2003 AWARDS JURY AND SHORTLISTERS: Foreword - Big brands and beautiful planning

Shortlisting the APG awards is a daunting process. Not only are there so many papers to read, but inevitably there are squalls of protest from those who've not been shortlisted, matched by silent anxiety and/or smugness from those who have. This year is no different. We received 126 high-quality entries, just short of 2001's record. Those who haven't made the shortlist should regard it as an honourable defeat.

Our thanks to all the shortlisters for their painstaking deliberation (read "hours of heated argument") over the past two months. For those of you who are wondering how we choose our shortlisting panel, we select on razor-sharp intellects, expert bullshit spotting and insist on at least a century of planning experience between them.

A record 37 agencies entered. Gratifyingly, a third came from direct marketing and there were lots of papers from younger planners. And while the big traditional agencies dominated entries, the shortlist shows that big is not necessarily beautiful. Fallon, Bartle Bogle Hegarty and BMP DDB, however, matched quantity with evident quality.

Big brands were more evident. Eleven shortlisted papers are international brands and we had 15 entries from car marques. We mention this because some have said that finding insights and writing papers is easier for little brands than Goliaths such as cars. We don't agree. Multimarket campaigns were nearly all written by heavyweights and the quality was outstanding - proof that times are a-changing for global campaigns.

As in previous years, craft skills are key - it's hard to make the shortlist without something exceptional in research, consumer or strategic insight.

Above all, to make the shortlist, there needs to be both outstanding planning and outstanding creative (creatives have mentioned that our 2001 papers are very helpful in understanding how ideas happen, so creative directors who want a copy only have to ask). The execution no longer needs be 30-second TV - however, one major disappointment was the paucity of media-neutral executions and the lack of media agencies entering. Perhaps one reason is that media agencies are now very distant from the creative work in all but a handful of agencies. A shame.

The awards take place on 25 November. They'll be different, with more emphasis on why they won, an exhibition of the work and a big party just to balance out the serious bits.

AWARD CATEGORIES

Established product brands (over £2m)

Established product brands (under £2m)

Multimarket

Established service brands

New brands or new advertisers

Public service and charity

Best contribution to media thinking

Best strategic insight

Best consumer insight

Best creative brief and briefing

Best use of research

Most innovative use of qualitative research

THE SHORTLISTERS

Joanna Bamford - Head of planning, Lowe

Nikki Crumpton - Head of planning, Fallon

Richard Huntington - Head of planning, HHCL/Red Cell

Jane Lingham - Account planner, Partners BDDH

Tony Regan - Director, Brand Performance

Charlie Snow - Planning director, Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners

Richard Swaab - Global planning director, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Kathy Wood - Director of planning, Publicis

THE JURY

Christine Asbury - Planning partner, Ogilvy & Mather

Beth Barry - Planning director, Coley Porter Bell

Tim Broadbent - Executive planning director, Bates UK

Paul Feldwick - Executive planning director, BMP DDB

Marco Rimini - Director of strategy and development, J. Walter Thompson

Bruce Haines - Group chief executive, Leo Burnett

John Harlow - Partner, Naked

Caroline Marshall - Editor, Campaign

Marie-Louise Neill - Group strategic development director, Research

International

Tiger Savage - Deputy creative director, M&C Saatchi

PANEL'S VIEW: BARCLAYS

Potent work, potent thinking and a very potent paper. This is the story of the Samuel L Jackson campaign for Barclays and shows categorically how the planner's thinking drove that work - perhaps the most polarising of all of the shortlisted campaigns. We loved its stinging critique of the vogue for customer relationship marketing, which has swept the brand landscape recently. We loved its belief that service brands don't have to be servile and its timely rejection of the "we want to be your best friend - honest" school of bank advertising.

And we loved the planning solution, that consumers have a relationship with their money, not their bank, so Barclays should talk about their expertise with money. This was expressed in the thought that "no-one understands money better than Barclays" and it is a short but inspired leap from this to Jackson's monologues and the line: "Fluent in finance." - Richard Huntington

INSIGHT

Planned by: Rebecca Morgan

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Client: Barclays

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

Proposition: "No-one knows more about money than Barclays."

Support: "This market tries to build trust by making banks likeable - we think the job is to make Barclays seem more knowledgeable about money. Barclays should take the high ground by talking about money not in banking terms but in social terms - essentially, the nature of money in life."

PANEL'S VIEW: BBC 1XTRA

Good advertising gets recognised by its intended audience as something that's targeted at them. But great advertising feels like it belongs to them - and when that happens there's no greater tribute than when the target audience steal the advertising and take it home. This is exactly what happened when this campaign was extended into street-level activity around the Notting Hill Carnival.

The thing about media brands is that the audience has direct access to them and can soon see through advertising that isn't true to the brand reality.

This brand had such a clear opportunity and was a multiplatform concept so brilliantly conceived and developed that advertising's biggest responsibility was how to avoid misrepresenting it at launch and squandering its potential.

Sounds like a nice problem to have, but this paper powerfully describes the planning discipline that was necessary to steer advertising away from a territory fraught with danger ("we know you") to one that authentically represented the role that this new radio station could play in the lives of its listeners.

The shortlisters loved the shift in thinking from "black music" to "street music" and it was clear that the proposition "soundtrack to urban life" was the origin of distinctive advertising that fully represented the credibility and authenticity of the station. - Tony Regan

INSIGHT

Planned by: Olly Taylor

Agency: Fallon

Client: BBC 1Xtra

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

Proposition: "BBC 1Xtra - soundtrack to urban life."

Tone: "Cool, urban, street - docu-style, celebratory, let the music do the gangsta bit."

Briefing: "We produced a ten-minute CD on which we recorded the target audience and staff, including the controller and head of music talking about the station, its role and flavour ... set against a soundtrack that gave a taster of its music policy."

PANEL'S VIEW: BEN & JERRY'S

What do you do when your brand's most visible asset is masking its real strength?

Ben & Jerry's was more celebrated for the hirsute profiles and outsize personalities of its founders, than for the simple excellence of its ice-cream. This was having the effect of actively undermining its outstanding product quality.

This paper convincingly traces the way that brand values and actual product were happily reconnected.

We were impressed by initial thinking that guided the agency past previous personality-driven advertising: thinking that led to a redefinition of how that personality translated into the idiosyncratic ways Ben & Jerry's was able to manufacture a better ice-cream. And we liked the detective work that unearthed a piece of back-of-pack small print that first proved the point, and then became the springboard for the subsequent campaign - Ben & Jerry's is homemade ice-cream. The work itself has a gloriously free-spirited and spontaneous quality that exactly captures the essence of what differentiates Ben & Jerry from its more glossily indulgent rivals such as Haagen-Dazs. Bring on the Chunky Monkey! - Richard Swaab

INSIGHT

Planned by: Olly Taylor

Agency: Fallon

Client: Ben & Jerry's

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

Discovery: "Ben & Jerry's is homemade ice-cream."

Support: "Ben & Jerry's first made its ice-cream round its kitchen table and has never been about the money.When you make apple pie at home, you don't skimp on the apples - nor does Ben & Jerry's: it's packed full."

Tone: "Unassuming, conversational, generous, local and, above all, professionally amateur."

PANEL'S VIEW: THE BIG ISSUE

It's a brave planning move that defines the target which needs to donate in less than generous terms. But it was clever observation of the target audience, and its real attitudes, that inspired the derogatory naming of this segment - social hypocrites.

We think it was this redefinition of the target audience that led to truly different advertising for a charity. By defining the target in a less-than-flattering way, TBWA\London helped to create charity advertising with a sting in its tail. Rather than shocking people into giving, it shamed people into giving. With the proposition "you should be ashamed of your attitude towards the homeless", planning created a group of people nobody wanted to be part of thus making people reassess their own behaviour so that they wouldn't be seen as a social hypocrite. The resulting creative work used a different sort of shock tactic: holding up for public scrutiny the petty, ill-informed excuses people use to not buy a copy of The Big Issue. - Nikki Crumpton

INSIGHT

Planned by: Jonathan Bottomley

Agency: TBWA\London

Client: The Big Issue Foundation

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

Target audience: "People who pride themselves on being unprejudiced and claim to be charitable ... when it comes to the homeless they pass judgment, labelling most as druggies, drunks and lazy parasites. We need to make them realise how judgmental they are being, how disgracefully they are behaving and how hypocritical their attitude is."

PANEL'S VIEW: BRITISH AIRWAYS CLUBWORLD

Picasso once said that creation is not about how much you add, but how much you resist adding. This is particularly true for multicountry advertising, where there's a real risk of asking creative teams for everything and the kitchen sink.

So what do you do with a client brief for BA ClubWorld with 11 separate objectives, ten different audiences and a shopping list of product and service features?

Faced with this, M&C Saatchi focused on the archetypal business-class flight: the red-eye. Then it focused on what to say. By interviewing customers at JFK and again when they arrived at Heathrow the following morning, it became apparent what travellers really want from the flight is sleep.

Not sleeping itself, but the feeling of having slept. If you arrive having slept, everything else about the flight is superfluous.

The brief was just three words long: "Arrive having slept." The briefing took place at 8am at Terminal 4. The copywriter had flown BA from New York, tucked up in a ClubWorld bed. The art director lost the toss and flew business class on United Airlines, without the bed.

The advertising idea is as focused as the brief. It's everything the brief asks for and very little else. - Joanna Bamford

INSIGHT

Planned by: Richard Storey, Sarah Jaffa, Patrick Collins

Agency: M&C Saatchi

Client: British Airways

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

Proposition: "Arrive having slept."

Support: "Sleep is the only thing that counts on a long-haul business flight. BA has the world's first fully flat beds in business class."

Briefing: "The team flew from New York to London on the red-eye. The copywriter flew BA in a ClubWorld bed. The art director flew business class on United - in a seat. Job done."

PANEL'S VIEW: DOH ADULT SEXUAL HEALTH

A treat from Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners and Naked Communications, sexually transmitted diseases done brilliantly.

This paper is not heavy on consumer research (although there is a great example of useful creative development research at its heart) or data analysis; it's just heavy on inspired thinking. As such, all you really need to know about the work on sexual health is that the central thought is "having sex without a condom is a big gamble" and the channel strategy is "point-of-shag media". The creative idea literally leaps out of this thinking, totally inspired - the sex lottery - but clearly rooted in the work of the planners. Not least because the primary media was scratch cards distributed in bars and pubs.

It's one of those cases where it's difficult to work out which came first - the creative idea or the media idea - and as such is a lesson in the integration of creative and media planning in a way that seems so rare these days. - Joanna Bamford

INSIGHT

Planned by: Charlie Snow, DLKW; Will Collin, Naked Communications

Agencies: Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners; Naked Communications

Client: Department of Health - adult sexual health

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

Target audience: "Those who think they can tell who has got a sexually transmitted infection just from looking at them, don't need to take protection because they will only sleep with people who are safe."

Brand truth: "Every time you have sex without a condom you're taking a big gamble."

Media strategy: "Need to get the message to people as close as possible to 'pulling' times."

PANEL'S VIEW: DOH SOCIAL WORKER RECRUITMENT

Surely one of the strongest public-sector recruitment campaigns of recent times, this extraordinary campaign not only did the business but also created bucket-loads of respect for social workers among the general public.

Faced with the task of getting the right people to consider becoming social workers and conscious of the negative perceptions as bearded do-gooders and child-snatching busybodies, the easy solution would have been to tell people just how highly skilled social workers need to be.

Instead, a more honest definition of what made social workers tick was unearthed: "An insatiable drive to discover the causes of a person's plight and, from this, find the right solution to really help them." These are talents that transcend compassion.

A smart move was made in getting creative teams together with social workers in a relaxed environment. The authentic stories of "social work in action" that it generated strongly informed the creative executions.

As a result, the work is a compelling demonstration of the depth of understanding social workers need to find the right solution to help people. - Kathy Wood

INSIGHT

Planned by: Ali Bucknall

Agency: Leo Burnett

Client: Department of Health - social worker recruitment

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

How will the ads work?

"By appealing to the innate interest that potential social workers have in people and what makes them behave the way they do. By demonstrating and inviting people to experience the complex and sometimes challenging situations that they have to deal with."

PANEL'S VIEW: HARVEY NICHOLS

Fashion advertising is fashionable, but it's rarely well observed and it rarely has an idea. The Harvey Nichols campaign is a great demonstration of how delving deep into the psyche of your target audience can make for advertising with a compelling idea at its heart.

Harvey Nichols used to hold the crown as the coolest, most fashionable store in town. But as cool boutiques filled Notting Hill and Selfridges revamped, Harvey Nichols' crown was being contested. So how do you reassert your fashion credentials without creating yet another fashion campaign?

BMP uncovered a much more exciting truth about fashion than the obvious frivolous or aspirational stuff. There is a dark side to fashion. It creates craving, desire, sleepless nights ... your name on waiting lists for the season's must-have ... lie, beg, steal and borrow ... the thrill of having it. Fashion is a drug. Fashion lovers are addicts who put their addiction above anything else. And they're proud of it. And Harvey Nichols should be the object of their addiction.

The Harvey Nichols "fashion victims" work takes Harvey Nichols into the dark side of fashion. It has got nothing to do with fashion advertising, but everything to do with fashion. - Joanna Bamford

INSIGHT

Planned by: Catherine Moustou, Philip Heimann

Agency: BMP DDB

Client: Harvey Nichols Nuggets from the brief

Proposition: "Harvey Nichols is heaven for fashion addicts."

Target audience: "Women who believe life without fashion is not worth living. For them, fashion is a way of life and a lifetime endeavour. It is a game. Competitive, exciting and addictive ... and kind of masochistic. You can so easily slip and lose everything but the elation when you get noticed and flattered makes the effort worthwhile."

PANEL'S VIEW: HEAL'S

An excellent example of how a different approach to the category can remain true to the brand and relevant to the product.

Positioning furniture as a fashion, once led by Heal's, had become a tired formula. The problem was well articulated: "How could Heal's move away from cliched ads that featured people in stunning designer flats, yet still appeal to people who lived in stunning designer flats?"

Research showed that, in contrast to ephemeral fashion, people want enduring pieces of furniture. The good news was that they already believed Heal's lasted longer than its competitors. Unlike the retail-park and high-street competition, Heal's furniture is for life, not until you move.

This insight was briefed with a clear directional idea: "Dramatise the extraordinary lengths people would go to in order to keep, save or move their favourite pieces of furniture." Driven by real anecdotes about furniture obsession, the creative leap was in featuring people whose world had collapsed around them and yet who still doggedly hung on to their favourite sofa or lamp. - Kathy Wood

INSIGHT

Planned by: Ben Malbon

Agency: BMP DDB

Client: Heal's

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

Message: "Heal's makes furniture you build long-term relationships with."

Target audience: "People for whom furniture is much more than something to sit on. They feel strongly attached to it because of the inherent design and style - but more in the context of timeless style than the latest achingly trendy fad."

Appended to the brief: "Stories about people and their enduring relationships with their furniture."

PANEL'S VIEW: HONDA

This is an absolute must-read paper that makes you think the persistent search for simple, boiled-down communications solutions and brand uniformity is hopelessly outmoded and predictable.

This paper makes you feel braver about having input on "how you say it" as much as "what you say". It also shows that pictures are as important as words in the briefing process, and it confirms the belief that great ideas come from the heart of the brand's culture, and not from the consumer's mind.

It also made us think that most briefs are really dull. In short, this is radical planning at its absolute best. The shiny new way of thinking helped to inspire what is unquestionably the freshest car advertising of the moment. And, in a relatively short space of time has started to turn "the power of dreams" from being the usual vacuous car nonsense into a persuasive mantra invested with real meaning. Fight to get a copy of this paper and fight even harder to see the "power of dreams" briefing book from which most of the work has been developed. - Charlie Snow

INSIGHT

Planned by: Russell Davies

Agency: Wieden & Kennedy

Client: Honda

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

Brief: "The Book of Dreams. We found quotes and images that expressed the Honda voice. We scribbled poems and doodles and thoughts ... we stuck them all on the wall and worked out what felt like Honda and what didn't. We were careful not to narrow things down, not try to create a singular style or tone - we wanted a ton of different approaches that still all felt like Honda."

PANEL'S VIEW: JOHNNIE WALKER

If you work on international business, read this paper. It's a masterclass in the discipline of international planning from Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

Successful APG papers typically address the introduction of a new strategy and a new campaign. This one focused instead on managing the challenges faced in evolving an established global platform into local markets as diverse as Greece, Brazil, Taiwan and the USA.

We were impressed by the way the paper talked about countering the "gravitational pull" that can easily undermine or fragment a previously centralised global property, as it takes on more local expressions. And by the intricate planning-led processes that ensured neither local cultural relevance nor long-term strategic convergence were lost along the way.

The result is a body of very different, locally attuned work that stretches from charitable foundation and local websites through to TV executions without ever losing sight of the brand's one long-term promise. - Richard Swaab

INSIGHT

Planned by: Ashley Alsup

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Client: Johnnie Walker

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

Objective of international model: "To achieve greater impact and relevance by interpreting 'progress' for a more tightly defined local audience."

Their process identified three propositions for different countries: "To progress, you need to have the courage to pursue your dreams."

"To progress, you need to gather new experiences and grow from them."

"To progress, you need to take on the brand's values - courage, determination, pioneering."

PANEL'S VIEW: KFC

Remember KFC's advertising before it went to Bartle Bogle Hegarty? Enough said.

This a powerful lesson in brand rejuvenation. Not only does it raise the communication stakes for the whole category, but it is also a brilliant retail case study.

The orthodoxy in retail is that you create a brand campaign and a separate promotional campaign and never the twain shall meet. KFC shows us that this is entirely unnecessary, that one advertising idea can build a fast-food brand and shift chicken.

The central thought is that chicken the world over is regarded as cultural soul food (Jamaican jerk, Ukrainian kiev, Indian korma and roast chicken) and nowhere more so than in the southern states of the US.

Soul Food was the brief and Soul Food is the idea, supported by something no-one does as well as BBH - utterly brilliant music in the form of the wonderful Northern Soul soundtracks. - Kathy Wood

INSIGHT

Planned by: Alistair Green

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Client: KFC

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

Objective: "To reignite KFC's brand by trading on its unique product heritage" and "meet KFC's sales targets according to their product promotional calendar".

Proposition: "KFC Soul Food."

Support: "The KFC bucket is an icon of communal eating. Soul food is not food alone, it is a relaxed and social celebration with food at its centre."

PANEL'S VIEW: NESTLE - KIT KAT

This is textbook planning from J. Walter Thompson. There you are sitting on the biggest confectionery brand in the universe that delivers record sales to the client year in year out and, on top of that, a creative vehicle that seems to spew award-winning work. So what does the planner do? She comes along and spoils everything.

Kit Kat may have been experiencing record sales but more and more of this was due to burgeoning promotional spend. As a brand, Kit Kat was being forgotten by consumers and nothing about the famous Have a Break campaign was helping them to remember.

The solution is to reinvent the break territory, turning it from a platform for little more than well-branded entertainment into a powerful opinion about the importance of the break in this, the country with the longest working hours in Europe. The result is a brand with renewed relevance to the lives of its consumers and creative work with an entirely new lease of life. If you can do this for a category leader with iconic advertising such as Kit Kat, you can do it for any brand. - Richard Huntington

INSIGHT

Planned by: Fern Miller

Agency: J. Walter Thompson

Client: Nestle - Kit Kat

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

Insight: "These days lots of people complain they don't get enough breaks. Somehow a break has become a guilty secret, a luxury, an admission of inadequacy or laziness. In fact, consciously taking a break is a healthier, more balanced way to lead your life. The break has been given a bad name. It's about time someone did something about it."

PANEL'S VIEW: LYNX PULSE

This paper outlines a future in which planning will operate very differently from what's typical now.

Somehow, it didn't feel quite like it came from an advertising agency: a pivotal "planner's chart" provided by a creative director; a concerted effort to downplay the central role of advertising; a process that prioritised "criteria for a dance track" and "developing the dance routine" ahead of the advertising brief.

At times, the strategic momentum was potentially threatening to the ad agency's position - creating tasks and roles for other agencies to bring the Pulse brand experience to life.

And, as well as moving the planning discipline on, this paper does indeed advance the media-neutral planning discussion, which all too often reduces simply to an open-mindedness about multichannel solutions. Instead of the ad-led convention that "trendy impenetrable advertising appeals to early adopters first", this campaign intentionally introduced the music and the dance to DJs and clubbers first, ahead of the PR and advertising launch.

Outstanding, forward-looking and confident about planning's ability to survive and thrive when the conventions of the traditional advertising process are swept aside. - Tony Regan

INSIGHT

Planned by: Bill Scott, Gwen Raillard

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Client: Lever Faberge - Lynx Pulse

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

Creative idea: "Spontaneous dance. Do an ad about spontaneous dance to a great track, launch it into the charts and create a dance phenomenon."

Planning for a number one: "Must haves: inclusivity - mass appeal; musical hook - a memorable lyric or moment; infectiousness - want to dance to it; positive - no dark dance anthems; non-famous artist - so it can be owned by Pulse."

PANEL'S VIEW: M&G INVESTMENTS

This demonstrated exceptionally sound thinking from Harrison Troughton Wunderman. And good evidence for how a real understanding of an audience can result in a truly original brand voice and approach.

This campaign is aimed at the often-neglected older audience: an audience that is growing increasingly tired of hype and spin. When it comes to financial planning, this audience yearns for information, enjoys the investigation and the analysis.

This combined learning led to the refreshingly honest and highly detailed campaign that gave M&G a bold and distinctive voice in its sector. It's a world away from the usual stuff: big rate next to crude brand mnemonic, with a mass of small print.

M&G's independent spirit is further borne out by the media choice of crosstrack posters and press ads in news sections. What's more, it seems to have been persuasive: it helped M&G acquire 19 per cent more business at a time when the market was down an alarming 30 per cent. - Charlie Snow

INSIGHT

Planned by: Malcolm Peters (original input by John Ward)

Agency: Harrison Troughton Wunderman

Client: M&G Investments

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

Proposition: "The truth about investing - as we see it."

Tone of voice: "Straight-talking and honest. Grown-up, blunt, straight-talking - avoiding the cliche of the past-performance graph. Headlines and copy that treat the reader like an adult - explaining that there is no such thing as 'get rich quick'. Serious ads about a serious subject but not po-faced, still human."

PANEL'S VIEW: MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS SOCIETY

There's a great lesson to us all in this paper. Resist the temptation to defend what's been done and never stop listening to what people think.

Here, a chance encounter with a friend whose wife had just been diagnosed with MS, and was terrified by "horror" images portraying MS as an incurable disease, led to a whole new approach.

Previous advertising had high impact but did not portray the reality of the condition. The challenge became: "How could we have the impact to increase awareness and donations while remaining true to the reality of MS?"

Research among sufferers informed a valuable insight: "The problem was not that it was life threatening; the problem was that it was quality-of-life threatening."

The result is work that still makes a lot of potential donors very uncomfortable, but it brings to life what makes this disease so tough on a sufferer's day-to-day existence. - Kathy Wood

INSIGHT

Planned by: Ila De Mello Kamath

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

Client: Multiple Sclerosis Society

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

Preparation: "Talked to sufferers of MS to understand the disease."

Challenge: "To wake people up to how it is to live with MS."

Way in: "Dramatise how the unpredictable nature of the disease wreaks havoc with people's everyday lives."

Tone: "Imperative that we show the seriousness of the condition without implying that there is no hope for people with MS."

PANEL'S VIEW: NATIONAL AUTISTIC SOCIETY

This story is about a charitable organisation that suffers from a handicap most others do not: the public's belief that although "charitable", the cause they promote is actually rather glamorous. The author describes it as "The Rain Man Myth": the fact that when people think of autism they think of the extraordinary talents and behaviour of autistic savants of which there is probably only a handful worldwide. The result is that, despite high levels of interest in autism, the suffering of half-a-million people in this country doesn't command an appropriate share of heart.

There was a clear need to articulate the serious nature of autism so that people take it more seriously and this was communicated in the thought: "If you suffer from autism, nothing makes sense." WTCS's creative objective was then to make people feel, even for a moment, the sense of confusion that those with autism experience in everyday life. The commitment to this creative cause is underlined by the initial brief to the creative team that used the proposition: "The confusing autism with this world a place for people." - Jane Lingham

INSIGHT

Planned by: Emily James

Agency: Walsh Trott Chick Smith

Client: The National Autistic Society

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

What are we advertising?

"The devastating impact of autism on sufferers and their carers."

What's the problem?

"People think autism isn't that serious."

What's the opportunity? "Autism is about being disconnected from life - that is serious and it's something people can understand."

Proposition: "The confusing autism with is world a place for people."

PANEL'S VIEW: OXFAM SHOPS

A public service and charity paper without a good cause (or even a worthy motive) in sight!

The reason? Oxfam found it wasn't actually competing with other charities or other charity shops. Instead, it was besieged by mainstream high-street retailers from Top Shop to Selfridges, who had belatedly discovered the power of the "retro chic" that Oxfam had pioneered, and who could now supply it on an organised basis in all of the colours and all of the sizes!

This paper charts the unearthing of the consumer insight that once again set Oxfam apart from its rivals. An insight that turned the potential pitfalls of shopping at Oxfam (no certainty of what you would find in the shop, no range of sizes, no chance of ordering an item in from another branch) into a real strength.

It's a paper with much to appreciate and admire. We liked the crispness of the thinking. The translation of what makes Oxfam different into a gloriously insulated proposition. The elegant hijacking of fashion idioms in the work. And, not least, the author's willingness to act as bag-carrier for his girlfriend and her friends on a prolonged clothes shop. - Richard Swaab

INSIGHT

Planned by: Mike Follett

Agency: BMP DDB

Client: Oxfam Shops

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

Why? "In a world where everything seems to conform to some mediocre norm, Oxfam shops are packed with 'one-off' items, carefully chosen and much loved by their previous owners and now available to the rest of us."

The clever bit: "Turning a negative brand attribute - the inconsistency of what the shops stock - into a positive brand attribute - the uniqueness and individuality of the items Oxfam sells."

PANEL'S VIEW: POT NOODLE

There seems to be a proliferation of so-called "rubbish food" ads that do irreverence well. However, what seems to be lacking is an understanding that, at the end of the day, these brands still need to be eaten. Irreverence can't just be about knocking the food, or making it look unpalatable to get a laugh. And this is where HHCL/Red Cell helped get the balance right.

The planner, by reframing trashy food as illicit pleasure, delivered the strong core thought of "satisfies an unhealthy urge". This not only gave the most synthetic of snacks a strong opinion about itself, but allowed the creative treatment to celebrate the taste of Pot Noodle and make it something desirable. God help me, but it made me want to seek out a Pot Noodle and taste its forbidden pleasures. Pleasures that I thought I had assigned to my grubby past, and that weren't part of my pristine present.

Planning performed the ultimate balancing act in maintaining an irreverent attitude, while not sacrificing the need to create a desirability around the product that makes people want to eat it. And, call me old-fashioned, but shouldn't that be the ultimate aim of food advertising? - Nikki Crumpton

INSIGHT

Planned by: Andy Davies

Agency: HHCL/Red Cell

Client: Unilever Bestfoods - Pot Noodle

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

Objective: "To reframe users from sad losers to people that have an understandable weakness."

Single-minded thought: "Pot Noodle is quick, hot and trashy."

Strategic idea: "Satisfies an unhealthy urge."

Tone of voice: "Wilfully persists in doing something wrong - bold, subversive and irreverent."

PANEL'S VIEW: SKIPS

Clever planning would tell you that you can have your cake and eat it.

That you can talk to two audiences (mums and kids) and get advertising that appeals to both. We loved this paper because the planner said you couldn't, that Skips was dying as a result of talking about the brand's attributes from mum's perspective (soft and gentle on the mouth) and it didn't matter that the message was executed in kid-friendly animation.

By going straight to the heart of the psyche of a seven-year-old, Publicis reframed Skips' physical attributes from a seven-year-old's perspective, injecting it with some much-needed attitude and seven-year-old cool.

Planning cleverly used, as its proposition, the face-pulling antics of seven-year-olds to get across to creatives the real point of difference for this snack: the physical sensation of a Skip on your tongue.

By watching and listening, the planner led creatives to the fertile area of kids and tongues and the excitement caused by funny, ticklish, buzzy sensations on your tongue as a result of eating Skips. "Can your tongue tackle them" injected a babyish snack with a hefty dose of relevant attitude, reigniting kids' interest in the brand. - Nikki Crumpton

INSIGHT

Planned by: Aileen Ross

Agency: Publicis

Client: KP - Skips

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

Key message: "Something really weird is just about to happen on my tongue."

Support: "The Skip fizzles and dissolves on your tongue releasing a sweet and tangy prawn flavour that makes your tongue feel slightly hot and then melts away. Kids get very excited when they talk about the Skip, imaginatively describing them as sticking to their tongue."

PANEL'S VIEW: SONY

An extremely strong case in an increasingly strong category for a brand that has rarely had the thinking or the work that it deserves.

Building on an insight that it is a "humanity gap" that has dogged the Sony brand (a brand with respect but little affection), Fallon's strategic leap is born out of the idea that Sony and the consumer need one another to achieve their potential.

This idea about the interaction between product and people is crystallised in the stunningly good thought that: "The consumer is the final component of every Sony."

"You make it a Sony" is then the ballsy yet humble and, critically, international articulation of this thinking, which is undoubtedly the best brand idea that has been given to Sony in ages.

Special mention must be made of the approach to international research that Fallon used during the pitch process for Sony, which used the inspired idea of researching researchers rather than consumers - quicker, cheaper and far more rewarding. - Richard Huntington

INSIGHT

Planned by: Laurence Green

Agency: Fallon

Client: Sony

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

Why are we advertising?

"To win ongoing respect for Sony's products and renewed affection for the Sony brand, by putting the consumer back at the heart of communications. To promote Wega Theatre as the ultimate home-cinema experience without defaulting to the advertising generic."

Proposition: "The viewer is the critical component of Wega Theatre; the product bundle comprises TV, DVD, speakers and them."

PANEL'S VIEW: STREET MANAGEMENT - TFL

This paper demonstrates M&C Saatchi at its best - clinical, ruthless and brutally simple.

Transport for London gave the agency a brief to help reduce the number of road deaths in the capital across all road users.

However, by scrutinising the available data over and over again, M&C Saatchi showed that a far more focused approach was likely to offer greater reward in achieving TfL's objective.

The agency demonstrated that if you wanted to reduce deaths on London's roads, then by far the most effective place to start was motorcycle accidents; indeed one in 13 motorcyclists in London is involved in a serious accident every year. What's more, the agency showed how one particular type of accident, almost unique to the capital, was most to blame and this was where they aimed their creative firepower.

The brief itself boiled down to a simple diagram of the accident in question, when another vehicle pulls out into the path of the motorcyclist usually because they didn't see the bike.

Unquestionably it was this starting point that delivered the powerful work at the heart of TfL's campaign. - Richard Huntington

INSIGHT

Planned by: Verra Budimlija, Alex Hartley

Agency: M&C Saatchi

Client: Street management - TfL

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

Target audience: "Car drivers in London. The primary cause of accidents in London involving a car and a motorbike is the car driver not seeing the motorbike as shown in the diagram attached ... they will commonly be heard to say: 'I just didn't see him.'"

Proposition: "When you look for a car also look for a motorbike."

PANEL'S VIEW: UNITED AIRLINES

This paper is important because it demonstrates how to understand the complexities of a brand spread across 46 different countries, and how to localise a strategy while leaving the global positioning unharmed.

In the case of United Airlines, the global strategy was "people caring for people" and, given the mood following 9/11, one might have been easily seduced into believing it was right. However, few outside the US knew United and consequently few could identify with its employees or feel cared for by people they had never even met. Fallon therefore shifted the desired response from the US's "empathise with us" to "we empathise with you".

And if United were to empathise with travellers there was one thing they had to understand - that business travel isn't glamorous. It may be what every international planner knows from their own experience but no-one has ever built an airline strategy around it until now. The central thought was "the only airline not to have its head in the clouds", supported with the words: "We refuse to wax lyrical about ourselves. We understand the realities of business travel: we know it's tough. We have a few things to make it better." Job done. - Jane Lingham

INSIGHT

Planned by: Tamsin Davies

Agency: Fallon

Client: United Airlines

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

Background: "Flying isn't exactly a one-way ticket to the ultimate in luxurious self-indulgence! You're stuck in a tin can hurtling through the air at 33,000 feet, the food is only just edible, you can't sit with your knees straight, you always get stuck next to the guy who snores, you've already watched Sleepless in Seattle countless times. It's about time someone told it like it is."

PANEL'S VIEW: VELVET TOILET TISSUE

This paper is a classic case of asking: "What market are we really in?"

Judging by the way the stuff is sold, you'd think loo paper is for cleaning the toilet. It sits next to bleach and pan scrubbers on supermarket shelves, for goodness' sake. Which is strange, because loo paper obviously isn't a functional household utility, it's an intimate, personal product. It's not for toilets; it's for people.

Thinking about loo paper as a product for you, not your poo, as a product for personal pampering, opened up a completely new creative territory for the category. The Love your Bum campaign breaks with tradition and finally shows where all the softness so typical of loo paper advertising actually matters: your bum. In one fell swoop, Publicis and Velvet have whisked the category high ground from the bigger brand with the puppy - classic challenger-brand stuff. - Joanna Bamford

INSIGHT

Planned by: David Howard

Agency: Publicis

Client: Velvet Toilet Tissue

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

Differentiating idea: "Everybody deserves Velvet."

Key message: "Velvet Toilet Tissue provides real personal care. It's not for lavatories; it's for people."

Desired response: "The consumer is to be encouraged to think about Velvet as a personal-care product rather than a household-utility product and that they deserve more comfort - convey that Velvet's commitment to personal care must ensure softness."

PANEL'S VIEW: VOLKSWAGEN V10

The launch of the V10 diesel engine for Volkswagen isn't the sort of brief predestined to lead to good work. However, a neat bit of planning from BMP turned this into a real creative opportunity.

The planner was caught in an impossible situation: describe the capabilities of the engine and you bore people to death; demonstrate them and you produce category-generic advertising.

It was in coming face to face with the beast that the planner realised that you didn't need to describe the capabilities of the V10 or show its performance to communicate its power. You simply had to see or hear one, which would be enough to leave an indelible impression of its power. The brief describes its presence like this: "Its size is like a block of granite as high as your waist; its shape is like a gorilla's back or a giant's fist and its sound is like the roar of a huge animal, a lion or a bear." All of this was wrapped up in the thought: "The V10 is every bit as powerful as it looks and sounds." At three o'clock on a wet Wednesday afternoon, the team was briefed with the aid of a life-size photograph of the engine and by five o'clock the team had written the animal skulls campaign. - Richard Huntington

INSIGHT

Planned by: Ben Malbon, Andrew Phillips

Agency: BMP DDB

Client: Volkswagen V10

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

Support: "The V10 is the most powerful diesel engine in a passenger car in the world ... just looking at the V10 you catch your breath. The size is staggering ... The shape sends shivers down your spine ... The roar it makes when you start it up is terrifying. It feels too big to be in a car, as if it would be better generating electricity for a small town."

PANEL'S VIEW: VOLKSWAGEN PHAETON

This entry (for the online launch of VW's £70,000 saloon) was one that helped build the future-facing agenda for planning, highlighting the role it can play in an area beyond conventional advertising.

But you don't win awards just for planning "being there" in the newer territory of digital communications. And, had it simply been a story of planning guiding the creative development of a website, it would not have been shortlisted.

In fact, it had about as many ingredients as you could possibly hope for in an outstanding paper: questioning assumptions about the chosen channel's role; precisely defining the primary audience; using research innovatively and appropriately; shaping a key insight; identifying a key motivator; carving out an appropriate channel choice; initiating a creative solution that breaks category rules; enhancing the briefing process; supporting a creative leap; redefining the role for online advertising; and providing evidence of effectiveness.

It was one of those papers that makes you want to own the product; an elegant and comprehensive case that was a pleasure to read. - Tony Regan

INSIGHT

Planned by: Tom Goodwin

Agency: Tribal DDB

Client: Volkswagen Phaeton

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

Target audience: "The sort of people that go into a climbing shop and just have to buy a £1,500 expedition-weight three-layer Gore-Tex Alpenglow reinforced Marmot Thunderlight jacket even though they will use it most for walks around the park ... They want to search out the stories behind the Phaeton and immerse themselves in information. We need to replicate this online."

PANEL'S VIEW: WEEDOL

Faced with a less-than-parity product and a target audience who were barely interested in the category, this paper showcases the way great planning insights alone can change the fortunes of a brand.

In a world of beautiful gardens, the planner unearthed a seed of truth that subverted the category norms. They discovered that far from the saintly gardening image promoted by the likes of Alan Titchmarsh, where gardening pleasure is all about nurturing and caring for plants, real gardeners get equally excited about the vindictive thrill they derive from killing.

Rather than focusing on the effects of the product (which were perceived among the target audience to be less effective than competitors), the planner championed a more interesting approach: "The joy of killing weeds."

With the response on the brief articulated as "I can't wait to get out there and kick some dandelion arse with Weedol", it's no surprise that planning led to such a refreshing campaign. - Jane Lingham

INSIGHT

Planned by: Alex Huzzey

Agency: BMP DDB

Client: Weedol

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

Target audience: "People with gardens who have issues with weeds. The trouble is the little buggers keep popping up all over the place with monotonous regularity. So the idea of pulverising them with Weedol is deeply seductive. There is something immensely satisfying about zapping things with a pull of the trigger and a short sharp 'psst!' from the nozzle ... and then watching them die."

PANEL'S VIEW: YORKIE

You can imagine the planning challenge - contemporising a brand that was launched when lager was still a new kind of drink, it was trendy to wear a chunky-knit "Starsky" cardigan and Kevin Keegan sported a bubble perm.

This paper shows how the agencies over-achieved on the brief. They did much more than merely modernise the advertising; instead they found a relevant new role for the brand in 21st-century culture.

Advertising often hopes to get "talked about", but here is an example of planning thinking that guides a brand towards the position of a Big Idea: "It's not for girls."

With a reinvigorated brand idea, rather than simply an advertising idea, the planning input provided a huge platform for Yorkie to stand for something once again - and get talked about (and bought) as a result.

Another key point of significance in the paper is that it was a joint entry from Interbrand and J. Walter Thompson. In fact, the "not for girls" positioning was developed in embryo by Interbrand and taken into advertising by JWT. Whether or not this is good news for advertising agencies, it's good news for planning, which again proves that its skills are transferable beyond the ad process. - Tony Regan

INSIGHT

Planned by: Sarah Willan and Ruth Oliver, Interbrand; Sameer Modha, J.

Walter Thompson

Agencies: Interbrand; J. Walter Thompson

Client: Nestle - Yorkie

NUGGETS FROM THE BRIEF

Objective: "In a world of girly chocolate, we need to reclaim Yorkie for blokes."

Target audience: "Men and women are as different as always; it just sometimes doesn't look like it. Men and women enjoy the fact that there are some things they can point to and say 'that's for me', or even 'that's not for me'."

Proposition: "Yorkie's not for girls."

Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).