Direct Marketing Association (DMA) Awards 2006, held in New York, two agencies from India scored big time. i-Contract, the one-to-one marketing division of Contract Advertising, was awarded the DMA International ECHO Leader Award for its work on HSBC Mutual Fund. This is the second year in a row that i-Contract has been bestowed with this award; it won it last year for its work for Madura Garments.
OgilvyOne scored two leader awards this year for DHL Customer First Programme and Walt Disney's show, 'Kimpossible'.
i-Contract got its award for a direct mailer titled 'Sprouts' for client HSBC Mutual Fund. The mailer was designed to solicit business partners (distributors) for HSBC Asset Management Company, which deals in mutual funds. The thought was to demonstrate to the partners that they could grow with the company. There were two steps to the campaign: first, a channel sales executive would visit the prospective partners and leave his visiting card with them; next, the mailer would go as a follow-up to the concerned persons with a simple box containing some potting mixture, with a message stating, "We have sown the seeds of growth. To demonstrate how you can grow with us, plant the visiting card and see it for yourself."
Nishad Ramachandran, creative director, i-Contract, says, "The thought was to embed the seeds in the card itself, which would otherwise go unnoticed. However, once planted in the potting mixture, the seeds would sprout in a couple of days. This was the surprise element."
Meanwhile, OgilvyOne's work for DHL Customer First Programme (a loyalty programme) was to address those customers who had signed up for it, but hadn't used the services for some time. Therefore, direct mailers were sent out to these people, classifying them as those who hadn't activated their services in the past 30 days, 60 days, 90 days and 120 days. The customers were targeted with customised messages and offers, urging them to use the services. The mailers were followed by telephone calls.
The Walt Disney promo was for the launch of 'Kimpossible', a show revolving around a teen detective. The promo was designed to target media planners. Teaser ads were planted in B2B publications such as 'The Brand Reporter', which gave the planners a clue and asked them to crack a code. The promo, titled 'Code-tod', invited their answers by SMS and e-mail. Correct entries received the second clue. "A series of clues led to the final answer, which could be seen only through special 3D glasses, which were sent out to those close to cracking it," says Kaizad Pardiwalla, vice-president, OgilvyOne, India.
For the record, Direct Marketing Association, New York, is considered the governing body of direct marketing globally. The DMA ECHO is considered the most prestigious direct marketing award in the world and is often referred to as the Oscars of direct marketing. Around 1,800 entries were received this year.
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