The past two years have been a bumper time for strategic thinking. The APG Creative Strategy Awards exist to celebrate the industry's very best strategies, and this time round 124 papers were entered, significantly up on 2005's tally. With so many papers of a high standard, it has been a fearsome challenge to choose the top 23 to go through to the final round of judging.
The high number (and standard) of entries this time round reflect, in part, a number of initiatives. First, 2007 will see the inaugural Stephen King Strategy Agency of the Year Awards. This will be given to the agency performing best across the awards.
Second, this year saw a broadening of scope to focus on strategy rather than planners. This means there is no longer the slightly distracting requirement for a planner to prove his or her unique involvement. A great strategy can come from anywhere, and is (increasingly) very often the product of a team effort.
Third, we introduced a new category to increase the awards' international scope. While there remains a category for international campaigns that have run in the UK, there is now also a category for international campaigns that have not.
Last but not least, this was the first year we adopted a strategy of blatant bribery. £10,000 is on offer to the eventual Grand Prix winner.
As in 2005, the eclectic mix of papers reflects the many different ways that strategic thinking can lead to wonderfully creative and effective work; the shortlist encompasses big mass-market campaigns (Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Nike) through to smaller more narrowcast communications (Tate Modern, Orange World, Radio 1).
The main change from previous years - and it is an exciting one - is the emergence of genuinely inspiring and imaginative papers about channel planning, with strategic solutions reaching far beyond advertising. Fallon created a new series of tours around Tate Britain. M&C Saatchi signed up gym instructors to sell Lucozade Hydro Active. Agency Republic created interactive Musicubes, to enable people to explore and remix Radio 1's music. Grey created a discussion on and about the internet to support AOL. And Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R created fake prostitute ads, bought against particular internet search terms, to make curb crawlers self-select.
Many thanks to the shortlisters and the judges. But, most of all, thanks to the authors of the 124 papers. It was a privilege to read the very best of the industry's strategic thinking. Congratulations to the handful that made it, and better luck next time to those who did not.
We hope the synopses in the following pages whet your appetite, and we look forward to seeing you at the awards presentation in November.
- Matt Willifer chair of shortlisting panel
- Richard Huntington chair of judges
- Malcolm White APG chair AWARD CATEGORIES
- Established product brands (over £3m)
- Established product brands (under £3m)
- Established service brands
- Public service or charity brands
- Multi-market campaigns that run in more than one market including the UK
- Campaigns for international brands that have not run in the UK
- Best creative brief
- Best use of research
- Best consumer insight
- Best channel strategy
- Best contribution to the theory and practice of planning
- Best campaign from an agency outside Campaign's Top 30 advertising agencies
- Tom Bazeley, Managing partner, Lean Mean Fighting Machine
- Rachel Hatton, Head of account planning, Bartle Bogle Hegarty
- Olivia Johnson, Planning partner, Hooper Galton
- Shaun McIlrath, Creative director, Hurrell and Dawson
- Tom Morton, Head of planning, TBWA\London
- Sarah Newman, Head of planning, Ogilvy & Mather
- Toby Roberts, Head of strategy, OMD
- Stuart Smith, Head of planning, Wieden & Kennedy
- Kate Waters, Planning partner, Partners Andrews Aldridge
- Matt Willifer, Chair of shortlisting panel, planning director, M&C Saatchi
- Claire Beale, Editor, Campaign
- Jim Carroll, UK chairman, Bartle Bogle Hegarty
- Will Collin, Partner, Naked Communications
- Mark Cridge, Chief executive, glue London
- Nikki Crumpton, Head of planning, McCann Erickson
- Richard Huntington, Chair of judges, adliterate.com
- Charles Inge, Managing partner, CHI & Partners
- Greg Nugent, Head of UK marketing, Eurostar
- Paula Quazi, Freelance brand consultant
- Andrew Rayner, Head of marketing, Thomson Holidays
- Derek Robson, Chief executive, Goodby Silverstein & Partners
- Jon Steel, Consultant, WPP
- Malcom White, APG chair, founder, Krow
BEST OF THE BEST
The 44 Gold-winning papers from the APG Creative Strategy Awards 1993-2005
1. Outcome - Papers defining precisely and ingeniously what the communications needs to get people to do.
2. Consumer Benefit - Papers defining exactly what's in it for the consumer, and showing how the benefit is not always where we think it is.
3. Consumer Insight - Papers based on knowing the target inside out, sometimes even better than they know themselves.
4. Brand Use - Papers showing how great insight can come from understanding exactly how people interact with the product.
5. Company Culture - Papers showing how a brand's proposition and personality can be inspired by the culture that created it.
6. Tone and Image - Papers showing that the right tone, voice, image or feel of a brand is often as, if not more, important than what is said.
7. Pushing Boundaries - Papers showing how strategic thinking can be central in creating attention-grabbing or controversial communications.
8. Brand Evolution - Papers that build on a brand's existing equity, and show how evolution can be equally as dramatic as revolution.
9. Channel Choice - Papers with breakthrough thinking around the context and channel for delivering a message.
10. Going the Extra Mile - Papers showing how sometimes we need to dig in unusual places to uncover fresh solutions.
- The book will be available from the APG - email@example.com.