In Praise of Promotion

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

2005 PRO Awards finalists

Brands played hard this year — on the street, online, on film. Pop cans became cell phones; TV tie-ins launched burgers and roadsters. Our judges narrowed 500 entries to four finalists in 20 categories — listed below, alphabetically by client. Winners will be announced Oct. 18 at PROMO Expo in Chicago.

Multidiscipline (National)

Cadillac Under 5

Arc, Chemistri, Leo Burnett/Cadillac

Cadillac touted its zero-to-60 five-second rule with a contest for five-second films. Grand prize: a 2005 Cadillac CTS-V. Site traffic up 358%; 43,000 incremental requests for dealer info.

Unexpected Summer

MomentumWorldwide/Coca-Cola Co.

Coke turned 45 pop cans into GPS-cell phones; winners called via the can, then search teams tracked them to deliver prizes. Radio tie-ins and P-O-P supported. ROI beat goal by 26%.

The Hallmark Channel Mystery Movie Sweepstakes

Concept One Comm./Hallmark

Clues seeded on-air, online, via phone and e-mail let viewers solve film crimes for $10,000 weekly prize. Ratings jumped 82% for the quarter.

Candidate Zero

United Online/NetZero Internet

ISP NetZero fielded Candidate Zero in election-year with TV ads, events and giveaways for gas, groceries. Top-of-mind awareness hit 6% (from 4%); total awareness was 89% (from 86%).

Multidiscipline (Regional)

Hooray for Hoggywood

MARS Advertising/American Diabetes Association

Fundraiser let top donor kiss a pig (first source of insulin); Hollywood theme covered off- and online invitations, signage, outdoor, print ads. Raised 25% more than in prior years.

Boru: Clarity from Ireland.

Fathom Communications/Castle Brands

Irish vodka Boru hosted “Nights of Clarity” for Boston and NYC premise accounts, with coasters, posters touting Boru-isms; sales kits to 900 accounts. Distribution rose 48%; case sales grew 82%; dollar sales up 206%.

Xtreme Nutrition

CoActive Marketing/Kroger Stores

Krogers’ chain Ralphs had kids track fruit/veg eaten to earn prizes. A special edition of SI for Kids from Fresh Express pushed its sales 59%; up 60% for Naked Juice, 100% for Marianni; Yoplait sold 1 million units in a month.

Game Fuel @ E3

Mirrorball/Pepsi-Cola Co.

As the Official Soft Drink of E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), Dew awarded the first 10 Xbox 360 consoles (unveiled at E3). E-mail drew 35,000 “testers” for new “X” drink.

Promotional Advertising

Captain for President

BFG Communications/Captain Morgan

Captain Morgan led “Americans for a Better Party” with politics-free happy hours. Garnered 13.7% volume growth and accounted for 30% of all rums’ dollar growth.

All-Star Derby Design Contest

Summit Marketing/Lowe’s Home Improvement, Dremel

Retailer Lowe’s and toolmaker Dremel flagged Cub Scout Pinewood Derby Races. Posters in Scouting Magazine (read by 1.1 million parents); ads in Boys Life reached Scouts. In-store demos boosted traffic by 29,000.

Apprentice Early Order Program


An Apprentice cameo pre-sold Pontiac’s roadster Solstice. The 1,000 special-edition cars sold in 41 minutes after show. Of 41,000 registrants, 16% visited dealers. Solstice sold out 2005 production in 10 days.

Suave’s Search for America’s Smartest Shopper

141 Worldwide/Unilever

Bargain-hunters vied for $20,000 and a spot on E! Style’s The Look for Less. Sweeps gave yard sale “treasures.” traffic up 160%; 15,000 contest entries; 57,000 sweeps entries.

Event Marketing: <5 Venues

U.S. Open at Rockefeller Center

Momentum/American Express

AmEx cardholders got priority seats, tickets, special menus in Rockefeller restaurants. Player appearances, celeb doubles entertained. Hosted 337,000 tennis fans; 82% will return in 2005.

The CNN Diner

Civic Entertainment Group/CNN

CNN hosted politicians, newscasters and attendees of the Republican National Convention in NYC diner, (also a set for shows). CNN closed two major ad sales over milkshakes.

Meow Mix Café

Grand Central Marketing/Meow Mix

Meow Mix launched wet cat food with a NYC storefront serving cats and humans. The 12-day stint sold $20,000 (donated to ASPCA); hosted 2,000 visitors a day; earned 140 million U.S. media impressions.

ConQwest 2004

AMP/Qwest Communications

Teens snapped photos of codes posted on taxi-toppers, bus stop signs, billboards with a Qwest Nokia camera phone to earn points for $5,000 cash and a concert for their school. Garnered 6.5 million media impressions.

Event Marketing: 5+ Venues

Pace Trailgating Tour

Pro Motion/Campbell Soup Co.

Rodeos, fairs, NCAA and NFL games were spiced by Pace Picante Sauce tour. Hosted 1.1 million visitors; distributed 62,100 recipe booklets, 64,000 coupons.

VERB Anytour

Arc/Centers for Disease Control

CDC extended its VERB campaign with a 100-city tour pitching play. Engaged 840,000 kids; hit 73% national awareness (goal: 40%); gave away 850,014 premiums.

Quilted Northern Ultra/Komen Foundation Sponsorship

DVC Worldwide/Georgia-Pacific

“Ultra Care Stations” at 100+ Komen Race for the Cure events pampered walkers. “Quilts of Inspiration” fundraiser drew 1,422 quilt squares. Volume sales up 26%; dollar sales up 31%.

You +HP Experience

Infinity Marketing/Hewlett-Packard

HP wooed families and empty-nesters with demos of 40+ products via 12 interactive concourses. Sweeps added 400,000 to HP’s database; on-site and incremental sales topped $20 million.

Vehicle-Based Experiential

Raise the Roof Tour

Fuse/Eastern Mountain Sports

EMS outfitted its tour truck with a 23-foot climbing wall, hosting 53,000 visitors. Gave away gear and 30,000 branded premiums, 28,000 coupons.

Mexico Beyond Your Expectations

TV Promo Int’l/Mexican Tourism Board

Tour lured travelers to Mexico, putting a beach (with swim-suited models) inside a Plexiglas truck at chilly corners in New York, Chicago, Montreal, Toronto. Tallied 410,000 interactions.

Windows on Wheels

Buzztone/Microsoft Corp.

A 50-foot truck touted Windows gear (phones, music, cameras) in home and office sets. Hosted 13,000 demos; 67% of visitors were more inclined to buy.

WaMoola for Schools

Strottman Int’l/Washington Mutual

Bus toured L.A. and Seattle to get parents behind WaMoola (school donations for each check-card transaction). Card use jumped 42%.

Sponsorship or Tie-in

Burger King & The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

Equity Marketing/Burger King

Fans got 12 BK Kids Meal toys, five SpongeBob watches (SLO), inflatable SpongeBobs on QSR roofs (then stolen and posted on eBay). Sales grew 18%.

Toon Tour of Mysteries

Draft/Kellogg Co.

Scooby Doo starred in five DVDs packed in 20 million cereal boxes (and on 75 million packages). Sales rose 38%; volume jumped 52%.

M&M’s Ogre-sized Candies

Thomas J. Paul, Inc./Masterfoods

Shrek sequel inspired 50% bigger M&Ms in “swampy” or “pretty” colors; M&M Minis got collectible dispensers. Earned $21.3 million in incremental sales (goal: $20 million).

Shrek 2 Glow-In-The-Dark Halloween Wrappers


Glowing answers to Shrek questions on wrappers (a $6 million production investment) were tied to a storybook-style sales kit that wooed jaded buyers.

Direct Marketing

Camp SuperFly

Hamilton Comm./Baxter BioScience

Baxter, maker of Rx drug Advate, helped hemophiliac summer campers via mailers on camp-themed activities. Advate sales quadrupled.

Gatorade Athlete Awards

TPN/The Gatorade Co.

Coaches registered for kit to honor top high school athletes (all sports): pins, certificates, Gatorade gear, samples. Nearly 32% response rate; 56% of active coaches re-enrolled.

Customized MarketMail

Draft/U.S. Postal Service

USPS proved it handles die-cut shapes by mailing a curvy “thought bubble” to ad agencies (46,000 pieces). Some 4% requested more info.

WaMoola for Schools

Strottman Int’l/Washington Mutual

Mailers to schools with “History of Money” posters and offers of $500 in books spurred check-card transactions that trigger school donations. Web traffic spiked 31% over six weeks.

Innovative Communication

Boeing Dreamspace

141 Worldwide/Boeing

Trade-show launch of 787 Dreamliner drew buyers, pilots, press; sold 126 planes at $15 billion-plus; airplane orders rose 14% over 2003.

Cadillac Under 5

Arc, Chemistri, Leo Burnett/Cadillac

(See Multidiscipline, p. 10).

Captain for President

BFG Comm./Captain Morgan

(See Promotional Advertising, p. 10.)

The GM Hot Button

Momentum/General Motors

Shoppers sat in a GM car, pushed OnStar Button, talked to a live operator; 1,000 won the car. Some 2 million called in 56 days; GM sold 8,000 more cars than in the prior year.

Best Interactive Media Use

Cadillac Under 5

Arc, Chemistri, Leo Burnett/Cadillac

(See Multidiscipline, p. 10).

Arc/Centers for Disease Control

CDC created “ViRTS,” characters fueled by kids’ own play. Pulled 313,000 new registrants (123% over goal); recorded 622,000 hours of play.

Twix Tickets — Collect to Get


Ticketmaster gift cards under wrappers or via online codes added 33,000 registrants to CRM database.


Instant-win game tied to Dairy Council’s “24 oz. in 24 hours” gave 24 VW Beetle convertibles over 24 days. Web traffic doubled; 485,000 entries.

Long-term Campaign

Ultimate Air & Ground Game


NFL sponsorship reinforces FedEx’s air and ground capabilities. New in ‘04: umbrella theme over NFL, local, FedEx Orange Bowl sponsorships.

Red Zone Player of the Year

AMP Agency/Procter & Gamble

Football coaches laud top high school players. Web, in-school media, TV product placement, movie tie-ins, newsletters make Old Spice No. 1 deodorant brand with 20% market share.

Scion tc Unleashed

AMCI/Toyota Motor Sales

Targeted college towns in 2005, turning 30% of attendees into test drive leads; cost per interaction was $88 in 2005 from $186 in 2002.

The Truth

Arnold/American Legacy Foundation

Anti-tobacco tour recruits kids (ages 12-18) via music, videogames, DJ contests, branded gear. “Truth” directly responsible for 22% of 2000-02 decline in teen smoking.


VERB Anytour

Arc/Centers for Disease Control

(See Event Marketing, p. 11.)

Jeep 4×4 Cache-In Adventure


Geocachers used Jeep GPS to track goodies stashed worldwide via online coordinates. A sweeps awarded three Jeeps. Nine million geocachers played; 1 million entered the sweeps.

The Great Greek Diner Takeover

GEM Group/The History Channel

Greek diners served P-O-P and free salads on premiere day of Alexander the Great. Screenings in Atlanta, Boston Greek Festivals and spot radio helped secure a 2.7 rating (tops for THC).

Put It In Play

AMCI/Toyota Motor Sales America

Engaged “rejuveniles” (aged 18-34) with a playground-cum-road-rally to win iPods, T-shirts, DVDs, backpacks. Of 10,078 players, 32% asked for dealer contact.

Brand Awareness/Trial

Camp eBay


Camp eBay drew drivers eager to earn “camp badges” and win prizes via online and event activities. Over 300,000 registered; 80,000 purchased.

You +HP Experience

Infinity Marketing/Hewlett-Packard

(See Event Marketing, p. 11.)

Meow Mix Café

Grand Central Marketing/Meow Mix

(See Event Marketing, p. 11.)

Apprentice Early Order Program


(See Promotional Advertising, p. 10.)

Brand Volume

Garfield Rules

Centra Marketing/Ashley Furniture

Product placement in Garfield — The Movie prompted a sweeps (grand prize: trip to movie premiere), themed P-O-P. Recliner sales zoomed 90%, total sales 45%; retail display up 37%.

Spider-Man 2

Sony Pictures/Kellogg Co.

Kellogg and Keebler splashed Spidey across 105 million cereal/snacks packages. Sales up as much as 42%, volume as much as 68% (Smacks cereal).

Toon Tour of Mysteries

Draft/Kellogg Co.

(See Sponsorship or Tie-in, p. 11.)

M&M’s Ogre-sized Candies

Thomas J. Paul, Inc./Masterfoods

(See Sponsorship or Tie-in, p. 12.)

Brand Loyalty

Captain for President

BFG Comm./Captain Morgan

(See Promotional Advertising, p. 10.)

Guinness Mentoring

Colangelo Synergy Mktg/Guinness

“Guinness Believer” and “Guinness Legacy” sessions invite men 21-32 to taste, learn about Guinness.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Sweeps

Carlson Marketing Group/Visa USA

Online sweeps entries for travel agents for each cruise booked via Visa. Participating agencies sold 12% ($1.3 milllion) more than other agents.

Disney Homecoming

Upshot/Walt Disney World

Time-share owners got exclusive access to parks, shows via direct mail; 2,100 came, with 96% pleased enough to refer friends to the club.

Small Budget

Tostitos Family Connection

Marketing Arm-Millsport/Frito-Lay

Reunited a military family during promo at Fiesta Bowl: dad’s surprise appearance ran on live TV. A :40 spot (part of Tostito’s Bowl sponsorship) grew to two-minutes worth $405,000.

Guinness St. Pumpkin’s Day

Colangelo Synergy Mktg/Guinness

Halloween 3-D P-O-P spoofed classic horror flicks. Volume up 40% for bottled Guinness.

Macarena Across Manhattan

Mr. Youth/VH1

Models dressed like 90s characters (Monica Lewinsky, et. al.) danced the Macarena, gave away stickers to drive tune-in for VH1’s I Love the 90s.

Save the Music

Universal Consulting Group/VH1

“Rescue” events in NYC of musical instruments drove tune-in for VH1’s benefit concert for non-profit Save the Music Foundation.

Dealer, Sales Force or B2B

The CNN Diner

Civic Entertainment Group/CNN

(See Event Marketing, p. 11).

Diageo Bartender Initiatives

U.S. Concepts/Diageo

“Edutainment” programs courted 7,500 bartenders in 20 cities; brand recommendations went up 29%.

The Smarter, Not Harder Awards

Renegade Marketing/DoubleClick

Tongue-in-cheek mailings let staffers flatter the boss into nominating them for Smarter, Not Harder award (Cancun trip). Response rate: 12%.

Get Caught with the Gold

Eric Mower & Associates/Lenox

Reps gave samples to construction workers on-site, then returned later to reward workers still using its Gold blades. Sales lift: 231%.


Xtreme Nutrition

CoActive Marketing/Kroger Stores

(See Multidiscipline, p. 10.)

Go Beyond the Dress

Saatchi & Saatchi X/Procter & Gamble

Demos in Wal-Marts courted prom-shoppers with sample bags, style guides. Execution: 96% of stores. Sales lift: 95% for sponsor brands.

Spider-Man 2 and Wal-Mart

In-house/Sony Pictures

Heavy P-O-P, in-store radio/TV. Wal-Mart’s Spidey-licensed merchandise sales up over 40% to $400 million.

High School Football Concerts

iHigh Marketing/Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co, Musicland, Universal Music Group

Singer O-Ryan touted Wrigley’s Winterfresh, Universal artists, send fans to sponsor Sam Goody. Featured CD sales 465% above average.

Best Creative

Captain for President

BFG Comm./Captain Morgan

(See Promotional Advertising, p. 10.)

M&M’s Ogre-sized Candies

Thomas J. Paul, Inc./Masterfoods

(See Sponsorship or Tie-in, p. 12.)


Fallon New York/Virgin Mobile USA

Downloadable theme-song ring tone, P-O-P that mixed holiday symbols touted $20 off Virgin phones. Total of 440,000 downloads helped hit February subscription goals.

Sundance Film Festival & VW

Arnold Promotions/Volkswagen

“Support the Movies” tent let fans tout their fave films on T-shirts, e-postcards. Drew 15,000 to tent, 5,000 to lounge; traffic up 230% over 2004.

Best Idea or Concept

CNN Diner

Civic Entertainment Group/CNN

(See Event Marketing, p. 11.)

Unexpected Summer

Momentum Worldwide/Coca-Cola

(See Multidiscipline, p. 10.)

Meow Mix Café

Grand Central Marketing/Meow Mix

(See Event Marketing, p. 11.)

Oprah’s Wildest Dream Giveaway

Digitas/General Motors-Pontiac

Give-away of 276 Pontiac G6 sedans to studio audience, followed by sweeps on pulled $100 million in p.r. airtime; 27,000 sweeps entries.


Related Posts

Chief Marketer Videos

by Chief Marketer Staff

“Trapped in Advertising” sounds like a hashtag you might use after a bad day at work, but for Pringles and Adult Swim, it was a year-long, pop culture-forward campaign aimed at ad-averse 18- to 35-year-old “Rick and Morty” fans. The goal was to sustain engagement and become part of the cultural conversation in order to…


PRO Awards


Join your industry peers for a fast-paced afternoon of inspired conversations led by industry leaders and live celebrations as we announce the winners of the 2021 PRO Awards. Click here to register.


CM 200

Click here to sign up for more information on the 2022 CM200 call for entries and to view the CM 200 2021 List.