target_ex3_2014

Ex Awards: The Best Event Marketing Campaigns of 2014

em_maycover_2014_NEWIt’s ironic that an industry built on the idea that it can cut through the clutter of traditional marketing is becoming a pretty cluttered space in its own right. But that’s what happens when you become successful—everybody wants a piece.

And so in our annual special review of the year’s top event campaigns, our judges meticulously sifted through more than 850 event programs submitted across 26 categories to find those experiences that not only broke through the clutter, but also broke the mold. And in the process, moved the industry forward.

Here, we offer our digital guide to the 2014 Ex Awards–the best campaigns of the last 12 months. Each Ex winner is profiled and each campaigned summarized, and then we highlight some of the standout elements: which trends were put into play, what measurable results were generated and how the overall campaign played out. You can search by category, or peruse through the whole lot. You’ll also find links to sizzle reels from many of the campaigns, all of which are available on our Ex Awards Playlist on the Event Marketer YouTube Channel. We hope you’ll check it all out, and share with colleagues and friends.

Congratulations to all of this year’s Ex Awards finalists and winners. Keep it up—we’re watching you.

—Jessica Heasley, Group Editor

 

Download the Full List of Winners

The 2014 Grand Ex Award

Campus Connections: Target and Deutsch push the boundaries of college marketing with the Grand Ex-winning Bullseye University Live 

Over the last few years, no retailer has embraced experiential marketing like Target. The company has wired live experiences throughout the entire marketing mix, threading engagement into everything it does. From sponsorships and grassroots marketing to guerrilla efforts and beyond, the programs are simultaneously national and local, in-store and out—and amplified online and offline.

It’s always about big ideas, big activations and big results. “If it’s not remarkable, it will be invisible,” says Dan Griffis, the company’s vp-experiential marketing and alliances.   … Continue Reading

BEST RETAIL/IN-STORE EVENT CAMPAIGN

Best_Instore_Gatorade_WEBEX AWARD WINNER
Client: PepsiCo
Campaign: Gatorade Walmart Tour
Agency: PGW Experience

WHY IT’S A WINNER. Gatorade’s strategy enabled it to have repeat interactions with the consumers on-site. The brand engaged consumers outside the store, sent them directly to the product in-store, incentivized purchase of the product (on discount) and then sent them back out to the activation to claim a prize.

TRENDS IN ACTION. “Closing the loop” between the live experience and the sale is becoming the new imperative. The in-hand call to action strategy Gatorade used to guarantee a sale eliminated the question of whether the message sunk in. ROI? Check.

THE CASE STUDY. After a slight decline in Q1 sales at Walmart, Gatorade decided it needed a surgical strike at the retailer to reach bargain-hunting moms in a meaningful way. It also wanted to push its messaging on its core teen consumers–male athletes, typically, who can and do make Gatorade purchases on their own, but also rely on a very important main decision-maker of the family to pick up the product on the regular trip to the market: mom.

Gatorade sent a fleet of five Ford Transit vans dubbed the “G-Units,” which were outfitted with slide-out sampling cages and built-in coolers, to more than 1,000 participating Walmart locations. Consumers walked up to the G-Unit and sampled the drink with a brand ambassador while viewing integrated media content from professional athletes, which helped teach them about Gatorade’s “Prime and Recover System”—a trio of drink solutions for active bodies. Afterward, they could take photos at a station with a backdrop featuring an iconic Gatorade sports moment and have it printed as a custom Gatorade bottle label.

Key to the experience, however, was the G-Tag Card game piece featuring a unique prize redemption code that could be scanned at G-Tag Stations located at the Gatorade display inside Walmart. Once consumers scanned the card, the in-store kiosk displayed what the consumer had won (from hats to sunglasses and other giveaways). The trick: The digital in-store display printed out a coupon that would be validated at the register with a purchase of Gatorade and then had to be taken back to the G-Unit in order to claim the listed prize, a strategy which generated sales spikes in addition to making Gatorade top of mind for the entire shopping experience.

RESULTS. More than 1.5 million samples and consumer engagements were recorded, with sales results spiking to more than 500 percent on activation days, and often selling out the entire floor display in just one day. “Our customer [Walmart] is already asking how soon we can do this again,” the brand said.

 

Best_Instore_Corby_WEBGOLD WINNER
Client: Corby Wine and Spirits
Campaign: Campo Viejo LCBO Tasting
Agency: BOOM! Marketing 

Food and wine go hand in hand, and in a culturally relevant setting, both just seem to taste better, don’t they? To build awareness for its Campo Viejo wine while bringing a contemporary look and feel to the Spanish wine category, Corby Wine and Spirits activated in-store sampling at LCBO stores in Toronto, the greater Toronto area, and Ottawa, bringing a little bit of Spain to each.

The Spanish tapas-style restaurant activations within the LCBOs evoked all the senses. Brand ambassadors dressed in Flamenco-inspired outfits—a red ensemble with black embellishments and a tousled bun (for the ladies)—greeted consumers with an “Hola!” and a one-ounce sample of the Crianza and Reserva varietals. Flowers, a small artist easel and a platter of cheeses and cured meats were set out on a large table. The ambassador led the tasting as a Spanish acoustic guitarist performed, which included a food pairing prepared by an on-site chef. The two dishes, Patatas Bravas and Ceviche, were infused with Campo, giving consumers another incentive to purchase the product. As consumers learned about the wine, they also learned about the dishes.

These elements encouraged consumers to linger and, according to the brand, many started dancing with their significant other—an element that surely left a lasting brand impression and complemented the brand’s “Live Uncorked” message. And the brand saw a lasting effect from the program with a recorded 180 percent increase in ROI and more than 974 total units sold across 40 activations. Salud!

Check out video HERE

 

Best_Instore_Xbox_WEBSILVER WINNER
Client: Microsoft Xbox
Campaign: Xbox One Retail Launch
Agency: Matter Inc.

Midnight launches for gaming events typically attract core gamers and early technology adopters—essentially, the folks who will camp out for a coveted product. But with its new Xbox One console, a system that offers complex interactive games for core gamers, as well as family-friendly physical activity gaming, Microsoft wanted to get gamers and families amped up to purchase at its retail stores.

Microsoft settled on an in-store launch plan that involved two iterations of tournaments. The first was the six-market “Killer Instinct Fighter Tournaments” held 8 p.m. to midnight with 265 players participating across 16 consoles. In the end, one victorious player from each market crowned the “ultimate fighter” finalist at midnight was—check it—flown with a guest the following day to Jacksonville, FL, for the final Killer Instinct Ultra Fighter Showdown Ultimate Champion face-off. The winners competed on stage in front of 2,000-plus spectators. Afterward, the six winners and their guests were treated to a Macklemore and dj Ryan Lewis meet-and-greet and concert experience.

For the family target, the brand sustained and extended the momentum into the next weekend at retail stores with the Xbox One Sports Star Challenge across 10 markets. Fans of all ages lined up to meet sports heroes, whose presence drove buzz. Attendees played games with the stars, took photos and entered into raffle drawings to win autographed sports memorabilia. Between the two legs of the campaign, the brand earned an impressive 488 million p.r. impressions. Game. On.

BEST USE OF GUERRILLA/STREET MARKETING

Best_Guerrilla_Wrigley_WEBEX AWARD WINNER
Client: William Wrigley Jr. Co.
Campaign: Excel Gumergency
Agency: GMR Marketing

WHY IT’S A WINNER. This provocative and playful campaign turned what could have been a simple sampling strategy for a broad target into one that generated real-time social engagement and share-worthy content both on the brand’s social media pages and on the vehicle’s social wall.

TRENDS IN ACTION. Surprise interactions with an actor onboard a mobile vehicle gave consumers an experience to talk about. These types of “shareworthy sampling” strategies are giving basic product trial experiences massive boosts in social reach.

THE CASE STUDY. Imagine walking down the street with a cup of coffee and hearing a booming voice warning you that in due time that hot beverage could leave you with a “gumergency”… coffee breath, that is. It’s how Wrigley interrupted high-traffic areas in Vancouver and Toronto over 26 days to boost awareness of its Excel gum with the Excel Gumergency Mobile Unit, a box truck with glass walls containing a command center of sorts and a trained actor who served as the Gumergency Operator and spoke to consumers going about their day-to-day routine with a playful sense of urgency, and even took calls from outside.

Passerby enjoying coffee, food and other items that may cause bad breath were encouraged to take “breathalyzer” tests with brand ambassadors to determine the level of their gumergency. They received an Excel sample (size determined by the level of severity… maybe one for a muffin, or 10 for an onion sandwich) to help resolve the problem.

In addition to the live interaction, Wrigley promoted the #gumergency hashtag to generate real-time social engagement and share-worthy content. Consumers could post about their experience on Twitter and Instagram and by using the hashtag, their post was promoted on a live LED ticker board and social wall attached to the truck.

The messaging behind the gumergency campaign, which began with 30-second spots on YouTube featuring “Randy Johnson,” the not-so-friendly gumergency hotline operator, was that “gum can solve gumergencies and give people the confidence to get closer.” Certainly, closer to the Wrigley brand.

RESULTS. Some 2,130 breathalyzer tests were administered with 215,000 Excel samples distributed, in addition to 392,000 live in-market impressions.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_Guerrilla_BurgerKing_WEBGOLD WINNER
Client: Burger King
Campaign: What the French Fry
Agency: Moderne Communications

There are few more loyalty inducing food products out there than fast food French fries. So to shake up what we all know about our favorite deep fried potato sticks in promoting its new French fry offering “Satisfries,” a lower in fat and calorie option, Burger King decided to leave its mark—on the streets, and in our minds. It began with the wild posting of the hashtag #WTFF (What the French Fry) in high-traffic areas in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. There were 1,000 market-specific wild postings, 225 neon chalk stencils and 70 power-washed stencils. This unbranded, non-traditional media strategy immediately got consumers buzzing on social media, asking #WTF is #WTFF?

Burger King let that buzz build for three days before dropping life-sized unbranded eight-foot crinkle cut French fry installations throughout key locations and offering free “wi-fry” hot spots around them. Consumers then spread the movement virally and by playfully hijacking the #WTFF marked giant fries, carrying them throughout the city, onto Subway cars, on bicycles, even walking in the background of NBC’s “Today” show, in one case. Photos trickled in through Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter accounts, extending the life of the campaign beyond the actual lifespan of the media installations.

The organic interactions that spread as a result of the campaign resulted in nearly 13 million impressions through unbranded and non-traditional street media alone. Social media impressions totaled a little more than 2.4 million through 153 tweets over the course of the four days. Pass the ketchup, please.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_Guerrilla_Hostess_WEBSILVER WINNER
Client: Hostess
Campaign: Prepare Your Cakeface
Agency: Bernstein-Rein, Marketing Werks, LAK

For many years the beloved Twinkie was a childhood lunch bag staple, and when that fluffy yellow cake nearly went extinct two years ago, nostalgia-induced panic set in. After it was purchased out of bankruptcy, however, Hostess prepared for a re-launch of Twinkie and its other most popular snack, CupCakes, with a very new target to engage outside of its previous, loyal core mom target—convenience store males ages 18 to 34, the highest consuming snack purchaser in that channel.

Hostess took full advantage of the masses “in mourning,” specifically those that loved Twinkies but hadn’t had one since childhood. To grab these consumers’ attention, the brand activated “Prepare Your Cakeface” to prepare these consumers for the launch. For more than a week Hostess targeted high-visibility areas in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles with thousands of unbranded signs bearing that slogan. By doing a simple search of the slogan, consumers pulled up a microsite that promoted the use of the hashtag #cakeface and aggregated in real-time the Vines and Instagram videos consumers posted of themselves “stretching their mouths” in preparation for the snacks’ re-launch. Teams also hit the streets with t-shirts, stamped hands with the hashtag and gathered crowds together for “mouth stretching” exercises.

This campaign took full advantage of the social media savvy demographic. On Vine, #cakeface trended nationally. On top of that, Twinkies sales increased 185 percent and CupCakes sales increased 53 percent year-over-year. Om, nom nom.

Check out video HERE

BEST MALL EVENT PROGRAM

Best_Mall_Nokia_WEBEX AWARD WINNER
Client: Nokia
Campaign: #HolidayRealness Tour
Agency: Geometry Global

WHY IT’S A WINNER. Nokia turned the standard device demo—a pushy, pick it up, click some buttons, maybe snap a photo experience—into a festive and lasting experience that left consumers with one-of-a-kind takeaways, all thanks to the power of the product.

TRENDS IN ACTION. A seamless transition from the online campaign to the live experience created continuity for consumers. This program also had a “disruptive” edge that pushed through the typical holiday season clutter.

THE CASE STUDY. How often are the holidays celebrated a la cliché? The cookies, the fireplace, the nuclear family positioned around the tree. In reality, not all holidays are made equal. Using a “disruptive” strategy that shook up the holidays and celebrated “real” people with their own unique, unfiltered holiday traditions, Nokia launched the #HolidayRealness Experiential Tour, a two-part, nine-market program that activated for five weeks between Black Friday and the weekend after Christmas.

The program split across five in-mall markets (Chicago, Denver, New York and Washington, D.C.), and four outdoor markets for a mobile truck leg (Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco). Then, there was Nokia’s online Holiday Realness hub, which helped the brand promote the hashtag #holidayrealness and campaign through a series of digital short films featuring real people and their wacky traditions. Think Santa surfing with Rudolph, a doggy Christmas and “extreme caroling,” to name a few.

Among the experiences at the mall stops was a photo activation using Nokia Lumia phones featuring quirky holiday backdrops and props that consumers could share across social media channels, or take home as printed gift tags to use on gifts. There were demo stations that showed off the Lumia’s low-light imaging capabilities, as well as its zoom functions. And then, there was the snow globe. Consumers climbed inside the snow globe for a chance to grab a “snowflake” tied to a prize (think money machine). Prizes ranged from Nokia devices to an Xbox to lumps of coal. Branded giveaways were awarded when consumers engaged with the product at the demo stations. The favorite: ugly holiday sweater mock t-shirts.

RESULTS. The brand recorded 269,510 interactions with consumers and 137,325 direct engagements. There were 97,134 product demonstrations and consumer spent an average of four-minutes at the experience; eight to 10 minutes at some stops.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_Mall_Netflix_WEBGOLD WINNER
Client: Netflix
Campaign: Family Room
Agency: Deutsch

It’s not always easy getting everyone in the room—family, especially—to agree on what to watch on television, but Netflix over the last holiday season set out to prove it can serve as the common denominator. While millions of consumers are getting in on streaming services that allow them to curate television viewing, rather than be subjected to unwanted channels and commercials (even “cutting the cord” of cable in some cases), many still don’t understand how it works and what you get.

The Netflix Family Room in-mall campaign targeted non- Netflix users, primarily, passing through popular shopping areas in Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago and San Francisco for two weeks during the holiday season.

The 12- by 15-foot spaces looked like your standard American living room with a fireplace and comfortable chairs. Consumers entering the space could grab a seat and watch streaming holiday movies, take holiday photos with props, or wrap some of their purchased gifts at a gift-wrapping station. Brand ambassadors outfitted in branded holiday sweatshirts engaged consumers with iPads to share how to use, sign-up and give Netflix as a gift, as well as answer questions from existing customers.

All of the experiences were “no-obligation,” meaning you didn’t have to register to do it. Netflix wanted to provide positive interactions with the brand, rather than conduct surveys and collect data. It did record interactions, including 23,773 living room engagements and 26,120 product demonstrations. There were 12,811 gifts wrapped, too. It’s a wrap, thanks to Netflix.

 

Best_Mall_HGTV_WEBSILVER WINNER
Client: HGTV
Campaign: Holiday House
Agency: Pop2Life Creative

Is there anything more magical than a life-size multi-level gingerbread house? The HGTV Holiday House nailed it with multiple touch points that engaged shoppers with the brand. The house, positioned at Santa Monica Place, an upscale mall in Santa Monica, CA, stayed open for six weeks during the holidays and complemented a 2,000-square-foot HGTV pop-up showroom—a retail space featuring products from the HGTV Home line of merchandise.

Inside, Santa Claus was available for pictures with consumers (there was a pet photo event as well). Activities ranged from coloring stations with easels for kids and a resting spot for parents to hang out, to sampling hot cocoa and cookies to a tacky sweater contest and themed talent appearances from popular HGTV shows and from HGTV magazine. There was also an HGTV custom holiday “winter sledding” photo experience for consumers to take part in. Consumers entered the HGTV Home Holiday Cash Giveaway for a chance to win $10,000 and meet popular network talent. Everyone left with a giant HGTV shopping bag takeaway. Every night the entire space lit up with a mix of music and lights for a three-hour light show.

With activation events such as the HGTV Holiday House and many others throughout the year, along with premieres of several new original shows, HGTV achieved its highest rated and most watched year ever in 2013 among adults ages 25 to 54. The network finished 2013 as the #1 cable network among upscale female viewers for the seventh consecutive year.

Check out video HERE

BEST P.R. STUNT

Best_PR_WestJet_WEBEX AWARD WINNER
Client: WestJet Airlines
Campaign: Christmas Miracle
Agency: studio m, Mosaic, Globacore, The Taylor Group

WHY IT’S A WINNER. So much more than a mere one-time stunt, this program turned a surprise and delight experience for 250 consumers into a social media sensation that exceeded all p.r., awareness and brand perception goals. Kudos, too, for the impressive on-site set, hidden cameras and proprietary technology it took to pull it off.

TRENDS IN ACTION. After filming the stunt start to finish, WestJet systematically promoted the video online, leading to a record-breaking viral result and proving that event content is a viable buzz generator that can extend the value of the live investment.

THE CASE STUDY. Holiday travel is often hectic or, at the least, typical, and airports tend to be the last place we expect to feel happy—unless we’re leaving them. To create a memorable and lasting experience for 250 passengers last year, WestJet activated the holiday stunt “Christmas Miracle.” The Canadian carrier set up virtual kiosks at two international airports for two Calgary-bound flights. Passengers scanned their boarding passes prompting a live video stream of a virtual WestJet Santa Claus asking them—by name—what they wanted for Christmas.

In WestJet’s nearby Digital Command Center, a team of more than 150 volunteer “WestJetters” became Santa’s Helpers and purchased and wrapped personalized gifts for all the guests aboard the two flights. When the passengers got off the plane and headed to baggage claim they discovered a holiday paradise with decorations and lights. Then, they watched as the festively decorated carousel roared to life and brought down not just their luggage, but also the gifts that each had requested merely hours before. One passenger even got a flat screen TV. Seriously.

Nineteen hidden cameras captured the experience and guests reactions from departure to arrival. The video was unveiled on WestJet’s YouTube page, which set off a viral sensation. The brand offered to provide free flights to reunite families in need through its longtime partner, Ronald McDonald House Charities, once the video reached 200,000 views. The brand followed up with a carefully crafted communication plan involving social media, press releases and a broadcast media tour to spread the video’s love.

RESULTS. The video got some 35 million views on YouTube and was one of the most watched viral ads of 2013 worldwide, exceeding the brand’s goal of 500,000 views by 7,000 percent. In addition, the brand reported revenue year over year increases of 86 percent, boosts in bookings of 77 percent and visits to WestJet.com up by 100 percent.

Check out video HERE

 

SONY DSCGOLD WINNER 
Client: The Clorox Co.
Campaign: Soy Vay Apollo ’13 Space Mission
Agency: Swirl Integrated Marketing, Current

For foodies, meals are about much more than sustenance—they connect people. And the food products they love, well, the good ones have a good story behind them. Like The Clorox Company’s Soy Vay sauce, which got started by friends at a potluck party in 1980. The product has a small, extremely passionate following, but Clorox wanted to get scrappy, expand and create an awesome story to make Soy Vay top of mind with more consumers.

The campaign, “The Awesome Sauce,” set out to build interest and buzz by investigating whether or not a Soy Vay marinated chicken would cook in space. The result was Soy Vay Apollo ’13, a Soy Vay bottle-shaped space capsule containing a marinated chicken that would launch from Nashville, TN, (meeting FAA regulations) and go upward via a weather balloon (while slowly cooking in sub-zero degree temperatures) to 100,000 feet and into the stratosphere. The balloon would then— and did—pop, sending the capsule slowly back to earth, which was then tracked via GPS and retrieved by a chaser vehicle. Upon retrieval, the chicken was taken to a post-launch event to be consumed by the masses.

The closing event was held at Cumberland Park in Nashville, where consumers enjoyed food, live music and giveaways. A campaign event-landing page offered all the details on the mission, a peek into the space capsule, the team and the history-making recipe. By the end of the stunt, 52 percent of those aware were “more likely” to purchase because of the campaign. Soy Vay also experienced a 63 percent increase in aided brand name recognition.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_PR_Lamborghini_WEBSILVER WINNER
Client: Lamborghini
Campaign: Miami Takeover
Agency: VOK DAMS

How do you create an event for a dream car? To launch the new Lamborghini Aventador Roadster, Lamborghini decided a standard test drive program would be too “mediocre,” so it invited 400 international guests to be part of a wild parade of 25 brightly colored and impressively loud Roadsters in Miami South Beach. For the stunt, the City of Miami closed off streets and allocated escorts to accommodate the vehicles. All of the guests—automotive and lifestyle press, stakeholders and select VIPs—stayed with the brand for the full 1.5-day experience.

At a welcome dinner, the guests were treated to a Lamborghini fashion show, followed by the chance to mingle with Lamborghini executives to get the intimate details of the car and its design process. The following day the guests got behind the wheel for the parade where they were welcomed with shouts and applause along the streets. The scenic route took the guests to Homestead Raceway where they could unleash the power and experience vehicle performance. On the way back to the hotel there was an unexpected stop made at Miami International Airport, where selected guests had the chance to “drag race” an American Airlines Boeing 777. The Lamborghini Aventador easily won, according to the brand. The program wrapped with a public unveiling and a pop-up store, where Lamborghini apparel was offered.

Of the 200 international publications invited, 120 put the Lamborghini Aventador Roadster on their cover. The brand couldn’t have been any louder.

Check out video HERE

BEST INTEGRATED TRADE SHOW CAMPAIGN

Best_IntegTrade_PAX_WEBEX AWARD WINNER
Client: PepsiCo 
Campaign: Every 2 Minutes PAX Launch 
Agency: Motive 

WHY IT’S A WINNER. Mountain Dew and Doritos gave attendees a new way to look at the a typical expo experience by turning the Seattle Convention Center into a game board consumers could explore throughout the weekend with opportunities to win hidden around every corner.

TRENDS IN ACTION. The activation brought together elements of mobile, experiential and social marketing all under a gamification-style overlay that rewarded early adopters and frontloaded participants in the program.

THE CASE STUDY. To drive buzz leading up to the “Every 2 Minutes” digital program, where every two minutes consumers would have the chance to win an Xbox One, PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew and Doritos brands launched a program at the gaming Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, which became the first-ever promotion to use live + digital, point-based auctions to reward participants with prizes.

Attendees were encouraged to play the game by downloading the official PAX Guidebook app and then registering within the app for the “Every 2 Minutes” on-site experience. Participants were instructed to seek out Dew and Doritos branded codes hidden throughout the PAX floor, the surrounding hotels and the city of Seattle at large. Each code had its own unique point value, with over a hundred codes in all.

Those fans who actively collected codes earned the opportunity to redeem points for a wide array of exclusive prizes at the Dew and Doritos marketplace, ranging from bottles of an unreleased Mountain Dew Game Fuel flavor and limited-edition Doritos Gamer Packs, to branded t-shirts and hoodies and high-value gaming accessories, all the way up to highly coveted four-day VIP passes for PAX 2014. Ultimately, fans were encouraged to stock up on points for a live auction event on Sunday night, during which they’d have a chance to bid on Xbox One systems, staking claim to one long before they hit shelves.

Two thousand attendees showed up to participate in the auctions, with 30 walking away winners. The auction event, hosted by professional auctioneer and gaming celebrity host John Carnage, became one of the most talked-about experiences of the entire PAX weekend—and its unique auction format got thousands ready to participate in the “Every 2 Minutes” online promotion going live a few weeks later.

RESULTS. More than 5,000 prizes were redeemed in the marketplace, and the program in all received 416 million impressions. There were also 2,000 unique tweets reaching over five million followers.

Check out video HERE

 

BASFGOLD WINNER
Client: BASF 
Campaign: IBS 2013 
Agency: Impact Unlimited

To showcase its portfolio of products for residential construction that can be used for sustainable construction, BASF at the National Association of Home Builders’ International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas invited visitors on a tour of the company’s BEYOND.High Performance net-zero energy home, located just outside the convention center. The full-scale home, complete with landscaping and decking, was shown in both its construction and finished phases—all to drive adoption of BASF products. And to drive home that message of sustainability, the company made all the product information accessible electronically, through RFID-enabled targets. That’s right, no brochures required.

A hostess greeted visitors, set them up with an RFID bracelet and then sent small groups on a guided tour. There were 12 stops throughout the experience where the guides highlighted products and used networked iPads that allowed them to “magically” activate monitors to play intro videos or cue lights that focused the attention of visitors on specific solutions. As the visitors identified products of interest, they “tapped” their RFID wristbands at tap stations and information was automatically emailed to them. BASF collected valuable information about product preferences and customized additional digital information tailored to the individual visitors’ interests. A virtual tour of the home, every room, every product stop, and every video, was made available after the show.

Over the course of the three-day conference, more than 1,700 visitors registered and toured the BASF show home, representing a 20 percent increase over the previous year’s count. Home, sweet, home.

 

Hills ExhibitSILVER WINNER
Client: Hill’s Pet Nutrition
Campaign: Western Veterinary Conference 2013
Agency: 3D Exhibits 

Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic Advanced Weight Solution did one thing that most pet weight loss solutions don’t—it achieved an 88 percent success rate during in-home trials, which is considered an impressive number in the pet care industry. To maximize exposure of the product and that stat among the vets, vet techs, students and staff attending the Western Veterinary Conference, Hill’s threw a “housewarming party” that set the scene for pet care at patient households. The brand pre-registered 4,879 attendees through pre-show mailing and advertising and then hosted the party at a booth display that resembled a suburban home—complete with siding, windows, roof, kitchen and patio.

Opening ceremonies included a 10-minute presentation from the brand and a singing flash mob in the “living room.” Reps then met veterinarians one-on-one in small seating areas in the “kitchen” where all of the study data was made available. The brand also sponsored a symposium where Hill’s Advanced Weight Loss Solution was a topic, and two lunches that included a presentation and attracted 650 attendees, total. The brand distributed green “88 percent shirts” to the first 400 attendees at the luncheon. Those spotted wearing it the following day were given $5 Starbucks gift cards. One attendee received a $100 Amazon gift card.

In an exit survey, 97 percent of exhibit visitors remembered the 88 percent figure and 97 percent said they were very likely or likely to prescribe the product. There were 155 orders taken for 18,218 pounds of the product, doubling the amount sold in 2012.

BEST MULTICULTURAL EVENT CAMPAIGN

Best_Multicult_Heineken_WEBEX AWARD WINNER
Client: Heineken 
Campaign: Heineken House: The Music Labs 
Agency: Remezcla 

WHY IT’S A WINNER. It’s all about access. As part of a new approach to its sponsorship of the Latin GRAMMY’s, Heineken’s event space Heineken House brought together Latin artists, media industry VIPs and consumers for experiences that gave everyone a behind-the-scenes look at the recording, creative and reporting process.

TRENDS IN ACTION. A highly targeted program, Heineken House was tailored solely to Hispanic consumers for the first time. The Media Lab also tapped into a trend toward more media-friendly interview spaces within consumer activations.

THE CASE STUDY. To reinvigorate its longtime sponsorship of the Latin GRAMMY Awards and target Hispanic male consumers, Heineken took over the Eye Candy Lounge, a high-traffic location within the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas and transformed it into Heineken House. Over the three-day activation, Heineken immersed visitors in the sights and sounds of Latin music through an array of activations and nightly programming.

At the Heineken House, guests were greeted by a brand ambassador and invited to check out experiences such as the Sound Lab, Heineken’s on-site custom built recording studio. During the day consumers would see award winning Latin music producer Toy Selectah and his sound engineer Frank “El Medico” Rodriguez collaborating with various music artists within this studio that was encased in Plexiglas. Outside of the studio, there were listening stations that featured information on the Sound Lab along with biographies on the producer and sound engineer.

During the day, the Media Lab provided media, p.r. partners and bloggers with a comfortable, dedicated lounge space to conduct audio and video interviews, network and focus on Latin GRAMMY’s coverage. Heineken provided amenities such as phone charging stations and food. The response to the Media Lab was so overwhelming that other rooms within the Heineken House were used for interviews, so one could find oneself only a few feet away from top Latin artists as they did interviews with top national media outlets such as Univision.

Projected above was the Heineken Star Wall, a live feed of Event2Pix photographs taken of consumers by brand ambassadors equipped with iPads. The evening programming drew in thousands and offered live performances from Latin artists as well as dj sets that moved the crowd all night long. The venue was so popular that it was constantly at capacity across the three nights.

RESULTS. Attendance increased by 28 percent, topping 3,500 guests throughout the week and included performances from 19 recording artists, including nine Latin GRAMMY nominees.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_Multicult_Hennessey_WEBGOLD WINNER
Client: Moët Hennessy 
Campaign: What’s your Wild Rabbit? 
Agency: Strategic Experiential Group 

Moët Hennessy’s “What’s Your Wild Rabbit” campaign launched in 2012, but for the first time, in 2013 sought out a deeper connection with African-American and Hispanic millennial guys. The strategy: exclusive experiences for these consumers who are known for being early adopters. Part of this evolution of the program also included a refocus towards social media as Hennessy re-positioned its platform with Instagram as the primary outlet, and Twitter serving as secondary support.

Through both social media platforms, the brand promoted an overarching hashtag campaign, inviting consumers to become part of #TeamHennessy in their marketplaces. During nightlife activations at high-profile, modern and exclusive nightclubs, the brand encouraged consumers to showcase their “Wild Rabbit Chase,” messaging born from an above-the-line campaign, through posts to Instagram and Twitter. Hennessy also developed thematic sweepstakes where consumers entered using hashtags relevant to the campaign—#MyWildRabbitLyrics and #HennessyFilm—for the chance to win exclusive prizes.

One component of the three-part program involved Hennessy-owned events, where the brand collaborated with Brazilian artist Os Gemeos to release the third Hennessy Limited Edition bottle with a launch party in New York City. Consumers danced to dj Jazzy Jeff and mingled with Gemeos while engaging in a live stream Twitter-Instagram feed visible on a 16-foot by nine-foot wall using #hennessyxosgemenos, #wildrabbit and #hennessyxnas. Other components to the program included ultimate night activations at clubs where the brand sponsored activities like bottle parades and step-and-repeats, and in-store sampling.

The brand estimates that it earned nearly 30 million impressions via the assigned hashtags for the campaign. The brand also earned thousands of new followers—34,275 on Twitter and 37,650 on Instagram.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_Multicult_Nestle_WEBSILVER WINNER
Client: Nestlé 
Campaign: Navarro Activation
Agency: Good Solutions Group 

In an effort to make personal connections with Hispanics in the Miami market, Nesquik dropped into Hispanic neighborhoods with a multiplatform approach that included in-store events with retailer Navarro, a partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs and the Miami Heat, and endorsements with Heat players, Mario Chalmers and Alonzo Mourning. The program began in Miami with a p.r. tour featuring Chalmers that included stops at ESPN Radio, morning shows and local news.

In-store signings followed which attracted more media attention and droves of consumer interest. Chalmers played a pick-up basketball game using a Nesquik-branded basketball backboard with kids from the Boys and Girls Clubs that the media was invited to cover located outside the Navarro store which featured a custom tented area. The next day, Navarro customers and employees, and Boys and Girls Clubs kids played in a “shoot-out” with Mourning in the Miami Arena, which was followed by VIP ticket giveaways to a Miami Heat game.

The Nesquik Street Team and Bunny were present at the pre-game shootout and during the game, and were integrated at the arena in various branded activities (Dancing with the Bunny, Bunny Ears Cam, to name a few). At halftime on-court in front of 20,000 Heat fans, Nesquik made a $10,000 donation to the Boys and Girls Clubs with the Bunny front-and-center. The Nesquik street team members were posted at all entrances of the arena handing out high-value coupons and samples.

Ultimately, Nesquik product sold year-over-year in Miami increased by 17 percent (over the stated goal of 3.5 percent). Market share increased by 1.8 percent and p.r. impressions exceeded expectations by 100 percent at 8.5 million.

Check out video HERE

BEST PROPRIETARY PROPERTY

Best_Proprietary_Activision_WEBEX AWARD WINNER
Client: Activision 
Campaign: Call of Duty Championship 2013 
Agency: NCompass International 

WHY IT’S A WINNER. Call of Duty, the largest gaming franchise in the world, nailed it through this proprietary Championship event, creating an ownable, global platform that had all the fixings of a major sports property—from live coverage to post-game analysis—that also leveraged two key partnerships.

TRENDS IN ACTION. eSports (competitive video gaming) is something to watch out for, because it may soon rival that of platforms like the X-Games in terms of viewership.

THE CASE STUDY. To reinforce its leadership role in the gaming community and debut and drive sales of new “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” downloadable content, publisher Activision created the proprietary, global tournament The Call of Duty Championship, an event that distributed real-time content to audiences across the globe. Through a series of global qualifiers, top teams from Australia, Brazil, Europe, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Africa, South Korea and the U.S. made their way to Los Angeles for the chance to compete for a piece of the $1 million prize.

Players received custom team jerseys with a logo and gamertag (your username/nickname in videogaming) and competed at the Hollywood Palladium. The venue featured multiple elevated stages, each set up for two teams to play head-to-head above the crowds. Giant screens were posted above so attendees could watch the action. eSports announcing legends Fwizz and H@str0 were behind an ESPN “SportsCenter”- style set. Through partnerships with Twitch.tv and Microsoft, Activision was able to live stream coverage from each round of competition as well as post-match team interviews, which were made available as exclusive Xbox 360 content.

A combined 120 members of the gaming media were given the opportunity to: meet with participating teams, players and developers at a pre-tournament kick-off mixer; have direct gameplay footage provided to them for content to be produced live from the tournament; participate in press conference style post-match briefings with the teams and players; interview key spokespersons from the game developer, Treyarch, and the co-founder of Major League Gaming (MLG); and view a pro vs. GI Joe’s special session with Alden Smith of San Francisco 49ers playing a team of on-site GI’s, as well as active duty military stationed at Camp Kandahar in Afghanistan.

RESULTS. Over the weekend of the championship, 6.7 million viewers worldwide tuned in to the three-day competition. Compare this to: the season three “Game of Thrones” premiere, which matched that. The championship was viewed 2.5 times more than the viewership of the season six “Mad Men” finale and three times more than the season four “Boardwalk Empire” finale.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_Proprietary_LifeGood_WEBGOLD WINNER
Client: Life is Good 
Campaign: Life is Good Festival 
Agency: Superfly Marketing Group 

Life is good and its message of optimism has earned a large and loyal fan base. But the clothing retailer was starting to lose touch with younger audiences, so to reinvigorate its brand and connect with its next wave of fans, it turned to a fully ownable event that matched its values. And what better way to reach young people than with a festival?

The Life is good Festival took place over two days at Prowse Farm in Canton, MA, and featured three stages of music talent for kids and adults including Jack Johnson, Hall & Oats and The Roots, Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! and Recess Monkey (a little something for everyone). There were more than 20 interactive areas from Sack Races to Disc Golf to a Martin Guitar Jam Tent.

Anchoring the festival was a fund-raising component (Life is good donates 10 percent of its sales to its Playmakers nonprofit). By purchasing a ticket, consumers could become fund-raisers through an online platform, spreading awareness through their social channels. Those who reached certain thresholds received exclusive VGP benefits (as opposed to VIP benefits, this stood for Very Good People) such as backstage access, preferred concert viewing areas, and access to the Chill Zone, which offered free massages, artist meet-and-greets and private acoustic performances.

Life is good leveraged this model to create a platform that engaged dozens of retailers and partners and this year had more than 15 other complementary brands on-site. The brand found its message reached 30,000 attendees, 70 percent of which were young adults. Additionally, the festival raised more than $1 million for the Playmakers.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_Proprietary_Pernod_WEBSILVER WINNER 
Client: Pernod Ricard 
Campaign: A Night with Ne-Yo and Malibu Red 
Agency: Legacy Marketing Partners 

Grammy Award-winning artist Ne-Yo is more than a spokesperson for Malibu Red, a relatively new offering in the Malibu line. He’s the creative director who has been hands on in developing the drink. So, to further leverage this relationship, the brand created a six-city concert program called “A Night with Ne- Yo.” The artist helped promote each market’s event by promoting that city’s custom hashtag (for instance: #MalibuRedCHI, in Chicago) on Instagram and Twitter. He also did television and radio appearances where consumers had the chance to win free tickets by tuning in.

In each market, Ne-Yo hosted bottle signings at a number of retail locations, giving tradespeople that work directly with the product an opportunity to meet him in person. In addition, he hosted a private dinner for select distributors and retailers to boost complacent markets. In addition to fans, club owners, promoters, bartenders, djs, distributors and retailers in each market were given the opportunity to attend the event, all individuals that might have known about the partnership, but didn’t know how deep that partnership went. The concerts were at clubs completely revamped and fully stocked with Malibu products and a Ne-Yo-designed cocktail offering.

The platform helped foster lasting relationships with the local sales teams and the hosting accounts, which led to product placement at two new accounts. The tour generated 14.5 million media impressions through the placements of four TV broadcast segments across the markets, and six national radio placements.

Check out video HERE

BEST PRESS/MEDIA EVENT

Best_PressMedia_Nissan_WEBEX AWARD WINNER
Client: Nissan 
Campaign: Nissan 360 
Agency: AMCI Global 

WHY IT’S A WINNER. Nissan placed company leaders front and center with the press, giving them plenty of opportunities for casual conversations about the brand while wining, dining and winding around eight unique tracks. Coupled with the lifestyle-driven vehicle experiences, journalists from around the globe left with some pretty rich material.

TRENDS IN ACTION. A propriety technology called the Nissan Exploratory Device (NED) acted as a digital “assistant” and virtual briefcase for each guest—by tapping RFID-enabled displays with the device, they instantly received press kits.

THE CASE STUDY. Journalists who write about cars have probably been there and done that when it comes to ride and drives and press events. They likely experienced a first when at the Nissan 360 event, which promoted the business direction of the company and its Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brands, they were offered the chance to drive more than a hundred vehicles. Nissan invited 1,000 journalists from around the globe for the three-day experience in Newport Coast, CA, designed to demonstrate strategies, showcase technology and overwhelm writers… in a good way.

On each of two mornings journalists were shuttled to the El Toro Proving Grounds with eight unique tracks and 130 vehicles on-hand to drive or ride in. Three tech centers displayed innovations and an air-conditioned 13,200-square-foot tent acted as the main Pavilion, where there were displays for the Nissan, Datsun and Infiniti brands, and six concept vehicles, as well as a 100-seat theatre which hosted more than 42 top company executives across all three brands as well as press conferences. Then came the nights—a champagne toast of Nissan’s 80 years over a sunset; a gala highlighting design with five-star dining; and then, an All-American beach party with hamburgers and cold beer served out of the back of the pick-ups.

With 1,000 attendees total, (NED) helped guests keep track of the schedule and events. They could receive information on products and vehicles by “tapping” RFID-enabled displays. They could also schedule street drives with vehicles and get turn-by-turn GPS instructions back to the raceway. As a result there was very little signage, other than minimal directional, and no brochures handed out at the event. Anything information the guests wanted was available through NED and downloadable to their personal “virtual briefcases.”

RESULTS. Nissan felt it had a critical story to tell, and attendees listened. It was estimated that most attendees took about 10 test drives, with a total of 15,000 test drives recorded. The event earned nearly 31 million social media impressions, including more than 1.2 million impressions from bloggers and online media coverage.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_PressMedia_Activision_WEBGOLD WINNER
Client: Activision 
Campaign: Call of Duty: Ghosts Global Multiplayer Reveal 
Agency: NCompass International

Usually launches are reserved for leaders in media, but for Call of Duty’s Ghosts Global Multiplayer Reveal, the brand opened up to the world a 10-city tour that gave consumer influencers the ability to play with the new multi-player mode before release. The brand wanted to create a social media explosion among fans and boost the all-important pre-order.

Attendees arrived at the venue, L.A. Live in Los Angeles, where they walked a black carpet and branded corridor featuring towering imagery of characters from the upcoming game and into an enclosed, awards-style stage. After a presentation from the ceo, attendees were given a live demo of the expansive upgrades of the game and forthcoming consoles. Attendees were then escorted to gaming stations with actual Xbox One versions of the game where they got exclusive, hands-on playing time within different maps and modes. Attendees played right next to developers and pro-gamers, and then interviewed them one-on-one. At gameplay capturing stations, the attendees were able to take home custom footage on a branded hard drive, as well as pick up lunch and swag from a hospitality tent.

The event generated more social buzz than the Call of Duty: Black Ops II Multiplayer and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 XP events combined and received some two million views in 24 hours.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_PressMedia_Chevy_WEBSILVER WINNER
Client: General Motors 
Campaign: Chevrolet Impala Press Event 
Agency: inVNT 

To provide a memorable experience to writers attending its media drive program for the launch of the redesigned Chevrolet Impala, and leave them with a lasting reminder of the new Impala’s bold rebirth, General Motors introduced them to the vehicle in a location where they would immediately associate it with iconic style and design: renowned architect and avid car collector Jonathan Segal’s eighth floor penthouse apartment in San Diego.

As the private elevator doors opened for the dinner event with Segal and John Cafaro, lead designer at Chevrolet, journalists discovered the vehicle sitting right in Segal’s living room. It had been hoisted up by crane the Saturday before and since the penthouse is located in Little Italy, a popular destination with a great deal of pedestrian traffic, some 200 to 300 “citizen journalists” gathered around to snap pictures. The activity caught the attention of the local media as well.

The program continued for a second day with a test drive and then lunch at Segal’s private car collection garage located adjacent to the airport, where the Impala was nestled in among the likes of such classics as a ’63 split-window Corvette and a ’67 Cadillac Eldorado. The Impala launch exceeded expectations, repositioning the car in the minds of journalists from Car and Driver, Forbes, Popular Mechanics, Motor Trend, Digital Trends, Sports Today, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and even BBC.

BEST BUZZ MARKETING/INFLUENCER PROGRAM

Best_BuzzInfluencer_Loreal_WEBEX AWARD WINNER
Client: L’Oréal 
Campaign: Play With Color 
Agency: Fluent 

WHY IT’S A WINNER. L’Oréal leveraged peer influencers to systematically change the direction of an existing product to target young millennial women and make a product experience a fun and inviting social event.

TRENDS IN ACTION. Leveraging social media with peer influence at branded house parties ultimately drove consumers to make in-store purchases. Watch as branded in-home events with a social overlay take what Avon started and amplify it a million-fold.

THE CASE STUDY. L’Oréal originally targeted its Healthy Look Crème Gloss product toward a more mature female audience in search of a premium, non-permanent hair coloring solution. But sales data showed that the brand might be missing out on a substantial opportunity among a younger audience more apt to experiment with color on a regular basis and who are among a growing segment of “home dyers.” So, the brand launched “Play with Color” a collegiate marketing campaign that involved 70 female student influencers, located on 35 campuses nationwide, who engaged students on their respective campuses.

This included hair coloring parties with sororities, fashion clubs and dorm and apartment complexes, and direct outreach through peer-to-peer communication and networks; coupon distribution and social media contesting which incentivized students to try and purchase the product and opt-in for brand communication going forward. There were guerrilla marketing tactics that allowed women to “play with color” without any true physical transformation through mirror clings in high-traffic women’s bathrooms, which included calls to action that drove social media engagement.

Ultimately, these college millennials were introduced to a new “accessory”—their hair—as something they could play with as part of a daily routine to change up their style and look on any given day. They felt comfortable sharing the experience with peers and on social media and, given hair is a kind of a big deal, with the proper education on the product, most felt comfortable giving it a try.

RESULTS. L’Oréal’s program involved 35,280 Healthy Look Crème Gloss coloring participants; 12,058 female students tried the Healthy Look product in groups through hair coloring parties (as well as the before/after hair color contests). There were 310,400 L’Orèal Healthy Look Crème Gloss coupons distributed. The effort earned a nearly four percent redemption rate.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_BuzzInfluencer_Miller_WEBGOLD WINNER
Client: MillerCoors 
Campaign: Miller Time Internship 
Agency: GMR Marketing 

To leverage its partnership with the movie “The Internship” and raise awareness and consideration among men ages 21 to 34, Miller Lite created the Miller Time Internship, a promotion that turned a group of buddies into Miller Lite interns and sent them across the country—two weeks, four friends, 3,884 miles of true Miller Time.

Miller Lite put out a call for internship applications at the beginning of last year’s South by Southwest, followed by an online and above-the-line campaign. Groups of friends were encouraged to apply for the internship, uploading videos to introduce themselves. Interviews were conducted online and three finalists were brought to MillerCoors’ headquarters in Chicago for the final interview.

The guys went to seven cities nationwide in a tricked-out RV and experienced once-in-a-lifetime events in each. Among the experiences: learning bartending tricks, helping to prepare bars for the Philadelphia Phillies game, introducing a band at a post-game concert, working with pit crews at the Charlotte Motor Speedway to prepare for a race, and in Dallas, getting a private tour of the Cowboys facilities. Eventually, they arrived in Los Angeles for “The Internship” red carpet premiere, where they got a private tour of Fox Studios, interviewed stars on the red carpet and attended an after-party. All along the way a video crew produced on-the-road updates from each stop. A digital team produced timely Tweets and Facebook posts.

The program was featured in two episodes of “Jimmy Kimmel, Live!” and earned more than one million YouTube views and 3.6 million Facebook views.

 

Best_BuzzInfluencer_RedBull_WEBSILVER WINNER
Client: Red Bull 
Campaign: Daily Grind 
Agency: rEvolution 

To pull a kick-flip on the standard nine to five corporate gig, Red Bull decided to transform an unexpected office space into a high-concept 10,000 square-foot skate park for the world’s top skateboarders on the 23rd floor of one of Chicago’s most historic high-rise skyscrapers. Dubbed Red Bull’s Daily Grind, this was a fully featured (and fully-skate-able) office space—right down to the photocopiers.

Once built, Red Bull’s global skate team was invited in to let loose on their new office space, creating and destroying along the way. Each work day, the pros would show up and skate, while filming content to be pushed to consumers from Red Bull’s social channels, YouTube account, skateboarding blogs and traditional media. The skaters were encouraged to tease the experience to their own followers, and anyone lucky enough to be visiting the space was free to post compelling content with the hashtag #RBDailyGrind. By the second week, so many kids were showing up in hopes of dropping in with the likes of Ryan Sheckler that the brand had to ask the skaters to remove location data from their Twitter and Instagram accounts.

After the Red Bull team had skated, Red Bull’s Daily Grind became a hospitality and outreach program. The brand curated an exclusive list of invitees consisting of X Games and Dew Tour champions, storeowners and emerging talent from across the country. National media picked up the story as well as more “core” skateboarding outlets such as HYPEBEAST, TransWorld SKATEboarding and GrindTV. To date, the most shared content on TransWorld’s Facebook page is the Daily Grind story.

Check out video HERE

BEST ACTIVATION OF A CAUSE SPONSORSHIP/TIE-IN

IMG_6699EX AWARD WINNER 
Client: Arby’s 
Campaign: Hungry for Happiness 
Agency: Manifesto

WHY IT’S A WINNER. In addition to supporting a really important cause, the tour supported Arby’s business objectives by aligning the schedule with targeted revitalization markets, markets slated for restaurant remodels, new builds and increased training development.

TRENDS IN ACTION. The traditional gala fundraising event is going mobile and guerrilla as brands seek a closer connection to the people they’re helping.

THE CASE STUDY. Summer should be a time for kids to be happy, not hungry, but summer continues to be a vulnerable time for kids who rely on free or reduced priced school breakfast and lunch during the school year. Recognizing a tremendous need to connect kids to the meals they need to play, learn and grow during the summer months, Arby’s Foundation along with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry created the Hungry for Happiness tour, a campaign and mobile tour designed to raise awareness and community involvement. It visited 45 cities and traveled 30,000 miles.

An 18-wheeler served as the tour centerpiece, as well as an activity hub and kitchen. At each stop, turkey and cheese sandwiches, apple slices and low-fat milk were delivered to children in communities with need. The activation featured a game zone with Wii activity console station and fitness games; a seven-foot time capsule-like element that sucked up Ping- Pong balls kids had written or drawn happy thoughts on; a water balloon game; a challenge to show off kids’ milk muscles; and basketball, hula hooping, tug of war and bean bag tosses.

Other goals of the tour were to increase participation in free summer meal programs nationwide, to distribute information on local food resources to the public and engage local franchises to create visible community involvement and activation for the campaign—Arby’s franchisees are heavily involved in support and fundraising efforts for the tour. In addition, a social component gave consumers who spotted the truck the chance to win a weekly Arby’s Foundation Prize Pack of VIP sandwich cards and t-shirts by snapping a photo and tweeting its location to #hungryforhappiness. Food for the soul.

RESULTS. Arby’s served wholesome meals to 11,000 kids, donated $250,000 in local grants to hunger-fighting organizations and connected 37,000 kids and families to food resources and meal programs, as well as helped Arby’s secure the prestigious National Restaurant Association “Restaurant Neighbor” award.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_Cause_USCellular_WEBGOLD WINNER
Client: U.S. Cellular 
Campaign: Better High School Sports 
Agency: TEAM Enterprises 

To reinforce its umbrella campaign “Hello Better,” while creating buzz and rewarding customer loyalty, U. S. Cellular positioned it’s brand as a part of the fabric of the local community in eleven tier-two markets. The program gave the brand a way to show it cared about its customers and their communities, and connected with them in a way that other wireless carriers could not.

The brand started by identifying a passion point found in smaller cities and towns—high school sports. And in looking into sports programs in these communities, the brand found they were suffering due to budget cuts. U.S. Cellular cross-referenced demographic data and found that many of the consumers in these target areas were families with multiple children and likely had a need for multiple phone lines, something the brand could help with. U.S. Cellular decided to sponsor deals with two to three high schools in each of the 11 markets, creating opportunities for USCC consumers to get in free to any game. The brand not only covered cost of entry to the game, but it sweetened the deal for schools by matching the cost of each ticket with an incremental donation to the school’s sports program. At USCC-sponsored games, attendees were treated to interactive activities and information about some exclusive discounts being made available in their markets. One of the fan favorites was their ability to create a custom vehicle fan flag, choosing mascots and colors that “let their true colors fly.”

The result was a better understanding among consumers of how USCC can serve them, and local high schools getting a combined total of $234,595 in donations.

Check out video HERE

 

Nationwide Children's Hospital 200SILVER WINNER
Client: Nationwide Insurance 
Campaign: Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 
Agency: Wasserman 

To leverage its position as a key stakeholder within NASCAR’s efforts to benefit Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH), Nationwide Insurance created and executed the inaugural Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200, the first NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, OH. A promotional event took place before the race where hospital patients had the opportunity to race pinewood derby cars against NASCAR drivers Austin Dillon and Brian Scott.

A “Patient Champion” program was created for this event to honor current and former patients at the hospital. Children were identified, matched with NASCAR Nationwide Series teams and drivers and treated as VIPs for the race. Ten Patient Champions and their families participated in memorable, unique experiences on race day including: welcoming the drivers to the Driver’s Meeting and being honored by all attendees; being introduced as VIP Guests and accompanying their paired drivers across the Driver Introductions stage; leading the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance; and giving the “Drivers, Start Your Engines” command as shown on the national race broadcast.

Driver Alex Bowman, whose car bore an NCH paint scheme with a Patient Champion on the hood, visited a mobile display to help fans learn about donation opportunities. A Nationwide Children’s Hospital Monarch 1 helicopter provided the flyover at the conclusion of the National Anthem and remained on display at the track.

It’s estimated the race garnered nearly $3 million through in-kind, earned media and cash donations.

Check out video HERE

BEST TRADE SHOW EXHIBIT

Best_TradeShow_Intel_WEBEX AWARD WINNER
Client: Intel 
Campaign: 2013 Consumer Electronics Show 
Agencies: The Taylor Group, 2LK Design, The Lab at Rockwell, LeadDog Marketing Group 

WHY IT’S A WINNER. It was the most photographed booth at CES, and for good reason. Intel’s stunning interactive Ultrabook Tree was not only visually engaging (and a heck of a foot traffic driver). it perfectly showcased the capabilities of the brand’s imbedded technology. Compelling product demonstrations, thought-provoking hands-on trials and meaningful dialogue with Intel staff engaged attendees and created press and social media buzz.

TRENDS IN ACTION. “Peer-to-peer storytelling”, which Intel incorporated into its booth at the centrally located Spotlight theater, where people shared stories about how Intel technology has evolved in their lives. Watch as more and more executives leave the spotlight to customers, peers and other voices customers can better relate to.

THE CASE STUDY. Intel elevated the bar yet again at CES by creating a 14,500-square-foot “Digital Park” that demonstrated how Intel technology allows people to live an “untethered” life and showcased best-in-class smartphones, tablets and Ultrabook devices with Intel Inside.

Anchoring the most trafficked corner of the show floor, the Ultrabook Tree attracted massive attention both physically and through the media. The Tree leveraged 180 fully functional Ultrabook devices from eight OEMs that served as a high-tech “digital canopy” above the space. Five Ultrabook Convertibles from Asus, Dell, Lenovo, Panasonic and Toshiba surrounded the base of the tree. Guests created a digital “blossom” animation on one of the touch-screens and launched them to the canopy with a drag-and-release function similar to that of “Angry Birds.” Hundreds of LED lights on the front and rear of the tree trunk illuminated as the blossoms ascended then bloomed into view and rippled across the canopy of Ultrabooks hanging like leaves on the techno-tree.

Just beyond the Ultrabook Tree canopy, a Digital Park offered guests the opportunity to watch presentations, experience the technology, interact with staff or just relax and recharge. Framed by a multi-tiered terrace and with cirrus cloud formations overhead, the central focus of the park was the Spotlight theater, where musicians, djs, designers and artists evangelized Intel technology and interactive events involved the audience.

A second-floor hospitality lounge served as a spot for casual one-on-one meetings, blogging and intimate group presentations. Non-traditional demonstration desks called “Petting Zoos” further emphasized the idea of “public space,” along with interactive car- and bus-stop features, “street lights,” and “grassy areas.” Business took place away from the crowds in a two-story structure with 13 meeting rooms.

RESULTS. 81,900 attendees visited and experienced the booth; 96 percent rated the experience with staffers as excellent/very good; 95 percent perceived Intel as a company they trust; 87 percent perceived Intel as creators of technology that changes the way we live and work.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_TradeShow_Activision_WEBGOLD WINNER
Client: Activision|Blizzard 
Campaign: E3 Experience 2013 
Agency: NCompass International 

For the first time at E3, Activision|Blizzard presented as a unified brand to reinforce itself as a true entertainment leader. The objective was to develop one brand experience and marquee billing of four game titles by transforming a space into an unprecedented, 4D event that attracted attendees and immersed them into the world of each game. The 17,000-square-foot space integrated first-class theatrical and technical production that took attendees on a jaw-dropping thrill ride and literally rocked the house. Dedicated spaces for each game offered a specialized experience, true to the game and its needs, while adhering to the Activision|Blizzard brand. Through a partnership with DirectTV, mainstream consumers could preview content shared with attendees through the “Call of Duty: Ghosts All Access” broadcast.

An immersive 190-degree, 122-foot by 22-foot curved screen, the largest stand-alone theater ever created in L.A. Convention Center history, drew attendees into the Activision|Blizzard world. Twenty-four 400-pound Barco projectors custom-mapped to the screen played uniquely choreographed shows for each of the four titles. The theater lit up into “attract” mode minutes before each show; “show” mode effects such as rumbling floors, wind and smoke enhanced the experience for each game. Attendees interacted with the titles via hands-on gameplay or guided demos in four dedicated areas.

The 4D experience, private screenings, social media interactives and concierge-style reservations created a branded entertainment destination and a launch pad for sell-in through retail channels with all increasing in commitment. Consumer pre-orders increased 232 percent.

Check out video HERE

 

Siemens ExhibitSILVER WINNER
Client: Siemens 
Campaign: RSNA 2013 
Agency: Catalyst Exhibits 

To promote itself as the innovation leader in the radiology community and convey its equal competency and portfolio leadership in high-end imaging as much as in cost-conscious imaging equipment, Siemens created impactful branded architecture that dominated the RSNA show floor.

A monolithic, 290-foot curved Siemens arch with LED messaging along its length served as an impressive backdrop as attendees walked through the main aisle of the exhibit. Transparent navigation towers along the front edge of the space led from one modality to the next. The towers also defined product areas and offered relevant A/V content. A new product “launch pad” along the main aisle spotlighted innovations in bright cool pools of light along a clean, impactful gloss-white platform.

High-tech demos immersed attendees into Siemens innovation: sliding monitors presented content that moved along with the motion of the screen; life-like human half-models dramatically showcased scanning technology; a larger-than-life model of a human head demonstrated the effects of a stroke on the brain. A large-scale liver model looked and felt like the actual organ, along with iPads on stands that demonstrated state-of-the-art software technology associated with MRI organ scans. An invitation-only “MR” reading room of the future demonstrated technology currently in development.

Exhibit traffic rose 16.8 percent over the previous year; qualified lead acquisition increased 11.9 percent. Exit surveys showed a 26 percent increase in knowledge of Siemens as the leader in technology advancement within the industry.

BEST VEHICLE DESIGN

Best_Vehicle_Frito-Lay_WEBEX AWARD WINNER
Client: Frito-Lay 
Campaign: Cracker Jack’D Splash Party Mobile Dunk Tank 
Agency: Rally 

WHY IT’S A WINNER. This experience was more than just a physical activation. With the help of West Coast Customs and its founder Ryan Friedlinghaus (of “Pimp My Ride” fame), the mobile dunk tank made quite a splash on the road and on an hour-long episode of the new WCC show airing on Fox and through WCC’s social media channels.

TRENDS IN ACTION. The activation deployed a photo engagement that automatically uploaded event photos to the social networks of the photo subjects as well as those of Cracker Jack’D. “Auto-posting” generates exponential social media impressions without distrupting the consumer’s on-site experience.

THE CASE STUDY. The Splash Party generated awareness of the new Cracker Jack’D brand launch among millennial-age males by providing an engaging platform (read: babes in bikinis) for sampling among the target audience and compelling hands-on interaction and familiarity with the brand. As it moved across the country, stopping at millennial faves such as the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, CA, and Hot August Nights in Reno, NV, it encouraged social engagement through the experience to generate awareness and cultivate followers for the brand.

The experience was crafted to attract millennial males from maximum distance, engage them in the event and activate them into accepting a product sample and providing their personal information via an RFID photo engagement that was the gateway requirement to “play.” Those that participated could toss a Cracker Jack’D bag, trigger a dunk tank and dunk a girl.

The highly stylized, black exterior of the converted RV proved hard to ignore. Inspired by the eye-catching design of Cracker Jack’D packaging, the RV featured a transparent water-filled dunk tank dubbed “Splash Party.” Vehicle-mounted cameras streamed video in real time to a 50-inch TV screen on the exterior of the RV, enabling attendees to see themselves as they got in on the action. Consumers could follow the tour and check out the streaming video at each stop by visiting the Cracker Jack’D brand on Facebook and Twitter.

Guys inevitably found the vehicle and the bikini-clad girl perched on its roof sitting atop a dunk tank irresistible. Pumping music and a bevy of girls in skimpy swimsuits giving away free bags of Cracker Jack’D helped draw them in. The chance to dunk the girl, along with having their photo taken in front of the killer vehicle designed by West Coast Customs and instantly uploaded to their social networks added to the excitement.

RESULTS. Cracker Jack’D quantified as the No. 1 warehouse snack launch in convenience stores in 2013. All 1.5 million samples were distributed. It achieved more than 1.1 billion in earned media impressions and more than 20 million social media engagement impressions.

 

Best_Vehicle_Roche_WEBGOLD WINNER
Client: Roche 
Campaign: Mobile Explorer 
Agency: Performance Marketing Group 

The Mobile Explorer program provided Roche’s national sales force with a best-in-class educational and sales tool that it took to customers at hospitals and stand-alone medical centers. Roche transformed two 53-foot single expandable trailers into simulated labs so prospective clients and decision-makers could experience its Modular Pre-Analytics system and the cobas 4000, 6000 and modular platforms right outside their doors. The trailers, outfitted with fully functioning analyzers, enabled the sales teams to run live demonstrations as they would in a laboratory, demonstrating Roche’s capabilities and support services in a non-traditional yet convenient environment that felt part lab/part Apple store/part “CSI: Miami.”

Both trailers featured pristine faux-wood floors, laminate walls, high-end tables and chairs, five 51-inch television monitors and a state-of-the-art touchscreen monitor placed in the middle of a slide-out wall. The monitors were connected to the analyzers and gave the same feedback as they would in an actual customer’s lab. The units reached Roche’s customers and potential customers on-site while they were going through the RFQ process and effectively communicated the continued advancements in Roche products and technologies in a tangible showcase. Post-sale, the units were a key training tool that was an asset to the sales team through continuing education and relationship building.

The Mobile Explorers helped Roche establish new relationships with labs as well as develop and expand on existing ones. The overall ROI was more than 100x based on signed contracts. The program traveled to 37 states; traveled more than 78,000 miles; executed 216 days of event operations and 135 total events.

 

Best_Vehicle_LLBean_WEBSILVER WINNER
Client: L.L. Bean 
Campaign: Bootmobile 
Agency: Turtle Transit 

Few brand images are as iconic as L.L. Bean’s Bean Boots, so imagine the awe at seeing an 11-foot replica of the Bean Boot driving in a parade, parked at outdoor retail locations or at fairs and festivals. The Bootmobile featured authentic details such as individually sculpted stitches, custom-fabricated lace grommets, realistic shoelaces made of two-inch rope and custom chain-link boot treads.

Along with the authentic look and feel of the vehicle, consumers could watch promotional media and educational content about L.L. Bean, its history and efforts to promote healthy and active outdoor lifestyles on the vehicle’s LED monitor. Consumers could toss actual Bean Boots in a custom L.L. Bean Boot Toss game or play a round or two of Corn Hole. While interacting with brand ambassadors, consumers received coupons and could have their photo taken with the Bootmobile, which they could share on social media with the #BootMobile handle. The company leveraged social media to allow people to request a visit from the Bootmobile. It also announced on Twitter and Facebook where the vehicle was going to be and challenged people to post on their social pages when they spotted the vehicle going by for a chance at free prizes or a direct visit from the Bootmobile.

The Bootmobile program presented the brand in an interactive, fun way while reinforcing L.L. Bean’s dedication to active, outdoor lifestyles. It earned millions of impressions and met and exceeded sales, coupon redemption and philanthropic goals. Cool beans!

BEST PRODUCTION OF AN EVENT (B-TO-B)

2013 ADOBE MAXEX AWARD WINNER
Client: Adobe 
Campaign: Adobe MAX 2013 
Agency: PIX Productions 

WHY IT’S A WINNER. Adobe MAX took it, well, to the max— establishing Adobe as a thought leader in all manner of creative endeavor and connecting with the community on a human level. Besides all that, it increased the online audience for added visibility of important products and services.

TRENDS IN ACTION. User-generated content, or in this case, artist-generated content, brought Adobe’s people and products to life on massive screens (and made the artists whose work was featured feel pretty special, too).

THE CASE STUDY. MAX: The Creativity Conference launched the new product service Adobe Creative Cloud and reached 5,000-plus live attendees and an online audience with an experience that established Adobe and MAX as a conference that curates creativity within the digital realm and beyond.

Organically shaped screens wrapped around Los Angeles’ Nokia Theater and enveloped the audience, making the viewer an important part of the experience, which began with attendees’ own creative work and that of their digital community celebrated onscreen in a gallery setting. Forty projectors blended over seven screens, including two compound curving ceiling pieces, two house scenic extensions and three primary large-scale organically curved screens, and extended 300 feet in every direction. The raw space, with visible lighting and rigging and screens that exploded in front of the audience, represented the interface of the products used by the community in the keynote presentation. Blended and warped projection with more than 12 million visible pixels provided the setting for the event environment.

The walk-in content was a custom-designed application utilizing Adobe products and featured the creative community from Behance, the online artist network that Adobe acquired in 2012. This deceptively simply application pulled the work live from the web to display in After Effects along with the artist’s name and a QR code for further information. Some of the artists were in the room, which was one of the most buzzed-about features of the show. The keynote presentations, a set of three 90- to 120-minute shows over two days, literally rocked the room with full-screen graphics, multiple technical demos of bleeding-edge technology and other mind-blowing features, including a wall-to-wall-to-ceiling media production with lighting and staging integrated for five-plus hours. On day two of the conference, designers and artists illuminated their process and inspiration.

RESULTS. Attendees found the conference awesome, impressive and fantastic. Online surveys rated the keynotes with the highest attendee satisfaction scores for the program. Refreshed online virtual content with interactive elements increased the online live audiences by more than 300 percent year-over-year.

 

Best_ProductionB2B_Genentech_WEBGOLD WINNER
Client: Genentech 
Campaign: 2013 National Sales Meeting 
Agency: InVision Communications

The primary objective of most sales meetings is to recognize achievement, celebrate the year and prepare for the next. Genentech’s 2013 national sales meeting, however, needed to be more than just “applause” for a year of strong sales. Its goal was to inspire pride in its employees and express what is behind all of their efforts—genuine, across-the-board focus on what matters most… the patient.

Genentech communicated its corporate culture to attendees through one word: “matter.” The evocative, one-word theme carried throughout the week and invited exploration of the concept’s many meanings: perspective about what matters most in life and understanding that being a sales rep makes a very real, important difference in the lives of patients, coworkers and others.

The sales meeting’s dramatic opening was a bit of a risk, but one that paid off with sheer emotional power. Inexperienced guest speakers, who shared intimate details about their lives and challenges, were well-coached and prepared, ensuring that they felt confident and supported as they shared their struggles with 3,500 colleagues. Full-screen panoramic graphics matched the emotions of their stories. The dramatic canvas gave texture and weight to each narrative, and at the end, all three speakers received a standing ovation. The response to the opening was magical, and that spark continued throughout the meeting, as the theme wove throughout the environment for a truly meaningful experience.

The event performed exceptionally well, with all anecdotal feedback being extremely positive, confirming that it was impactful, professional and flawlessly executed.

 

Best_ProductionB2B_Sonic_WEBSILVER WINNER
Client: Sonic 
Campaign: Sonic Drive-Ins 
Agency: Go West Creative Group 

To grow a franchise-based business, individual restaurant owners must understand corporate plans, trust in the corporation’s future and management and want to grow their part of that restaurant’s market. Sonic’s leadership team has but one annual opportunity to speak to all of its franchisees at the same time, one opportunity to discuss corporate plans, discuss new menus, territories and business concepts. The Sonic “Transformation” conference in San Diego was that annual moment.

With the theme “Transform,” what better unofficial mascot of the convention than a robot inspired by the “Transformer” series of films. “Boomer,” as the 50-square-foot robot powerhouse was called, was a digital fixture at the conference and a crowd favorite. Besides Boomer, dozens of digital media pieces lent an air of digital prowess to the event. A five-channel, five-screen video format played dozens of videos on a stage inspired by the distinctive architecture and red, yellow and blue colors of the drive-ins. The first general session kicked off with the house band “Sonic Boom” and Grammy Award winner Ray Parker, Jr. Beat poet Steve Connell set the tone on opening night with a smart and inspirational message as Sonic set out to motivate, educate, recognize and entertain the crowd. Throughout the conference, attendees earned points toward a truly “Sonic” prize, a custom-designed motorcycle created by Orange County Choppers.

Results were ultra-sonic: General session presentations outranked free time in San Diego in popularity and approval ratings for speakers were well over 90 percent; 87 percent understood the need for Sonic to change and transform.

BEST PRODUCTION OF AN EVENT (CONSUMER)

Best_ProductionCons_AnheuserBusch_WEBEX AWARD WINNER
Client: Anheuser-Busch 
Campaign: Bud Light 50|50|1 
Agency: Live Nation 

WHY IT’S A WINNER. Bud Light and Live Nation partnered to produce a pioneering event that brought the power of live music and the fun of tipping back a Bud Light to fans in all 50 states on a single day, creating a “first” in the music event space.

TRENDS IN ACTION. Live streaming of the music events brought the excitement to fans that were unable to attend the shows, and an app called Bud Light Music First enabled fans to enter to win tickets and prizes. This omni-channel music experience leverages the reality of today’s music fan–those “digital concert groupies” who seeks out and enjoy music across a wide variety of live and digital platforms.

THE CASE STUDY. Bud Light last summer made a commitment to bring fans closer to the music they love with “Bud Light Music First,” a program that celebrated various music firsts and which culminated with 50|50|1, which was itself a first. 50|50|1 was a never-before-seen live music event in which Bud Light presented one concert in each of the 50 states on a single day, Aug. 1.

Fans became a part of the experience by downloading the Bud Light Music First app, which was available for Apple and Android devices. Through the app, fans could score Bud Light Music First prizes, including Monster DNA Headphones, Live Nation Concert Cash, Universal Music Group (UMG) music downloads and 50|50|1 concert tickets throughout the summer. Bud Light also partnered with MySpace to build an interactive hub where fans received concert updates, exclusive interviews with the artists who shared stories about their own personal music firsts and more.

The 50|50|1 finale featured an eclectic line-up of artists from around the globe. With a bevy of talent from all genres, each market received a unique experience. The in-venue experience connected all 50 events with identical printed materials, in-venue signage and a social aggregator showcasing 50|50|1 tweets from across the globe. 50|50|1 artists tweeted using the #5050one hashtag throughout the night. For fans unable to attend the shows, events in five markets were live-streamed on the Bud Light Music First MySpace hub. In the days following 50|50|1, fans could stream select videos on demand from the five key markets.

RESULTS. The concert drew 52,000 attendees across all 50 states, Live Nation’s largest single custom-booked brand program ever. It drew 2.5 million live streams and one million unique live streams, the biggest for any A-B brand.

Check out video HERE

 

Camp RZR HalloweenGOLD WINNER
Client: Polaris 
Campaign: Camp RZR 
Agency: SixSpeed

Camp RZR was a three-day off-roading mecca for RZR owners and their families that took place in the desert of Glamis, CA, where riders could experience miles of open sand and Polaris hospitality at its best—along with a big, roaring thank you from the brand. The extravaganza, which kicked off with a Halloween night trick-or-treat, offered free food, contests and giveaways, celebrity fun-ride competitions, stunt expos, demo rides, movie nights, a kids’ play area, fireworks, customization competitions and free mechanical support for all Polaris owners.

A full line-up of activities kept the crowd hopping. The RZR Experience Tour made an official stop with two crews running at all times to get as many attendees as possible into the new RZR XP 1000 side-by-side vehicle. It had to be the best demo ride ever offered in the dunes. A Show & Shine contest awarded prizes for the Best of Show, Best Paint/Graphics, Best Electronics and Craziest Build. Vendors hosted trick-or-treat and a costume contest. The grand finale of Camp RZR was a RZR XP 1000 giveaway, which was awarded to someone in the crowd on Saturday night.

With more than 30,000 people in attendance, Camp RZR was a massive success. The RZR Experience demos turned out the most rides of any of their eight stops in 2013, and strong media coverage placed the Polaris name in many households. Glamis and Polaris signed a five-year contract to return and Polaris is developing an East Coast Camp RZR.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_ProductionCons_Alienware_WEBSILVER WINNER
Client: Alienware 
Campaign: Landing Tour 
Agency: The Participation Agency 

Alienware fans are no strangers to gaming. Active gamers play video games a few times a week and have additional interests around computing, music and creative production. The Alienware Landing Tour tapped into these interests in eight markets, showcasing the power of its newest gaming system, the X51, and its creative functions that gamers can use in their daily lives.

Each stop on The Landing Tour featured small-scale lead-ups in strategic locations and a main event that consisted of a micro-battle between four gamers, 10 X51 gaming stations for casual play, headlining djs spinning on Alienware laptops and an immersive living room set up for gamers to imagine the X51 in their homes. Local markets could request the addition of a Photoshop station and merchandise booth.

Landing Tour main events showcased the power and speed of the X51 while lighting, lasers and smoke machines added a nightlife vibe. All tour assets were custom designed and fabricated, including a dj booth, a live social media streaming wall, 10 stand-up gaming vanity units, a “lollipop” internally lit sign, custom seating in geometric modular blocks, two main gaming stages with recessed flat-screen walls, two custom microsites, merchandise and iron-on patch giveaways and tour posters for each city. As the night closed and the winner was crowned, guests then battled with the champion in a King of the Hill-style playoff. Each guest left having experienced the X51 gaming system first-hand.

Each event exceeded expectations in terms of attendees, custom website traffic, digital swag numbers and social media posts.

Check out video HERE

BEST EVENT ENVIRONMENT (B-TO-B)

Street Reveal event in Kansas CityEX AWARD WINNER
Client: Harley-Davidson 
Campaign: Street 500 and 750 Launch 
Agency: Proscenium 

WHY IT’S A WINNER. This “non-meeting” meeting featured a product reveal that motivated 1,200 U.S. dealership employees to understand the non-traditional customer base for the new Harley-Davidson Street 500 and Street 750 motorcycles.

TRENDS IN ACTION. Authenticity was the name of the game here, from the rust on the fence, to the treatment of the bricks on the wall, to the fallen leaves scattered about the stage, which the creative director collected that morning from a local park. Attendees felt like they were in an urban street scene instead of a convention center.

THE CASE STUDY. Harley-Davidson riders are so loyal they will literally tattoo the company’s logo on their flesh. However, to grow new markets, the company last year launched two new smaller motorcycles designed for urban riders, the Harley-Davidson Street 500 and Street 750. So to expand its dealers’ mindset to include this customer, one who may have never set foot inside a Harley- Davidson dealership, the event assumed the look and sounds of a city street. The meeting also conveyed Harley-Davidson’s commitment to its brand identity and reinforced the fact that the new motorcycles will be built in its Kansas City facility.

The meeting environment took its cue straight off the urban street corner, from New York to San Francisco and every city in between, with rusted fences, brick walls and those leaves scattered on the ground. The music felt like a playlist straight off the headphones of a young, urban woman on the move, with the sounds of car horns, trash carts and barking dogs added at just the right moments for authenticity. Even the trash cans resembled the wire mesh receptacles found on street corners.

Attendees entered a space that felt like a vacant lot just before dusk that moments later became the scene of a dramatic face-off between two Harley-Davidson motorcycles in a dueling burnout that only skilled riders can perform. That was the first of many moments emphasizing that the new motorcycles were developed by riders for riders. After executive presentations, two Kansas City factory workers introduced a video illustrating their pride in assembling the motorcycles. Then the music cranked up, the bars opened, photo ops with highly accessorized Street motorcycles occurred and the fun began. Everyone left with a Street poster signed on the spot by the artist himself.

RESULTS. Ninety percent of survey respondents found the event “valuable/extremely valuable,” and 95 percent of those polled were “satisfied/extremely satisfied” with the target customer information provided.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_EnvirB2B_Adidas_WEBGOLD WINNER
Client: Adidas 
Campaign: Boost Launch 
Agency: Henry V 

To tell an impactful story of its new shoe technology, the Boost product launch utilized five 53-foot semi-trucks filled with staging, A/V, graphics and interactive assets. The event completely transformed New York City’s Javits Center into a series of experience stations that conveyed its advantages over traditional materials used in running shoes. The branded space showcased a message of “Endless Energy” and literally put 450 influencers from the worlds of sports, fashion, technology, finance and entertainment inside the shoes.

Displaying the technology inside the shoe and how it is made, the experience stations immersed attendees in the story of Boost. Bold yellow colors and geometric arrows led the way. A ball drop station compared the bounce of a steel ball bearing on Boost foam with that of the standard EVA foam used in other running shoes. Attendees got up close and personal with Boost at touch and feel stations. Freezers demonstrated Boost’s resilience to extreme weather. A mock retail center displayed apparel to accompany the new shoes. A team of models wore the shoes and gear, and a giant video-projected timeline showcased Adidas’ history in running. But the best part no doubt was the fitting station where attendees were fitted for their own pair of Boost running shoes.

The launch garnered 76 million social media impressions and favorable reviews in publications such as Forbes, The Los Angeles Times, Running Times and more. Celebrities such as actress Rosario Dawson and Ethiopian Olympic runner and marathoner Haile Gebrselassie also gave Boost a boost.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_EnvirB2B_MoetHennessey_WEBSILVER WINNER
Client: Moët Hennessy 
Campaign: Distributor Conference 
Agency: Touch Worldwide 

The USA Distributor Conference is Moët Hennessey’s annual opportunity to meet with and inspire the distributors they so heavily depend on for marketing, promotions and sales. The challenge is to make the 13 luxury beverage brands in Moët Hennessey’s portfolio irresistible to this critically important partner audience. Ultimately the goal is to inspire greater brand loyalty and increase product distribution. Last year’s Distributor Conference explored Moë t Hennessey’s 2014 brand and corporate marketing strategies. A high point was a series of New York City dining experiences where attendees experienced the products and a fabulous meal at some of Manhattan’s finest restaurants.

A three-tiered experience immersed the distributors in the portfolio. First, a system of 13 elegant, custom display units located in the lobby of The TimesCenter venue in New York City showcased each brand’s upcoming campaigns and sales and marketing tools by category: spirits, still and sparkling wines, and champagnes. Next came two half-days of strategy and marketing presentations delivered in the auditorium on a synchronized, panoramic, two-part digital canvas. Presentations carefully crafted on a 50- by 12-foot upper screen with contextually relevant imagery on a panoramic lower screen enveloped the speakers in the world of the brand they were presenting. Finally, the dine-around experience capped it all off.

In 2013 the event scored higher across the board for event satisfaction and effectiveness compared to previous years. Seventy-five percent of attendees felt the presentations were more impactful than previous years.

BEST EVENT ENVIRONMENT (CONSUMER)

Best_EnvirCons_Xbox_WEBEX AWARD WINNER
Client: Microsoft Xbox
Campaign: Area One Road Show
Agency: Envy Create

WHY IT’S A WINNER. The Area One Road Show delivered a “rock band” style tour to key markets, bringing games and music to core gamer enthusiasts and social evangelists in a party-like atmosphere.

TRENDS IN ACTION. There’s no better way to hype a new product than to let influential consumers test it out, which is what console gamers got to do (and brag about) months before it hit the market. This kind of “social currency” can generate exponential returns in word of mouth and social impressions.

THE CASE STUDY. The Area One Road Show drove pre-launch trial and engaged high-value clients into loyalty, purchase and evangelization of the new Xbox One and its content in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The activation inspired enthusiasm for the product and purchase preference as well as brand loyalty and recognition of the new hardware and software through experience and trial.

Tour kits and teams traveled from one city to the next in the 15-city campaign, bringing the experience to the target audience of consumers who have a higher spend in the gaming sector, core gamer enthusiasts and loyal social evangelists. The events activated locally in each market and took place in venues selected for their vibe and location. Though they were grassroots events that provided Xbox One experiences for the public, the series of celebratory moments made the events feel exclusive as well.

As soon as they arrived, attendees felt the celebratory atmosphere, which fostered an emotional connection between the brand and the audience. The events came alive with games, music and a festival beat. The shareability factor was high with a social photo booth and a DR3 Zombie experience room based on the Dead Rising 3 game. The entertainment-focused environment offered opportunities for exploration and discovery, a real “choose your own adventure” experience for gamers.

Area One connected with 79,474 attendees and deployed 245,266 trials across 15 cities, which culminated in the final stop with a synchronized launch between Los Angeles and London.

RESULTS. Of those who attended, 92 percent said they would choose Xbox over other competitors, and many placed pre-orders at the event; 96 percent of attendees surveyed said they would recommend purchasing Xbox One to friends and family.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_EnvirCons_Puma_WEBGOLD WINNER
Client: Puma 
Campaign: Puma Yard 
Agency: Kubik 

Puma Yard offered America’s Cup attendees in San Francisco a meeting space where they could watch the races by day and party by night. The environment, which promoted the America’s Cup, Team Oracle USA and Puma brands, featured a club/bar, retail shop and an expansive lawn for hanging out and picnicking, plus a large screen for watching race coverage. Artificial grass covered the yard with a picnic-friendly surface where fans, exuding an air of coolness, could lounge on beanbag chairs and play corn hole and table tennis.

The space was fabricated from 10 linked-together 40-foot cargo containers for fast setup. The containers were stacked into a fun “tree house” design with stairs, decks and bridges. The official retail outlets for America’s Cup and Team Oracle USA were located on the ground level; the club/bar, on the second floor, offered entertainment and dancing featuring local djs and Red Bull DJ Nights. Wood floors and walls painted by graffiti artists gave the bar an edgy, urban feel. Fans could leave messages for the race team on a chalkboard, and billboards above both sides of the complex reinforced brand messaging. A plastic bag rescue collected used plastic bags for recycled park benches that Puma donated to the city of San Francisco. Activities included a Gillette Shave Station, Body Train boot camps and corporate events for hip companies like architecture firms, ad agencies and dot-coms. The Yard reached an estimated 120,000 visitors and an estimated 38,000 people bought Puma gear.

 

Best_EnvirCons_Nike_WEBSILVER WINNER
Client: Nike 
Campaign: Jordan All-Star Weekend 2013 
Agency: Tangram 

The Jordan brand traditionally launches the newest iteration of the Air Jordan shoe at All-Star Weekend, and 2013 was no different, except for one minor detail—Michael Jordan was turning 50. The stunning footwear exhibit, styled after the green and black colors of the new Air Jordan XX8 shoe, incorporated every facet of All-Star Weekend: entertainment, sport, hip-hop and all things hoop-related at three Houston sites, including the Galleria and Northline Commons malls. Topping it all off—a museum-style display and a golden statue of the “jumpman” at Jordan’s 50th birthday celebration at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.

Nike’s goal was to impress its target audience of devoted shoe and basketball fans with something they had never seen before. With many celebrities and basketball pros present for Jordan’s birthday, the exhibit had to be astounding to impress such a discerning crowd.

At Foot Action, Foot Locker and a special VIP location, fans could customize their shoes, check out a collection of limited edition, electric green and black Air Jordans and even lay down a track in a miniature recording studio. The XX8 experience was eye-catching and interactive, incorporating the black light-activated Night Vision shoe collection in order to make the experience as immersive as possible. Fans could show off their basketball handling skills at an obstacle course, and there was a trampoline for dunk contests. Attendees also could get custom-printed shoes and shirts.

The launch attracted thousands of people, celebrities and the Air Jordan XX8 sold out by the end of the weekend.

Check out video HERE

BEST POP-UP STORE

Best_Pop-Up_Loreal_WEBEX AWARD WINNER
Client: L’Oréal 
Campaign: Color Match Machine 
Agency: R/GA 

WHY IT’S A WINNER. The L’Oréal Paris Intelligent Color Experience featured a highly customizable and convenient way to experience the brand in a location where female consumers would least expect it—the New York City subway system.

TRENDS IN ACTION. In an age when beauty is increasingly about individuality, the L’Oréal Paris Intelligent Color Experience brought women fully customized recommendations backed by a one-of-a-kind technology experience. The use of the truly unexpected location is a major trend to watch, too.

THE CASE STUDY. As a leader in digital marketing, L’Oréal Paris is so committed to engaging women in new and innovative ways, that nothing can stand in its way—not even the New York City subway system, where it installed an “intelligent” vending experience beneath Bryant Park that stopped women in their tracks and placed L’Oréal at the forefront of emerging virtual shopping trends. The L’Oréal Paris Intelligent Color Experience became the first-ever intelligent shopping experience in the New York City subway system.

When a woman approached the activation she immediately saw her reflection in a custom-built full-length mirror overlaying a digital display. A proprietary color detection algorithm using cameras and proximity sensors analyzed her reflection in the mirror and detected the colors of her outfit. As she looked at her reflection, she saw particles of detected colors coalesce into a recommended palette of three of her most prominent colors. This palette transitioned to the shopping experience where she received recommendations for hand-selected cosmetic packages to match or clash with her outfit, and could buy them on the spot, in the subway platform.

The audience was amazed, and described the experience as “magical” and “astonishing.” They reacted positively to the fact that they could be inspired by their own color palettes and then purchase the product right at that moment.

RESULTS. The experience delivered 275 million impressions, which translated to about $4 million in media value. Thirty-five percent of those who interacted with the machine went on to begin the purchase process.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_Pop-Up_HTC_WEBGOLD WINNER
Client: HTC 
Campaign: The BoomSound Lounge 
Agency: Live Nation 

The HTC One BoomSound Lounge was a bold and playful execution that challenged the current mobile phone experience and offered consumers the opportunity to see, hear and hold the new HTC One smartphone before it became available in retail channels. It increased exposure for the phone’s proprietary features, got the phones into consumers’ hands, launched a buzz-worthy music marketing platform for generating earned media and p.r. buzz and leveraged influential artist content to drive sales and awareness.

The lounge was an oversized boom box that played on the HTC One’s BoomSound technology featuring Beats Audio. Outfitted with flat screens, lounge furniture and outgoing brand ambassadors who showcased the new smartphone, the lounge made a huge splash for two weeks in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

The pop-ups were part of an integrated campaign that included three HTC One concerts. Musicians Pharrell, Grouplove and Manchester Orchestra performed at HTC One Concerts in intimate venues in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles respectively. Each show featured prominent in-venue and on-stage signage, brand ambassadors, phone displays and demonstrations and on-stage HTC artist shout-outs. In addition, a custom HTC One microsite featured live streams of the three concerts, a FanTap online photo book that geo-fenced and displayed social media photos at each BoomSound lounge and concert, and a robust digital and social media campaign.

HTC received more than 12 million views of the concert live streams; 4.2 million consumers viewed the BoomSound Lounges and more than 18,000 engaged with the brand at the lounges.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_Pop-Up_Kelloggs_WEBSILVER WINNER
Client: Kellogg’s 
Campaign: Special K Pop-Up Store 
Agency: Leo Burnett 

The Special K pop-up store was a one-day event that engaged women with the brand’s newest message, “The beauty of a woman should be measured by more than numbers.” It facilitated organic, authentic interactions between consumers and the brand’s messaging in a unique jeans-buying experience within the pop-up boutique that was reinforced by television commercials airing during the same period.

Situated on Chicago’s popular Southport Avenue, the pop-up reflected the look and feel of the campaign imagery. It offered nearly 400 pairs of custom jeans in four different styles and washes that captured Special K’s brand look and feel. The size tags of the jeans were cleverly designed to be unidentifiable yet indistinguishable from a typical pair of jeans. Affixed to the waist of each jean, where a size tag is typically found, was a tag reading “You’re so much more than a number.”

Using vintage-inspired fabric measuring tapes, a stylist team measured the women with adjectives like “confident,” “fabulous” and “fierce,” which replaced standard inch increments. The women also received branded shopping bags, neck scarves and printed promotional materials. They shared their photos and thoughts on the experience via the on-site Special K photo booth.

The shock of discovering numberless jeans coupled by the feeling that jeans can fit perfectly even without a size evoked memorable reactions. Women said it was the most painless shopping trip they’d ever had. More than 14,300 consumers viewed the photo booth images via social media. The full spot remains one of Special K’s most popular YouTube videos.

Check out video HERE

BEST USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Best_Social_Ford_WEBEX AWARD WINNER
Client: Ford Motor Co.
Campaign: Fiesta Movement: The Sequel
Agency: Team Detroit, match action

WHY IT’S A WINNER. Ford’s Fiesta Movement was a defining moment in experiential marketing and was a major factor in the success of the vehicle’s launch. With this year’s Sequel, the brand faced a huge challenge and exceeded all projections to showcase, and ultimately sell, the Fiesta to an unfamiliar market. Well played.

TRENDS IN ACTION. Once again, Ford shows that it can to tap into social media to reap huge rewards. This iteration of the Movement used the growing “user generated” content trend to make activations personal to target consumers.

THE CASE STUDY. The Fiesta Movement launched Ford’s little darling to great success, but the sales dipped down until, in the year before the brand launched this sequel, Fiesta sales were down 22 percent year over year. Overcoming that dip by bringing millennial drivers into the fold were primary objectives in moving forward with the program.

Like the original Movement, Ford set out to find 100 influencers to own its campaign, and the Fiesta, for six months. This time, however, the brand went after millennials in a big way. This demographic did not see Ford as the brand for them in the beginning, so the selection of influencers to get a car was even more critical than before. After Ford gave each Fiesta Agent the car, a gas card, a camera, insurance and a daunting list of missions, they set off onto the open road to show off the Fiesta’s moves. The Agents created thousands of intriguing and entertaining bits of content, all communicating the car’s personality and how it can be part of millennials’ active and urban lives. Ford amplified the best Agent content across targeted digital, print, broadcast and outdoor media, but every piece of Fiesta content came straight from influencers, making it Ford’s first-ever 100-percent user-generated campaign.

One of Ford’s core objectives was to generate 310,000 “build and price” actions online during the seven-month campaign. Consumers who go through the build and price process are considered key leads, since it represents significant time spent with a vehicle and frequently leads to requesting a quote or dealer contact. Ford had substantial history on this metric to establish an objective with confidence it would correlate to sales performance. So how did it do?

RESULTS. The Fiesta Movement took the car to a record high in sales and captured more of the target audience than any other car in its class. Among millennials, the Fiesta made up 30 percent of cars sales–which is huge. All told, the agents created more than 14,000 pieces of content, with many millions of YouTube views, photo views and Twitter and Facebook exposures. And to top it off, almost 450,000 consumers built and priced Fiestas during the campaign, 140,000 more than goal.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_Social_Mattel_WEBGOLD WINNER
Client: Mattel 
Campaign: Hot Wheels Camaro-matic Trending Machine 
Agency: TrojanOne 

It seems like a simple thing to give out samples of Hot Wheels at a car show. But for the Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS), Hot Wheels set out to turn a simple sampling activation into an experience that every consumer would remember.

The objectives included earning as much attention from CIAS attendees as possible, but, more specifically, building buzz for the Hot Wheels-inspired 2013 Chevrolet Camaro Special Edition die-cast among boys ages three to eight years old and their parents (the cars promoted GM’s new special edition Hot Wheels-themed Camaro, for sale to consumers for the first time since 1968). The strategy: on-site activation plus measurable social media integration. Hot Wheels decided that the best way to distribute a large number of the special edition cars was not to simply hand them out. Oh, no. Instead, it deployed a Twitter-activated vending machine that responded to tweets that used the #ChevyCIAS hashtag. In order to get one of the cars, guests had to follow @HotWheelsCanada and tweet a request to the hashtag. The machine would recognize that the tweet was sent, and vend a car to the eagerly waiting young fan.

To accomplish this feat, the brand retrofitted a standard vending machine with a custom control board that worked with the machine’s existing electrical system and controls so that it could dispense products randomly, but in controlled amounts and distributions. Hot Wheels used the Twitter API to search and track tweets, validate the content of the tweets for proper use of hashtag and messaging and used the Twitter location services to confirm that the user who sent the tweet was actually present at the auto show. The activation drew almost 5,000 tweets including #ChevyCIAS and @HotWheelsCanada and tripled the brand’s followers on Twitter while distributing 7,750 cars.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_Social_Zappos_WEBSILVER WINNER
Client: Zappos 
Campaign: Gingerbread Man 
Agency: Allied Experiential, Mullen 

During the 2013 holiday season, online retailer Zappos delighted Austin consumers with a unique chase activation that was as weird as the city’s self-proclaimed personality. In order to drive traffic and purchases at Zappos.com, the brand sent a life-sized gingerbread man out onto the streets of the city and challenged folks to catch him and take a picture. The players were to upload the photos to Twitter with the hashtag #ZapposGingerbreadMan.

The Man was a human runner outfitted in a gingerbread costume with a rounded head and a cape. A street team, outfitted as bakers, chased the escaped Gingerbread Man throughout the city. To build initial buzz, the brand sent packages of custom gingerbread cookies in Zappos boxes to local media outlets and social-savvy companies. Then, on chase day, Zappos encouraged local Austinites, armed with their mobile devices, to join the social hunt based on clues pushed out through the @Zappos Twitter handle. Those consumers who spotted the Gingerbread Man around the city were asked to snap a picture and share his whereabouts. These social actions equated to the capture of the Gingerbread Man and participants were rewarded with Zappos gift cards. Over the course of the two-day event, 350 Austin consumers earned a reward for capturing the Gingerbread Man and the social chatter around the event yielded 9.3 million impressions for the brand.

Check out video HERE

BEST USE OF TECHNOLOGY

Photo By David Kenas www.dkshots.com 732-616-7333 david@dkshots.comEX AWARD WINNER
Client: American Express 
Campaign: Art & Sound of Tennis 
Agency: Momentum Worldwide 

WHY IT’S A WINNER. The art of integrating technology into a live experience is one of making it integral to the experience, and for the US Open Tennis Championship, American Express did just that. Through the integration of seamless technological innovations, the brand brought each fan’s passion for the sport to life in vibrant color. Game. Set. Match.

TRENDS IN ACTION. This activation tapped into modern consumers’ need for technology by acknowledging the “invisible technology” trend, or, using tech in such a way that it is not an add-on, but rather an instinctive part of an experience.

THE CASE STUDY. In 2013, American Express celebrated its 20th anniversary as a sponsor of the US Open Tennis Championship, so the brand set out to up its game and simultaneously establish itself in consumers’ minds as a technology player with the Art and Sound of Tennis inside the American Express Fan Experience. The strategy connected with attendees’ passion for the sport by giving them a personalized and deeply participatory opportunity to make something beautiful and shareable. The brand invited cardholders and non-cardholders to pick up a tennis racket, step into a tennis bay and show off their swings. Every forehand and backhand was digitally translated into a work of art. The brand supplied guests with rackets that had embedded chips to measure the speed, direction and velocity of each person’s swing. A custom bit of software took the information from the sensors and analyzed it. Those results became brush strokes that combined to create an illustration, shown on the LED screen in the activation area. It wasn’t all about the visuals, either. Audio was played and also responded to the swings, increasing volume for faster swings. Every two to three minutes, a new consumer stepped inside to give it a try. When they were done, the brand digitally captured each participant’s work of art and emailed it to them to share with their friends and family on their personal social platforms.

RESULTS. More than 14,000 Tennis Open attendees visited the American Express experience and participated in the Art & Sound of Tennis activation. They weren’t afraid to share their creations, either. In fact, Amex showed a 600 percent increase in social media engagement over the previous year.

 

Best_Tech_Nespresso_WEBGOLD WINNER
Client: Nespresso 
Campaign: What Grand Cru Are You? 
Agenices: MAS Event + Design, Helios Interactive Technologies, Obscura Digital

Nespresso was interested in challenging the preconceptions of high-end coffee consumers, and showing them that the brand is as much of a coffee snob as they are. To introduce a wide variety of its coffees to affluent and well-heeled professional consumers in an efficient and time-sensitive way, the brand went to one of the most likely places to find a concentrated group of these desirable consumers: Grand Central Terminal in New York City.

Nespresso turned Vanderbilt Hall into a high-tech coffee shop, perfect for a javafficianado in a hurry. The goal was to introduce the wide variety of flavor options for Nespresso’s product, and to get product in peoples’ hands so they could see the quality first hand. The centerpiece and attention grabber was the 20-foot by four-foot multi-touch projection wall, paired with a fleet of brand ambassador baristas ready to assist passersby in finding the flavor that fit them best. Consumers walked up to the multi-touch screen and answered a short series of lifestyle questions like “Day person,” or “Night person” or “Spicy or Mild,” and based on their input, received a recommendation for their personal flavor profile. Then, a brand ambassador immediately brought them over to a tasting station and gave them a sample of the suggested flavor. Although the thirsty coffee drinkers didn’t have to go through the recommendation experience to get a coffee, many did and found that they enjoyed their custom cup. The brand gave out thousands of samples during the experience and more than 1,000 of them were from personalized recommendation experiences. A tasty day was had by all.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_Tech_AOL_WEBSILVER WINNER
Client: AOL 
Campaign: 2013 Digital NewFront
Agency: agencyEA 

AOL is a media juggernaut, and rolling off the success of last year’s National Sales Conference, the brand pushed straight into its second annual NewFront event, a digital media take on traditional TV upfronts where networks show potential advertisers the upcoming season’s shows. The objective was to provide a platform for AOL to debut its original online video content to about 1,500 digital media buyers and advertising executives in New York City. The brand had to position itself as a leader in the digital content space, and show that it was not only different from its competitors, but also the AOL of the past.

The campaign’s theme and tagline was “It’s On” in order to suggest the many devices upon which consumer can enjoy AOL’s content. In order to make that suggestion tangible to attendees, the brand physically surrounded them with AOL original content by transforming the venue at Moynihan Station in New York City into a high-tech, video-immersive presentation and reception space. Inside the footprint, screens wrapped around the presentation room, surrounding the guests. On the screens, celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Hank Azaria and Arianna Huffington introduced their shows as the guests walked through.

From the presentation area to the reception space, the brand led attendees through a distribution tunnel, blanketed with more than 70 iPads, iPhones, cinema screens and other devices, all featuring AOL content. In the end, thanks to the more than 1,000 live attendees, 315 watching live in a local bar and more than 400 on a live stream remotely, the brand saw a five percent increase in ad sales following the NewFront event.

Check out video HERE

BEST ACTIVATION OF AN ENTERTAINMENT SPONSORSHIP

Best_EntSponsor_Pepsi_WEBEX AWARD WINNER
Client: PepsiCo 
Campaign: Get Hyped for Halftime 
Agency: Motive 

WHY IT’S A WINNER. Pepsi took its sponsorship of the biggest media event of the year, the Super Bowl halftime show, and set out to make it bigger by using a series of events to build excitement around the show and make it the most viewed television event in history. Goals like that can make your event a winner—achieving it like Pepsi did makes you a legend. TRENDS IN ACTION: Get Hyped for Halftime shrewdly tapped into one of the hottest trends in event marketing: taking gigantic cultural events and anchoring them to hyper-local activations. “Taking global local” brought this show into the homes of fans long before the big game was on their TVs.

THE CASE STUDY. This was the definition of ambition. PepsiCo is never one for halfway measures and its sponsorship of the Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show featuring Bruno Mars was not going to be anything less than spectacular. But an epic-style live show is only as good as its audience, and the Pepsi knew that that audience needed to be bigger than any other—ever.

It all began with a concept: flood the country with amazing experiences and event activations that would either unexpectedly “halftime” a key moment in a consumer’s day, or help fans “get hyped” for the Super Bowl performance with an incredible public happening.

The brand got started months ahead of time by “halftiming” large and small events, from the GRAMMY Awards to a retirement home BINGO night. The real hyping got started in a truly unlikely place, however: Milligan, NE. The brand transformed this tiny town into a fan destination overnight, surprising and delighting locals all over the state. On a Thursday morning one week, residents suddenly found Pepsi vending machines all over the town. Each one gave out free sodas and every can had a teaser sticker hinting at some secret event on that Saturday night. The word spread. Local radio and news grabbed the story quick, but national media was gobbling it up almost as fast, while word of mouth ran like wildfire from person to person all over the Midwest. By event night, hundreds of people were gathered in the center of town on nothing but a hunch that something cool was about to happen. When the lights went out on Main Street, the crowd held its breath. When Lee Brice took the stage, the crowd went nuts. And Pepsi did three of these, getting bigger each time.

RESULTS. The campaign helped drive awareness for what became the most-viewed Super Bowl Halftime Show of all time, which would have been enough for some brands, but Pepsi also scored 300 million media impressions, 12,000 on-site engagements and a viral YouTube video with more than 1.2 million views. Now that hits the spot.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_EntSponsor_Honda_WEBGOLD WINNER
Client: Honda 
Campaign: Honda Civic Tour 
Agency: Marketing Factory 

If you want to hit the youth market, then get with the killer tunes, yo. Honda’s ready to show you how, and with its Civic Tour last year, it proved it’s got the chops to make it rock. For this car brand, it was all about partnering with an artist with legit mass appeal for new drivers. The brand got moving months before the tour got started, and even before the headliner was announced. The brand’s Facebook and Twitter feeds hinted at the action to come with daily clues and chances to enter a sweepstakes for a chance to fly to Los Angeles and meet the mystery band. And then the big reveal: Honda and Maroon 5 teamed up for the announcement video and followed it up with an outtakes video that Jay Leno played on “The Tonight Show” while interviewing Adam Levine about the tour.

After the announcement, fans were able to purchase exclusive Honda pre-sale tickets and register for a chance to win several promotions. The brand flew a fan out to hang on the set of Civic Tour’s video shoot with Levine and James Valentine. Another couple was flown to St. Louis to watch rehearsals and the opening date from the front row, and to meet the band. Honda also released exclusive content about the tour and the Civic through social media, and all of the preview work paid off in a huge tour that hosted almost 600,000 concert attendees across 32 concert events in all of Honda’s top American markets, while enjoying the biggest social media engagement for the brand to date. Now that’s music to our ears.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_EntSponsor_Citi_WEBSILVER WINNER
Client: Citi 
Campaign: Rolling Stones 50 & Counting Tour 
Agency: MAC Presents 

Music fans want VIP access, and Citi wanted its customers to know they care, so when it set out to leverage its sponsorship of the Rolling Stones 50 & Counting Tour, the play was both perfect and well considered.

The program allowed Citi to promote Citi Private Pass, which rewards card members with exclusive perks. The brand entertained VIP guests as well as friends and family of the band in a custom VIP Lounge built out at each venue along the tour route. Some guests even got a shot at a backstage tour or a meet and greet with The Rolling Stones. Activations started just a few days before the tour did, and the pre-announcement action focused on the hashtag, #StartMeUpWednesday, which pulled in more than 27.3 million impressions and reached more than 5.3 million individual users on Twitter… in a week. The VIP lounge at each show hosted Citi guests and friends of the band and offered eats and an open bar decked out in Glam Rock style right up until the Stones started playing. A custom retro photo booth was incorporated into the Citi VIP Lounge and guests shot photos and printed them out as keepsakes of the once-in-a lifetime experience. And, then there were the 10 or so fans that got a chance to meet the Stones themselves—we guarantee Citi earned more than a few lifetime members with that one.

What’s more, in just eight weeks, the brand scooped up more than 747 million social impressions and the official Stones app, presented by Citi had more than 15 million page views. You can always get what you want.

BEST ACTIVATION OF A SPORTS SPONSORSHIP

Best_Sport_Honda_WEBEX AWARD WINNER
Client: Honda 
Campaign: Little League Sponsorship 
Agency: RPA 

WHY IT’S A WINNER. A sponsorship can be as complex or as simple as you want as long as you make your activations as memorable as the event you’re supporting. With its Little League sponsorship, Honda took a defining moment in the lives of American families and upped the ante to bring the memories to the next level.

TRENDS IN ACTION. While carnival games have been a mainstay of event marketing for years, Honda saw that it could use them to earn valuable info via an activity tracking RFID activation. This kind of “passive data collection” is powerful and hotter than a 12-year-old’s 86 mph fastball.

THE CASE STUDY. The fun was the star inside the sponsor village, where Camp Honda was a central attraction, and where the brand showcased its brand new Odyssey, the official vehicle of the Little League. The brand invited all 404,000 attendees inside for a good time and, along the way, a chance to get to know the minivan’s key features. On the way into Camp Honda, the adults registered with an email or Facebook login. Either way, it was linked to an RFID wristband that allowed participants to move freely through the camp, swiping all the way through a series of games that participants played to earn points and win prizes.

The gaming theme was clear, but unusual. You could win, but you could also take a hit. One of the best games was the High- Stakes Dunk Tank. It acted just like a regular dunk tank, but if the player missed there were consequences. Players threw out a pitch and if they hit, the person inside was dunked. If it was a miss, the player got soaked. Nice. Other, safer games included Be the Bobblehead, which allowed fans to take photos as a life-size bobblehead, then pose with the bobbleheaded version of themselves; and Clear the Bases, in which players competed using the HondaVac (the world’s first available in-vehicle vacuum cleaner) to suck up sand on bases. The first to suck up all the sand won. Participants collected points at each Camp Honda station by using the RFID bracelets. They could redeem the points for brand swag, with the most sought-after prize being the 2013 Honda Odyssey pin. Pins could be collected three ways: win at Camp Honda, sit in the dunk tank for 15 minutes to collect all three pins or go to littleleague.honda.com.

RESULTS. The data capture results showed that 8,428 fans registered to play, of whom 76 percent gave an email address and 24 percent provided Facebook credentials. More than one-third of registrants opted in to receive general information from Honda, and more than one-quarter opted to receive more information on the redesigned Odyssey. And we call that a homerun.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_Sport_Hyundai_WEBGOLD WINNER
Client: Hyundai 
Campaign: Show Your Loyalty College Football Campaign 
Agency: Advantage International 

In order to drive foot traffic and generate leads for its local dealerships across the country, Hyundai tapped into the excitement around college football with its Show Your Loyalty College Football Campaign. The challenge for Hyundai was finding a way to engage thousands of fans with football on their minds without being intrusive. To do that, the brand went with the strategy: be the coolest tailgater in the fan zone. The Hyundai FieldHouse accomplished its objective with room to spare at each game played by the 25 teams sponsored by Hyundai.

Fans came into the space for a snack and a seat while they watched the ESPN pre-game show. They stayed to take photos with their friends and left with a vintage-inspired university t-shirt. The space was full of football-themed games, Hyundai vehicles with home team branding from each school and co-branded giveaways. In order to extend beyond the on-site activations, every FieldHouse activity fed social media through RFID integration.

Whenever visitors swiped their RFID key chains, they earned another chance to win an all-new Hyundai Veloster. In addition, every swipe sent a FieldHouse-themed update to Facebook, reaching an average of 160 Facebook friends per swipe, and adding up to more than 1.7 million Facebook impressions. More than 23,000 guests checked into the FieldHouse throughout the season. Inside local dealerships in each targeted market, the brand also deployed “Love Your Team. Love Your Car.” showroom kits that included team-branded signage, mugs, padfolios and showroom media.

 

GMCSILVER WINNER
Client: General Motors 
Campaign: GMC Monday Night Football Tour 
Agency: Jack Morton Worldwide 

GMC set out to leverage its long-standing NFL sponsorship by bringing some of the game to key local markets with the GMC Monday Night Football Tour. The brand visited affluent malls in 12 key markets that were hosting MNF games throughout the season in search of owners of competitive brands who were looking for a new truck. In addition, because Texas is a huge truck market and critical to the new Sierra pickup, a second set of mobile tour properties was created to focus specifically on Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio.

The tour had three primary components: The GMC MNF Tour Trailer, an 80-foot square tent featuring NFL sport science interactive experiences and a Ride and Drive with more than 20 GMC models. The tour trailer was a museum dedicated to the Sierra, and the Ride and Drive kept folks moving and excited, but the real star was inside the sport science tent. Inside, custom wall panels linked four interactive experiences to the GMC products. A different GMC model flanked each experience, and the brand had product specialists on-hand for in-depth tours of the vehicles.

To make sure the test drives stayed busy, which was a key driver of the brand’s goals, guests could only get to the player autograph area by driving there. The test-drives consisted of a five- to 10-minute course around the property with a right-seat driver with each consumer. A product specialist with a walkie-talkie was also stationed at the tent for more advanced product questions. The results were clear: people loved it, spending an average of almost 45 minutes inside the display. Each person drove more than two vehicles, on average, and according to the exit survey, a high majority responded positively, with a strong likelihood to recommend GMC.

Check out video HERE

BEST MOBILE MARKETING PROGRAM

Best_Mobile_CDW_WEBEX AWARD WINNER
Client: CDW 
Campaign: Winning on the Road 
Agenices: Next Marketing, Ogilvy

WHY IT’S A WINNER. Mobile marketing was one of the first experiential tactics to take off, and now it’s evolved to become the proving ground for on-the-go cutting-edge technologies. CDW played to win with this tour and the innovative technology strategy is just one of the many reasons this one’s a winner.

TRENDS IN ACTION. Talk about being hooked up. CDW’s Technoliner was tricked out, and connected, giving its b-to-b and consumer audiences a look at the future of “connected mobility” with high-end wi-fi, VPN and other technologies available on the fly.

THE CASE STUDY. No industry changes faster than technology, and if a brand like CDW wants to stay relevant, it’s got to move fast and show its clients and partners that it’s on the bleeding edge all the time. Last year’s efforts to do just that were housed in the truly epic CDW Technoliner, home of the Winning on the Road campaign, which visited key IT conferences and NCAA Final Four events to showcase the brand’s in-house technology offerings and OEM partners. The vehicle itself was a fully integrated demo center, entertainment venue and buzz-building attention grabber. The 48-foot Technoliner featured an on-board data center with Cisco Unified Computing System rack servers, VMware virtualization software, NetApp data storage arrays, Elo Touch Solutions displays, an exterior 14-foot wide Cisco Connected StadiumVision wall featuring six Planar HX-60 displays, Lenovo laptops, Belkin charging stations and more than 4,000 feet of high speed wiring. It wasn’t all tech either. Creature comforts and premium entertainment were front and center as well. CDW provided full beverage service with Bottoms Up and Sidebar beverage dispensers, food prep with a Kalamazoo Pizza oven and a full-size gas grill and Samsung LED displays with an XBox 360 Kinect system ready to roll. Guests were treated to fresh snacks, sweet demos and hot gaming. Interested purchase decision-makers had the chance to meet with CDW experts to ask questions, which resulted in some lead generation gold for the brand. All of this tech and experience added up to an activation that excited IT professionals about partnering with CDW for tech needs and wowed regular consumers with the rampant high-tech badassery.

RESULTS. Post-tour surveys showed how powerful the whole package was. Attendees were 13.3 percent more likely to see CDW as a leading IT solutions provider and of those, 75 percent placed an order. CDW collected leads at industry events, and showed exponential growth over the previous year at these events, most notably Cisco Live and VMWorld, where the brand increased leads by 1,362 and 1,762 percent, respectively. Damn, son.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_Mobile_HP_WEBGOLD WINNER
Client: HP
Campaign: Mobile Print Tour 
Agency: Infinity Marketing Team 

HP products let you print from your smartphone. It’s easy, it’s wireless and not nearly enough people know about it. To fix that, HP set off on the six-month-long Mobile Print Tour to promote the HP e-Print app for Android, iOS and Blackberry and Air Print function on iOS only. The idea was to simply inform consumers in the 25 target markets about the apps and teach them how easy it is to use them to print from their phones to an HP printer, from anywhere. The tour traveled in a Mercedes Sprinter van and expanded into a 20-foot by 17-foot mobile printing hub where attendees learned about the brand’s products and mobile print solutions while experimenting with the technology through interactive demos. HP visited large scale, family-focused events and was connected to the brand’s online campaign through YouTube. Finally, the brand was also making sales directly to consumers as well, with a goal of making at least $600,000 in sales during the tour.

At each event, the brand scattered five Mobile Print Pod photo activations around the venue and invited consumers to take a family photo and print it, back at the main HP footprint, where they could visit to pick up the picture. In a novel gesture of friendship, HP did not ask visitors to register at all. They were simply helped with printing their photos from their phones and given a branded lanyard for the picture. If a guest wanted to learn more, a brand ambassador would lead them through a demo and provide information, special offers and products for sale. The tour was so successful for HP that the brand has already planned additional vehicles. By the end, HP tracked direct and indirect sales of more than $2.6 million as a result of the tour. And that’s about enough said.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_Mobile_Loreal_WEBSILVER WINNER
Client: L’Oréal 
Campaign: Advanced Haircare Mobile Tour 
Agency: Mirrorball 

L’Oréal Paris wanted to help women understand that they each have individual hair needs and that they need an ongoing hair care regimen in order to keep their lovely locks healthy. To get that message out and help women “Change the life of their hair,” the brand introduced a diagnostic hair tool that can recommend the appropriate shampoo, conditioner and treatments for each woman. The Mobile Style Studio brought that tool to women in eight key markets last year with deployments at high-end events and venues.

The first interactions were with brand ambassadors who introduced the core concepts and discussed each guest’s current hair care regimen. Once the consumers got up to the experience, they spun a prize wheel for a sample before stepping into the “Sensory Bar.” In the bar, the ladies got to know the Advanced Haircare products and, when a chair was ready, they sat down for a treatment with a L’Oréal Paris hair professional. This is when the pro performed the hair diagnosis, thanks to the hair tool, and showed the guests what kind of damage they had. The consultation culminated with a recommendation for the appropriate corrective products.

Guests who didn’t want to do the consult still got a wash and blow out, before grabbing a branded comb and taking a prop-laden shot at the photo activation station, which could be shared to Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #AskHairGenius. The Studio was made out of a shipping container that folded up for travel, or unfolded for activations into a 32-foot by 16-foot space, with five sink stations in addition to the sensory and photo activation stations. The brand did almost 12,000 consultations and gave out nearly 100,000 samples. Magnifique.

Check out video HERE

BEST SINGLE-MARKET EVENT (B-TO-B)

SAP SAPPHIRE NOW—ASUG Annual Conference 2013EX AWARD WINNER
Client: SAP
Campaign: SAPPHIRE NOW
Agency: Sparks

WHY IT’S A WINNER. SAPPHIRE NOW is a perennial example of the best in b-to-b event marketing, and last year SAP found a way to take its well-known campus format to the next level by using its expertise in evergreen experiences to give its customers some sweet ROI for their time.

TRENDS IN ACTION. SAP is a leader in the realm of “customer-centric” event marketing. No longer obsessed with grabbing up all the ROI for itself, SAP in 2013 proved it will do anything to facilitate relationships between its customers and stakeholders. And get everyone the win as a result.

THE CASE STUDY. SAP went into SAPPHIRE NOW 2013 with three very clear objectives: design the whole event from the attendees’ points of view and meet their needs first; transform the legacy conference from a “marketing program” into a useful tool for its account executives to use for sales development; and make the investment pay off via awareness of SAP’s solutions–and expand the sales pipeline. To meet these customer-centric objectives, the brand re-engineered the event’s entire content structure to make it as authentically relevant to the attendees as possible. Keynotes and sessions referred to specific solutions located in the exhibit halls; a new content channel was launched called SAP Forums, to offer specialized content for 12 specific industries and lines of business; and a dedicated Meet Our Customers area was constructed on the show floor to allow for a 100-percent customer-to-customer networking and solutions experience. It wasn’t all about the on-site education, either. SAP activated in the Orlando Airport to check attendees in while they waited for their baggage, and more than 60 percent of them got their badges before they even got to the event. For the customers who wanted to get some top-level face time, SAP invited them into the Executive Meeting Center, where customers engaged in executive-level discussions with SAP experts, executives and thought leaders. There were hundreds of small and large touches that added up to a customer experience like no other b-to-b show has ever offered.

RESULTS. This was the most successful SAPPHIRE NOW event in the 25-year history of the program. Post-show surveys showed a 13 percent increase in the likelihood of attendees to recommend the conference to a friend or colleague over 2012, and the brand reported a 27 percent increase in the engagement of customers with relevant content, measured with activity scans. Basically, every metric they measured came in awesome. No surprise here.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_SingleB2B_Oracle_WEBGOLD WINNER
Client: Oracle 
Campaign: CloudWorld São Paulo 
Agency: Banco de Eventos 

Cloud computing is the future of enterprise-level computing, and as a leader in the space, Oracle is bringing the good news everywhere it goes. For its CloudWorld São Paulo, the brand set for itself the task of being the largest cloud computing event ever held in Brazil in order to tap into the rapidly evolving and growing Latin American market. Brazil is leading the region in growth and right now accounts for more than half of total cloud spending in Latin America, so Oracle naturally set its sites on creating an experience to remember.

The brand combined audience acquisition strategy and social media integration to augment the live experiences and amplify the messaging. During the event, the content was the star, educating and exciting attendees to embrace Oracle’s solutions. There were several keynote addresses throughout the day, delivered by Oracle executives and industry thought-leaders who shared high-level vision with the audience. For the one-on-one touch, the brand invited guests into breakout sessions organized by audience function.

Those discussions were led by experts from Oracle and partner and customer organizations. The whole event revolved around a central, gigantic hub space that housed all of the critical experiences, including keynotes, sessions, meet-ups and hands-on demos. Oracle even went out of its way to court the folks who couldn’t make it out physically with a fully fleshed-out virtual experience that had live webcasts of content streamed to the Oracle Brazil Facebook page. Virtual attendees were able to interact with the physical event by asking questions of speakers through Twitter, which were answered during hosted 10-minute Q&A sessions with selected thought leaders and subject matter experts.

The goal was to be the biggest, and it was with more than 2,500 participants. It’s not all about the size, however. The reach and brand influence gained through this event was, according to the brand, where the real magic happened.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_SingleB2B_JScreen_WEBSILVER WINNER
Client: Johnson & Johnson 
Campaign: 2013 Shareholder Meeting 
Agency: Sandra Arnold 

The Johnson & Johnson Annual Shareholder Meeting was due for a change, so for 2013, the brand set out to give the old girl a makeover. Cue the montage music. The new show was all about creating an engaging, high-tech experience for shareholders that told the brand’s story of commitment to caring around the world.

One key goal was to personalize the presentations and inspire a dialogue between the ceo and the audience. The bold, sleek set created an intimate atmosphere for these “discussions” between the executives and the shareholders. The stage extended into the audience so speakers could really get in there with attendees.

As far as technology goes, there was no doubt that J&J had the chops to make it happen. The dominating feature of the space was an 80-foot-high curved, seamless floor-to-ceiling digital projection surface, paired with projection mapping technology that enabled the brand to create a totally unexpected environment for attendees. The events opened in traditional style, with legal matters, but as soon as that was over, the brand lowered the lawyers’ lecterns into the stage and opened up the field for the ceo to get personal with the audience and tell the J&J story.

While he spoke, the surface behind him played illustrative videos and graphics, turning what could have been a simple speech into a production that kept the key messaging planted into the minds of the shareholders. And they knew how awesome it was, too, reporting to the brand that they thought it was the most successful shareholder meeting to date. In fact, the exit survey found that 82 percent of them rated the meeting as excellent, and after attending the meeting, 64 percent of shareholders felt more confident in J&J as an investment option. Solid.

BEST SINGLE-MARKET EVENT (CONSUMER)

Best_SingleB2C_Vodafone_WEBEX AWARD WINNER
Client: Vodafone 
Campaign: New Year’s Eve 
Agency: Wasserman 

WHY IT’S A WINNER. With its New Year’s Eve activation in London, Vodaphone accomplished an industry first—an edible fireworks display. The program’s 360-degree multi-sensory experience engaged hundreds of thousands of consumers (and their taste buds) and showed them that the brand can accomplish the impossible, and help them do the same.

TRENDS IN ACTION. Bigger is better. Vodaphone has put a decisive final nail in the “small is big” event trend that came out of the economic crash and made it cool to go big again. Really big.

THE CASE STUDY. The brand wanted to ring in the new year and celebrate its new “Firsts” global engagement strategy, so it gave consumers all over the world a taste of what it can mean to be part of a brand that is dedicated to being first and best. To do that, it created something that the world had never seen before, that would be easy to understand and that would effectively demonstrate “Vodafone Firsts” as a global brand engagement platform. While hitting that nearly impossible mark, it also engaged consumers with a brand story that would inspire consumers to undertake “firsts” of their own. For its own first, Vodaphone partnered with the Mayor of London to sponsor the London New Year’s Eve fireworks. It was never to be a simple visual show, however. This brand wanted more, so it partnered with food artists Bompas & Parr to create a flavor-themed multi-sensory fireworks experience that no consumer would ever forget. The centerpiece of the program was the world’s first edible confetti, a safe flavor mist in seven fruit flavors the brand developed with innumerable health and safety regulators in an effort to plan an environmental effect without causing an environmental disaster. It ultimately created a brand new dispersal mechanism, all in the eight months before the big show. The brand also put in wireless signal boosters and hubs all over London so the crowds could easily share their experiences through their mobile devices. On the big day, the brand handed out 100,000 multi-sensory experience packs in key neighborhoods that included a scratch and sniff program, flavored sweets to eat in time with the show, and LED wristbands that were synchronized to light up with the fireworks. During the display, the sky was filled with clouds of strawberry, apple, cherry and blackcurrant mist, corresponding to the colors of the fruits and fireworks in the sky. When the sky turned red, the audience tasted strawberries. When it was green, green apple wafted through the air, and so on. In addition, there were visual flavored effects including a “peach mist” that made it snow for 60 seconds and floating smoke-filled giant Seville orange bubbles along Victoria Embankment, and a finale of the world’s first edible banana confetti.

RESULTS. The event was attended by over 250,000 people, and Vodaphone reached almost 640 million people through earned media which helped drive a big uplift in traffic to the Firsts.com website, peaking at about 24,000 visits versus an average of 3,000. An auld acquaintance that won’t soon be forgot.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_SingleB2C_MarriottGOLD WINNER
Client: Marriott 
Campaign: SpringHill Suites Airport Comfort Zone 
Agencies: mcgarrybowen, Ferocious Cow 

Hotels can be either the best or worst part of traveling, and every brand wants it to be the former, of course. To show frequent and business travelers that its SpringHill Suites brand gets it and will make every trip a better one, Marriott brought its “Style and space. Beautifully priced” campaign to life by taking one of the worst experiences in a traveler’s day and transforming it into one of the best.

The brand simply asked the target consumers to imagine what it would be like if everywhere they went, they experienced more than what they expected, and then showed them what that could be like with the Airport Comfort Zone. SpringHill Suites partnered with the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to convert the security line, screening area and post-checkpoint chaos into a branded experiential environment designed to offer the travelers a moment of relief from the annoyances of airport life.

The whole space was inside about 3,000 square feet within a single security zone, and used large-format wall wraps to simulate a relaxing resort feel and furnishings from SpringHill hotels to provide comfy seating for putting shoes and belts back on. A nearby Weave Wall design element was in the queuing area with a monitor running the brand’s advertising, hotel imagery and property tour while streaming radio played soothing tunes during the wait and brand ambassadors handed out free branded luggage tags.

By the end of the three-month campaign, about 1.25 million people had been through the experience, 44 percent of consumers reported seeing the execution as a positive experience and 23 percent said they had increased interest in learning more about the brand.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_SingleB2C_Lexus_WEBSILVER WINNER
Client: Lexus 
Campaign: Hidden Pop-Up Dinners 
Agency: Team One 

Lexus ain’t your grandfather’s car anymore, and to tell Generation X and Y consumers all about it, the brand set out to show them that a Lexus is the best way to pair luxury with a unique statement of taste and refinement. The brand used market research data to determine that its target consumers love fine dining; they want to eat at the best restaurants and have the best experiences. So Lexus partnered with Los Angeles Magazine to create a full fine-dining partnership.

The magazine’s readership is right in the zone for the audience Lexus wanted to reach, with high disposable income and influence over the city and society around them. To reach them, the brand began with print ads in the publication and a call to enter an online sweepstakes, which culminated in a full one-month editorial takeover, with run-of-site media and an eblast, all to promote the main events: two pop-up dinner experiences.

These consumers love exclusive and “secret” venues and events, so Lexus used the magazine’s reach to inform readers about some of the best ones in the city, while inviting them into area dealerships and enticing them to enter the online sweepstakes for invitations to the hidden dinners. The Los Angeles Lexus Dealer’s Association worked with Los Angeles Magazine’s subscriber’s list to invite guests in the targeted demographic to the two pop-up dinners and two of the secret venues that had been featured in the custom issue: Writer’s Room and Malibu Café at Calamigos Ranch.

All guests were required to RSVP, but did not know the location of the events until the day prior. In the end, the media blitz and events resulted in 10 new vehicle sales for Lexus, and millions of impressions, unique web visits and social media returns.

Check out video HERE

BEST MULTI-MARKET EVENT (B-TO-B)

Best_MultiMarketB2B_Cisco_WEBEX AWARD WINNER
Client: Cisco 
Campaign: Cisco Live

WHY IT’S A WINNER. Cisco Live is back again, and better than ever before, with four dynamic conferences held around the world in 2013. This iteration of the global event offered the most comprehensive line-up of training and education ever and helped attendees deepen their knowledge of current and future Cisco products and solutions, while showing us all how it’s meant to be done.

TRENDS IN ACTION. “Content as service” is the byword of smart b-to-b event marketing these days. Attendees don’t want to be sold to directly anymore. Instead they want to learn something that can be applied across their professional needs, and Cisco is doing this as well as anyone out there.

THE CASE STUDY. Cisco Live 2013 took place in Orlando and delivered education and insights on the technology that Cisco sees redefining the future. The brand brought together tens of thousands of partners, influencers and customers both in-person and virtually and set out to take advantage of that huge and diverse audience by seizing real-time opportunities for meeting with key clients, strengthening the attendees’ experiences with the brand and creating a sense of community by building connections among attendees.

It was all about personalized experiences and meeting individual guests’ needs, both in the U.S. and at the other events in Cancun, Mexico, London and Melbourne, Australia. Cisco used social media to connect with remote and in-person attendees and also to communicate key event messages in real-time. Educational sessions are the primary reason attendees come to Cisco Live, so the brand offered hundreds of sessions spanning all of its product lines and running the gamut from overviews to deep demos led by engineers. Since IT and technology professionals don’t choose to go conferences unless they’re really delivering on their needs, Cisco took advantage of the hundreds of partners represented by making networking a primary focus of the events, as well. These opportunities allowed attendees to make practical use of the event’s content in discussions with their peers and enabled them to work together to solve real-world problems they face on a daily basis.

The brand also keeps content fresh all year round, for those who couldn’t make it, or want to refer to sessions they wanted to remember, with its Cisco Live 365 online content community. The comprehensive and multi-faceted Cisco Live platform is a mainstay of the tech world, and a go-to source for b-to-b event marketing best practices year after year.

RESULTS. The event saw a record 35,000 in-person attendees around the world, and nearly seven times that number participated in the event online via Cisco Live 365. Meanwhile, 70 percent of partners have already re-signed up for the 2014 event. Attendee satisfaction was through the roof, too, with post-event surveys showing 93 percent of them calling the event “extremely valuable” and 98 percent reporting that they are likely to purchase Cisco products, solutions and services as a result of attending Cisco Live.

 

Best_MultiMarketB2B_Xerox_WEBGOLD WINNER
Client: Xerox 
Campaign: Focus Forward 
Agency: Roberts Communications 

Xerox hit the road last year with its Focus Forward campaign with the goal of producing a revenue-generating, replicable customer engagement strategy to help change the perception of Xerox from a copy company to a services-led, technology-driven thought leader. Phew, that’s a mouthful!

The ambitious tour visited current Xerox clients and potential clients in key industries and geographies throughout the U.S. Specifically, the brand wanted to be in front of c-level individuals responsible for infrastructure, IT and facilities management as well as directors and managers associated with the client’s in-plant print shop. To hit all those buttons efficiently, the brand created a one-day road show event platform that Xerox replicated 11 times all over the U.S.

The tour brought subject matter experts, industry analysts, keynote speakers and real clients to the forefront in an effort to show potential partners what Xerox could do for them. Since Xerox knew that these prospective clients have limited time for this kind of sales event, the brand put efficiency and effectiveness at the forefront. Each activation day began with an industry-specific roundtable in the late morning, featuring a subject-matter expert within the specific industry and a dialogue between the participants. After the roundtable, there was an hour for the Technology Showcase, where Xerox’s partners had booths set up and attendees could mingle and enjoy lunch, and get a chance to win an iPad. After lunch, the Xerox senior vice president of the region spoke briefly and introduced the keynoter.

After the keynote, attendees could choose from two tracks depending on their job functions and responsibilities. By the time it was all over, the brand had gathered 1,027 qualified prospects and, to date, the revenue attributed to these events is 45.4 times the cost of the events. Now that’s ROI we would love to copy.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_MultiMarketB2B_Microsoft_WEBSILVER WINNER
Client: Microsoft 
Campaign: Surface Boot Camp 
Agenices: Elite Marketing Group, CMD 

When it’s time to bring a new version of a beloved video game franchise to market, getting the attention of jaded gamers while introducing new systemic capabilities is no easy task. But that’s exactly what Microsoft pulled off with its Surface Boot Camp, which leveraged the then unreleased Halo: Spartan Assault game to entice retail sales professionals to drive sales of the Surface RT platform.

The brand threw out the traditional training methods that usually take place in retail environments for new product launches. The boilerplate tutorial videos and PowerPoint briefs got pwn’d and replaced with an immersive experience designed to excite the sales force instead of boring them.

In each of the 11 target markets in North America, the brand transformed a venue into a badass Microsoft Surface Boot Camp, where brand “Drill Sergeants” guided the attendee “Cadets” through five activation areas: Registration, Orientation, Waypoints, Graduation and Social Activation. Each waypoint served as an interactive training session focusing on Mobility/ Durability, Productivity and Entertainment. Groups of cadets had to answer questions to show understanding of the material before advancing to the next waypoint.

Upon completion, cadets moved to gameplay, where they spent 30 minutes blowing stuff up with the unreleased Halo: Spartan Assault. After the gameplay, the cadets graduated and were issued their “weapons”: a Microsoft Surface RT. In all, the Boot Camps trained more than 1,000 sales professionals and the brand’s expectations for the cadets trained were exceeded by 216 percent. Game on.

BEST MULTI-MARKET EVENT (CONSUMER)

Best_MultiMarketB2C_Target_WEBEX AWARD WINNER
Client: Target 
Campaign: Bullseye University Live 
Agency: Deutsch

WHY IT’S A WINNER. Because Target used an enormous pop-up to push content to a national four-day digital event—then pulled that action from the cloud back to the ground with hyperlocal activations on college campuses. Oh, and in the process, this puppy scored the 2014 Grand Ex (see the full overview, pg. 18).

TRENDS IN ACTION. All of them. Using the power of the digital, Target used content from a pop-up dorm room to reach students across the country—then bounced the experience back to the ground with face-to-face activations on college campuses.

THE CASE STUDY. The objective was clear: change perceptions of the chain from mom’s go-to to a hip spot where students can find everything they need for back-to-college essentials. A multi-story Bullseye University Live dormitory experience was designed, built and set up on the UCLA campus July 15- 18. Once each room was “curated” with Target décor and merchandise, five of YouTube’s most popular video personalities moved in. The retailer live-streamed the roomies 24 hours a day on bullseyeuniversity.com as they whiled away the four days in those dorm rooms filled floor-to-ceiling with Target merchandise. By scrolling over products, online viewers activated pop-up boxes with additional information and links to instantly purchase them. A month later, the national digital experience went hyperlocal. To sustain the message that Target was the one-stop shop for back-to-college essentials, two-day Bullseye University Live pop-up dorm rooms were set up during “move-in week” at five campuses. To best showcase the back-to-college products and practical dorm room solutions Target provided, a dorm room “resident” ate, lived and played in the structure for 48 hours while thousands of students on each campus came by the footprint. A key asset was a 70-inch, motion-sensor touchscreen that allowed students to interact with the dorm room. At each campus, the two-day program featured activities and content tied to Target in-house-owned brands and 10 brand partners.The dorm room itself was filled with merchandise. Students could check out the items and then visit a QR code shopping wall to purchase items directly from their phones. And the retailer had shuttle buses running students to the nearest Target store.

RESULTS. During the streaming event, students across the country tuned in for an average of 11 minutes (or 17 years of opt-in time). The event generated 76 million twitter impressions. The campus activation reached more than 144,000 students and parents, handed out more than 200,000 partner samples, transported hundreds of students to Target stores. Bullseye.

Check out video HERE

 

Best_MultiMarketB2C_Coke_WEBGOLD WINNER
Client: Coca-Cola Co. 
Campaign: Open Happiness 
Agency: Mosaic

It’s time for Coca-Cola to recruit the next generation of Canadian Coke drinkers, and the way in was last year’s Open Happiness campaign. The mission was to build brand strength through inspiring uplifting moments in peoples’ lives, so the brand deployed “happiness ambassadors” all over the country whose role was to engage teens on a one-to-one level, keep them refreshed with perfectly served samples of Coca-Cola, while seeding, inspiring and celebrating happiness. To determine success in hard numbers, the brand knew it needed to distribute 675,000 samples of Coca-Cola to teens across the Great White North and interact on a one-to-one level with 763,000 teens. Ambitious.

The resulting activations fell into three categories: The Beacon Event was the official launch of the campaign and brought one of Coke’s Canadian television spots to life at the MuchMusic Video Awards, while teens waited in line to get into the event. The Leader Experience invited three socially active and influential teens to collaborate with the brand to create an event to support a charity close to the heart of each teen. Finally, the Day-to-Day activation sent brand teams to volunteer in High River after the Calgary flood, to help clean up beaches in Vancouver and to surprise non-suspecting commuters with flowers and showcase the spirit of the Open Happiness theme. Each of these activations was used to create digital assets for future use by the brand, and resulted in exponentially larger reach than would have otherwise been achieved. During the 12-week experiential program the brand was seen by more than two million teens, and 913,000 interacted on a one-to-one basis with Coke. The brand also met its sampling goal. We’re still thirsty. What’s next, Coke?

 

Best_MultiMarketB2C_Intel_WEBSILVER WINNER
Client: Intel 
Campaign: Experience Intel. Look Inside. 
Agencies: The Taylor Group, LeadDog Marketing Group, Vice 

Intel’s partners give its products the context it needs to bring its technologies to life for consumers. So promoting its partners, like Ultrabook, various all-in-one devices and smartphones with Intel technology inside is a key strategy for the brand. In pursuit of this objective, Intel is always finding the bleeding edge of experiential, and last year’s “Experience Intel. Look Inside.” campaign was no exception.

The idea was to create a temporary stand-alone destination that would get consumers to interact with Intel’s partners in a tactile way in each of the target markets, and yet, outside of retail. So, the brand invited consumers to come along on a global Experience Intel tour. At each of the seven cities on the tour, brand concierges (as they were called) walked visitors through a customer journey that enabled them to go hands on with all the latest Intel-powered devices, including its Ultrabook 2-in-1 devices.

The tour covered four continents and hit markets that Intel had identified as key targets. The experience lived inside a 40-foot inflatable cube, with a rigid aluminum exoskeleton that gave the impression of a more permanent architectural environment while simplifying the logistics of such a global tour. Inside, guests used a simple touch screen shape and pattern generator driven by an Ultrabook to create a variety of wing-like forms and send them off to fly with a flock of other users’ creations on a massive video wall. Once in flight, an Ultrabook could guide the patterns of the wings’ flight. Gaming stations and educational presentations punctuated the space and time and kept visitors’ interested throughout their stay.

In the end, more than 75,000 people attended the events and spent more than 18 minutes inside, on average. We call that a win in any language.

Check out video HERE

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