Media Agency of the Year

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Sometimes Media Shops Don't Need to Connect With a 30-Second Buy

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Media agencies are tackling a host of challenges around a world increasingly cluttered with ads. Honorees Starcom and Mediaedge:cia, along with other shops, submitted these incisive attempts to connect with consumers -- and not one is a 30-second spot.

Starcom: GM's Hummer
The Hummer may not be as big as a bus, but it is large. Starcom emblazoned buses with oversize images of General Motors Corp.'s H3 to entice Mexican motorists. The art was positioned so that the wheels and taillights of the H3 were actually those of the shuttle buses used in the campaign. Drivers got to experience of the sport utility vehicle close up as they shared roads and parking lots with the buses. The campaign saw the H3's share rise to 17% from 6% to give it the lead spot in the in the luxury-sport-utility segment.

Mediaedge:cia: Ikea
Cutouts of ordinary people got the job of convincing "traditionalist" Polish consumers to shop at Ikea. Faced with the perception that the Ikea brand was sterile, Mediaedge:cia looked to humor. The cutouts appeared in TV spots, on Ikea's website (above) and in public venues. Across the cutout's chests was printed "I am somewhere else," along with Ikea's URL and a text-message number. Ikea Poland recorded the best visitor growth of any Ikea market in the world. Months after the campaign, cutouts purloined by their fans were still making public appearances.

Universal McCann:
Coca-Cola Co.
Universal McCann splashed graphics across walls in Istanbul as part of a multimedia Coca-Cola campaign aimed at teens. But this mural appealed to more than the eye to promote the theme of "Happiness in a bottle." The art appeared to spring right from three Coke vending machines embedded in the wall. Turkish consumers "interacted" with the ad by making numerous soft-drink purchases from the machines.

Mindshare: Ford
The Ford China Excitement Challenge took 18 consumers on a 21-day jaunt across the nation. Ford Motor Co. believed it had great general awareness in China but used the program to boost interest in and knowledge of the Ford brand. MindShare supported the challenge with online, TV, print and out-of-home advertising. Visitors to excitechina.com.cn could get tips on how to spice up their lives, as well as register to go on the road trip; the site also featured a blog. The trip was filmed daily, and video was posted online. Consumers voted on the most exciting participant. The website had 26 million hits in its first four weeks, more than 18,000 registrations and nearly 4,000 applicants for the road trip.

Carat and Molecular: Reebok
To promote Reebok International's brand message "Run easy," Aegis Media's Carat and sibling interactive agency Molecular launched a global marketing campaign to celebrate the casual runner. A web community at goruneasy.com was developed using a mash-up of Google Maps, iTunes and Flickr. The website allowed runners to map out runs, post photographs and connect with other athletes. The campaign also featured localized out-of-home components and placement on social networks such as Facebook. During the first three months of the effort, more than 16,000 users from more than 50 countries registered on the website.

MPG: Parc Astérix
It's not easy taking on the Disney steamroller with ads, so MPG created a TV show for Parc Astérix, France's second-largest theme park behind Disneyland Paris. The top-rated TV show among French kids is "Intervilles," an adult-targeted program in which towns compete against each other in a series of games. MPG partnered with TV channel Gulli to create "Intervilles Junior," with kids and their parents competing at the theme park. The prime-time show attracted 427,176 viewers, 374,208 of whom were ages 4 to 14. It was the largest-ever audience for Gulli, making it France's No. 1 channel for kids.

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