How OMD cooked up Beacon Award-winning campaigns

Securing two gold medals at the 2023 Beacon Awards for the campaigns Cooks on Fire for Silver Fern Farms and The Silent Night for Wellington City Mission as well as a haul of silvers for other campaigns, OMD showcased its exceptional skills in crafting innovative strategies and delivering remarkable outcomes for its clients. We asked the team behind these exceptional pieces of work to share what went into making them stand out.

David Lister of Fuse, the agency’s social media, influencer, and brand experience offering, says one of OMD’s biggest strengths lies in its close relationships with various media platforms.

In the case of Cooks on Fire for Silver Fern Farms, which won gold in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods category, the collaboration with TVNZ Integration and Programming allowed the team to unlock a unique opportunity to create content that would inspire consumers to purchase Silver Fern Farms premium meat before the weekend. Through this close partnership, OMD successfully transformed this objective into a six-part TV series.

“At Fuse we have a lot of food clients,” Lister says. “We look at every campaign through the consumer’s eyes with the challenge of taking content and consideration from the screen and the couch into conversion in the aisle. It’s something we have perfected over time, and this campaign is just one of many that gets recognised.”

Both the Cooks on Fire and The Silent Night campaigns were based on insightful consumer research, he adds.

“For Cooks on Fire we discovered consumers or cooks believed, ‘what I choose at shelf, and how much I pay, says a lot about the outcome’,” Lister explains.

“The confidence in their ability to choose a good cut was based on what they could visually see in the tray. Silver Fern Farms are premium cuts in branded packaging, not what Kiwis are used to in the meat section, so if we can see the cut we trust it. 

“The expectation was that the meat would turn out correctly when they cooked it, but most of the time, this wasn’t the case.”

Recognising that consumers lacked confidence in cooking red meat correctly, OMD’s mission became twofold: get consumers’ eyes inside the packaging, giving them confidence to choose Silver Fern Farms, and educate consumers so they have the confidence to cook Silver Fern Farms meat in a delicious way, and buy premium.

“For Fuse we were able to develop a format around our brief that was a world first, was good enough to get a primetime slot, and importantly got Kiwis’ eyes inside Silver Fern Farms packaging, which meant an increase in sales in a tough category. This was the outcome of an amazing relationship with TVNZ Integration and Programming.”

In the case of The Silent Night, which won gold in the charity category, OMD utilised media platforms to bring attention to the unique concept and capture the interest of the target audience. This campaign was centred around selling-out a Christmas fundraising event at Sky Stadium that no-one goes to. By leveraging the agency’s expertise in media planning, OMD effectively reached and engaged viewers, ultimately contributing to selling out the stadium and raising over $300,000 for the Mission.

OMD’s Head of Strategy Jake Firman says it was an “absolute privilege to apply our media smarts to such a worthy cause – and incredibly heartening to have our media partners give so generously and move heaven and earth to bring this campaign to life”.

“This was a labour of love for ourselves and the team at Special. To see the positive impact that can be achieved when you have such an inspiring client and a true creative and media partnership has us champing at the bit for however we can help next.”

Reflecting on these Beacon wins, Lister says OMD takes great pride in its ability to develop ground-breaking formats that align with its clients’ objectives. 

Looking ahead, OMD is committed to pushing boundaries and delivering innovative campaigns. With Cooks on Fire Season Two already underway, the industry and customers alike can expect to see more exceptional content from OMD in the future.

To read more about the outstanding thinking behind the 2023 Beacon Awards winners click here.

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