Saatchi & Saatchi Direct bags fourth place in the International ECHO awards

NEW DELHI: The direct marketing division of Saatchi & Saatchi India, Saatchi & Saatchi Direct has bagged the fourth place in the DMA International ECHO Awards for its HP Deskjet printers campaign in the IT multimedia/integrated media category.

The DMA International ECHO Awards ceremony is scheduled to take place in Orlando, Florida on 12 October later this year.

Though Saatchi & Saatchi Direct missed out on the top three finish by a whisker, the mood is upbeat in the agency. “This is the first time Saatchi & Saatchi Direct has entered an international competition and it is a real feather in the cap of the team, which created the baby campaign as it is popularly called. We are thrilled as we did not expect to reach this far,” says agency’s executive vice president Malavika Harita.

The Echo Award jury, which scrutinises entries from 40 countries across 12 business categories, nominates five pieces of work for the final ceremony. “The top three are announced on the day of ceremony but the fourth and fifth are informed in advance. We have won the `leadership award’ for the fourth place and we and the client will be receiving plaques for our effort,” adds Harita.

For eligibility, the jury considered direct marketing campaigns produced, printed and/or aired, and had response results tabulated between 1 January 2002 and 31 March 2003. The jury goes through three rounds, evaluating agencies on the basis of strategy, creativity and results.

“It is an exhaustive process, which not only goes by strategy and creative work but also takes into consideration the results managed in the marketplace in terms of customer response. The campaign helped HP manage a 46 per cent increase in sales over the previous quarter as well as a month-by-month increase in the three months that the campaign ran on TV, periodicals and at the point of sale and was remarkable by any standards,” says Harita. The campaign was launched in May last year.

According to the agency, the three-month period during which the campaign was released, was not just the traditionally dull season for office equipment but also a recessionary period that the hardware industry was going through. “We had people coming to the retail outlet asking for the HP Baby Printer, which proved the effectiveness of the campaign,” says Harita.

The campaign depicts a situation where a baby is weeping while the mother is away. When baby is shown the image of his mother, a print out from HP Deskjet printer, he falls asleep.

Saatchi & Saatchi Direct was briefed to position HP as a leader in `image quality’ rather than just market share. Accordingly, the agency moved out of the technological space and worked on building an emotional bond with the buyer. “The baby neutralized the tech feel and provided the acid test for the photo-realism,” according to the agency.

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