A campaign by Suzuki and the7stars in the UK has won the Effective Use of Partnerships and Sponsorships Grand Prix at the 2018 WARC Media Awards for a co-created TV show with Channel 4 that engaged young women and increased sales of the Ignis model.

The category sets out to show how collaborations with third parties, including native advertising and sponsorships, have helped brands meet business goals. In addition to the Grand Prix, a total of three Golds, five Silvers, and four Bronzes were awarded alongside three Special Awards. Full details of the winners can be found on the Awards website.

The winning campaign was able to successfully challenge the stereotypes that car brands typically deploy when marketing to women. Suzuki’s insight was that, much like men of their age, 20-something women are looking for adventure, independence and achievement.

The campaign worked by integrating the Suzuki Ignis into a Channel 4 TV series that promoted these values, and then pushed cuts of the content out as TV ads reaching 86% of young women in the UK. Against a double-digit category decline overall, Suzuki was able to grow new car sales impressively. Subscribers can read the full case study here.

The campaign reflects the ongoing success of Suzuki’s partnerships focus, having won a Gold award at last year’s awards for #SuzukiSaturdays, when the brand collaborated with a broadcaster on a Saturday night entertainment show.

“Creating an entire TV show was clearly successful and, from a results perspective, they over-delivered on what their target was, despite the whole category being down. It was very impressive for a small brand in the UK – so, executionally, the way they went to market was pretty innovative,” commented judge Sean Stogner, Connection Strategy Director at Huge, who won the Grand Prix with M&Ms in 2017.

Charity Age UK, along with agency Manning Gottlieb OMD, took a Gold award also for a partnership with Channel 4, in which it brought back the channel’s popular Old People's Home for 4 Year Olds as a Christmas Special to articulate the complexity of elderly loneliness.

The New York Times' World Press Freedom Day campaign in North America, in association with Droga5 and UNESCO, drew attention to the need for a functioning free press in the US through a multichannel strategy to take the second Gold. In addition, it was awarded a Special Award for Effective Native advertising.

The final Gold went to KFC, with Mindshare China, for a campaign that saw the brand partner with the video game League of Legends, China’s most popular, to increase sales in the country.  

Silver Awards went to Diageo, Pampers India, John Lewis, Saudi Telecom Company, and Dacia, which also won the Special Award for Successful Sponsorship.

Bronze Awards went to P&G, Rexona, Listerine, and ŠKODA, which was also awarded the Collaboration with an Influencer Special Award.

Sourced from WARC