Simplicity, surprise, trust and guerilla tactics
Our Awards season kicked off on 10 September at BT HQ with our re-launched Excellence Awards website and tips on the best way to win awards, be bold and achieve excellence from BT, Sainsbury's, Paddy Power and easyJet.
BT's David James began the evening explaining how they won this year's Brand Revitalisation and Brand Extension Awards for the launch of BT Sport. 'What seemed like a crazy idea at the time turned out to be a shrewd investment', said David. They launched early with a surprising proposition and people responded. 3 million customers in the first year with 80% awareness during their 5 week launch - impressive stuff.
Sainsbury's Head of Brand, Mark Given, then took us through their Content Marketing Awards win for their Christmas in a Day campaign - a campaign that begun a year ahead of Christmas. One where they had no idea of what footage they'd get from award-winning film director Kevin MacDonald and only a precious few within the company knew what the campaign actually involved. A bold strategy indeed. 'If you don't ask you don't get' said Mark. 'For me it's all about building trust and we gave Kevin a lot of creative freedom, more freedom than he'd get producing a film.'
Paddy Power's Rory Scott then explained how their team were all locked in a room and told to come up with a way to combine fairness and football. There's currently just one openly gay professional footballer (and he's retired now) and Rory showed us what the odds on this were (Tip: a great bet to make if it ever came in). So how do you go about tackling gay rights? Rory said they stumbled upon a chink in the armour of such a heavily sponsored sport, the humble bootlace. Rainbow laces were born and #RBGF (Right behind gay footballers) was created as a hashtag to tie their Cause Related campaign together. They partnered with Stonewall and Metro to spread the word and things took off.
A key theme of Peter Duffy's talk on easyJet's Grand Prix win was simplicity. 'One set of metrics, one marketing budget' said Peter. He talked about simplicity being a customer right and, sometimes, it's just about catching up with the competition. Language and lack of status within the business was also at the heart of easyJet's philosophy. 'If you use the same language internally and externally then you remain consistent throughout the business' he said.
Here are our key learnings:
- ‘Do it as if it’ll be on your gravestone and enjoy the ride, even if it’s scary. Being bold can work.’ David James, BT Sport
- ‘It’s easy to do good work in one channel, the hard bit is joining it up. Be resilient and keep going.’ Mark Given, Sainsbury’s
- ‘Be bold, imaginative, prepared and responsive. We ask for forgiveness rather than permission.’ Rory Scott, Paddy Power
- ‘The role of marketing is increasingly about keeping it simple and customer focused.’ Peter Duffy, easyJet
Videos of each of our speakers will be available in our Cinema soon. For further inspiration for your 2015 Award entries head to our Excellence Awards site. You can also browse our Library for an archive of winning and highly commended case studies back to 2007.