tables are still available for The Marketing Society Awards for Excellence ceremony. …

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