The winners of The Drum Awards for B2B, a celebration of talent and the most dynamic and effective business marketing campaigns in 2021, have been announced. From a paper company making gains despite the unstoppable digital rise, to a timely multi-channel call to hire caregivers and medical staff Here, we take a look at the best companies, individuals, and B2B campaigns of the year.
Bearing in mind the old notion that business marketing is less exciting than big budgets and flashy, celebrity-filled campaigns for B2C, last year’s challenges have pushed B2B marketers to outdo themselves. The 2021 Drum Awards winners were announced live today in a hybrid gala broadcast from The Drum Labs, showcasing some of the best work.
The Grand Prize was awarded to Mower, for her multi-channel work in the new “Best Response to Change” category. The campaign for the Iroquois Health Association in New York aims to draw people into the health care professions, and was made a focus just in time when the Covid-19 pandemic added another layer of urgency.
Alison Beegan, Global Head of Enterprise Marketing at SAP, was this year’s jury chairperson. Her choice for the President’s Award was the True campaign for Mondi, a paper company that struggles to make an emotional resonance with its audience. She praised it as a reminder of how “to go beyond excellent B2B marketing to reach the target audience,” thanks to its compelling message.
If you missed the party, you can watch the highlights below, or check out the full list of winners on The Drum Awards for B2B website. Case studies of the winning entries can also be found at thedrum.com.
Grand Prize, Best Response to Change
Client: Iroquois Health Care Association
Campaign: Care is your calling
With a large population aging and disease on the rise, New York State faces a severe shortage of health care workers. While working in healthcare is necessary, physically and mentally trying, the pay is on par with fast food or retail outlets.
Perhaps not surprisingly then, by 2024 New York State will have an unprecedented number of jobs in the healthcare industry. It takes a special kind of person to work in the healthcare industry. For some people, interest is their calling. They are ideal candidates for a career in the care industry. Mower’s integrated campaign is designed to get their attention, with the goal of increasing all KPIs by 10%, including unique website visits, job searches and filled provider opportunities.
But this was all turned upside down when, just weeks after the campaign was launched, everything changed due to Covid-19. But the basic message – the need for more vital healthcare workers – still holds true. The team quickly turned to a message recognizing the pandemic and its unprecedented demands, helping to meet the immediate need for healthcare champions in clinical and support roles.
The Call to Care campaign asks candidates to consider whether they have an instinctive desire to help others – the caring gene – and answer that call. The design concept channeled the spirit of the World War II Civil Morale poster (think Rosie the Riveter), this time battling an invisible enemy.
The results far exceeded the 10% target. In the first six months of the campaign, more than 700,000 unique visitors searched for a job on the Caring Gene website – seven times more than the previous year. This led to nearly 100,000 job searches and prompted nearly 35,000 candidates to find jobs – an increase of 250%.
The judges felt this was a powerful campaign that made a tangible difference, addressing the acute shortage of health care workers. It was also highly praised in the “Best Omnichannel Campaign”. O’Donnell praised her for her prompt contact with many of the jury members. “It has gone to the heart of our shared experiences over the past 18 months, recognizing the ordinary heroes among us – and that special thing that makes them who they are.
“Translating this emotional engagement into a call to action to hire others was a message that resonated, addressing an acute staff shortage with remarkable results. It featured numerous examples of campaign best practices, including powerful imagery and the use of data and analytics, not only to inform strategy, but to allow for targeting Flour for the main sectors and characters.
President Award, B2B Print / Illustration or Photo, Best Use of Emotion in B2B Marketing
Campaign: Catching feelings – Pergraphica
In 2015, Mondi launched a new, uncut design paper set called Pergraphica. Described as “Premium Offset” paper, it was developed to compete against well-known competing brands, such as Gmund and Munken, by offering superior print quality, touch devices, and optics with a wide range for any creative need.
But awareness of Pergraphica remained low among the target audience of printers, designers, and creative agencies, and to spur any sales, Mondi found herself frequently explaining the product’s benefits. To make a transformative change, the brand needed a memorable campaign that would stand out and communicate.
Research and planning identified three basic facts. First, brand partnerships are an effective way to generate popularity and increase engagement. Second, print adds a physical dimension to digital creations, evoking an additional human sense – touch. Finally, choosing the right paper is critical to ensuring creativity shines through in an analog world.
The “Catching Feels” campaign was a fully integrated campaign and set of high-quality and ambitious marketing tools, designed to showcase the diversity and diversity of Pergraphica. In collaboration with creative tech giant Adobe Stock, True has been able to increase Mondi’s reach, increase awareness, and improve brand reputation.
The campaign was a huge success, with sales increasing by more than 35% while the broader paper sales market saw sales drop by 20%. O’Donnell praised “emotion catching” for its use of emotion and powerful imagery. “This integrated campaign connected digital with analog, using high-impact print to deliver a sensory experience, along with a partnership with Adobe that was a special impact. Through a diverse mix of tactics, they were able to deliver a true-to-life experience that leads to great campaign results.”
Best B2B D&I Program/Initiative
Agency: Google and House Greenland
#OpenToEveryone is a new and ongoing campaign by Google to promote inclusivity, gender representation, and discoverability in safe spaces online. The past 18 months have been very difficult for all companies, but for some more than others. According to McKinsey, women’s jobs are nearly twice as vulnerable to the impact of the pandemic as men’s. And according to Stonewall, one in seven LGBTQ+ members have reported experiencing discrimination when shopping in the past year.
The Business Profile allows small to medium-sized businesses to identify themselves as inclusive spaces by adding attributes such as “Women-led Business,” “LGBT Friendly,” and “Transgender Safe Space” to their profiles. To further the uptake of these traits, House of Greenland and Google have launched a series of activations across Europe, the Middle East and Africa on key dates. After the film chants, a video case study, and a series of written stories and emails launched to mark International Women’s Day and Pride Month, tens of thousands of SMEs have added personality to their profile.
Part of this revitalization also included updating the acquisition creatives in Google Ads with cross-cutting cross images representing women-led SMEs. A/B testing results showed that these ads resulted in improved performance with a lower cost per qualified lead and a more than 50% increase in conversion rate among female users. This showed the team that its earlier design failed to serve many of the people it wanted to reach, proving that the change was vital.
The rulers described this campaign as a “beautiful campaign”, which was comprehensive in its essence. One said, “I think the simplicity of LGBTQ+ friendly simplicity is a low-key, but still impactful, way to drive a more inclusive culture.” Another praised the campaign as “a great diversity and inclusion campaign that understood the challenges facing small and medium businesses. This multi-site campaign with engagement metrics tells a great story of how we support a vibrant industry for business.”
Best Company or Brand Website
Agency: Spotify Advertising
Campaign: 2020 wrapped for advertisers
The popular Spotify campaign Wrapped has entered its sixth year, providing an opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of advertising on the streaming platform. Wrapped mirrors the trends of the year, rewarding users with shareable insights and snacks, which in turn connect Spotify with a new audience.
Wrapped for Advertisers will showcase Spotify’s rich first-party data and deep understanding of listeners, proving that Streaming Intelligence can do more as a strategic tool. The campaign began when Spotify’s advertising partners make plans for the new year, and is aimed at helping brand marketers, media buyers and creatives understand listening trends.
Taking into account the unknown territory of the advertising audience, the campaign highlights what brands target audiences are listening to, and how marketers can take advantage of listening trends when planning media campaigns.
Needless to say, 2020 was a year unlike any other. Despite the unique challenges, it has inspired creativity and a strong sense of community. With this in mind, Spotify Advertising aims to highlight the brightest moments and celebrate resilience and gratitude. Listening data tells its own story: how music and podcasts have connected us all through a challenging and emotional year.
The campaign was launched across eleven markets, generated over 750,000 unique page views and a 200% increase in average time spent exploring the digital experience. More importantly, it has resulted in attributable bookings worth millions of euros and 3,000 best-practice packages downloading.
Best Use of Data/Insights
Agency: yellow oh you
Client: yellow New Zealand
Campaign: Robin’s underwear
In New Zealand, the Yellow Pages is remembered as proof of business delivered to the door. But, now known as Yellow, the company has greatly enhanced its digital capacity, offering search campaigns, websites, online stores, Google products, Facebook campaigns, and more. She was fighting the idea that it was the only book he offered.
The aim of this campaign was to improve awareness and consideration of Yellow’s digital products, and to generate leads, particularly among small and medium businesses.
Research has revealed that getting a small business out of the house to a professional platform is a major stumbling block. The team also discovered that new entrepreneurs look to other SMEs for inspiration: they trust the words of others who have been in the same position.
Yellow’s strategy centered on a real-life example; An ambitious small business that can help others get their dreams out of the garage. Enter famous New Zealand actress Robin Malcolm: her character on the Outrageous Fortune series sold lingerie, and it turns out that Malcolm herself had always dreamed of owning a lingerie company.
The metric was important: to get into the notoriously difficult SME sector, the entire nation would have to talk about yellow. It was a huge success. The campaign generated a lot of potential customers, and Yellow stopped marketing activities to sponsor them.
The judges described this campaign as “smart and brazen,” using a simple and iconic concept to sell the product well: “We loved the strategic principles they used to attract the target audience. It was real, big and brave, and delivered tangible and impressive results.”
The full list of winners can be found on The Drum Awards for B2B website, and case studies for each can be found at thedrum.com in the Case Studies section.