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For an eighth 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 5 at the Javits Center in New York.
The jury that selected the award winners includes veteran jurors Tanya Gazdik, editor, Marketing: Automotive, MediaPost; Ian Beavis, chief strategy officer, AMCI Global and Scotty Reiss, founder, A Girl's Guide To Cars.
Other jurors were Elgie Bright, automotive marketing and management department chair, Northwood University; Noah Mallin, chief of brand strategy, IMGN Media; Luis Miguel Messianu, creative chairman, CEO, Alma; and Todd Waserman, editor, Marketing Daily, MediaPost.
The Automotive Agency of the Year award goes to Saatchi & Saatchi. As the lead agency of record for Toyota, the creative powerhouse has been a partner of TMS since 1975.
“Saatchi & Saatchi have one of the longest auto relationships in the industry and are proof that you can be big and good,” Beavis says. “They are a true partner with Toyota and have both adapted to and pushed their client over the years. Saatchi and Toyota tackled the existential problems of 2022 with aplomb. Sound strategy and creative excellence in everything they touched, made them this year’s obvious choice.”
The Best Integrated Campaign award goes to Toyota for its “Never Settle” campaign. The premise of the campaign is that life is bigger when you seek out adventure, when you “go places” and when you “never settle.”
“We’ve created varying degrees of brand work in the past that helped build familiarity with Toyota”, says Lisa Materazzo, group vice president, Toyota marketing, Toyota Motor North America, who was recently named MediaPost's automotive marketer of the year. “But this is the first time we’ve created a campaign of this scale and type that is supported by dedicated work from all four of our advertising agencies.”
Best Electric Vehicle Campaign goes to Kia America for its “Robo Dog” campaign. The automaker took the creative from the viewer favorite Super Bowl spot and ran with it, creating a custom AR component where people could play and connect with Robo Dog in their homes. Robo Dog and Kia entered the emerging world of NFTs with one-of-a-kind designs. A dance challenge tied to the spot took TikTok by storm. Finally, the automaker partnered with Petfinder Foundation to help over 22,000 shelter pets get adopted. Ultimately the effort increased Kia’s EV sales by 142%.
For Best Social Campaign, Lexus wins for its "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” effort, which helped introduce the Lexus RZ 450E, the brand’s first-ever fully electric vehicle. Bespoke experiences, aligned with luxury consumer values, included a red-carpet livestream and dynamic “Behind the Scenes” video. Digital messaging kept fans connected. Results include over 6 million organic social Impressions, 82 million earned media Impressions and a 195% increase in search for "Lexus EV."
Best Multicultural or Interest Group Campaign goes to Hyundai for its “Okay Hyundai” campaign to help launch the Ioniq 5 and Palisade SUV models. The efforts included video, radio, digital and influencers executions. The automaker enlisted 11 Black creators and influencers to inspire users to take new adventures with two of its flagship vehicles on TikTok. The “Okay Hyundai” theme is designed to strengthen the connection between Hyundai and the African American community through the embedding of cultural references and nuances in the creative.
Best Interactive Execution goes to Genesis for its "Make Your Mark" fashion-centric efforts. The luxury car brand partnered with Vogue and designer Monse to create a presence in the fashion world. The event also revealed its redesigned flagship G90 sedan to guests. The brand was featured in Vogue and partnered with the fashion icon for a special fashion show/street fair as part of New York Fashion Week. The activation also included digital, social media and podcast sponsorships.
Congratulations to all the winners.