LONDON: Imagine the Possibilities, a campaign devised by BBDO New York / San Francisco for Mattel’s Barbie doll brand, has won the Grand Prix at the 2017 APG Creative Strategy Awards.

A total of 26 campaigns were shortlisted at the Account Planning Group’s biennial awards, with six Golds, ten Silvers and nine Bronzes presented last night at an event in London.

WARC subscribers can read all the winning entries.

The Grand Prix paper showed how Barbie succeeded in reversing years of declining global sales by using a multiplatform campaign paired with a new product launch.

With the dual aim of reconnecting Barbie with millennial mothers and introducing the brand to their daughters, the campaign team wanted to communicate that Barbie “inspires and nurtures the limitless potential inside every girl”.

Two campaign films reinforced the toy’s history as a role model for children, by featuring a young girl role-playing future jobs and presenting true stories of fathers connecting with their daughters through Barbie.

Coupled with the launch of a line of dolls with three new body shapes, the campaign spread across social media, paid advertising and TV ads, and is attributed with boosting Mattel’s share price by 36% while also reversing a two-year sales decline.

Another campaign to make effective use of real life stories was Cancer Research UK’s Battling Cancer Right Now, which was created by Anomaly UK and also one of the six Gold award winners.

After witnessing a decline in donations, the charity wanted to embed a sense of immediacy to its campaign by using an in-hospital documentary approach that allowed cancer patients, their families and doctors to tell their personal stories.

Through a combination of TV, digital and print ads, including the world’s first live ad inside a cancer patient’s surgical procedure, the campaign succeeded in reflecting the reality of the disease and boosted donations by 30%.

Beats by Dre, the American headphones brand, was another Gold winner at the APG ceremony. As a relatively new player in the category, the company was treated with scepticism by some consumers who needed to be won over.

Its campaign, devised by R/GA London and entitled How the power of music led Beats to victory, involved videos of several sports players shown to be using the product as a motivational tool before important sporting events.

Examples included shining a light on rugby stars Richie McCaw and Chris Robshaw as they prepared for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, including exploration of the New Zealand team’s infamous Haka war dance, which they perform before each match.

The other Gold winners recognised by the Account Planning Group were the Big Issue, the homeless charitable publication, scientific research charity Wellcome, UK retailer John Lewis as well as Public Health England.

Sourced from Account Planning Group; additional content by WARC staff