Cultural insights, often combined with humor, won top honors for nine marketers including Toyota Motor Sales, Target , Ford Motor Co. and Scotts Miracle-Gro Company at the Multicultural Excellence Awards handed out Monday night at the Association of National Advertisers' annual Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference.
"We were looking for a campaign that was insights-driven and delivered a culturally relevant message," said Dipika Hemdev, assistant manager of multicultural marketing at General Mills and one of this year's judges. One of the judges' favorite campaigns, for Scotts Miracle-Gro, did all that "and also tops it off with humor. Those are the ads that typically won." The Scotts campaign, for Ortho Home Defense Max Insect Killer by Grupo Gallegos, was named best Hispanic campaign -- and was the first Hispanic TV commercial the marketer has ever done. In the spot, an innocent flip flop used to smash bugs turns into a merciless killing machine that hops around on its own and finally starts spraying a large canister of Ortho Home Defense all by itself.
Grupo Gallegos scored again with best radio campaign, for Target . In one spot, a Mexican band mellifluously sings a list of sales items like "Green Giant baby carrots for $1.99." The tagline: "At Target , sales prices sound like a serenade." In the Target serenade, they're singing "Grade A large eggs for only 99 cents a dozen," Ms. Hemdev said. "That humor really resonates."
The winner in the digital media category was Toyota Motor Sales, whose Asian-American agency InterTrend Communications partnered Toyota with Hatsune Miku, a Japanese computer-generated pop star who is a hit in Asia and well known to the young Asian-American women dubbed "Discerning Dreamers" by Toyota. The small anime-like Miku character, sporting very long blue hair, became the image of Corolla's "Big Dreams in a Compact Package" strategy for Asian women. The campaign was launched to coincide with Hatsune Miku's real virtual debut in the U.S., to maximize traffic to Toyota's website, Facebook page and YouTube channel, where Miku's "Dream Harmonic" video was posted and hit 1 million views in less than three weeks.