The relatively new categories in BtoB's Best Creative show that there are new media for communicating marketing messages. There are online campaigns, online videos and microsites. ¶ But there aren't any new ways to communicate an advertising message. You have to capture people's attention and then hit them with a sales message sooner or later. As advertising great David Ogilvy pointed out, “You cannot bore people into buying your product. You can only interest them in buying it.” ¶ And that's what the winners in the BtoB's Best Creative all have in common: They're all skilled at attracting the interest of prospects. And for the most part, even if they're relying on the Internet and other technologies, these ads use very traditional means of attracting attention and persuading prospects to buy a product or service or brand.
For instance, a number of winners employed the tried and true technique of gathering client testimonials for their marketing message. Among the most effective was the “Behind Success There's EDS” campaign, which presented EDS as a trusted ally of top brands such as American Airlines and General Motors. EDS won for integrated campaign and microsite.
Another winning campaign, Accenture's “We Know What It Takes to Be a Tiger,” used the celebrity endorsement technique. In this case, Accenture's alignment with Tiger Woods is excellent marketing in that the company uses Woods to show that it is not only like Woods in the consulting industry, it knows how to make other companies perform like the world's greatest golfer (not on the course, but in their markets). With this campaign, Accenture was recognized for online campaign and integrated campaign.
Other marketing efforts recognized use characters, which have been a popular way to sell products at least since the days of Tony the Tiger and the Michelin Man. The Virginia Association of Realtors used a comically slimy real estate agent named Ted to show how not to be an ethical realtor, and for that it won a nod for integrated campaign. Additionally, Brocade Files used a character named Dave, who became so wrapped up in his file servers that he no longer saw his family, to show how its product could help guys like Dave go home again.
There is something of a new trend, however, in green marketing in the b-to-b sector. No fewer than four companies were recognized for environmentally oriented marketing campaigns: General Electric Co., Accurate Perforating, Kawneer and Glatfelter.
But even green marketing is nothing new under the sun. Remember the anti-pollution ad featuring a Native American who shed a tear after paddling his canoe up a filthy river? That debuted on Earth Day 1971. M