SAILING INDUSTRY COMPANIES NAB THREE OF SIX NATIONAL MARKETING AWARDS
Marine Marketers of America hosted its second annual national marketing awards luncheon on October 29, 2009 during the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show to announce six Neptune Award winners from this year’s prestigious competition which drew entries from 19 companies.
Sail America members The Moorings and Beneteau claimed three of the six coveted national awards.
Voted by two separate judging panels, The Moorings took home top honors in two separate categories. The company won for “Best National Magazine Advertising – Spread” and for “Best Product Literature.”
For its national spread advertisement, judges liked the way the overall visual imagery immediately brought readers into The Moorings world of charter vacations, creating a compelling desire to be there … right now! Judges also gave the nod to the ad’s technical execution which successfully bridged the fold without compromising any messaging or graphic design. Another winning component included “all the important little things” that worked well together, from the powerful brand and logo positioning, to the mix of high quality and emotionally-inspiring lifestyle photography, to the succinct communication of messaging including available locations, boat models and charter options. The tasteful inclusion of a seasonal promotion was also well placed.
In the product literature category, The Moorings entry won out because of the high quality of the overall execution. Judges noted the literature could “hold its own as a first-class travel brochure” that successfully integrated outstanding photography and design. Its emphasis on lifestyle destinations and travel was the content focus vs. the standard product positioning that often takes precedent. The Moorings clearly sold “the charter vacation lifestyle” and judges claimed the strategy worked.
Sailboat builder Beneteau USA captured the Neptune Award for the new “Best E-Mail Blast” category introduced this year. Judges were impressed by the strong seven-part e-blast campaign series which very effectively built upon each subsequent message. The campaign clearly connected the product to an enticing lifestyle story through the usage of stunning photography and clean, easy-reading copy. In addition, judges applauded the prominent call-to-action so critical to successful e-blast promotions, as well as the subtle, yet highly effective branding applications which helped to set this series in a class all its own.
Taking the award for “Best National Magazine Advertising – Full Page” was
Sunbrella/Glen Raven Mills for its entry, “Sunbrella is On It.” Judges
complimented the simple and successful integration of versatile product application utilizing outstanding images from both sail and powerboat photography. The powerful primary wake image was “attention-getting” and coupled with a clever headline, drew the reader in to learn more about this brand leader’s offerings. Judges also commented that the smart usage of the product as a background canvas for the advertising text was a great touch.
A new category for 2009 was “Best Print Newsletter” and the winner is Kadey-Krogen Yachts. Judges acknowledged this winning entry as an excellent example of how a newsletter can serve as an effective marketing tool for reinforcing customer loyalty while building a sense of camaraderie and community among product owners. Judges believed the newsletter was authentic in its voice and presentation, engaging, and exceptionally well executed, without appearing “slick” or too sales-oriented.
The final award category was also introduced this year and is the “Best Marketing Innovation.” Judges reported that this category was especially challenging to judge due to the broad diversity of submissions and the numerous excellent entries. However, the award winner is boat builder Grady White for its informational kiosk. Although the kiosk as a sales tool is not particularly notable, judges reported that two specific features and the sheer “mass” of the presentation positively distinguished it from all other entries. The clean menu layout and intuitive touch screen application simplified access to a tremendous volume of information. The interface makes it extremely effective as a stand-alone sales tool, whether used at a boat show or in a showroom setting. Dynamic internet updating was also incorporated and offers a new way to keep content fresh, while also allowing corporate messages to be quickly driven down to the dealer level. Judges recognized the interface simplicity and automated maintenance features of the Grade White kiosk as innovative new ground within the marine industry.
“We were very pleased once again by the quality of submissions, and the fact that the competition was heated, especially considering the recent downturn when so many companies have reduced their marketing investment,” said Sally Helme, MMA national awards chairperson. “This competition proved once again that marine marketers produce outstanding work and our association was very encouraged by the solid participation represented by virtually all segments of the marine industry.”
In addition to the awards segment, Marine Marketers of America also featured NMMA Chief Marketing Officer Carl Blackwell as its keynote speaker. Blackwell addressed the new and emerging role of social marketing as part of the NMMA and Discover Boating programs.
This year’s luncheon sponsors included Info-Link Technologies, Inc.; Show Management, Inc.; and Home Port Marine Marketing.
For more information about Marine Marketers of America, visit www.marinemarketersofamerica.com