WARC’s Chiara Manco explores how past winners of the Jay Chiat Awards used sharp insight and audience understanding to create impactful work that leveraged a single media channel.

The 2021 Jay Chiat Awards are now open for entries. The regular deadline is 7th June, the final one is 28th June.

In recognition of the cancellation of the 2020 Awards due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the continuing challenges facing agencies:

  • The entry window has been expanded to include campaigns from both 2019 and 2020.
  • Entrants can submit two entries for the price of one, with a 50% reduction in price for each submission after the second.

For more info and to enter your work, visit the Awards website.

Over the past 24 years, the 4A’s Jay Chiat Awards have been recognising the best strategic thinking in the industry. Strategic breakthroughs come in many forms: sharp consumer insights, spot-on brand repositionings, clever media plans, just to name a few.

Here, we look at winners of the latest Jay Chiat Awards to shine a light on a perhaps overlooked kind of strategy: single-minded comms that focus most of their investment onto a single media platform. Defying media-multiplier logic, these works prove that, when a solid strategy is in place, fewer channels can achieve greater impact.

Kerrygold: Spotify playlists for food lovers

The 2019 Bronze-winning paper for Kerrygold, the Irish dairy brand, is a perfect example of a brand knowing its consumers well enough to confidently put the bulk of its media investment onto a single platform that is able to resonate with their passions.

Since its launch on the American market in 1998, Kerrygold had won awareness and preference among US consumers. However, in 2018, faced with a lower media budget, price increases and no TV support, the brand knew that its traditional content advertising the quality and provenance of its products would not cut it: it had to do something different to stand out from competitors.

Looking at its target audience of food lovers, Kerrygold realised that they are often music lovers too, who play music to make cooking a more enjoyable experience. The brand partnered with celebrity chefs and had them curate Spotify playlists for Kerrygold recipes, each matching the mood, theme and preparation time of the dish. The level of detail was such that within each recipe, every single step had a corresponding track in the playlist.

The playlists were advertised on social media, with all content linking to the brand’s website, where users could learn more about the chefs and discover their Spotify playlists. The campaign, through Energy BBDO, grew year-on-year brand awareness by 52% and sales volume by 29%.

Gazeta.pl: hijacking a magazine for gender equality

Meanwhile in Poland, socially-responsible news portal Gazeta.pl used print to send a powerful message. With gender equality being an urgent issue in the country, Gazeta.pl sought to bring it to the public’s attention in a way that would be impossible to ignore.

This year’s Jay Chiat Awards see the introduction of three new categories:

  • Public Relations Strategy
  • Healthcare Strategy
  • Brand Pivot Strategy

To read more about all of the Awards’ categories, visit their website.

The perfect chance arose when Your Weekend, Poland’s longest-running adult magazine, came up for sale. Your Weekend was a symbol of the country’s sexist culture: with Poland lacking formal sex education, the magazine’s objectifying display of women was often young men’s first introduction to sex, and women themselves.

Partnering with Mastercard and BNP Paribas – brands equally committed to empowering women – Gazeta.pl bought the magazine with the goal to publish one last issue before shutting it down for good. The last issue featured content on equal rights, positive portrayals of womanhood by female photographers and the stories of inspirational women. Backed by an influencer campaign, the last issue of Your Weekend launched on International Women’s Day.

There is no doubt that the single-minded choice of media lent the campaign much of its stopping power: Gazeta.pl essentially fought the magazine on its own turf – print – subverting its meaning to be a symbol for gender equality instead of sexism. The campaign reached 4.5 million people organically and generated more than 500,000 visits to Gazeta.pl. Through VMLY&R, the work won Silver at the 2019 Jay Chiat Awards.

New York Public Library: getting Gen Z into books through Instagram

As in the case of Kerrygold, the Gold-winning New York Public Library campaign is proof of deep audience understanding. The Library was facing a decline in younger readers: Gen Z in particular were all about social media, but not really into books. Instead of treating social media as the enemy and creating work that would position reading as a ‘cool’ activity – which would have fallen on deaf ears among this particular audience – the New York Public Library decided to find a way to make social its ally.

Through Mother New York, the Library created Insta Novels: a digital library built specifically for Instagram. Three classic pieces of literature were turned into Instagram stories with the help of popular artists and animators, who ensured each page was designed with the platform’s user experience in mind.

This innovative strategy was made possible by the audience insight behind it: Gen Z are not uninterested in stories, they simply look for them on their phones instead of in books. By bringing its wealth of stories to the younger audience, the New York Public Library definitely intrigued them: within the first 24 hours of launch, the Library’s Instagram following grew by 700%. What’s more, teachers have been using Insta Novels in their school curricula, authors have been enquiring on the chance to collaborate on new stories for the platform, and Instagram has reached out to the Library to make the feature a permanent one.

Inspiring multi-channel strategies

Zeroing in on a single channel can be risky and requires a solid, insight-backed strategy. But equally, it’s not a given that a multi-channel campaign should be successful simply because of its wider reach. Among the 2019 Jay Chiat Awards winners were a number of papers that mastered strategic channel integration.

In the Middle East, children’s retailer Babyshop challenged the Arabic language in a Gold-winning gender-parity campaign for Mother’s Day. Communicated through influencers, in-store placements, merchandise, a new magazine and even in school classrooms, the FP7 Dubai initiative kick-started conversations and grew brand metrics and sales volumes for Babyshop.

Meanwhile, through Anomaly, The Hershey Company leveraged Canada’s legalisation of cannabis to launch a new limited-edition chocolate bar and position it as the perfect munchies snack. With a branded dispensary, an appearance at the Toronto Global Marijuana March and a partnership with YouTube channel Epic Meal Time, the campaign succeeded in attracting a younger audience base to the brand.

The 2021 Jay Chiat Awards are now open for entries. The regular deadline is 7th June, the final one is 28th June. To find out more and submit your work, click here.