The WOM Marketing Awards

News of the 2009 Awards coming soon…

December 2008 saw the inaugural Word of Mouth Marketing Awards organised by WOM UK in association with WARC. Designed to acknowledge the most effective and creative work in the industry in four categories, the winning case studies are outlined below. Members of WOMMA or WARC can view the full papers by all shortlisted entrants – request them here.

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The 2008 Award winners (from left): Leah Tennant (Naked), Steve Barton (WOM UK and chairman of the judges), Fiona Blades (MESH Planning), Lee Goodger (1000heads), Hamid Habib (ZenithOptimedia), Ivan Palmer (Wildfire), Juliette Descamps (1000heads)

Grand Prix Award: Aquafresh – Iso-Active launch (Wildfire)

This case study demonstrates how Aquafresh Iso-Active used social network marketing to win brand engagement as part of its launch campaign. The aim of the campaign was to drive volume trial and sustained repeat purchase. The target audience was 10,000 ‘influencers’, who were recruited via Wildfire’s Influencer Identification tool. A social network community site enabled triallists to share product experiences and recommendations, as well as to send information to a friend, read in-depth brand regime briefings, and discover where to buy the product. The results included 578,000 brand page-views, over 200,000 product trials and an intention to purchase rate that was five times higher among influencers than the national average.

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Wildfire’s Ivan Palmer (right) collects the Grand Prix award from WOM UK president Steve Barton

Best Accelerator Award: O2 Orgy of Fun (ZenithOptiMedia)

This word of mouth campaign aimed to win back students and promote O2′s Unlimited tariff. The ‘big idea’ for the campaign was ‘The O2 Unlimited Orgy of Fun’ – four weeks of group challenges with weekly prizes up for grabs, culminating in the chance to win one of four ‘It’s a Knockout’ style end-of-term parties for the participants’ entire university. Some 250 student brand ambassadors were appointed to spread the word face-to-face, working alongside targeted communications on social networking websites. As a result of the campaign, student awareness of the tariff doubled from 21% to 43%; the metric ‘it’s a brand for students’ also rose from 54% to 71%. O2 also showed an average increase of 77% against all brand statements among students for the campaign period, outstripping Orange at 54%. After the campaign finished, 88% of students questioned were either ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to recommend the brand. O2 was also previously described as a ‘brand my friends use’ by 68% of students; this figure subsequently rose to 77%.

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Hamid Habib of Zenith Optimedia receives the Best Accelerator Award

Best Targeting Award (joint winner): STA Travel – STA TravelBuzz and STA Explorers (1000heads)

STA Travel had a good reputation, but also suffered from the mistaken perception that it could only be used by people under the age of 26. This word of mouth campaign thus aimed to spread engaging conversations about the brand online, both by turning STA customers into a proactive band of brand advocates, and also by collaborating with various web-based travel communities. Communications targeted people that had already booked long distance global travel with the company, which mainly included students and young independent travelers. It also aimed to interact with career breakers, culture vultures and older travelers. A ‘WOM World’ was created to allow consumers to communicate with each other, and also to provide updates and expert content. The STAtravelbuzz platform doubled overall WOM for STA Travel, with ‘STA Explorers’, a core audience for the brand, responsible for 30% of all word of mouth, and driving two-thirds of all positive conversations.

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Lee Goodger and Juliet Descamps from 1000heads receive their Best Targeting Award. The agency also picked up the Judges’ Special Award

Best Targeting Award (joint winner): FOXTEL – Gossip Girl – The Chosen (Naked Communications and The Population)

FOXTEL, an Australian pay-TV provider, was launching Gossip Girl, an American drama set in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, on its main entertainment channel, FOX8. The show follows the friendships, loves and scandalous lives of New York’s young and reckless. ’You’re nobody until you’re talked about’ is the tagline for the show, and the use of an exclusive, word of mouth platform therefore aligned perfectly with the show’s plot line. Dramas hadn’t performed strongly on FOX8 previously, and the launch campaign for Gossip Girl aimed to take a completely new strategy. This involved creating a targeted online community hub; seeding content and key information from the show to the community; harnessing word-of-mouth through ‘ripple’ to raise awareness of the show and content to truly influential people; and to empower ‘influentials’ to spread news and content amongst their social connections. The campaign targeted females with an appetite for being ‘in the know’. Over the course of the six-week Gossip Girl campaign, 150,000 emails were sent, and psychometric testing was used to identify respondents as ‘influencers’. As a result of the word of mouth generated, FOX8 almost doubled its primetime share for 2007, recording 4.0% prime time share, with its share for the timeslot up 5.6 share points to 6.7%.

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Naked’s Geoff Gray and Leah Tennant pick up the Best Targeting Award

Best Measurement Award: Axe/Lynx – UK Dinner Party (Mesh Planning & Unilever)

This paper discusses a campaign for Unilever’s Axe/Lynx deodorant, which was specifically designed to spread word of mouth, and not just to use WOM as a small element of a bigger piece of activity. The campaign was based around the catchphrase ‘Bom Chicka Wah Wah’, and particularly focused on males in the 14-35 year old age range. The intention was that the cool guys (and girls) would use the catchphrase in social situations, such as while flirting in clubs. The campaign revolved around four TV executions, supported by posters and competitions. The success of the campaign was measured using TROI, a real-time research approach that aims to capture experiences as they happen by asking participants appropriate to the target audience to send texts whenever they see, hear or experience anything to do with the brand being surveyed. The figures from the Lynx/Axe case showed that the catchphrase spread quickly among the core demographic, and that the combination of TV and posters were important in prompting use of the term. Research also showed that it was necessary to keep rolling out new creative executions to keep the campaign fresh, and also that the campaign would wear out if kept going too long.

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MESH Planning’s Fiona Blades receives the Best Measurement Award

Judges’ Special Award for Overall Excellence: 1000heads for STA Travel – Travel Buzz and Explorers, V&A Museum – Cold War Modern Exhibition, and Castrol – Euro 2008 Sponsorship

via WARC; for a full list of 2008 entrants click here.

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