Mozart Milk and Jungle Christmas Trees: My favorite ads from this year's 2012 AME Awards

I was excited and honored to participate in the Advertising and Marketing Effectiveness Awards (AME) Awards this year as a North American juror.  I am also happy that the winners have been announced so I can finally talk about my experience and favorite advertising campaigns.

The AME Awards is a worldwide competition where the most successful and creative marketing strategies are recognized.  The advertisements come from all industries and the strategies involve everything from print, web, social, and even guerrilla marketing (literally in one case!).  We were asked to base our decisions on four categories:  challenge/strategy/objectives (20%), creative (25%), execution (25%), and results/effectiveness (30%).  While most of the campaigns were impressive, there were two that stood out as my favorites.

The Dortmund Concert Hall had a very unique guerrilla/alternative integrated marketing campaign created by agency Jung von Matt with the aim to increase concert subscriptions and ticket sales.  How’d they do it?  By playing classical music to cows.  Scientists studied the effects of playing slow, calming classical music for 12 hours each day to cows, and found that milk production rose by 3% as a result.  The Dortmund Philharmoniker then played a live show for an audience of, well, cows.  The cows were also exposed to recorded artists.  The milk was then packed and sold as Konzertmilch (Concert Milk) with information about the artists that the cow was listening to and of course information about the Dortmund Concert Hall season.  The campaign went viral, and the results were extremely positive with Dortmund Concert Hall having its most successful season with season subscriptions increasing 19% and the average house capacity rising 72%.  Who knew music could taste so good?  Jung von Matt won the AMA Gold Medallion for their Konzertmilch campaign.  You can view the campaign here.

My other favorite campaign wasn’t guerilla marketing, but instead targeted guerillas, specifically the FARC (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), a group of guerrillas living in the Colombian jungles.  The agency Lowe & Partners set to take advantage of the memories associated with Christmas:  family, food, lights and celebration.  The Colombian army parachuted into the jungle and set up a makeshift Christmas tree along the path of the FARC.  Once the FARC approached the trees, sensors would cause the tree to light up with over 2000 lights and an illuminated banner that read: “If Christmas can come to the jungle, you can come home.  Demobilize.  At Christmas everything is possible.”  The results?  The campaign received worldwide coverage from the media, bloggers and social networks.  More importantly, 331 guerrillas acknowledged that they were influenced by the campaign and gave up their weapons and integrated back into society.  Lowe & Partners campaign brought home the AME Platinum Trophy for this inspiring campaign.

Curious as to who else won an AME Award?  You can view the list here.

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