Big ups to NZ Book Month and its agency Rapport Advertising and Marketing for taking out four awards at the prestigious 2011 Promo Awards in Chicago. It was the only New Zealand ad agency to be honoured, alongside other winners such as P&G, Coca-Cola and Kelloggs.
PROMO’s 21st Annual PRO Awards is possibly the most illustrious promotion/marketing awards in the world, and honours the best across 23 categories (for the full list of winners click here), so from agency Rapport’s point of view, it's incredibly exciting as it was the first time it had entered.
"We were pleased to win gold at the TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards. And to take home four awards from four entries at this International Awards tells us our local campaign was truly outstanding," says Rapport's Mary Robbins.
The awards are:
- Honorable Mention for Best Cause-Based Promotion
- Silver for Best Incentive Campaign
- Silver for Bust Use of a Promotion Campaign Executed Outside the US
- Gold for Best Promotion Under $US250,000
"As chair of NZBM I have to say this is fantastic for us. After just a few short years, the team pulled together the bulk of the book industry to support this $20 million dollar promotion. It’s a world first, and in my marketing experience, unheard of in any industry," says Robbins. "Especially when you consider the obstacles that had to be overcome: the earthquake in Christchurch, the Whitcoulls front-page dilemmas, followed by the earthquake in Japan – all on top of the continued drop in book sales in New Zealand."
With literacy levels in New Zealand continuing to decrease year after year, New Zealand Book Month, a not for profit, was determined to halt the decline. So March 2011 they announced they would put a book in the hands of every New Zealander, with the tag line “books change lives.”
On a shoestring budget they delivered a $5 book voucher to every family, more than four million, and agreed to pay half of the voucher’s redemption value.
A branded website funded through a grant was created to encourage community book discussions and entice book activists to put on local events. Web visitors were asked to vote for their life-changing book. More than 4000 votes were collected.
In the end more than 100,000 vouchers were redeemed and more than 300 events were registered.
"That’s more than 2.5 percent of the total distributed! Our goal was a book for every single Kiwi. That’s still our vision... Bring on 2012!" says Robbins.