The winners of the 2007 Kelly Awards, produced by the Magazine Publishers of America, have been announced, with the $100,000 Grand Prize for outstanding magazine advertising going to Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners for this typically elaborate Mini effort. The "Covert" campaign features kits that were sent to more than 130,000 Mini owners who had applied for them online via a direct mail offer. The kits include special viewers that allow recipients to decode the copy in Mini ads ads that are otherwise blank to the hopelessly big-car-driving uninitiated.
As CD John Butler notes, "The loyal evangelists for the Mini brand are our best assets. These are the early adopters the folks who bought the car initially and who feel like they're part of something bigger than just owning a car. We want our advertising to continue to reward them, to make them feel as special as the day they got their Mini, so we created a campaign where the messaging, although delivered very overtly in print and outdoor, could only be deciphered by them, using their super-secret kits."
The Kelly Awards, which honors magazine campaigns that "demonstrate both creative excellence and effectiveness in meeting campaign objectives," as the MPA explains, cites the "Covert" campaign for deepening brand engagement 21%, Mini's highest level ever, as well as increasing online chat 75% and driving sweepstakes participation, surpassing goals by 200%. See the Kelly Awards Gallery, the Kellys' first virtual awards ceremony since its inception in 1982, for all the results.