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Fresco

13/10/2005

As your global media correspondent, I'm obliged to put myself in extreme situa­tions in order to bring you the news. That's why this column comes to you live from the Golden Drum advertising festival in Portoroz, Slovenia. I'm on the media jury, which means I have to stay in a hotel at the seaside and party all night in return for looking at media campaigns. It's a tough job.

I was nervous about my juror status, because it meant I had to judge media strategy alongside the likes of Steve King, worldwide CEO of ZenithOptimedia. What could I say about media planning and buying that he hadn't heard a thousand times before ? In fact, the jurors got along very well. We quickly devised a simple formula for choosing a winning campaign : relevance, impact and results. It's amazing how few campaigns have all three.

So who won the media Golden Drum ? A small Vienna agency called Wien Nord Pilz, whose campaign promoted a recently restored but little-known museum. The agency did this by copying one of the museum's fabulous ceiling frescos onto the ceiling of the arrivals hall at Vienna airport. Because the agency created a new media space, the airport gave it to them for free. Not only that, but they frescoed the inside of airport taxi cabs, and branded umbrellas. The result : everyone who arrived at the airport knew about the museum. The campaign was smart, inexpensive, and somehow poetic. Awarding it a prize made me feel good. I could get used to this jury thing.

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Fresco

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