John McNeil Studio wins Best in Show for Juniper Networks campaign at ‘BtoB's' Best luncheon

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John McNeil Studio, Berkeley, Calif., won Best in Show for creative work at the BtoB's Best luncheon last week for its campaign ‘The New Network Is Here,' created for Juniper Networks.

The luncheon, held Thursday at the Edison Ballroom in New York, honored the top creative and top marketers of 2010.

Altogether, 43 b2b campaigns were recognized across 15 categories, including integrated programs, print, direct mail, TV, online video, online only, out-of-home, trade shows and a new branded app category.

John McNeil Studio also won best integrated campaign with a budget over $200,000 for the Juniper campaign.

The campaign debuted in October 2009 and was designed to compare Juniper's Junos network operating system, which spans routing, switching and security platforms, with its competitors', most prominently market leader Cisco Systems (although Cisco was never mentioned by name in the ads).

“While a campaign based on comparisons is risky, in this case you can't really avoid it,” said John McNeil, president and chief creative officer of John McNeil Studio, who accepted the award along with Lauren Flaherty, CMO of Juniper, and a large contingent from both companies.

Juniper used teaser ads in The Wall Street Journal to drive prospects to a website that presented an old, worn-out computer bemoaning its inability to equal what a Junos-equipped system could do.

Another innovative execution was a transparent cube set up in lower Manhattan that was filled with the remains of old computers and wiring. It again represented the old network and was more like a modern art installation than a marketing tool. Dubbed “The Hairball,” it represented antique technology and garnered plenty of buzz, McNeil said.

”Juniper has great products, but not a well-known brand,” McNeil said. ‘They're a strong second, but just a strong second, and needed more than great technology.'

Also at the luncheon, John Kennedy, VP-corporate marketing at IBM Corp., was named top marketer of the year.

Kennedy was recognized for leading IBM's “Smarter Planet” business platform this year. The “Smarter Planet” initiative, developed with Ogilvy & Mather New York and other agency partners, showcases IBM's efforts to create global solutions in such areas as healthcare, transportation and energy.

Kennedy was also recognized for his work in helping transition IBM from its traditional IT focus to one concentrated on higher-value solutions and services.

”It's an honor to accept this award for the entire IBM team,” Kennedy said, noting that the “Smarter Planet” campaign transcended marketing.

‘‘Smarter Planet” has been a privilege and a rare chance to work on an effort that isn't a marketing campaign but a point of view on the world,” he said. “The IBM team will reflect back on this as a real height of our careers.”

Altogether, BtoB named 25 top marketers of 2010.

Here is a complete list of BtoB's Best Marketers, as well as BtoB's Best Creative winners, runners-up and honorable mentions for 2010.

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