WWF’s Clever Surname Campaign from Belgium Wins The Best of Global Digital Marketing Awards in October

European digital marketing research firm Best Marketing International monitors almost 300 digital award competitions Worldwide. Each month we handpick our personal TOP 3 amongst all the regional winners. It’s been nearly a year since the launch of BOD Awards. After seeing hundreds of award-winning campaigns, we were faced with a question: what makes a great campaign? It seems creativity and cool gimmicks is all it takes to grab a Gold Lion. We, on the other hand, see results as equally important. Our goal is to chase down fresh successful campaigns from all around the world and gather further information from all available sources.

With numerous regional Effie galas and the highly anticipated Golden Drum Festival, October was a real treat when it comes to fresh European campaigns. In terms of creativity, it’s really worth pointing out that countries where marketing budgets are often unbelievably tiny, are out-performing some of the big players who’ve become to comfortable on their fluffy cash pillows. This month’s winner comes from Belgium: WWF’s ‘Families on the Verge of Extinction’. Followed by a quirky Vodafone campaign from Romania and AXE’s integrated masterpiece from Turkey.



First Place: WWF’s Families on the Verge of Extinction by Famous Brussels (Belgium, MIXX Awards Belgium 2015 winner)


WWF is the world’s largest conservation organization with over 5 million supporters worldwide. With only 3,200 tigers left on our planet, WWF needed to knock on the hearts of Belgians in order to fight this devastating trend of further extinction. Drained by the economic crises, the challenge was to encourage passive Belgians to donate for a seemingly distant cause. More than 30% of the Belgian population carries a family name that’s becoming extinct too. On an online platform people could discover how extinct their family is. And get invited to adopt a tiger. The campaign was covered by almost every Belgian TV and radio show. 1 out of 3 Belgians were reached on social media. In just two weeks, WWF received more than a year-worth of online donations.

Why we love it:

What’s amazing about this campaign is the way WWF managed to merge something so abstract with the most interesting topic there is – you. They added a highly personalised touch, which honestly, might be the only way to get someone on board of non-profit initiatives (not even mentioning actual donations). Giving people the chance to do some research around their individual names is both alluring for the user and PR-tasty from the media’s point of view. A cool and clever campaign perfectly tailored for the ME-generation.


2nd Place: Vodafone’s Sunday Grannies by McCann Bucharest (Romania, Golden Drum 2015 winner)


Romanian elderly are no strangers to daily loneliness, isolation and boredom. Vodafone wanted to tap into that problem and begin a conversation with a highly underappreciated audience. Vodafone Romania started to feel the pressure when German telco giant Telekom entered the market in 2014. Vodafone decided to strike back by launching a very special experiment called Sunday Grannies. They set up a Facebook page for two food-lovin’ grannies, who in turn shared their cooking magic online and invited hungry students to join them at their kitchen tables. The project became huge: over 380 MM media impressions, for a 98,7% reach; more than 430,000 fans on Facebook; 20% increase in the total number of Facebook accounts owned by people over 65 years in Romania.

Why we love it:

Vodafone touched a universal social problem: loneliness amongst the elderly. Sadly, this is something we tend to regard as a given and have therefore lost a great deal of empathy for these amazing individuals. Instead of playing on sad emotions (which is often the case), Vodafone offered a positive and pro-life solution. Lets not forget that people are not only drawn to sharing sad pics of tortured puppies, but they also love to share positivity. Additionally, it’s about time for brands to discover the real business potential behind the older demographic.


3rd Place: AXE’s Silent Entertainment by JWT Manajans (Turkey, MMA Smarties 2015 winner)


Turkish Government has limited the branded entertainment in TV shows with 1 minute breaks stating about the product placement within the show. To launch its new fragrance, AXE decided to go further from primitive in-show product placements. They launched a massive integrated campaign and started off by transforming a central Istanbul building into a music studio. In order to hear their favourite bands, people had to connect their smart phones to Axe Black Wi-fi Channel to live the silent experience. This in turn came with a price of silence on social media. AXE teamed up with a super-popular local TV show Medcezir and casted the Silent Window as a location within the show. Silent Entertainment became Turkey’s most tweeted outdoor project and Axe Black has become the most sold Axe deodorant during the campaign period.

Why we love it:

Silent Entertainment showcases perfect channel integration. Hopping from TV to outdoor to social media etc. takes skills. And the guys at JWT Manajans certainly know their thing. Partnering with a popular TV show turns up the engagement level, especially when done with a critical and unintrusive eye.  The campaign oozes from awesome content just waiting to be shared and ultimately – monetised.


These campaigns also made it to our October shortlist:

Soproni’s Good Deed by ACG and Unionmedia (Hungary)

Chevrolet’s Talk to You Later by Mediacom (Ecuador)

Philadelphia’s Voice Cooking by SapientNitro (Brazil)

Base’s Phone Address App by DDB Brussels (Belgium)

ALS League’s Eye Click Donation by Publicis Brussels (Belgium)

Public Health England’s Sugar Accumulator by MEC UK (UK)

The Center For Information Technology At The Ministry Of The Interior’s Sad Bus by k2 (Poland)


Our team of experts: Hando Sinisalu (CEO of Best Marketing International, Estonia), Maarja Laasu and Ann Kruuk (Co-Authors of “BOGDM: The Storybook and Storybook 2”)

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