Colombian campaign takes IPA honours

02 November 2011

LONDON: A campaign from The Colombian Ministry of Defence and Lowe SSP3 encouraging members of the FARC guerrilla group to re-enter society won the Grand Prix at the 2011 IPA Effectiveness Awards.

A total of four Golds, five Silvers and six Bronzes were given out at the Awards, which recognised campaigns with a budget below £2.5m that proved their return on marketing investment. Warc subscribers can view the winning papers here.

The Colombian Ministry of Defence and Lowe SSP3's "Operation Christmas" saw two specialist teams fly into the jungle to cover trees with lights and banners suggesting that members of FARC, active for 60 years, leave the organisation.

Research had revealed the festive period was a time when many FARC loyalists reconsidered their position, and as a result of Operation Christmas, some 331 guerrillas decided to rejoin public life.

The campaign returned £2.3m to the Colombian government through tax receipts, yielded £1m of benefits to the country by ending illegal FARC "fund raising" and generated an ROI of £11.35 per £1 spent.

Lord Black of Brentwood, executive director of the Telegraph Media Group and chairman of judges for the Awards, said: "The judges were all in agreement that this case was something special. The profound insight and creative execution should be hailed as an inspiration for the industry."

One Gold winner was Depaul, a youth homelessness charity, which with agency Publicis developed an iPhone app, iHobo, letting users "take care" of a "virtual homeless person" for three days.

Despite having no paid media support, this initiative delivered 600,000 app downloads and 1,021 new members of Depaul's database, with a potential cumulative lifetime donation value of £1.5m.

Elsewhere, Marie Curie Cancer Care and DLKW Lowe took Gold after reallocating a small part of the charity's budget to ask that people collect, rather than give, money for the Giant Daffodil Appeal.

Celebrity advocates featured in radio ads and online content, with 5,219 volunteers signing up and together raising £634,583, a payback of £2.45 per £1 per spent, or 8,808 extra nursing hours.

Ovaltine and WCRS&Co/Engine claimed the final Gold for engaging a younger audience through sponsoring the daytime programming on digital television station ITV3.

Changing perceptions of Ovaltine from being a bedtime drink to an enjoyable option during other times of day could provide an additional long term gross profit of £1.12m, the case study argued.

Overall, 28 entries were entered for the 2011 IPA Effectiveness Awards, with the average campaign using six media channels. Subscribers to Warc can access this year's papers here.

Data sourced from IPA; additional content by Warc staff