The Detroit Public Schools "I'm in" campaign, created by Leo Burnett as a movement to save the city's school system, captured the Grand Effie Award at the 42nd Annual North America Effie Awards on Tuesday in New York.
"I'm in" was a Grand Effie finalist and Gold winner in the Government/ Institutional/ Recruitment category. The same campaign also won a Silver Effie in both the Small Budgets -- Services and GoodWorks -- Non-Profit categories.
In March 2009, the Detroit Public Schools system was facing bankruptcy, a $305 million deficit, a decade-plus of substantially declining enrollment and the public backlash of closing 29 schools, per Leo Burnett's submission papers. The schools stood to lose as many as 16,750 students for the 2009-10 school year and millions in funding. They needed city families to believe great things happen there. The schools didn't need ads, but rather a movement. They got one. Results exceeded their enrollment projections and generated the $49 million in funding necessary for financial viability.
Judge Jill Nykoliation, president of Toronto's Juniper Park, tells Marketing Daily the judges wanted to make sure that clients and agencies would be able to pull learnings from the Grand Effie winner. With "I'm in," she said, the panel saw "enormous strategic talent," a creative idea that included an emotional rallying cry backed up with facts, and great results.
"Creatively, it was the engagement here," she says. "It got people involved. The engagement idea was hard to pull apart; it was robust and authentic. People could get involved at a very sincere level. They showed up at rallies, put signs on their lawns. This was not a 'send me your video.'
"This authenticity is refreshing in a sea of sameness in the brand world."
Also at the awards, Omnicom grabbed 31 awards and WPP 24 wins, including 11 Gold Effies -- the most gold awards of any holding company -- while 32 independents won Effie.
In this year's roster of winners, the agency that grabbed the most Golds (four) is Publicis' Saatchi & Saatchi. Goodby Silverstein & Partners, JWT and PR Agency Dig Communications won three Gold Effie Awards each. On the marketers' side, MillerCoors and Ford Motor won the most Golds (three and two, respectively).
The finalists were Apple and TBWAMedia Arts Lab's "There's an App for That"; Detroit Public Schools and Leo Burnett's "I'm in"; Ford Motor Company and Team Detroit's "Drive One 4 UR School"; Hyundai and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners' "Assurance"; Kraft's Capri Sun and Ogilvy & Mather's "Respect the Pouch"; Miller High Life and Saatchi & Saatchi and Dig Communications' "1 Second Ad Campaign"; People's City Mission and Bailey Lauerman's "Great Coffee for the Greater Good"; and Thirteen Reasons Why (a novel) and Grey's "Thirteen Reasons Why Viral Campaign".
The jury comprised marketers and agency brass, including Pete Carter, director of brand building at Procter & Gamble; Geoff Cottrill, CMO of Converse; Peter McDonough, CMO at Diageo, NA; and Rosemarie Ryan, former president, JWT North America.
In the media category, Starcom Worldwide and Leo Burnett won a Silver Effie for Kellogg's "Frosted Mini Wheats: Mom's Homeroom." Gold went to Saatchi + Saatchi and Dig Communications for the Miller High Life "1 Second Ad Campaign" for Miller High Life.
Besides Hyundai, other auto category winners were Mini's Carfun Footprint campaign from Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners and Crispin Porter + Bogusky's "Routan Boom" campaign for Volkswagen. Toyota also took an award in the "boomer plus" category for its "Appetite for Life" effort for the Venza, by Saatchi & Saatchi.
In beauty products and services Unilever's "Soap Scum" effort for Dove by Ogilvy & Mather; P&G's "Swagger" campaign for Old Spice by Wieden+Kennedy; and Unilever's "Vaseline Men: the Making of a Manly Lotion" effort by Bartle Bogle Hegarty won. Apple's rival Microsoft also won for "Real PC" via Crispin Porter + Bogusky.
For OTC healthcare products Teva's Plan B pregnancy-prevention product's "Plan B: Because the Unexpected Happens" by Draft FCB won, as did P&G's Tampax "Outsmart Mother Nature" by Leo Burnett.
In the African-American category, UniWorld, Mindshare and J. Walter Thompson won for the United States Marine Corps' "Real Talk" campaign. The winning Hispanic-market efforts were Allstate's "Proteccion es la Jugada" by Lapiz, Tapestry and Octagon Multicultural Marketing; and P&G Charmin's "Camping" by Lapiz, Carat, Tapestry and The Integer Group.
In the Media Innovation category, OMD and Juniper Park won a Silver Effie for Frito Lay's "Only in a Woman's World" and OMD also won a Silver Effie for CBS and Pepsi's "Monday to The Max" First-Ever Video-in-Print" campaign. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners won a Gold Effie for Media Innovation for Adobe Systems' "Adobe Acrobat 9 Ultimate Tourney Guide" campaign.