The AdweekMedia Plan of the Year

AdweekMedia Plan of the Year: Editor’s Note

The global economy may be in a shambles. The prospect of world peace may again be at its nadir. The U.S. government may now even own a majority of General Motors. Despite all these dire circumstances and events, it’s a pleasure to present one reliable, stable, happy truth: Some media agencies continue to execute innovative, original and effective plans for their clients to move the needle — sales or ratings. We salute all this year’s winners, from Goodby, Silverstein & Partner’s White Gold rock god creation (the dude with the guitar) for client California Milk Processor Board, to Greg Castronuovo, who pulls off the rare feat of having a hand in two winning media plans — at two different agencies (Initiative’s print win for Showtime’s Dexter series and OMD’s mobile win for client The CW).

But we’d be remiss if we did not also salute our first ever People’s Choice winner, Razorfish, which won a popular vote as the best media plan (hey, the customer’s always right). The effort, for client Levi’s, leveraged the media resources of several publishers and Web sites to dispel the notion among young women that the venerable jeans brand was only for men. We tip our hats to the campaign’s popular appeal. –Michael Bürgi


Spending Over $25 Million: GMMB

Spending Between $10 Million and $25 Million: Hill Holliday

Spending Under $10 Million: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners

Spending $1 Million or Less: R&R Partners

Best Use of National TV/Cable: Starcom USA

Best Use of Digital: MediaVest USA

Best Use of Local TV/Cable: CRN/Applegate Media

Best Use of Out-of-Home: Media Storm

Best Use of Radio: Butler, Shine, Stern

Best Use of Print: Initiative

Best Use of Nontraditional: Mindshare

Best Use of Mobile: OMD

Spending Over $25 Million: GMMB

By Noreen O’Leary

Barack Obama’s personal journey from Illinois junior senator to America’s 44th president is one of the most astonishing political marketing transformations ever. While much attention has focused on the Democratic candidate’s wide embrace of Web 2.0 strategies, his adept handling of paid media enabled him to strategically outmaneuver competitors in what became the most expensive presidential campaign in U.S. history. If Obama’s charisma, compelling life story and oratory skills caught the imagination of voters seeking change, it was his highly effective media campaign that first introduced the political unknown to Americans, driving them to the Web and to grassroots efforts supporting him.

As the lead media team for the Obama for America campaign, Omnicom advocacy agency GMMB earns recognition for the Media Plan of the Year Spending $25 Million or more. (The Obama campaign, which raised a record-breaking $639 million in fundraising, never disclosed its exact media expenditures, said to be more than $400 million.)

GMMB, whose senior partner Jim Margolis was also a campaign senior strategist, worked with a group of Obama advisors and agencies that included AKPD Message and Media, in which former campaign manager David Plouffe is a senior advisor.

The Obama campaign’s media strategy aimed to accomplish two very different goals in tandem: expand the electorate with broader messages while hypertargeting specific audiences. Daniel Jester, GMMB’s media director, describes those complex efforts as the first fully integrated presidential campaign. “The Obama campaign pioneered the collaboration of multimedia tactics, marrying offline with online media; free media with paid media,” explains Jester. “The strategy drove all aspects of the message, and the multiple tactics complemented the strategy. The effort throughout the primary and general election was, in fact, made up of many smaller advertising campaigns under the Obama umbrella, all simultaneously occurring with one another, though never in a vacuum.”