TORONTO: Sunchips took the Grand Prix at the 2009 CASSIES for a pioneering campaign, developed by Juniper Park, which repositioned the Frito Lay-owned crisp brand as the "pre-eminent green snack" in the US.

The CASSIES  are organised by the Institute of Communication Agencies, and recognise the best campaigns that have been devised in Canada and clearly demonstrate the business effectiveness of advertising.

A total of 177 entries were submitted for consideration by the judges, an increase of 34% compared with last year, and a figure that marked the highest number of entries since the awards were launched in 1993.

Sunchips had established a reputation in the US for being a healthy snack, but had come under mounting pressure from 2007 onwards as rival manufacturers took a growing interest in this sector.

In order to tap in to rising awareness among consumers that their own well-being was linked to that of the planet, it opened a “solar field factory” in California, enabling it to make its products in an eco-friendly way.

The resulting communications sought to educate shoppers about solar power and a range of other relevant issues in an entertaining way, and produced significant upticks in sales and a variety of key brand metrics.

Alongside the Grand Prix, this campaign received two Golds, the first in the packaged goods (food) category, and the second in the Canadian Success Outside Canada competition.

Overall, 19 Golds, nine Silvers and ten Bronzes were distributed at the ceremony in Toronto, with four Golds being handed out to campaigns which ran outside Canada.

Frito-Lay picked up a total of seven prizes, including two Golds for Doritos, its tortilla chip line, for work produced by BBDO Proximity.

Among the FMCG companies, Procter & Gamble's Gain and Kraft's Philly both received Silvers, and Unilever's Knorr carried off a Bronze.

Ford, Subaru and Lexus were just some of the automakers recognised for the success of their recent advertising, showing that marketing can play a key role in overcoming the challenges facing this sector.

Case studies from the CASSIES will be available on Warc in the near future. In the meantime, more information about the 2009 CASSIES is available on The Warc Blog.

Data sourced from ICA; additional content by Warc staff