Ecostore and Little Treasures' personalised magazine campaign by Special Group, Naked/Open and Salt Interactive has already earned its fair share of industry accolades, from gold at the Media Awards to winning the inaugural Glossies competition. And now it's got another one to add to the list after being nominated as one of 18 finalists in the $10,000 WARC prize for innovation.
One of the major insights used for the Ecostore rebrand was that parents—and specifically mothers—were often more passionate about their children's health than their own and were at a stage in their lives when they were reassessing the products they use. So the aim of the mass-personalisation campaign was to get them to look at the kinds of things they were putting on their children’s skin, not just in their mouth.
To do this, Special Group and Naked, which has now morphed into Open after the Auckland office was closed, came up with the novel, targeted media strategy of putting readers' children on the cover of a magazine and Salt Interactive created a microsite www.nonastychemicals.com, where 3,000 of the 20,000-ish subscribers were given the chance to upload a photo of their bundle of joy. When that was done, a pdf-ready cover page was spat out and sent to the printers and a personalised copy of the June edition with the headline “I’m opting out of products that use nasty chemicals” turned up on the doorstep.
Bauer's Ben Gibb says it showed how magazines can offer brands a niche, highly engaged audience. But he says the genius of it was that once these 3,000 subscribers got their magazines they often took to social media and were able to influence other parents in Ecostore's target market, to the point where research showed half of the estimated 250,000 mothers in New Zealand with a child under five had heard about the campaign. Added to that, 90 percent of them were aware it was a joint promotion between Ecostore and Little Treasures, so "they knew what was happening" and they were thankful for the brand's generosity. And this emotional, prideful response to the keepsake they were sent and the talkability it generated meant it ended up being a hell of a lot cheaper to gain that level of exposure than with a traditional, mass-market brand relaunch.
Five entries from Australia and three from India are among the 18 cases long listed for the WARC prize. Entries from China, Vietnam and New Zealand complete the strong showing from the Asia-Pacific region, which claimed 11 of the finalists.
The panel of 15 judges, chaired by Howard Draft, executive chairman of DraftFCB, will award the prize to the case study that best demonstrates effective innovation based on a written submission scored according to five criteria. The winner will be announced in June.
This year for the first time, Warc is also awarding a Popular Vote trophy for the entry that attains the highest combination of "likes" of its video on the WARC Prize Vimeo page and downloads of its case study on warc.com.