Most effective campaign of the year?

BBDO Montreal's 'Lait au chocolat' spot for the Quebec Federation of Milk Producers - which had dynamic media components - took three top awards at yesterday's Cassies ceremonies.

Awarded for the past ten years to recognize both advertising effectiveness and impressive ROI, the Cassies handed out a record 47 prizes at ceremonies in Montreal and Toronto yesterday afternoon. Spanning 39 unique cases, these included 12 Golds, 14 Silvers and 21 Bronze awards, plus a Grand Prix.

One of the biggest winners was BBDO Montreal’s memorable ‘Lait au chocolat’ campaign for the Quebec Federation of Milk Producers, which scooped two Golds and a Grand Prix. To prompt more teens to drink milk, the agency decided to alter their preconception that the beverage just isn’t cool. That objective was achieved with a six-week summer campaign that borrowed from the horror movie genre and featured four pairs of people driving through Quebec on Choco scooters putting up 30,000 ‘Lost’ posters and distributing 80,000 Polaroids.

With the tagline ‘Chocolate Milk, it’s frighteningly good,’ and a story line about lovable chocolate animals disappearing, two TV spots showed a character cruelly transforming the beasts into chocolate milk. Kids were encouraged to go online to help rescue the edible victims. But there was a switcheroo on the site – instead of saving the animals, they could create chocolate milk by crushing, chopping, melting or microwaving them, not to mention scoring a chance to win one of the four Choco scooters. The result? Consumption of chocolate milk in Quebec rose by 17% over the year, double the growth rate in the rest of the country.

Another markedly mediacentric campaign – which won Gold for Best Integrated Program – was Bensimon Byrne’s ‘Stupid’ anti-smoking campaign for the Ontario Ministry of Health. The objective was to reduce smoking among the province’s 12-15-year-olds by convincing them that the practice isn’t cool. After breaking in November 2004, the initiative won a Gold for Off to a Good Start at last year’s Cassies. The fully integrated campaign included a five-city concert tour (hosted by MuchMusic), seven TV spots, a cinema spot, magazine ads, and a web ad – all promoting the website, which eventually racked up 1.2 million unique visitors. With zany humour and zero preaching, the campaign achieved 91% acknowledgement among kids that the ads would help prevent their peers from smoking. Even more impressive was an ensuing Statistics Canada study showing declining rates of smoking (-2%) amongst 12-17-year-olds, and a 9% increase in the number of young people who never started at all. The campaign was a finalist at Cannes and the One Show.

As a special feature for the Cassies’ 10th anniversary, Brendon Elwood Awards for Best Performance by leading advertisers and agencies were also handed out, based on cumulative track records across all ten Cassies events held so far. Agencies honoured were: Gold – Bensimon Byrne; Silver – JWT; Bronze – BBDO. Winning advertisers were: Gold – Pfizer; Silver – Labatt; Bronze – Unilever.

For a complete list of winners: