Campaign Media Awards 2005: Cross-Media Sales Team of the Year - RSVP, IPC ignite!

RSVP was launched last March as a joint initiative to allow media agencies and advertisers to target a young, male audience through radio, Viacom's 14 TV channels and IPC ignite's magazines.

A cross-media deal, as a term, didn't exist five years ago. Today, the distinction is clear and cross-media refers to the creative, integrated stuff - a single idea integrated across more than one platform. The cross-media approach is challenging, to say the least, and RSVP was the first to concede there were tough market conditions in some areas. Launched in April 2000, Emap's multimedia sales operation stood as a more established and more experienced direct competitor. RSVP had a job on its hands to convince potential clients it was any better or different.

But, with 12 dedicated cross-media sales people working across the three companies, RSVP has already bagged £3.6 million in revenue in the 12 months from August 2004, a revenue won in direct competition with RSVP's competitors in the cross-media marketplace. Its long-list of clients include NME, Pringles, Strongbow, Foster's, Orange and Clearasil.

RSVP had a great start in 2005. Foster's signed a £500,000 cross-media deal to promote its activity around Australia Day. The deal allowed Foster's to combine multichannel assets to grow audiences and generate incremental communications value. Capital ran breakfast show promotions on stations across Capital Radio Network, Century FM Network and Xfm, and Johnny Vaughan and his Capital Radio breakfast team hosted a live party from a specially constructed "Foster's Beach" on Australia Day. IPC's Loaded carried a 32-page "upside down" section with an Antipodean theme. Nuts, published on Australia Day, contained a 16-page Australia section containing Foster's advertorials.

Then followed a deal between MTV Networks UK & Ireland, IPC ignite! and Capital Radio, who teamed up to produce Play, the UK's largest research project on the UK music scene.

RSVP's campaign for Head & Shoulders in April was a huge success and saw the team work with the client at the earliest stage of business planning, design and brand strategy. IPC ignite!, Xfm and MTV offered an obvious line-up to target the brand's male audience. Head & Shoulders For Men became the second-biggest Head & Shoulders variant, exceeding all expectations.

Both trial and loyalty figures grew, and the campaign generated similar awareness levels to the 30-second TV ad. Six months after launch, Head & Shoulders For Men is still the number two-selling variant.

The future is sure to bring more cross-media deals. RSVP has responded to this and the team has shown they can extend content across platforms and prove the value of audiences, even in difficult market conditions.

FINALIST: Emap Advertising.


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