Channel 4 TV Planning Awards 2005: Private View

I'm still thinking about the piece in Campaign where creative agency "heavy hitters" were bemoaning their carelessness in letting the media departments slip out of the back door. When are they going to stop romanticising about the past? We could have got out of the front door without them noticing ... most of them didn't know where the media department was, let alone who was in it.

So do these entries do justice to our sector's elevated status? And will I do justice to the honour of writing a Private View?

It's hardly "private", though, unless the editors have worked out that no-one is going to want to read what I have to say. I'd rather call it a "personal view" and remind you that my views are based on a DVD and a 1,000-word TV Planning Awards entry.

In the spirit of the Campaign School Report, I plan to award a score of between one and ten, where the higher the score, the bigger the threat to the creative agencies. Given that these entries are among the pick of the crop, the scale should start at five or six ... so let's see.

American Pie Presents Band Camp (5) saw MediaCom collaborate with ITV2 on a themed night the week before the DVD release. The channel reshowed American Pie 2 and created some original programming, ran a competition and so on. Lots of good ideas, but I was left worrying about whether this was the most effective way to reach the potential audience for this DVD. Score: 5

Hasbro (2) - the return of Furby. I was devastated to hear that he (is it a he?) was still alive, but full credit to the agency for creating an involving event with Nickelodeon. Impressive numbers and a total communications package delivered with conviction and authority, clearly driving sales. Score: 7

McDonald's (4) segmented its "healthy credentials" message, maximising the Viacom channel portfolio. Got close to content and created a relevant and empathetic campaign. This offers a real threat. Score: 9

Sony Bravia (1) launched to lots of publicity about its commercial with 250,000 balls. The campaign was launched with a 150-minute edit in a big football game on Sky and then bought high-impact programmes. I suspect this is the entry the creative agencies would like the most. Score: 6

Sony PlayStation (3). A bit like the American Pie idea, the agency looked to dominate one station. This time, though, a much better audience fit and use of a tight budget. A media-led "slam dunk". Score: 8

An overall reflection about these case studies is that media agencies are now showing how they can find tactical solutions to specific briefs, getting ever closer to the media owner, borrowing interest and authority from channels and programmes and, in many cases, production facilities.

But tactics win battles, strategies win wars. I am not a military historian but that sounds right to me. And the best TV planning strategies afford life-changing creative ideas the oxygen to breathe. I don't know whether Honda entered ... that's where my vote would have gone.

And so creative agencies that focus on the future, not the past, can join the media agencies on the exciting road ahead. God forbid, they could even put some entries in next year.

1. SONY BRAVIA Client: David Patton, senior vice-president, communications, Sony Brand: Sony's Bravia LCD TV range Media agency: OMD UK Author: Chrissie Deakin, OMD UK Creative agency: Fallon 2. HASBRO Client: Henry Foulds, brand manager, Hasbro UK Brand: Furby Media agency: OMD UK Author: Sam D'Amato, OMD UK Creative agency: Viacom Brand Solutions 3. SONY PLAYSTATION Client: Liam Quigley, product manager, Sony PlayStation Brand: Sony PlayStation 2 Media agency: Manning Gottlieb OMD Authors: Oliver Cooper, Faye McDowell, Manning Gottlieb OMD Creative agency: In-house/Jetix 4. MCDONALD'S Client: Laurie Morgan, vice-president marketing, McDonald's Brand: Balanced lifestyle Media agency: OMD UK Author: Daniel Coleman, OMD UK Creative agency: Leo Burnett 5. AMERICAN PIE PRESENTS BAND CAMP Client: Nickie Everett, product manager, Universal Pictures Brand: American Pie Media agency: MediaCom Authors: Oliver Seares, Tamlyn Rolfe, MediaCom Creative agency: Wordley

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