After a strong showing at last month's One Show, Mullen Lowe's "World's Toughest Job" ad for American Greetings claimed the top prize tonight at the Effie Awards.
The Grand Effie winner outstripped competition from six other finalists: Always' "Like a Girl," from Leo Burnett; Old Spice's "Smellcome to Manhood," from Wieden + Kennedy; Newcastle Brown Ale's "If We Made It," from Droga5; British Airways' "Visit Mum," from Ogilvy & Mather; NBC Sports Network's "It's Football. Just Not As We Know It," from The Brooklyn Brothers; and Milk-Bone's "Love. Say it With Milk-Bone," from FCB/Red.
"World's Toughest Job," a 4-minute video released just before Mother's Day, begins as a Skype job interview for a role with impossible hours and no pay only to morph into a tribute to moms. The goal was to drive consumers to create their own cards at American Greetings' Cardstore; orders increased by 20 percent, according to Mullen Lowe's entry. Also, the video has tallied 24.5 million views on YouTube since it was posted in April 2014.
The ad "possessed what I feel the very best ideas have in common: inevitability and surprise," said juror Todd Waterbury, chief creative officer at Target. "It found a completely original way of inspiring gratitude through reframing the experience and the human truth of motherhood."
Here's another look at the ad, which claimed a gold pencil at last month's One Show:
This year's entries were for campaigns that ran between September 2013 and August 2014, when the entries were due. The grand prize and other awards were presented during a dinner tonight at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York.
Using a system that awards points for wins and finalist slots, the Effies also recognized the top, or "most effective," players among marketers (Procter & Gamble), brands (IBM), holding companies (WPP Group), agencies (Ogilvy & Mather), agency offices (Ogilvy New York) and independent shops (Droga5).
A complete list of the winners can be found here.