Awards Preview: Better by design

This year's Marketing Design Awards will once again demonstrate the impact of visual creativity on brands' profits.

High-quality design can have a real impact on a brand's bottom line; that much is clear from the entries for the 2005 Marketing Design Awards.

Now in their fourth year, the awards honour work that is not only creatively outstanding, but also contributes to the performance of a business. Innovation and a creative process rooted in customer insight are vital components of a winning entry.

The winners and highly commended entries will be revealed at a ceremony to be held on 15 November at London's Dorchester Hotel.

More than 60 entries across 21 categories have been shortlisted this year. The awards recognise best practice in a range of client sectors, including automotive, travel and retail. There are also awards for use of design in different media, such as annual reports, corporate identity and on the internet.

The shortlisted entries reveal the range of high-quality design work, from small public-sector initiatives to major FMCG branding campaigns.

What's more, many of the entries prove a small budget is no barrier to effective work.

In addition to the category-specific awards, the judges will award a Grand Prix to the entry with the best stand-out.

Last year's winner was Kimberly-Clark's relaunch of its Kotex sanitary protection brand, which provided a clear example of a bold design having an effect on the product's market share and brand perception.

Before the relaunch, Kotex suffered from a poor image and low awareness levels. A further challenge facing agency Coley Porter Bell was the taboo nature of the subject matter - it remained something that many consumers still felt uncomfortable discussing.

After extensive customer research, Coley Porter Bell decided to switch the focus of the design from sanitary protection to personal care. The bold red dot of previous packaging, symbolising menstruation, was replaced by images such as red lipstick or a red flower - a fashion-led, lifestyle-based approach. Every detail was explored in case it could add to the effect - the icon of a man disposing of litter in a bin was even replaced with an image of a woman.

The redesign had a major impact.

The brand's image was transformed from cold and clinical to soft and feminine. Sales rose across Europe, establishing Kotex as a serious competitor to market leader Always - and it was achieved without any other product investment or innovation.

The 2005 awards will showcase campaigns of similar stature. This year's entries prove once again that well-applied, creative design can be an excellent marketing tool, regardless of the client category.

DESIGN AWARDS Shortlist Client Agency 3M The Team All Bar One Brandhouse WTS Alliance UniChem Creative Leap B_E_E Enterprise IG Barclaycard Interbrand BDO Stoy Hayward John Brown Citrus Better Bankside The Team Boots Checkland Kindleysides Braun SMP Britvic Jones Knowles Ritchie BSkyB Venture Three Chivas Brothers Coley Porter Bell Dead Sea Laboratories SiebertHead DfES The Team Dunlop Fitch Design Consultants Eden Project Gendall Design Electric Pavilion Enable Interactive Experience Nottinghamshire Purple Circle foo.go Formation Creative Cons. Fortnum & Mason Fitch Design Consultants Fortnum & Mason Williams Murray Hamm GlaxoSmithKline Williams Murray Hamm Hewlett-Packard Modem Media HSBC RMG Connect Hyatt Hotels International Lewis Moberly Insinger de Beaufort Dietwee Interbrew Jones Knowles Ritchie Interoute Communications Bite J2 cchm:ping Keele University Code Computer Love Kenwood FLB Marks & Spencer In-house Marks & Spencer Money The Chase Mini TRO Morgan Lovell Intelligent Mktg & Comms Motorola In-house Nestle Coley Porter Bell New Ivory Webb Scarlett De Vlam Nottingham Trent University Creative Leap Nutricia Blue Marlin Brand Design O2 Lambie-Nairn OMSCo Blue Marlin Brand Design Ovarian Cancer Action Rare Corporate Design PepsiCo Ziggurat Brand Cons. PLB Wines Blackburn's Design Procter & Gamble Webb Scarlett De Vlam PZ Cussons International Blue Marlin Brand Design Remploy Enable Interactive RNID In-house Sainsbury's Dynamo Marketing Comms Sainsbury's Williams Murray Hamm Samsung The Imagination Group Sanity Splash of Paint South West Regional Aricot Vert Dvlpmnt Agency Southampton FC Barracuda Design & Mktg StreetShine Coley Porter Bell Telewest Coley Porter Bell Tetley Brandhouse WTS Vertu Dave Visa Bite Vodafone The Team Waitrose Lewis Moberly Waitrose Pearlfisher Wenneker Distilleries Lloyd Ferguson Hawkins William Grant & Sons Int'l Creative Leap WorkDirections Oliver and Graimes Young's Brewery Jones Knowles Ritchie The Marketing Design Awards 15 November, The Dorchester, Park Lane, London To book places or a table for the Marketing Design Awards 2005 please call Cate MacCreadie on 020 8267 4017 or email cate.maccreadie@haynet.com

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