UPDATE: SPH calls 'The Pitch'
Singapore - As Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) readies for a push to make its media offerings more compelling and launches a new 'reality' contest for ad agencies, 'The Pitch', Marketing asked insiders if there is more room for awards in the market.
"We don't need more awards. We need the right awards. Right awards are those that matter from a client perspective i.e. different ways of thinking that lead to growth in brand sales. This is why ad agencies exist- to drive sales. All the fancy stuff we do should lead to this ultimate outcome," Bharad Ramesh, regional executive director, strategic operations and trading, Asia Starcom said.
"Awards should recognise and celebrate good work that drives the clients' bottom line. You will see that a lot of awards (and their entries) don't talk about it at all," Ramesh added.
According to SPH's senior vice-president and head of strategic marketing Geoff Tan, "The Pitch aims to raise the bar with regard to integrated media initiatives." The contest titled ‘The Pitch' will judge ad agencies on an integrated campaign for a brand that will be assigned to them at a later date.
The campaign must effectively incorporate a well thought-through cross-media strategy that satisfies multiple touch-point objectives and there is no limit to the number of teams each agency can send.
The closing date for submission is 30 March 2011.
The winning advertising agency will be rewarded with SGD20,000 in cash and SGD250,000 worth of media credits from SPH, besides hoisting the ‘Golden Cleaver Award'.
Ramesh added that 'The Pitch' is a good idea but is "not sure how much it will help in making real shifts."
Media agency MPG welcomed the move saying awards such as these energise the industry and recognise exceptional work and that the format of 'The Pitch' award is innovative and unique and the focus is on doing strategic work, which is encouraging.
However, MPG's spokesperson added: "The only stumbling block could be time constraint faced by agencies as many a times client's business takes priority over awards."
On the Awards issue, Linda Locke, marketing director, Club21 said the centre of gravity for awards shows has shifted, to shows that place the emphasis on ROI for an idea or ad campaign. In the Effies or Hall of Fame the awards are really based on results.
"Results however, cannot be claimed by the agency alone, too much depends on the client's product or service. The agency is but one cog in the wheel and in many cases it could be argued the award belongs to the efforts of the marketing director," she added.
According to her the industry needs a fresh approach, one that places the emphasis on the intelligence and creativity of a strategy and the idea, as the manifestation of the agency's understanding and smart solution to a client's business needs.Meanwhile, SPH has launched a refreshed positioning ‘SPH IS ON' to showcase itself as a ‘one-stop solutions hub' for advertisers and agencies. It has grouped its various media platform into six media activation "buttons", namely On Print, Online, On Mobile, On Ground, On Air and On Screen, as part of the ‘SPH IS ON' positioning.
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