Media Plan of the Year


Integrated, $25 Million+

Team One


Tech candy, magazine spreads and a particularly shapely racetrack were all part of the media mix of Team One’s launch of the totally revamped 2013 Lexus GS sedan.

Tent poles included Lexus’ first Super Bowl spot, from San Francisco shop Attik, and a spread in the iconic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue featuring a racetrack hugging the curves of model Tori Praver. As part of the Lexus program, readers also could download a branded game via the iPhone.

In another element, consumers could place an NFC- enabled phone over an ad in Wired to see how the GS sedan’s new dashboard works.

Branded content took the form of a Speed Channel show, Shut Up and Drive, and additional video fans of NBCU programs like E!’s The Soup could access via a mobile app.

The plan further encompassed partnerships with media such as The Wall Street Journal, Motor Trend, MSN and YouTube and events including NCAA March Madness.

Each element sought to reach the GS’ core target of fortysomething men who’ve embraced technology.

The promotion paid huge dividends. Within a month of the car’s Feb. 9 launch, its share of sales in the luxury sedan segment jumped to 17 percent from 2 percent, according to Team One executive media director Paul Silverman. Within two months, Lexus’ Facebook likes soared 39 percent to more than 1.2 million.

The GS is on pace to sell 24,000 units this year, four times the norm, in what Lexus’ national marketing manager Brian Bolain calls “reestablishing relevance.” —Andrew McMains

Illustration: Carlos Monteiro


Integrated, $10 Million – $25 Million

Universal McCann
Sony Pictures Entertainment


How do you make a man want to see a movie based on a dating- advice book for women?


To promote Sony Pictures’ Think Like a Man, a romantic comedy inspired by Steve Harvey’s Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Universal McCann created a battle of the sexes-themed media blitz that put the film’s stars, including comic Kevin Hart, in content integrations on telecasts such as BET’s Let’s Stay Together, VH1’s Basketball Wives and TNT’s Inside the NBA programming around the 2012 All-Star Game.


“We didn’t want it to be a female movie or a male movie,” says Karen Hunt, evp, global managing partner at UM. “We did a broad plan that had a focus on African Americans,” including exposure in prime time, on cable and during “lots of sports” programming, she adds.


Print executions in magazines including Complex and so- called “Tweetstakes” raffles, promoted through partnerships with online publications such as Russell Simmons’ GlobalGrind, also helped drive awareness.


The campaign helped the film achieve an impressive $33.6 million opening and two-week run as No. 1 at the box office.


The collaborations with TV talent were particularly impactful, according to Hunt. “It helps their ratings, it helps our movie. That’s where the magic happens,” she says. —Gabriel Beltrone

Illustration: Carlos Monteiro


Integrated, $1 Million – $10 Million

Starcom MediaVest Group

The challenge: selling a global message about technological innovation across multiple languages and cultures. The answer: employing the universal language—also known as sports.


To support the launch of Samsung’s SII smartphone and Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet, Starcom MediaVest Group linked up its client and ESPN International with Project Teamwork, an integrated pitch using a 12-part digital branded content series following athletes in five countries. Among them: the women’s Dutch beach volleyball Olympic team, which used the Samsung tablet to analyze its training for the London Olympic Games. Likewise, two top Parkour free runners relied on the new Samsung phone model to review their adventures among Morocco’s ruins. In London’s Victoria Station, a flash soccer game added a more tangible aspect to filmed content.


“Sports is a passion for young consumers that transcends boundaries,” explains Al Hawes, vp, director at SMG. “This was a way to tell the story of devices through a common language among a lot of different countries and audiences.”


The videos, seen on Samsung’s YouTube page as well as an ESPN microsite, have snagged more than 10 million views. Nearly 40 percent of consumers polled said they preferred Samsung after the campaign versus before, while more than 25 percent said they’d be more likely to purchase one of its products. —Noreen O’Leary

Illustration: Carlos Monteiro


TV, $10 Million – $25 Million

Universal McCann


Moments before the Giants kicked off to the Patriots to begin the third quarter of Super Bowl XLVI, some 114 million Americans bore witness to the most rousing halftime speech in NFL history.

Speaking in his signature mesquite-roasted rasp, Clint Eastwood said it was time we all took a page from the Motor City playbook. “Detroit’s showing us it can be done,” the actor growled. “And what’s true about them is true about all of us.”

While Wieden + Kennedy’s narrative helped forge an indelible association among Detroit, Chrysler and America at large, Universal McCann’s media plan ensured that Eastwood’s pep talk had the greatest possible impact. Not only was “Halftime in America” the only 120-second ad to run in the game, but its relative position within the broadcast amplified the theme. Because UM negotiated a stand- alone commercial pod that immediately preceded the start of the second half, Eastwood’s face was literally the last thing viewers saw before the Giants and Pats stormed the field. In what may be the most contextually relevant placement in Super Bowl history, Eastwood offered a perfect segue before the two teams returned to battle: “Yeah, it’s halftime America. And our second half is about to begin.”

“Originally we negotiated two :90 units to air in the second and third quarters. In early January, once the creative was set, we knew the spot not only needed to live in halftime but to look like it was actually part of the game,” says Allison Kallish, svp, group director, integrated investment at UM.

The ad itself would experience an overtime of sorts. In just one week, 18 million viewers checked out the spot on YouTube and inspired multiple SNL parodies. —Anthony Crupi

Illustration: Carlos Monteiro


TV, Under $1 Million

Starcom MediaVest Group


Talk about a campaign that really cleaned up.

On Feb. 27, Juan Pablo Montoya crashed car 42 into a jet-dryer truck during the Daytona 500—a frightening scenario with a happy ending thanks to a quick emergency response and a trusted laundry detergent brand.

As firefighters rushed to extinguish the blaze and clean up nearly 200 gallons of fuel, viewers witnessed an odd spectacle: track crews emptying boxes of Tide to neutralize the volatile propellant as their coworkers hosed it off the tarmac. And a marketing idea was born.

“The whole campaign really happened within six days,” says Starcom MediaVest Group associate director of communications planning Jennifer Mathis. “The Daytona 500 was on a Monday night, and we were able to run the ad in the next race, which was on Sunday.”

The spot itself was simple, featuring footage from the cleanup with audio of a news report from the event, then an appropriate slogan in an overlay. “You keep inventing stains,” went the script. “We’ll keep inventing ways to get them out.”

Though the commercial ran only during the single race telecast, it was credited with tripling Tide’s Twitter following. It also gave SMG some serious bragging rights—after all, not just any agency could pull off a national ad buy in 24 hours. Says Mathis: “It was a great opportunity to show what we can do.” —Sam Thielman

Editor’s Note: No winner was selected in the TV $1 Million- $10 Million category.


Illustration: Carlos Monteiro


Print, $1 Million-$10 Million

Starcom MediaVest Group


It’s not enough for parents today to get their kids the hottest toys—Mom and Dad are expected to get down on all fours and play with them, too.


So when Lego and agency Starcom MediaVest Group promoted the toy maker’s Duplo line of colorful building blocks, it put parents front and center.


SMG, in partnership with Meredith’s Parents Network and the National Museum of Play, last year developed 31 daily activities for parents to do with their kids. The activities were featured on a pull-out calendar that ran in the October issue of Parents magazine. (An interactive version was featured in the tablet edition). Parents were encouraged to upload photos of their activities with their kids and share their experiences on Duplo’s Facebook page.


“It used to be, ‘Hey, kids: Go ahead, play with Legos, see you later,’ ” says Brenda White, svp of Starcom USA. “But what Duplo wanted to do is create an experience with moms and their children.”


Duplo enjoyed a 28 percent lift in purchase intent, while moms exposed to the program were 18 percent more likely to believe the toys would make their kids smarter. “Parents are looking for toys and products that aren’t just about fun but are developmental,” says Stacie Marshall, the agency’s director of strategy for Lego. “It was about trying to share with parents, not just put the box of bricks in front of your children.” —Lucia Moses

Illustration: Carlos Monteiro


Print, Less Than $1 Million



There may be no better place to target a trend-conscious woman than in her favorite fashion magazine. But amid all those pages packed with shiny baubles and slinky dresses, it can be tough to catch the reader’s eye.

To let women know that the popular online retailer Zappos—best known for its massive shoe selection—also sells apparel and accessories, Mullen’s media arm mediahub came up with an approach that was hard to ignore: addressing individuals by their own names.

“Women really define themselves by what’s in their own closet, so we wanted to figure out how to do something that would stand out but be personal,” explains Kate Melville, vp, associate media director at mediahub. “One of Zappos’ mantras is ‘A little fun and a bit of weirdness,’ and that’s what we tried to get across.”

The agency worked with the Time Inc. women’s titles InStyle and Real Simple to create foldout ads in October subscriber issues revealing “Personalized Closets” packed full of trendy fall items. On the front of each closet door, the magazine printed the subscriber’s name, in a first-of-its-kind advertiser integration for both titles.

Meantime, an online sweepstakes tie-in encouraged readers to tweet @Zappos for the chance to win a $2,500 gift card.

The result: more than 1,500 mentions on Twitter, and a 20 percent increase in consumer recognition that Zappos sells more than just shoes. —Emma Bazilian

Illustration: Carlos Monteiro



Paramount Pictures


With the exception of seismic successes like the Star Wars or Harry Potter franchises, Hollywood can’t always bank on moviegoers turning out for a sequel— especially a third installment.

So to promote the theatrical release last November of the thriller Paranormal Activity 3, Paramount Pictures and its agency MEC North America devised a memorable strategy that spoke to one of our greatest fears today: the loss of mobile service.

The agency collaborated with Yahoo to bring to life a fake news story about a nationwide cellular outage. Yahoo Mobile users were teased with an alert before the “urgent report” took over the screen.


After a moment, static briefly engulfed their phones’ Web browsers, after which an ad for the flick came into focus.

The promo ran across Yahoo Mobile’s front page as well as its sports and Messenger sections for three days in late October, enjoying an 8 percent click- through rate and 12 million impressions.

The program helped to push Paranormal Activity 3 to the No. 1 position at the box office.
“With this campaign, we took users out of their comfort zone,” says MEC communications director Courtney Renaud. “It was completely unexpected, which is exactly how the movie horrifies its fans.” —Christopher Heine

Illustration: Carlos Monteiro


Branded Entertainment

Hill Holliday
Dunkin’ Donuts


With more than 81 million players every day, social gaming is a phenomenon agency Hill Holliday wanted to take full advantage of for Dunkin’ Donuts.

After learning of a secret project at gaming giant Electronic Arts to bring The Sims to social gaming, the agency seized the opportunity to exclusively pair its client and the wildly popular title.

Working alongside EA developers, Dunkin’ Donuts products such as the Big N’ Toasted breakfast sandwich were featured as virtual “gifts” in The Sims, driving positive brand association among players.

As The Sims took off on Facebook— scoring a whopping 30 million active users in the first month—Dunkin’ Donuts enjoyed 3.6 billion impressions, and nearly 1 million additional Facebook fans.

The campaign also got favorable coverage in media including The Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic.

Says Hill Holliday co-director of media Cindy Stockwell: “Members of our social media team were themselves avid gamers and felt strongly about hearing what EA was up to given the popularity of The Sims in gaming circles. It turned out to be a case of being in the right place at the right time with the right brand.” —Charlie Warzel

Illustration: Carlos Monteiro



Hill Holliday
Liberty Mutual


With its “Like My Community” campaign for Liberty Mutual, Hill Holliday spoke straight to consumer connections with their hometowns by doing good there.

The agency homed in on the markets of Dallas, Baltimore and Milwaukee to highlight the insurance brand’s link to the community. In each city, Liberty Mutual pledged $100,000 in support of causes including youth programs and food banks.

To drive visits to a Facebook page where consumers could learn about the favorite causes of Liberty Mutual agents and vote for which ones should get funds, Hill Holliday installed an eight-foot-tall Facebook “Like” button at the headquarters of each organization. It first had to secure the approval of the social network for the first-of-its-kind employment of the iconic “Like.”

“One of the trickiest parts of the program was that our business affairs and account people spent weeks negotiating with Facebook,” says Hill Holliday vp, associate media director Kristin Mollerus. Facebook’s then-marketing boss Randi Zuckerberg eventually gave her blessing.
Other elements included takeovers of the websites of local newspapers, transit ads and shout-outs from local radio DJs.

Over three months, the promotion generated 320,000 visits to the Facebook page and more than 135,000 votes, boosting Liberty Mutual’s charitable cred along the way. —Tim Peterson

Illustration: Carlos Monteiro

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