We're into our second go round of naming Marketers of the Year, with 12 more months of taking stock of what's happening in the world of consumer goods marketing under our belts.
In 2005, Mercedes' three-pointed star, the automotive emblem of comfort, style and luxury, was hanging by a rivet. The brand was dogged by a large recall, quality questions, poor reviews of its E-Class sedan, and an ill-advised campaign to mine the mass-market with a diminutive c230 coupe.
Once upon a time, in a land where marketers seek to turn ad campaigns into cultural phenomena, there lived a major brand known as The Walt Disney Co.
Costco CEO Jim Sinegal is distinctly unimpressed by awards, let alone those with the word "marketer" in them. "We're not big on awards," he harrumphs when informed he's won Retail Marketer of the Year. "We don't even have a PR department."
Dunkin' donuts marketing in 2007 was as satisfying as that first sip of coffee in the morning. From the ubiquitous orange-and-pink signage to a tagline that actually means something, this New England-based company gave consumers back their cuppa joe.
Few companies can build real anticipation and excitement without heavy advertising, but Apple Inc. makes it look easy to get consumers in a frenzy.
Shaking off more than a century's worth of dust, the country's largest telecommunications carrier announced in December 2005 that it was changing up its image to give the old brand new life. It launched a marketing campaign that in 2007 put AT&T on the leading edge of hip cultural trends and aligned the brand with the hottest electronics-maker on the planet, Apple.
Our marketer of the year went from Bakelite to broadband in a single bound. Once regarded as a stodgy, if reliable, behemoth, American Telephone & Telegraph zipped from that old moniker to the slightly more serviceable SBC to the more current Cingular and back to AT&T, all in one nearly seamless year.
Most of Madison Avenue talked a good digital game in 2007, but it was Publicis Groupe that moved the most significant pieces. It has built the most well-positioned agency holding company in the increasingly crowded field of interactive marketing services.
When the editors of media first began contemplating candidates for this year's Media Agency of the Year honors, all the usual suspects came up - and for all the usually good reasons. But that's another story that you can read elsewhere in this publication. This story is about a not-so-usual candidate that we considered, tried to rationalize and ultimately discarded as our Media Agency of the Year, an act that led us to create a brand new category: Media Supplier of the Year. The winner should come as no surprise: Google.