Compare the clever marketing that raises social issues – Graeme Atha

For any school pupils and students considering a career in marketing, the Pioneering Spirit Awards provide an insight to some of the most inspiring marketing campaigns from around the world.
Pioneering Spirit Awards Judging SessionPioneering Spirit Awards Judging Session
Pioneering Spirit Awards Judging Session

The Marketing Society has ­developed these awards to encourage marketing professionals to ­discuss and debate the nature and power of a big idea. Some of these campaigns also demonstrate the role of ­effective marketing in addressing serious social issues as well as building brands and selling more products.

With many pupils and students being denied study and examinations just now, these awards should provide some stimulation and also an opportunity for them to do the ­scoring and judging.

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When scoring the campaigns we ask our judges to consider five key things –was the idea original, bold, inspiring, well-executed and ­effective?

Graeme Atha, Director of The Marketing SocietyGraeme Atha, Director of The Marketing Society
Graeme Atha, Director of The Marketing Society

Last year The Pioneering Spirit Award was given to a Coke campaign in Brazil. It confronted a ­homophobic expression – “This Coke is a Fanta” – to build a campaign around a ­limited edition red Coke can with orange Fanta inside to celebrate international LGBT+ pride day.

The campaign had 1 billion media impressions across the world ­challenging prejudices, empowering people and contributing to the fight against homophobia. This year we have selected the top ten campaigns from 2019 which we invite pupils, ­students and anyone with an ­interest in marketing to judge.

This is an outline summary of each of the ideas. You can watch a two minute video of each campaign and see simple judging instructions using this link:

A World without Borders – ­Mexico

To encourage Americans to fly to Mexico, airline Aeromexico turned DNA tests into discounts. The more Mexican you were, the bigger the ­discount.

Hidden Flag – Spain

To confront Russian government attitudes to the LGBT+ community, six gay activists from Spain attended the World Cup wearing ­football strips which when photographed together at iconic locations ­represented the rainbow flag.

ThisAbles – Israel

In line with the IKEA vision to ­“create a better everyday life for many”, their designers worked with customers with disabilities to create a range of free add-on products to make their furniture more user friendly

Guinness Clear – UK

To promote responsible drinking during the Six Nations rugby tournament, Guinness launched a ­refreshing new product – Guinness Clear – made from 100 per cent H2O.

Miracle Whip – USA

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To reverse the fortunes of a ­declining mayonnaise brand, the town of Mayo in Florida was ­convinced to change its name to Miracle Whip, generating more than one billion social media impressions and coverage in over 400 publications.

The Last Ever Issue – Poland

To promote sexual education and equality, MasterCard bought the most read adult magazine in Poland and used the last issue to change the content to reflect a more enlightened approach to gender portrayal.

Young Bride – Lebanon

To promote awareness that child marriage in Lebanon was still legal, an NGO which defends ­women’s rights developed a campaign which included setting up booths in ­shopping malls to offer child brides, which ensured that the law was reviewed.

Perussian Prices – Peru

Plaza Vea, a Peruvian supermarket chain, created stores across Russia at the World Cup to provide Peruvian football supporters with groceries at prices they were used to back home.

The Tampon Book – Germany

To get round the law in Germany which has tampons taxed at 17 per cent as a luxury product, The Female Company packaged them as books, which are only taxed at 7 per cent.

Distracted Goalkeeper – Brazil

To highlight the danger of texting whilst driving, Uber set up a PR stunt which involved a goalkeeper from one of the top teams in Brazil texting during a match.

One tip we give our judges when looking for a genuinely big idea is to consider the words of David ­Ogilvy, one of the most famous names in advertising as well as a proud and passionate Scot. He said a big idea should get you excited and have a physical impact – for example, give you goose bumps. Indeed, he believed marketing ­campaigns without a big idea pass like ships in the night.

We hope judging these campaigns will also inspire you to consider a career in marketing.

Graeme Atha, director of The ­Marketing Society.

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