Best Laid Plans
Behind most great media plans are a dozen tales, at least, detailing the pitfalls on the road to amazing executions, over-the-top results, pleased-as-punch clients and, finally, the attention and admiration of peers and the press.
Promoting one of last year's most anticipated Hollywood releases, Sony Pictures' The Da Vinci Code, Universal McCann faced not only a flood of competing movie premieres but the heavily marketed release of the paperback, a target audience that skewed older than that of the typical summer flick, and those calls for a boycott by Catholics enraged by the film's controversial religious themes. Despite all that, the agency's aggressive, multimedia blitz helped deliver massive opening-weekend box office, earning the strategy Media Plan of the Year for Spending More Than $25 Million.
To execute Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners' plan for a flip book in Dwell in support of Mini, the magazine had to convince 10 advertisers to sacrifice their franchise positions. And thinking the promotion was so clever, the advertisers went for it. The agency takes Media Plan of the Year for Magazines.
And in the case of Grey San Francisco, client SanDisk presented the agency with the somewhat daunting prospect of going up against the monstrously successful Apple iPod. Grey's plan helped the client achieve 50 percent growth in market share, earning it Media Plan of the Year for Spending $1 Million or Less. As in life, no risk, no reward.
As Grey's Kari Seitz says, "You have to have clients who are willing to see a risk as an opportunity."
Spending More Than $25 Mil.
By John Consoli
The Da Vinci Code one of last year's most anticipated Hollywood blockbusters. It was also among the most controversial movies in recent memory, considering its unorthodox religious themes. Some Catholics called for a boycott, while debates raged on the TV talk shows. All of which presented a challenge to distributor Sony Pictures Entertainment and its media agency, Universal McCann, as they set out to promote the film starring Tom Hanks, centered around a murder at the Louvre. The result was selected as this year's best media plan for an assignment with a budget over $25 million.
Even before it got panned by many critics, the release of The Da Vinci Code gate those charged with promoting the movie a headache. Just before the movie's release, the paperback version of the book on which it was based hit stores, potentially competing with the film for the public's attention. Furthermore, the storyline appealed to moviegoers who skewed older than the target for most big-budget summer flicks. The situation called for unconventional thinking. "We had to make the movie opening as big an event as was the book, yet distinguish between the two of them," says Karen Hunt, evp, global marketing partner for Universal McCann.
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