The APG Creative Planning Awards Shortlist 2005: Foreword

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 22 July 2005 12:00AM

The rise of planner as creator of ideas.

The APG Creative Planning Awards are unique. Not only are they the only awards that celebrate the quality of strategic thinking in this industry, but they are also the only awards that require shortlisted entrants to present their case to the jury in person. In this supplement, we showcase the entries that have been shortlisted and that will be shortly subjected to the scrutiny of the judges.

It's a top drawer shortlist with both high-profile campaigns from Honda and Dove represented as well as less famous but equally fascinating work for Snickers and Scruffs workwear. You will also see the papers that, though not shortlisted, are still in contention for one of the special prizes that we award.

And what can we conclude from this year's crop of entries and shortlisted papers? Taken together, they paint a picture of planning exploring new territories. While there are still some outstanding examples of more traditional approaches to planning that remind us all about the importance of craft skills in this discipline, there is also a very clear indication that planners are becoming restless with many papers pushing the boundaries of orthodox planning.

In many cases, we are witnessing the gradual shift from simply being the providers of insight to the creators of ideas. This is a world away from the traditional "planner as consumer champion" role.

What all this means is that these awards are increasingly a laboratory for new thinking. Anyone who wants to know what is happening before it happens should keep an eye on the APG.

Finally, we would also like to take this opportunity to thank the shortlisters, judges, sponsors and all the entrants in this year's APG Creative Planning Awards. See you at the awards presentation in September.

- Richard Huntington, chair of judges

- Nikki Crumpton, chair of shortlisting panel

- Russell Davies, APG chair

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 SPECIAL AWARDS - Best media thinking - Best consumer insight - Best creative brief Best use of research - Best paper from outside Campaign's Top 30 - Best new thinking on the role and practice of planning THE SHORTLISTERS David Bain - Global head of strategy, Saatchi & Saatchi Cameron Saunders - Deputy head of planning, WCRS George Bryant - Head of planning, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO Malcolm White - Launching an agency Nikki Crumpton - Head of planning, Fallon Dylan Williams - Strategy director, Mother Fern Miller - Account planner, Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners Matt Willifer - Planning director, Heresy Tony Regan - Partner, Nylon THE JUDGES Claire Beale - Editor, Campaign Richard Huntington - Head of planning, HHCL/Red Cell Trevor Beattie - Partner, Beattie McGuinness Bungay Tim Kaner - Director, strategy and planning, Sony Europe Russell Davies - Global consumer planning director, Nike Richard Storey - Planning director, M&C Saatchi Laurence Green - Planning partner, Fallon Sue Unerman - Director of strategic solutions, MediaCom

PANEL'S VIEW - ALWAYS

Behind every great idea is a great conversation. If agencies are to become "ideas factories", then skilled cross-disciplinary conversations must become our forte. If disciplines act as islands, we have less chance to get to truly breakthrough, culture-changing ideas. Fact.

The work done by Leo Burnett on the Always brand is a good case in point. Teenage girls were beginning to turn their back on what they increasingly saw as their mum's brand. Recognising that a focus on the market generic of protection wasn't going to rejuvenate the brand's position in the eyes of this sassy, independently minded audience, good planning got to a good brief about confidence, not safety. But in briefing the creative team, a great conversation led to an even better strategic idea. In talking about the benefit of confidence, the team struck on the notion that truly confident teens can actually use their periods as a weapon, and the category-redefining idea of "period power" was born.

This is a refreshingly honest paper about the role of planners in planning. Great planning has rarely been the preserve of planners alone and by embracing this, rather than hiding from it, we will all get to more creative strategies, more of the time. - George Bryant

TALENT Planned by: Michelle Traylor Agency: Leo Burnett Client: Always

BRIEF:

The challenge: "Raise the kudos of Always among older teens (16- to 19-year-olds) who are currently switching from Always to Bodyform."

Key insight: "Planning identified that older teens are settled into a period routine ... truly confident teens use their periods as a weapon ... to turn situations to their advantage."

The core thought: "Always. Only your confidence shows."

PANEL'S VIEW - BHF: ANTI-SMOKING

This paper demonstrates that even the bluntest and most shocking advertising needs subtle and precise thinking behind it. The paper outlines the strategy behind one of the most memorable campaigns of recent years and makes a convincing case for planning's contribution to the power and effectiveness of the work.

With decades of investment behind anti-smoking communication and thousands of stubbornly addicted smokers still utterly resistant, making a difference couldn't be more important or more difficult.

Critically, the campaign made an enemy of the cigarette, not the smoker. In doing so it bypassed the propaganda fatigue felt by the oft-targeted smoker, making them receptive to a kind of Pavlovian revulsion at the sight of the gross contents of their arteries. We were impressed by both the scale of the strategic ambition (make a smoker's next cigarette the last they will ever enjoy) and the deftness of the planning as it turned a little-understood medical fact into a visceral, unmissable piece of creative work. - David Bain

TALENT Planned by: Kate Waters Agency: Euro RSCG London Client: British Heart Foundation

BRIEF

The role for advertising: "Make a smoker's next cigarette their least enjoyable by ensuring that they can't help but visualise how cigarettes clog their arteries."

The briefing: "We dramatised the power of making the invisible damage visible by including a vivid description of the process of atherosclerosis by using real-life images sourced from the pathology museum. Finally, we explained the concept of using advertising to create a conditioned response by using the story of Pavlov and his dogs."

PANEL'S VIEW - DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT/COI COMMUNICATIONS: SPEED CAMPAIGN

The task was to make drivers stick to the 30mph speed limit. The paper persuasively argued that it would not be enough simply to assert that drivers should stick to 30mph; the 30mph limit needed to be justified. There was no satisfactory fact available, so the planner interviewed a leading scientist to identify the story.

We liked this paper as it showed planning at its most dogged. First, it was persuasive in knocking down the strategies that would not work (for example, using a statistic about stopping distance would not work, as everyone believed they had unusually fast reactions). Second, in the absence of a viable statistic, the interview with the scientist was a clear case of the planner having the ingenuity to go the extra mile in search of the truth. - Matt Willifer

TALENT Planned by: Clare Hutchinson Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO Client: Department for Transport

BRIEF

Avoiding a wrong turning: "We knew that we needed to make speed bad, but the classic didactic approach wasn't working. We needed to give drivers a reasonable explanation, rather than an authoritative assertion."

Strategic breakthrough: "No-one has ever explained to drivers the 30mph speed limit ... in fact, planning commissioned a reason from a scientist."

The role of the planner: "A DIY expert who, with the help of the right experts, can now commission the truth."

PANEL'S VIEW - DOVE

There's an awful lot to admire in the Dove campaign and the thinking that lies behind it. Usually it's in the "Public Service and Charity" category of these awards that we celebrate planning making a real difference to society. But here is Dove (a mega, global commercial brand) making a real difference to the women of the world with their challenge to the stifling beauty ideal in the form of a campaign that questions the images pumped out by the beauty industry.

Obviously, the massive idea behind all this is what took our fancy, but there is lots of small stuff in this paper which makes it recommended reading. There's the interesting programme of interviews with gurus such as Susie Orbach and Gloria Steinem. There's the creation of a video to sell the idea to Dove's (mostly male) senior management, which features the daughters of these managers talking candidly about how imperfect they feel. And then there's the male creative director's recollection of what was said to him at the briefing: "Just imagine every day for 40 years someone telling you that your willy's not big enough." - Malcolm White

TALENT Planned by: Olivia Johnson Agency: Ogilvy Client: Dove

BRIEF

The role of advertising: "Reassure women that contrary to what they might think, they are in fact attractive. This reassurance would raise their self-esteem."

Proposition: "A call to action. Seeking your own version of beauty will get you much closer to beauty than seeking stereotypical perfection."

The mandate: "The advertising must use real women as opposed to models."

PANEL'S VIEW - DULUX PAINTS

The paper illustrates the power of strategic creativity in helping a brand fight off private labels and the commoditisation of its market.

It teaches us to look behind the comforts of positive brand metrics to discover the real business picture as it exists at the point of purchase. The paper tells of a brand in rude health but a business with problems, undercut and undermined by much cheaper private-label paints. The strategic solution was both simple and powerful.

Dulux needed to stop consumers choosing private-label colours by re-presenting the brand in terms of its expertise in colour combination.

In doing so, Dulux could lock consumers into a branded universe of possible Dulux combinations. In turn, it could claim the high ground as a "colour help service" rather than simply be seen as a paint brand.

This is a lucid case of classical planning thinking used to achieve a fully and effortlessly integrated brand repositioning. It is an all-too-rare example of brand planning that gets to the heart of business issues at retail and uses these insights to frame overall brand strategy.- David Bain

TALENT Planned by: Tom Roach, Andrew Quin Agencies: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, Naked Communications Client: Dulux Paints

BRIEF

The story: "It was a tough iterative process, with lots of problems encountered and lessons learnt. We learnt that we needed to take Dulux from being a paint brand to being a colour help service. We learnt that the the real issue was not helping people find one colour but helping people combine colours. And we learnt that we needed to talk about colour relationships, not paint, in the advertising."

PANEL'S VIEW - EUROSTAR: BUSINESS TRAVEL

Advertising rarely sets out to mock its target audience and their inflated perceptions of their success, but Eurostar did exactly that with the caricature of Mr JetSet. Through the use of clinical psychology, planning uncovered the insight that frequent fliers felt air travel somehow proved just how successful they had become in business. Planning showed that perception was the inverse of reality, and that the superficial glamour of air travel blinded frequent fliers to its restrictions and interruptions. The customer is not always king; sometimes they will act like your irrational teenage cousin and need to be treated as such.

The brief was therefore to take this head-on and knock the target audience out of their state of denial, rather than try to convince them of the rational benefits of taking the slightly dull Eurostar. The support was that The Office's David Brent would fly because he believes that's what important business people do - a strategy that enabled Eurostar to confront frequent fliers with uncomfortable truths about themselves, while allowing them to pretend it was other people who were like that in real life. - Cameron Saunders

TALENT Planned by: Michael Davidson Agency: TBWA\London Client: Eurostar

BRIEF

The key question: "Eurostar's share of the leisure market has grown steadily over the years, and it currently enjoys more than an 80 per cent share.

But its share of the lucrative business market has always lagged behind its share of of the leisure market. Why should this be so?"

A great answer: "Deep down, business people feel sitting on a plane makes them important, they feel it confers upon them a certain status. 'Just flew in' sounds better than saying you arrived by train."

PANEL'S VIEW - FIAT

The thing about White Van Man is, he may be opinionated about a lot of stuff, but he isn't that bothered about the brand of white van he drives.

His van is important, but the brand isn't. If you are the market leader, hoping to defend your price premium against cheap Japanese imported vans, this is quite bad news.

So the team looked around his van for something that was important and noticed something on the front seat: a copy of The Sun, opened at the sport section, and they were reminded that football, to paraphrase Bill Shankly, is more serious than life, death or vans.

Thank goodness they didn't stop there. Sponsoring the Supergoals section was one way to start a relationship with van drivers, but good planning ensured the opportunity didn't become yet another hijacking of something fun and important for something boring and unimportant. They inspired the creatives to develop a creative idea that added real value to the section, something fans would look for, yet something that was absolutely hardwired to the product and the brand they were working for. And as a result, they developed a great vehicle (sorry) for Fiat's brand. - Fern Miller

TALENT Planned by: Isabel Butcher, Claire Morris Agency: Leo Burnett Client: Fiat Commercial Vehicles

BRIEF

The key decision: "To talk to van drivers not as van drivers but as football fans meant we could get product credentials on to their radar disguised in a Trojan van of a campaign."

The perfect context: "Despite a media budget which wouldn't cover a transfer fee from Mansfield Town, we got Fiat vans right in our audience's line of vision, in media they actively sought out and engaged with."

PANEL'S VIEW - HARPIC

This is an exciting paper about the unexciting world of toilets, loos, bogs or whatever else they are called in the 16 countries across the world where the new Harpic campaign had to run. It is exciting because at its heart is a beautiful bit of convention-busting thinking.

The existing convention for Harpic and most other toilet cleaners we can think of was functional and product-attribute-driven, summed up by the phrase "what you can do for your loo?". The exciting new idea, as encapsulated in the endline "what does your loo say about you?", created a new, highly emotional connection with women everywhere, and still allowed for the communication of relevant product benefits. This idea was inspired by a "proper" brand insight, by which we mean a new discovery that unlocks growth, rather than a clever-sounding observation which goes nowhere.

The new insight was that women the world over believe that their toilet reveals their level of cleanliness and even cultivation as a person.

This new insight came from a fascinating research programme that involved accompanied global bog visits, and which also revealed something we hadn't thought of before reading this paper; that the toilet is the only room in your house that a guest will visit unaccompanied. - Malcolm White

TALENT Planned by: Olivia Heywood Agency: JWT Client: Harpic

BRIEF

The task: "To create a powerful and motivating campaign that would re-inspire the Harpic brand across 16 countries."

The process: "In the face of a mountain of traditional research, we went into the toilet itself in order to unlock women's reluctance to talk about their toilets."

Identifying the universal truth: "Women believe their toilets reflect your level of cleanliness as a person and so subject you to the judgment of others."

PANEL'S VIEW - HEINZ BAKED BEANZ

The task was to make people think again about the well-loved but commonplace baked bean. So, rather than remind people of what they already loved about beans, planning took the novel step of deciding to promote Heinz Baked Beanz' nutritional credentials.

Together with their already well-appreciated convenience and taste, these nutritional values elevated Beanz to a "superfood".

However, what we liked most about this paper was the next step, which established the personality of this newly dubbed "superfood". Not wanting to be too worthy, planning recognised the amusing paradox of an ordinary little bean being so super. The creative brief defined the bean's personality as "super but humble" and "confident but modest". It was this thought that prompted the creation of the angst-ridden, Woody-Allenesque "superbean" - the star of the commercials. - Matt Willifer

TALENT Planned by: Matt Wyatt Agency: Leo Burnett Client: Heinz Baked Beanz

BRIEF

What planning did: "Planning recognised that Heinz Baked Beanz' nutritional credentials made it a superfood - a positioning that would allow beans buyers to consciously reappraise beans as good for you, and buy them more often ... Planning also realised that, in order to force reappraisal of a familiar brand, we needed an unexpected tone of voice not born of the brand's British children-singing-about-beans advertising heritage."

PANEL'S VIEW - HOME OFFICE/COI COMMUNICATIONS: ACQUISITIVE CRIME

The best planning often helps us to see a familiar situation in a new light. Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R's work on acquisitive crime is a great example.

Acquisitive crime (car theft, burglary and robbery) accounts for half of all recorded crime in the UK; roughly one in five of us is affected every year. Planning had to find a way to deal with the problem without resorting to the age-old shock tactics that would only elevate people's already heightened fear.

By going on the beat in Moss Side, attending morning robbery briefings in Salford and interviewing the real specialists - young offenders - planning turned the spotlight away from the "dark criminal mind" and on to the stupidity of victims "asking to be robbed". The resulting communications were liberated to use humour, not shock tactics, to create a powerful and surprising new voice in the war on crime. Case closed. - George Bryant

TALENT Planned by: Alice Huntley Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R Client: Home Office/COI Communications : acquisitive crime

BRIEF

The shocking truth: "People are so stupid sometimes, that they deserve to be robbed. This controversial idea, gleaned from watching robbery happen on the streets of Moss Side ... was the key that unlocked a creative solution to the enormous problem of car theft, robbery and burglary - without using shock tactics."

PANEL'S VIEW - HOME OFFICE/COI COMMUNICATIONS: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

When planning engages wholeheartedly with an issue, it can offer insights that dramatically change the way you communicate. Rarely is this more dramatically illustrated than in this paper.

Thanks to the planner exploring the pathology of domestic violence with experts from women's shelters and the police, the communications were designed to connect with potential victims at a much earlier stage of their ordeal. This would ensure that the viewer was more likely to relate to the subject, rather than dismiss a shocking image as being "not them". This sensitive passion operated throughout the project, ensuring that the media plan carefully excluded a potential victim's partner, having learned that violent episodes had in the past been triggered by a partner's viewing of the ad itself.

So the ads talked to women exclusively and intimately: on till receipts; in women's changing rooms; in the ladies, with a warning they could relate to. This paper shows how a planner can make a genuine difference to the work when it matters that you get it right. - Fern Miller

TALENT Planned by: Megan Thompson Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R Client: Home Office/COI Communications: national domestic violence helpline

BRIEF

The conundrum: "How do you advertise to a target audience who refuse to believe that they are the target audience?"

The solution: "We decided to use communications to trigger the moment when women self-identify and diagnose their own abuse as a classic case of domestic violence."

PANEL'S VIEW - HONDA

The "hate" campaign is fantastic, of course. Before reading this paper, many of us on the panel would have said that the reason for its fantasticness must be down to Wieden & Kennedy's legendary creative brilliance. Or, maybe, due to the inspired thinking that went into defining Honda's power of dreams brand culture. Of course, both played a key role in getting to "hate something, change something", but we now realise there was another critical ingredient: wonderfully inventive creative thinking early in the process. We describe it as creative thinking (rather than planning thinking) because, in the words of the author, "the thinking was part of the creativity of the creative work".

Although the story told is how creative thinking transformed the client's "product" brief into a "juicy opportunity to make a big statement about the Honda brand", we think this paper teaches a great lesson about how products need to be communicated in the 21st century - with an idea and with the right tonal context, driven by that all-important inventive creative thinking. - Malcolm White

TALENT Planned by: Stuart Smith Agency: Wieden & Kennedy Client: Honda

BRIEF

The inspiration: "Honda's master engine builder, Kenichi Nagahiro, who had always hated diesel engines."

The truth: "The diesel engine from the company that hated diesel engines."

The big idea: "We wanted to combine hate with optimism, and the big idea became all about positive hate."

Support: "It's like when you see people bringing down symbols of hatred, such as the Berlin Wall or statues of Saddam Hussein. Like Kenichi, they used their hatred positively."

PANEL'S VIEW - HP: HYPE

Public Enemy were wrong: do believe the hype.

If, like the panellists, you believe planning has a broader opportunity than ever to create space for great work in a post-Sky+ environment, then you are in for a treat with HP's "Hype".

When charged with helping HP to achieve its business goal of selling printers, scanners and projectors to young artists, planning was confronted with a daunting task - communicating with a young, savvy, creative audience with no connection to the HP brand and an ingrained distrust of corporations in general. By recognising that this generation of emerging artists were anti-brand but pro-exposure, planning helped create space for a brand and agency to create communications with true utility. More than just an ad campaign, "Hype Gallery" was an innovative and inspiring solution to a seemingly insurmountable problem.

This case study shows why in today's world planning must roll up its sleeves and take action, not just stroke its collective beard and pontificate about communications theory. This is planning "born integrated", a demonstration for anyone who cares to listen that strategy should be as creative as execution. A case study in what the world will be doing in years to come. - George Bryant

TALENT Planned by: Belinda Parmar Agency: Publicis Client: HP: Hype

BRIEF

The goal: "To sell printers, scanners, projectors to young artists ... (but) research confirmed that young artists were disconnected from HP."

The key planning realisation: "HP had an opportunity to do something bigger than an ad campaign. HP could provide young artists with what they are looking for: exposure. And, simultaneously, demonstrate HP's product capabilities."

The visionary manifestation: "It began life as a gallery. A blank space where young artists could submit and exhibit their work."

PANEL'S VIEW - INLAND REVENUE (HMRC): CHILD TRUST FUND

The task was to tell parents about the Child Trust Fund - an initiative from the Inland Revenue, giving £250 to new-born babies to save for their futures.

The strategy centred on a charming human insight: that parents enjoy speculating on what their children might be when they grow up. This was not only a charming insight in its own right, but it also paved the way for an analogy between the growth of the child and the growth of the fund: "What will yours turn out to be?"

We felt this was a lesson in resisting the obvious. More obvious solutions would have been purely product-based, or have featured overly worthy sentiments about saving for your child's future. Instead this tapped into a more empathetic insight that reflected the way couples actually talk about the children they love. - Matt Willifer

TALENT Planned by: Rohini Varughese, Richard Storey Agencies: M&C Saatchi, Naked Communications Client: Inland Revenue: Child Trust Fund

BRIEF

The task: "Gently encourage parents to get involved with the Child Trust Fund."

The thought: "What will yours turn out to be?"

Because: "Parents enjoy the unpredictability of their growing child.

They never know, but love imagining, what their children could turn out to be. The Child Trust Fund grows money as they grow up. It's surprising what it could turn into."

PANEL'S VIEW - LYNX

Oh, leave off - another expensive Lynx effect ad? Easy. Job done. In fact, job done ten years ago.

So now it has created a product that lasts 24 hours? Well, that'll get the brand out of its teenage ghetto, then, won't it? That'll make it relevant to all those older blokes who laugh at the ads but worry about product efficacy.

Again. Job done. Piece of piss. So what did planning do?

Quite a lot actually. Planning recognised that broadening Lynx's appeal was not just a matter of product relevance - it was a matter of brand relevance. Planning recognised the way Lynx had expressed its benefit was the very thing holding it back. Planning recognised that once you hit your twenties, the mating game changes. Planning recognised greater complicity between the sexes - girls and guys just hang out together.

And planning recognised all this by bothering to understand women as well as men. Ultimately, planning stopped teams writing Viagra ads.

Big planning prizes usually go to the big reinvention jobs. This paper is less flashy but just as important. It shows the critical role planners play in shaping long-running campaigns; evolving them; keeping them fresh and, in this case, massively improving that which was already bloody good. - Dylan Williams

TALENT Planned by: Jonathan Bottomley Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty Client: Lever Faberge

BRIEF

The problem: "Lynx is stuck in a teenage ghetto."

The opportunity: "The product has been reformulated to last longer so that it better suits the physical needs of 20-year-olds."

The role for planning: "Make sure that Lynx could credibly talk to a different type of guy."

The key insight: "For older guys, seduction isn't about predatory blokes going out to pull the unsuspecting birds. It's a game that's always afoot, played complicitly."

PANEL'S VIEW - MCDONALD'S

We felt this paper had an interesting point of view about how a brand such as McDonald's should operate when faced with a cynical audience.

Faced with inaccuracies and exaggerations in the Super Size Me film, McDonald's needed to formulate a response and set the record straight.

Planning steered away from the instinct to come out all guns blazing, as that would involve McDonald's in an argument people didn't want it to win. Rather, planning steered McDonald's to promote an honest, open debate, highlighting not only the parts of the film that it disagreed with, but also the bits it did agree with.

We felt there was valuable learning here. In increasingly cynical times, people suspect certain big corporations of manipulation and fabrication, even in the cases where they happen to be telling the truth. As such, it is incumbent on these corporations to go beyond the call of duty in explicitly portraying themselves as balanced, reasonable and honest. Further, the paper highlighted the importance of tone - it's not just what you say but how you say it that can win people over to your point of view. - Matt Willifer

TALENT Planned by: John Harrison Agency: Leo Burnett Client: McDonald's

BRIEF

The media storm: "It was clear that the Super Size Me film had the potential to leave people with some pretty negative perceptions about McDonald's."

Resisting the temptation: "Planning identified that coming out all guns blazing would result in us getting in an argument that many people would simply not want us to win."

How to get a fairer hearing: "Do the exact opposite of what our instincts told us and everyone expected us to do."

PANEL'S VIEW - NINTENDO

Typically, when a client asks its agency to "create a brand template for different print ads from around the world", planner and creative team alike make a hasty exit and pass on the brief to someone in typo. This case study is a lesson to everyone that planning can turn the smallest art direction "tidying up" job from potential creative straight-jacket into a full-on, brand makeover creative opportunity.

This paper shows how planning led Nintendo to challenge the orthodox conventions of the category, conventions that led to formulaic press advertising.

Planning literally turned around the ads and found on the other side a secret gamers treasure - a craving among gamers for information and immersion, to be assaulted with interesting gaming titbits to feed their mania. Planning identified this consumer need for immersion and combined it with the bonkersmentalcraziness that defined the very nature of "Nintendo-ism".

Most importantly, it shows how planning found fertile creative territory by getting into the heads of gamers and game designers. - Cameron Saunders

TALENT Planned by: Owen Dowling, Laurence Horner Agency: Leo Burnett Client: Nintendo (GameBoy Advance and GameCube)

BRIEF

The deceptively simple client request: "Can you create a template for different print ads from around the world?"

The planning response: "Planning identified that a conventional template would not be enough to make the print ads stand out from the crowd and would not be true to the free-spirited thinking of the brand. Planning was able to completely transform a brief based on adaptation into a brief for a brand new creative direction."

PANEL'S VIEW - PEDIGREE

This is a beautifully written love story. A love story about dogs, and how planning helped Pedigree to rekindle a passion that had wilted as the brand fought the other dog-food brands by playing the same zero-sum game of product attributes (albeit recommended by breeders).

We liked this paper because it had broad, massive scope and ambition (a unifying idea for six continents and 50 markets), and yet demonstrated great attention to detail: even the new business cards for Pedigree employees are a perfectly consistent expression of the new idea.

What makes this paper special, however, is that it celebrates the power of big, simple and true. It shows how planning managed to unite the Pedigree brand and its consumers around a simple truth so blindingly obvious that it had gone undetected for years: People don't have dogs to feed them, people have dogs to love them. - Malcolm White

TALENT Planned by: Aileen Ross Agency: TBWA\London Client: Pedigree

BRIEF

The problem: "Pedigree began to lose relevance in today's world."

The planning solution: "A simple truth that was so blindingly obvious it had gone undetected for years: People don't have dogs to feed them. People have dogs to love them."

The lesson: "You can have a global campaign that has at its core a fundamental, primal emotion, unalterable by translation, cultural nuance or interpretation."

PANEL'S VIEW - SCRUFFS

All the shortlisted papers have good ideas at the heart of them. There are a few that are really different ideas, and Scruffs is one of them.

It is also probably the most surprising. The surprising idea was to use porn (yes, porn) as the campaign platform. This surprising choice makes sense when you realise that the target audience was young builders, plasterers, joiners and electricians, and the product was a new range of branded, extremely durable workwear from Birchwood Products called Scruffs. This is relevant drama, not borrowed interest (honestly!) because first, porn got around the fact that these rough tradesmen were uninterested in both the brand name of their workwear and brands in general, because it made a connection with them. Second, porn allowed product details to be put over in a memorable way (my favourite headline of them all is: "Steel toe caps.'Cos nobody wants to see a nasty gash"). Third, porn created a memorable visual and verbal language for the brand. And finally, the campaign got those builders into the website and on to the phone by offering them free porn. It is undoubtedly crude, arguably in poor taste, possibly corrupting, but it is definitely very clever. - Malcolm White

TALENT Planned by: Alexander Robinson Agency: Cheethambell JWT Client: Scruffs

BRIEF

The audience: "18- to 25-year-old blokes who work as builders, plumbers, electricians ... they enjoy having a laugh with their mates and checking out any 'totty' they get anywhere near the site."

Insight: "Basically, these guys are dirty buggers. Girls or sex are their favourite topics of conversation."

Key thought: "When you put on your Scruffs, you're ready to work hard and get dirty."

PANEL'S VIEW - SNICKERS

There's been lots of chat about brands "growing out of the gaps and into the content". Of strategists needing to think of new ways to get brands into culture.

In this context, the Snickers paper is important for two reasons. First, it reminds us that the debate on effective brand communication pivots on the same axis as ever. Not channel,not format, but quality. If a brand wants to exist in a culture, it has to contribute to it. It has to enrich it.

And second, it reminds us how great planning can help a brand to better understand the culture that it's trying to exist within.

After all, this is a paper about how a dying "gut-fill" chocolate bar from a big corporation managed to become a respected contributor to a tight little subculture called the skate scene. And how, as a credible player, Snickers could then use this scene as a fresh and relevant context within which to pronounce its energy-provider benefit to all 16- to 24-year-old blokes.

There's lots of good stuff in this paper, but check out the "tap root" communications model. It turns conventional communications planning on its head. Dead clever. Wish I'd thought of it. - Dylan Williams

TALENT Planned by: Mark Fallon, Richard Swaab Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, BBDO Europe Client: Snickers

BRIEF

The problem: "Back in 2002, Snickers' future looked grim. It had lost connection with its core 16- to 24-year-old audience."

Key observation: "We didn't think that any conventional marketing approach could win over the key target audience."

The solution: "Snickers stopped being a chocolate bar and instead reinvented itself as part of the tapestry of skateboarding."

PANEL'S VIEW - TRANSPORT FOR LONDON: LONDON BUSES

This paper is a great example of how communications can go further than just massaging attitudes - it can directly influence behaviour.

We loved the fact that the planner's search for an answer began with a good old-fashioned bit of data interrogation. This interrogation led to a surprising conclusion: the answer didn't lie in persuading people to take journeys by bus that they wouldn't otherwise take. It was to get some car drivers to take the bus for short trips. The planner took a huge leap towards success by redefining the problem.

Putting that thinking into practice required tenacity and creativity in equal measure, especially when you consider one of the car-driving target audience interviewed in groups invoked the chilling words of Mrs Thatcher to try and make the planner lose her nerve: "A man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus, can count himself a failure." M&C Saatchi's "My other car is a bus" campaign shows just how wrong the Iron Lady could be. - Malcolm White

TALENT Planned by: Verra Budimlija Agency: M&C Saatchi Client: Transport for London: London buses

BRIEF

The task: "To get people to use the bus for journeys that are actually more hassle than it's worth by car."

Three key insights: "Don't rubbish cars ... Speak to them in their own language ... show them the advantages of the bus in order to get them to try it."

The thought: "Buses are cars made easier."

PANEL'S VIEW - TRANSPORT FOR LONDON: MINICABS, SAFER TRAVEL AT NIGHT

Most of us feel immune to "shocking" advertising these days, but I defy any woman to see this campaign without being horrified. This is exactly the sort of response the planner was hoping for. Faced with a crowd of confident young women who felt that, so long as they got into a cab at the end of a drunken night, they were invulnerable to attack, they set out to find out how they could scare them into realising the opposite was in fact the case: one-third of all stranger rapes in London were carried out by unlicensed minicab drivers.

After the team spent the evening with groups of the target audience, they realized the scale of the challenge: not only did the target think getting into cabs made them immune to attack, they had a basic degree of bravado that made them impervious to most safety-related messages.

Planning identified the most frightening truth: that helping your friends into an unlicensed minicab could be abetting the rapists. When this truth was directly dramatised in the creative work, it was an admirable demonstration of how clear-sighted planning can identify simple, surprising truths that inspire seriously compelling work. - Fern Miller

TALENT Planned by: Emily James Agency: TBWA\London Client: Transport for London: minicabs, safer travel at night

BRIEF

The crime: "An estimated one-third of all stranger rapes in London in 2002 started with the victim climbing into the back of her attacker's car after a night out."

The potential victims: "The 6 per cent of female Londoners under 45 who had resisted previous messages and were still taking illegal minicabs."

The pivotal insight: "Women rely on each other to help them make the right decisions in life."

PANEL'S VIEW - TRANSPORT FOR LONDON: ROAD SAFETY

Everyone knows that teenagers think they're invincible, which makes it a tough brief to try to teach them basic stuff such as taking care when crossing the road. You can't scare them into turning off their iPods or putting down their mobiles and paying attention, so you need to take a different approach.

This case shows how planning identified new ways to connect with this audience by asking them about their hopes and aspirations for the future, rather than about their views on road safety and personal risk - leading to the breakthrough campaign "don't die before you've lived". Rather than showing tragic deaths and tearful friends and parents, the ads followed successful young people on their way to stardom. However, their lives are ended by road accidents before they even get the opportunity to experience the celebrity world.

This is a great case of conventional planning - uncovering insights and getting under the skin of the target, for example - leading to surprising and highly unconventional creative work. - Cameron Saunders

TALENT Planned by: Verra Budimlija Agency: M&C Saatchi Client: Transport for London: road safety

BRIEF

The apparently simple task: "To remind teenagers how important it is to pay attention to the traffic when crossing the road."

A complex job in reality: "Just telling them that two teenagers are killed or seriously injured on London's roads every day doesn't work."

The breakthrough: "What they do think about is their lives; their dreams and ambitions."

The thought: "Your dreams can suddenly end on the road outside your home."

SPECIAL PRIZES

BEST MEDIA THINKING

This award aims to celebrate those increasingly necessary occasions when media thinking is creative thinking. There were some incredibly strong candidates for this prize. Today, vibrant media thinking is absolutely at the heart of great communications solutions.

SHORTLISTED ENTRIES Home Office/COI Communications: domestic violence Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R triggered the moment when women self-identify abuse. Snickers - AMV BBDO created a two-day event to gain credibility with the skater community. Audi: A6 - Bartle Bogle Hegarty co-created the Power Issue of GQ to showcase Audi's new A6. HP: Hype - Publicis lured the uber-cool world of graphic design to a tailor-made gallery to try out HP's printers. Scruffs boots and workwear - Cheethambell JWT used porn to seduce no-nonsense workmen. Fiat - Leo Burnett reached White Van Men through The Sun's Supergoals.

BEST CONSUMER INSIGHT

Too often, mere interesting observation masquerades as consumer insight. By proper consumer insight, we mean thinking about the consumer in such a way as to unlock amazing business potential for a brand. The papers shortlisted for this category more than lived up to this ambition.

SHORTLISTED ENTRIES Harpic - JWT flouted convention by asking women around the world: "what does your loo say about you?" Home Office/COI Communications: acquisitive crime - Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R focused not on criminals but on victims who were "asking to be robbed". Lucozade - Ogilvy & Mather observed that Lucozade's audience wanted energy to make things happen.

BEST CREATIVE BRIEF

Great creative briefing has long been an absolute essential of the planner's craft. But it is always a challenge to get even the basics of clarity and brevity right. To be shortlisted for this award, you have to bring something extra - a lot extra - to bear. You have to be inspirational, and original. More than anything, we were looking for great briefs in which the thinking and the ideas continued to haunt us after reading.

SHORTLISTED ENTRIES Honda - Wieden & Kennedy was inspired by the falling of the Berlin Wall to make a virtue of hate. Dove - Ogilvy used ordinary women rather than flawless models to celebrate "real beauty". BHF: anti-smoking - Euro RSCG London made invisible damage visible by dramatising how smoking clogs the arteries.

BEST USE OF RESEARCH

For this prize, we were looking for more than just unusual or interesting research methodologies. We were looking for cases in which research, in whatever form, directed the thinking on a brand. Research that pointed the thinking in a different and much more profitable direction. Research that wasn't just part of what the planner did, it was the most important part.

SHORTLISTED ENTRIES TfL: London buses - M&C Saatchi's data interrogation led to a push to get car drivers to take the bus for short journeys. Impulse - Bartle Bogle Hegarty identified a new role for Impulse - Dutch courage rather than bloke-magnet. DoT speeding - AMV BBDO interviewed a leading scientist to add punch to the dangers of speeding in the 30mph zone. Eurostar: business travel - TBWA\London mocked the business elite's belief that flying is a more glamourous way to travel. Home Office: acquisitive crime - Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R interviewed young offenders in Moss Side to fight the war on crime.

BEST PAPER FROM AN AGENCY OUTSIDE CAMPAIGN'S TOP 30

The traditional agencies can sometimes seem to have a monopoly on all kinds of things in our business. But because great thinking doesn't respect league tables or rankings by billing, we wanted to search it out and put it on a podium.

SHORTLISTED ENTRIES Scruffs - Cheethambell JWT exploited the 18- to 25-year-old working bloke's penchant for tits and arse. Kotex - Coley Porter Bell ditched the coy approach to sanitary items, and positioned Kotex as a fashionable personal care brand. Nissan: 350z - Weapon 7 showed how to make great use of the misunderstood world of digital interactive TV.

BEST NEW THINKING ON THE ROLE AND PRACTICE OF PLANNING

We wanted to reward the explorers with this award. Planners whose work is landmark thinking. Those who are doggedly pursuing something new, despite all the odds. Those who hate following, and love leading.

SHORTLISTED ENTRIES Snickers - AMV BBDO turned conventional planning on its head to tap into a tough-to-target subculture. Nintendo - Leo Burnett turned an art direction tidy-up job into a brand make-over opportunity. Honda - Wieden & Kennedy made hate and optimism unlikely bedfellows to celebrate Honda's philosophy.

A WORD FROM THE SPONSORS OF THE APG CREATIVE PLANNING AWARDS 2005.

GRAND PRIX - Synovate - Research reinvented

Creativity, curiosity, insight and inspiration - all qualities delivered by the bucket-load from entrants to the APG Awards. And all the qualities that Synovate stands for, which is why we're delighted to sponsor such an important event in the planning calendar.

ESTABLISHED PRODUCT BRANDS (over £2m) - Milward Brown

Everything we do shows that strategically focused creativity has a huge impact on financial success. We are delighted to support the community that drives that focus for UK advertising.

PUBLIC SERVICE AND CHARITY - The Mellor Partnership - Specialists in Search

The Mellor Partnership specialises in finding and promoting the best strategic minds across all marketing communication disciplines. Sponsoring this award is particularly rewarding as it inspires some of the most innovative, creative and interesting papers.

BEST NEW THINKING ON THE ROLE AND PRACTICE OF PLANNING - Denise Williams Executive Recruitment

New and original thinking are key to planning and make advertising stand out. I couldn't be more pleased to be the first sponsor of this extremely coveted planning award.

BEST CONSUMER INSIGHT - 2cv: research

Only creative thought can lead to new ideas. We support the APG Creative Planning Award for best consumer insight because, like 2cv:, it recognises and rewards creative research and thinking.

BEST USE OF RESEARCH - WARC (World Advertising Research Centre)

The World Advertising Research Center is committed to promoting the very best in communications thinking. We are therefore natural supporters of the APG's Creative Planning Awards and proud sponsors of the award for best use of research.

- The APG wishes to thank the sponsors for their generous support.

The APG Creative Planning Awards 2005 awards ceremony and dinner will be held in London at the end of September. To book a table or individual places, contact Steve Martin at APG steve@apg.org.uk.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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