This is not just advertising ...

The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising's Effectiveness Awards continually set the bar higher than other awards in the advertising world. Their cause is helped by the fact that at least half the marketing industry continues to cling to the belief that there are other legitimate ways to recognise the advertising product than the effect that it has on its desired audience.

Even by their own high standards, this year's Effectiveness Awards provide an impressive array of winners. The Grand Prix, won by RKCR/Y&R for Marks & Spencer, is the sort of advertising success that everyone can understand. The turnaround that M&S has undergone over the past two years quite simply would not have happened without its advertising. This is something that either a dispassionate member of the shopping public or interrogative City analyst could easily grasp, on the basis that both the campaign and extraordinary reversal of fortunes at the retailer have been so evident.

This observation, that proof of advertising effectiveness has rarely been so widely accessible, raises the question of whom the awards actually serve. Had you been at the Park Lane Hilton on Monday night you would have been in no doubt that the purpose was the greater glorification of the winning ad agencies - certainly there was celebratory behaviour among the tables of RKCR/Y&R and DDB London, named Effectiveness Agency of the Year, again.

There are subtle shades of sottishness during awards season, however, and the Effectiveness Awards carry enough weight that, even among the honour-laden agencies, behaviour reflects the recognition that these awards exist to serve a nobler cause than new business.

As an insurance policy, the IPA wisely provides journalists with a useful Trends and Angles document just in case any of the key learnings from the evening are forgotten on the way home. Again, there is a sense among these that the Effectiveness Awards are evolving in just the way the IPA wishes, and that this is to the advantage of the wider marketing community.

For starters, agency collaboration is getting better - in the sense that there are fewer instances of naked theft of credit. As an example, O2's Gold Award recognised the impact of Lambie-Nairn's work on the overall look of that brand, as well as the contributions of VCCP, Zenith-Optimedia and AIS - not necessarily in that order, but welcome nonetheless.

Integration was much improved, too. The six Gold winners combined used TV, press, radio, outdoor, interactive, direct, PR and ambient. On the theme of old versus new media alone, there was sufficient evidence that digital has become part of the establishment, with VW Golf, made famous through TV, picking up a special award for Best Digital, and TV Licensing winning Best Integration. Even awards sponsor Thinkbox appeared happy, as 26 of the 30 winners kicked back at any perception that TV is no longer an effective medium.

The IPA Effectiveness Awards have, over the years, built up a powerful knowledge base of case studies that marketers may wield against any remaining doubters that advertising budget can be money well spent. This year, its armoury has been made all the more powerful by the addition of work that will have struck a chord beyond the confines of the marketing industry.

- Retail's grande dame back on top, page 16.


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer