For a fifth year, MediaPost is naming its picks for top automotive marketers and agencies.
There was a large array of choices, and a panel of industry observers, experts and marketers had the arduous task of finding the best of the bunch. The winners will be honored at the Marketing: Automotive conference during the New York International Auto Show on April 8 at the Javits Center in New York.
The jury that selected the award winners featured lead juror Tanya Gazdik, automotive editor, MediaPost; Ian Beavis, chief strategy officer, AMCI Global; Elgie Bright, automotive marketing and management department chair, Northwood University; Larissa Faw, reporter, MediaPost Agency Daily; Lauren Fix, automotive analyst, Car Coach Reports; Rebecca Lindland, founder, rebeccadrives.com; Noah Mallin, chief of brand strategy, IMGN Media; Luis Miguel Messianu, creative chairman, CEO, Alma and Scotty Reiss, founder, A Girl's Guide To Cars.
The Automotive Agency of the Year (Traditional) award goes to Innocean for its work on behalf of Hyundai Motor America. Marketing has dramatically helped improve the brand’s image and consideration levels. For the year, Hyundai sold 688,771 vehicles, the best calendar year total sales since 2016. The total year sales results were a 3% volume increase, while retail sales were up 5%. The automaker’s 2019 Super Bowl spot “The Elevator” racked up more than 36 million views on YouTube alone.
R/GA (Mercedes-Benz) is the Automotive Agency of the Year (Digital), in no small part for its extraordinary work on breaking down gender stereotypes. The brilliant “No Limits” work that tied the brand to women’s empowerment includes a partnership with Matchbox. Mercedes-Benz and Mattel gave toy cars to girls to combat gender stereotypes. According to researchers, most young girls would trade in the gift of a toy car for a tea set because of cultural expectations formed at an early age. To counter that expectation, Mercedes-Benz made a short film, "No Limits," where young girls' choice of toy tea sets over toy cars is changed by watching a short clip highlighting pioneering female race car driver Ewy Rosquist.
The Best Integrated Campaign (three channels or more, including online) awardgoes to David & Goliath for its “Give It Everything” campaign for the Kia Telluride, which kicked off with a Super Bowl spot. The multifaceted campaign reintroduces the Kia brand to America with a new, all-encompassing brand positioning that highlights the brand's focus on quality craftsmanship. The money saved by not paying a celebrity for the Super Bowl ad was used to create The Great Unknowns Scholarship to assist eligible students to continue their education in college or vocational school.
The Best Social Campaign award goes to BBDO for its #ElectricandUntamed campaign, which built excitement for the Mustang Mach-E electric SUV. The car brand tapped actor Idris Elba along with 10 influencers who each published photos on their individual accounts. In each post, light graffiti flashes around a person. When you put the flashes all together, it reveals the side profile of the Mustang-inspired SUV.
The Best Multicultural or Interest Group Campaign award goes to Mindshare and Grey with H Code for a campaign focusing on the Volvo S60 geared toward the U.S. Hispanic market. Volvo wanted to drive awareness and meaningful engagement to get Volvo S60 positioned in the consideration set of luxury brands for Hispanic consumers ready to buy a car by reflecting their feeling of personal achievement. The integrated campaign included influencers, video and a hub on HipLatina.com.
The Best Viral Marketing Execution or Campaign award goes to Cramer-Krasselt for a campaign that ties Porsche to "Star Wars," including the creation of a Porsche-inspired starship. The collaboration included a partnership with Wired to document the design process, a website devoted to the project and several “teaser” videos similar to one launched on Instagram that quickly garnered more than 340,000 views. The collaboration goes beyond typical product placement “to merge a shared belief in design to make something authentic to both brands and their fans,” according to the automaker.
The Best Interactive Execution or Campaign award goes to Hudson Rouge for its “City That Sleeps” activation for Lincoln. The agency partnered with ambient artist Anders Rhedin to create an 8-hour long album (released on Spotify and as a vinyl record) designed for the perfect night’s sleep. Each of the album’s eight tracks were inspired by a specific New York neighborhood, sampling the most disturbing sounds from that neighborhood. The “City That Sleeps” was performed in its entirety — to a sleeping crowd — during an 8-hour long overnight rooftop event in New York’s Seaport District, where Lincoln invited influencers to take a nap.
Finally, the Best Campaign for a Dealer Group award goes to Secret Weapon for its work for the SoCal Honda Dealers association. The “Random Acts of Helpfulness” campaign has successfully rebranded what it means to be a car dealer. Since the Helpful campaign began, the SoCal Honda Dealers went from being outsold by Toyota 2:1 and outspent by 3:1, to surpassing Toyota in sales while still being outspent in the market.
Congratulations to all the winners.