Pedigree pulled a "Hurt Locker" this week, beating a high-profile tie-in with movie blockbuster Avatar to win the top prize at this year's REGGIE Awards.
The Super REGGIE went to Catapault Action-Based Marketing's 'Crazy Pet Owners' campaign. A microsite promoted the premium dog food brand, incorporating online videos such as this 30 second spot, from TBWA/Chiat/Day, Los Angeles.
For each video view on the microsite over a one-month period, food was donated to local dog shelters. Would-be pet owners could use the site to browse for local rescue animals; those who already owned a dog could contribute to an online photo "mosaic".
The campaign also won gold REGGIEs for Best Cause or Corporate Social Responsibility Marketing Campaign and Digital (Budget under $1 million).
Just like its movie namesake at this year's Oscars, McDonalds' Avatar Program won several awards - two golds for Age Specific (No budgetary parameters), and International/Global and bronzes for Digital (Budget over $1 million) and National Consumer (Budget over $5 million) - but missed out on the top prize.
For the promotion, which ran between December 2009 and January 2010, the firm packaged special Avatar-branded cards with Big Macs; users could then hold them up to their webcams, and then gain access to one of three themed online games.
McDonald's gift-based movie tie-ins of this kind tend to be bundled with children's Happy Meals. However, with Avatar's demographic skewing slightly older, Big Macs seemed a better match.
Meanwhile, the AME Awards, one of Asia's top ad honours, were handed out at a ceremony in Shanghai yesterday (March 25th). The Platinum Award, the evening's biggest prize, went to CE Japan, Hakuhodo Creative Vox and Hakuhodo for their work with I-LOHAS, a Coca-Cola mineral water brand.
The campaign, which also won three gold awards and a silver, was backed by this TV spot featuring popular actor Hiroshi Abe, and highlighted the product's green credentials. Around 40% is saved on resources due to the I-LOHAS manufacturing process, resulting in light, crushable bottles.
Overall, the campaign contributed to sales of 200m units over a six-month period, generating $390m (€291m, £262m). Even so, I can't help feeling Coca-Cola missed a trick by not marketing the water as some kind of youth elixir: according to IMDB, Abe turns 46 this year...
Quite a bit of YouTube weirdness seems to have resulted from the ads: you can watch a man in a golden Buddha mask crushing a bottle here, and there's also a video of a glass of I-LOHAS being poured in exquisite HD here - that last one's for hardcore mineral water fans, presumably.
In the US, the John Caples Awards, recognising direct marketing campaigns, were also held this week. The Best in Show prize went to Shackleton's 'The village where nothing ever happens' campaign, in which an ingenious experiment was conducted to prove the efficiency of Pay-TV as an ad medium.
Further information on the ingenious campaign - and the assistance given to it by 12 Spanish villagers - can be viewed here.
Organisers of the Cannes Lions have also announced that all entry deadlines have now been extended to April 9th. You can see a full list of dates on the Warc Awards Calendar.