Feature

Campaign Media Awards 2007: TV Sales Team of the Year - Viacom Brand Solutions

Viacom Brand Solutions, the recipient of the TV Sales Team of the Year title at the Campaign Media Awards 2007, goes above and beyond mere airtime sales duties and sees itself as a leader in the industry to promoting television advertising as having a positive role to play in society.

Despite lacking scale, the team is one of the most publicly vocal when it comes to calling on the media regulator Ofcom to review television trading. It has also lobbied the organisation for fair and reasonable implementation of new food advertising guidelines, and encouraged it to introduce positive regulation that will give relevant companies an incentive to use advertising as a force for good, and help the Government meet social objectives.

Amazingly, the team still has time to sell television airtime, and even to come up with creative campaigns for its clients.

These included a road safety campaign for COI and the Department for Transport, which encouraged MTV viewers' ingenuity, asking them to create road safety television ads.

Other campaigns that tapped into Viacom Brand Solutions' access to youthful audiences were an integrated in-store, on-air and magazine partnership for Clarks, featuring the cartoon character Spongebob Squarepants; and challenging Nickelodeon viewers to find "Shrekified" public landmarks for the launch of Shrek 3.

Older viewers may have seen Viacom Brand Solutions' biggest television, event and online stand-up comedy sponsorship to date, in a deal brokered between the cider brand Magners and Paramount Comedy Channel.

Innovation and hard work have seen the Viacom Brand Solutions team produce and plan more than 300 pieces of copy across 98 projects. It has not been in vain - revenue from bespoke sales projects is up by 39 per cent year on year. The digital team has also had a good 12 months, with revenues up by 88 per cent.

At the same time as defending the ground of the television sales industry, the Viacom Brand Solutions team has a forward-looking approach, having invested in two studies into how digital is going to affect the industry in the future.

One of these examined how television and PC integration would change behaviour, and the other surveyed 18,000 young people about new technology, to try and work out why some devices prevail over others, and how established media fits in.