It's no secret that we live in a huge media fishbowl, rendered bigger and even more full of life with the advent of consumer-generated content. That reality is really starting to spill over into the world of media planners, who we honor and celebrate with this year's installment of our Media Plan of the Year awards. At least three of the winning plans consciously chose the path they did with the hope and expectation that other media would be interested and offer coverage (read: free impressions). Take MediaCom's decision to plaster the front end of a Volkswagen Jetta on a billboard in the outfield at Shea Stadium and other cathedrals of baseball. The MediaCom team estimates that the move yielded some $4 million in free exposure. Both Digital winners (yes, it's an historic year, as we accommodate two standout plans in this red-hot sector) -- Neo@Ogilvy, recognized for its use of widgets to promote the Halloween-themed Fright Fest at client Six Flags, and ZenithOptimedia, honored for creating wikis and egging on bloggers to discuss client Hewlett Packard's new gaming system -- knew they'd get pickup, and counted on it to help deliver results.
The fact is, media planners typically labor behind the plastic seaweed of the fishbowl. But all of this year's winners are Big Fish to us. Congratulations!
Spending Over $25 Million: PHD
Spending $10-25 Million: Carat
Spending Under $10 Million: MediaHub/Mullen
Spending $1 Million or Less: Spark Communications
Best Use of National TV and Cable: Deutsch
Best Use of Local TV and Cable: Media Kitchen
Best Use of Print: Maxus
Best Use of Radio: Horizon Media
Best Use of Out-of-Home: MediaCom
Best Use of Digital: Neo@Ogilvy
Best Use of Digital: ZenithOptimedia
Best Use of Mobile: GSD&M
Best Use of Nontraditional: Starcom
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