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Pepsi grabs top prize at promotion awards

ASIA-PACIFIC: Pepsi Foods India knocked two-time winner Bates 141 off the winners' podium to pick up the Best in Asia prize at the fourth Promotion Marketing Awards of Asia.

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The brand took the top award for its 2003 Cricket World Cup campaign, which saw it change the colour of its cola to electrifying blue and sign up the Indian National Cricket Team, whose uniform colours are also blue, as brand ambassadors to launch 'The Men in Blue' campaign.

The multi-layered national programme - which also won Best sponsorship or tie-in campaign - plastered images of cricket stars on commemorative Pepsi bottles in India, and gave away a million autographed mini bats as well as other event merchandise.

Mike Da Silva, director promotion marketing awards of Asia, said: "This year saw a strong spread of promotion marketing executions throughout the region with campaigns focusing more on event marketing and sporting tie-ins."

He added that the quality of campaigns out of India, particularly in the interactive category, stood out at this year's awards show. Indeed, India's Virtual Marketing interactive agency took the gold (for Coca-Cola), silver (for Varma Corporation) and bronze (for ESPN Star Software) in the best use of interactive media, with only XM Singapore battling the agency for a joint bronze award with its Nokia Asia-Pacific 'Nokia Spirit' campaign.

Da Silva noted that Hong Kong, a market constantly flooded with premium offers, had given birth to a new trend called 'Crossover-branded premiums'.

"Hong Kong agency Tequila capitalised on the crossover trend by partnering Heineken with local icon Eric Kot for Heineken's 7-Eleven Channel to win the Best in Hong Kong award," he said.

The Heineken promotion, which saw the beer lable giveaway Eric Kot figurines, broke all previous Heineken promotion records in just one day, with the figurines even making it onto eBay auctions.

Bates 141 also took home a number of golds, including Best in Singapore for Asia-Pacific Breweries. Meanwhile, Euro RSCG's China Mobile campaign was awarded Best activity generating brand awareness and trial recruitment gold trophy for a breakthrough campaign in China's aggressive telecoms sector. The agency "wallpapered" bus and train interiors with news stories to promote China Mobile's 'News reporting' service. Da Silva added that the brand's promotions staff hit the streets dressed in suits printed with news, helping drive subscriptions for the service.

The gold winners will take on the best from Europe, the UK, US, Candada, Australia and South America at the global show later this year.

This article was first published on Media Asia

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