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Sawyer Awards Special Report: Print

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Winner: YellowBrix, Inc.
Agency: Huey/Paprocki Ltd. Advertising

A curious, rubber-necked toy giraffe taking a deep bow to peer at a computer screen reinforces YellowBrix's proposition that its service can give Web sites a must-see quality.

The image speaks volumes about how engaging YellowBrix's online content, commerce and advertising can make a Web site. It also helped YellowBrix, Alexandria, Va., and its agency, Atlanta-based Huey/Paprocki Ltd. Advertising, earn top Sawyer honors in the print category. The ad, the first in a series, was introduced this fall in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Upside, Business 2.0 and The Industry Standard. Media for the campaign will be in the $3 million to $5 million range.

"We wanted to do something incredibly simple in this madly complicated environment," said Ron Huey, agency partner and copywriter. But his agency also wanted to do something very different while keeping eyes focused on the YellowBrix brand.

An idea that surfaced during a brainstorming process was that of a typical desk that has been personalized with little rubber toys, Beanie Babies or other gewgaws. What if one of those creatures could be captivated by what it saw on its computer perches? It was a "eureka" moment that needed some refinement. Crawford sketched out the image of a tiny giraffe bending over for a closer look at a computer screen and had model made of it. The giraffe and two animal friends were arranged atop a computer to create the final image that was matched with the headline: "Everyone is drawn to a more interactive Web site."

Copy was kept to a minimum. It begins: "We make your Web site more engaging with personalization and point-of-service to drive impulse purchases-all built on relevant news." The copy then invokes the names of some of its leading blue-chip customers, such as Business 2.0, AOL/Netscape and Monster.com.

Having arrested the audience's attention, the ad closes as it should, inviting readers to visit its Web site or call for more details. Huey said plenty have taken YellowBrix up on the offer-many have also requested their own toy giraffes.

Runner-Up: 3M/Scotchgard
Agency: Kerker

What says protection better than a fleet of squad cards or a small army complete with a team of paratroopers?

Those symbols of protection were trotted out by 3M's Scotchgard unit and Kerker, its Minneapolis-based agency. "The ads are designed to exaggerate the notion of protection," said Chris Preston, creative director and partner at Kerker.

The ads, released in November, take aim on carpet retailers and mills, and are designed to remind them of the value of protecting carpeting with the stain-resistant Scotchgard, Preston said. They're also designed to remind these customers that the Scotchgard brand is still strong, even after 3M implemented a voluntary recall earlier this year to reformulate the product's chemistry so it's more environmentally friendly.

The agency recruited the army of vintage World War II toy soldiers from a collector in southern Minnesota, Preston said. The spread is actually a compilation of a half dozen shots. In keeping with the theme, the headline and copy block appear on a set of military dog tags.

States the copy: "And you thought we were invisible. In fact, consumers name us 8 to 1 as a protective treatment over the competition. No wonder nothing wins over your customers better than Scotchgard protection."

Both the toy army- and police-themed ads showcased a rare cleverness, as well as engaging visuals, that certainly won over the Chasers.

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