Magazine article Marketing

Connecting to the Customer

Magazine article Marketing

Connecting to the Customer

Article excerpt

The first Marketing Connections awards next month will reward the best use of communications technology for the marketing industry

NABS is currently running the second year of its Fast Forward training session for young people in the communications industry. At last week's session Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO chief executive Andrew Robertson showed the audience an intriguing video.

It was footage from an e-mail that he and many other people in the agency had been sent of a children's cartoon strip called Super Friends, which featured the likes of Batman and Robin, Superman, Aquaman and Wonder Woman. But what was different about this cartoon was that it had been edited and dubbed so that the soundtrack was Budweiser's Whassup! campaign. It showed Superman saying 'Whassup!' to Aquaman, who passed the greeting on to Batman and then Robin buzzed the intercom to say 'Whassup!' You get the picture. The Super Friends Whassup version had not been put together by an agency -- but by an unknown individual somewhere who had decided it was worth the effort because the end result was so good. It was funny and clever, and as Robertson pointed out it was also the shape of things to come.

He told the audience of people working in the advertising, media, design and PR business that the current Budweiser campaign had been so successful that people were now e-mailing the ads to their friends. And he said there were estimates that around 30 million people had now seen the ad via the e-mail, with no cost to the company.

The internet and the e-mail has given individuals the power of a mass medium, they can use from home or work. It is these kind of changes in the communications industry that Marketing's new Connections Awards were set up to recognise. Many of the papers seen by the judges contained innovative ideas for using new technology to improve communication with customers, and business performance.

The awards seek to reward those that are leading the way in addressing the challenges posed by a new age of communication. Almost 100 entries were received for the event, in areas such as use of the internet, use of the intranet, interactive television campaigns, and best use of WAP/mobile phones.

The event also has a high calibre of judges, including Jane Frost, BBC Technology's director of marketing and sales; Mike Cornwall, chief executive of TBWA GGT; Gary Lockton, chief executive of Deepgroup; Roisin Donnelly, corporate marketing director Procter & Gamble (UK) and Scott Menneer, marketing director for BSkyB.

The Connections Awards will be presented on November 20 at the Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly. For more information contact Nicki Wayne on 02082674318.

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