Harrison Throughton Wunderman Wins for 'Hitchhiker'

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CANNES (AdAgeGlobal) -- A simple, decidedly low-tech entry from London shop Harrison Troughton Wunderman captured
First-ever Lions for direct marketing were given out in Cannes today.
the biggest prize in the Cannes Festivals first awards for the direct marketing industry.

"Hitchhiker," a direct mail campaign supporting the Automobile Association's Roadside Assistance program, scored the first Grand Prix at the inaugural Lions Direct.

Strong creative
Jury president Malcolm Speed, CEO of Omnicom Group's Rapp Collins Worldwide, New York, said judges focused on highly targeted, highly impactful work fueled by a strong creative idea. Mr. Speed said entries were weighted according to four criteria: About 30% of an entry's score was based on marketing strategy, 30% on the strength of the creative idea, 30% from how well an entry was executed in all media and as a single campaign, and 10% for its effectiveness, or results.

"These awards represented a bridge between ... technique-driven approach and idea-driven marketing," said juror Mark Fiddes, creative partner at KLP Euro RSCG, London.

The Grand Prix winner distinguished itself from a field of 1,063 entries from 35 countries. A 26-person jury awarded a total of 44 Lions in categories including Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Information Technology, Financial Services, Commercial Public Services, Publications and Media, Business to Business Products, Non-Profit Organizations, Mailing, Direct Response Print, Direct Response TV, Alternative Media and Integrated Solutions.

Powerful ideas
Judges spoke at length about the

Photo: Teressa Iezzi
Jury president Malcolm Speed said jurors focused on high-impact work.
evolution of direct marketing, its growing importance in marketing programs and the breakdown of barriers between direct and general advertising disciplines.

"The old way was all about transactional value," said juror Bruce Lee, executive creative director at OgilvyOne Worldwide, New York. "Here, if you stripped away the transaction, you were left with a very powerful creative idea."

The jury awarded 13 Gold Lions. Among those was an innovative direct mail campaign from India, created by iContract, Mumbai, which garnered high praise from jurors. The client, Icici, had set up drawing competitions with cooperation from area schools, asking children to artistically render their vision of what they wanted to be when they grew up. The advertiser then mailed the drawings to each child's parents in a direct mail package to encourage parents to buy into the company's Children's Growth savings bond.

"It was an extraordinary piece on so many levels," Mr. Speed said. "It had to address how to motivate people to open a savings program and [it] used a unique method to develop a database. It was simple and brilliant in every respect."

Other Golds
Gold Lions were also awarded to Wow Rapp Collins, Auckland, for Smirnoff Vodka; Human-i Euro RSCG Schiphol for Nokia; MRM Partners Worldwide, New York, for Aventis Health Service; TBWA/Direct Company, Amsterdam, for Cazebonne Wine and Travel; Network BBDO, Johannesburg, for Virgin Atlantic; CP Communicacion Proximity, Madrid, for Cepsa Heating; Saatchi & Saatchi, London, for St. Mungo's Homeless Charity (which won in two categories) and for MS Society charity; Harrison Troughton Wunderman, London, for the Automobile Association ("Hitchhiker" was awarded in two categories); Garbergs Annonsbyra, Stockholm, for Sodra Cell paper pulp; and to BBDO Interone, Munich, for BMW's Mini Cooper.

A healthy 17 of the 43 Direct Lions were awarded to U.K. companies, reflecting the sheer number of entries from this region more than anywhere else, the jury said.

Entry criteria
Mr. Speed said there was a wide range in the quality of entries in this inaugural year of the award. He said the jury expected to see more Internet work and that there were many entries that included only one component of a multifaceted campaign, due to a broad range of interpretation of entry criteria.

"We need to be more specific next year," Mr. Speed said. "We think we can make improvements as a jury in terms of better appreciating [an entry's] place within a larger communications program."

The incorporation of a direct component into the Cannes festival reflects the changes in the direct advertising industry, Mr. speed Said.

"It's clear there continues to be great growth in spending in the direct area. There is also a great acceleration in the desire of clients to integrate all of their communications," he said. "While I'd say it's still in its earlier phases, there is a lot more collaboration occurring between general advertising and direct marketing strategic and creative people."

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Teressa Iezzi is the editor of Ad Age Global.

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