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GMR Earns Double Honors in 2014 Ex Awards

We’re honored to be one of just a few agencies to earn multiple wins in the 2014 Ex Awards. The awards ceremony was held last night in Salt Lake City as part of the Event Marketing Summit, the world’s largest conference on experiential marketing.

In the judges’ words:

Ex Award: Best Use of Guerilla/Street Marketing

Client: William Wrigley Jr. Co.
Campaign: Excel Gumergency
Agency: GMR Marketing

WHY IT’S A WINNER. This provocative and playful campaign turned what could have been a simple sampling strategy for a broad target into one that generated real-time social engagement and share-worthy content both on the brand’s social media pages and on the vehicle’s social wall.

TRENDS IN ACTION. Surprise interactions with an actor onboard a mobile vehicle gave consumers an experience to talk about. These types of “shareworthy sampling” strategies are giving basic product trial experiences massive boosts in social reach.

THE CASE STUDY. Imagine walking down the street with a cup of coffee and hearing a booming voice warning you that in due time that hot beverage could leave you with a “gumergency”… coffee breath, that is. It’s how Wrigley interrupted high-traffic areas in Vancouver and Toronto over 26 days to boost awareness of its Excel gum with the Excel Gumergency Mobile Unit, a box truck with glass walls containing a command center of sorts and a trained actor who served as the Gumergency Operator and spoke to consumers going about their day-to-day routine with a playful sense of urgency, and even took calls from outside.

Passerby enjoying coffee, food and other items that may cause bad breath were encouraged to take “breathalyzer” tests with brand ambassadors to determine the level of their gumergency. They received an Excel sample (size determined by the level of severity… maybe one for a muffin, or 10 for an onion sandwich) to help resolve the problem.

In addition to the live interaction, Wrigley promoted the #gumergency hashtag to generate real-time social engagement and share-worthy content. Consumers could post about their experience on Twitter and Instagram and by using the hashtag, their post was promoted on a live LED ticker board and social wall attached to the truck.

The messaging behind the gumergency campaign, which began with 30-second spots on YouTube featuring “Randy Johnson,” the not-so-friendly gumergency hotline operator, was that “gum can solve gumergencies and give people the confidence to get closer.” Certainly, closer to the Wrigley brand.

RESULTS. Some 2,130 breathalyzer tests were administered with 215,000 Excel samples distributed, in addition to 392,000 live in-market impressions.

Gold: Best Buzz Marketing/Influencer Program

Client: MillerCoors
Campaign: Miller Time Internship
Agency: GMR Marketing

To leverage its partnership with the movie “The Internship” and raise awareness and consideration among men ages 21 to 34, Miller Lite created the Miller Time Internship, a promotion that turned a group of buddies into Miller Lite interns and sent them across the country—two weeks, four friends, 3,884 miles of true Miller Time.

Miller Lite put out a call for internship applications at the beginning of last year’s South by Southwest, followed by an online and above-the-line campaign. Groups of friends were encouraged to apply for the internship, uploading videos to introduce themselves. Interviews were conducted online and three finalists were brought to MillerCoors’ headquarters in Chicago for the final interview.

The guys went to seven cities nationwide in a tricked-out RV and experienced once-in-a-lifetime events in each. Among the experiences: learning bartending tricks, helping to prepare bars for the Philadelphia Phillies game, introducing a band at a post-game concert, working with pit crews at the Charlotte Motor Speedway to prepare for a race, and in Dallas, getting a private tour of the Cowboys facilities. Eventually, they arrived in Los Angeles for “The Internship” red carpet premiere, where they got a private tour of Fox Studios, interviewed stars on the red carpet and attended an after-party. All along the way a video crew produced on-the-road updates from each stop. A digital team produced timely Tweets and Facebook posts.

The program was featured in two episodes of “Jimmy Kimmel, Live!” and earned more than one million YouTube views and 3.6 million Facebook views.

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