Toronto-based agency Lowe Roche Advertising has been nominated in two categories for the upcoming 2014 ARF David Ogilvy Awards. It’s the only Canadian agency in the running.
Named after advertising legend David Ogilvy, the awards recognize the role of consumer research in creating powerful, profitable campaigns.
Lowe Roche was selected for its work on a number of diverse campaigns: repositioning the Groupe Média TFO brand, Heart & Stroke Foundation’s “Make Health Last” campaign and a quirky apology to consumers on behalf of Johnson & Johnson for the discontinuation of its o.b. ultra tampons.
Monica Ruffo, CEO of Lowe Roche, which got the most nominations among the 22 finalist agencies, singled out the importance of taking time and effort to find the right idea for every campaign.
“I am a huge believer in strategy. We have been putting a lot of effort into our strategic planning. It’s really paying off and that’s very gratifying,” she said.
Under the new structure the firm put in place 18 months ago, planners work together on accounts. “Usually one person works on an account, but here we put people two by two; the end result is really different,” Ruffo said. She said she believes in having different points of view at the table, and that a great concept doesn’t live in one person’s head.
In terms of the popular tampon apology, the core strategic tenet was that it had to be a personal message.
“Johnson & Johnson had to do something that was more than just your typical corporate apology. This is a very personal product so it had to be a very personal apology.”
The resulting video, featuring a cheesy piano-playing singer, was sent to everyone in the o.b. database (65,010 customers) and formatted to address each woman who received it. Not only was the customer’s name sung by the repentant crooner, it was also seen on the sheet music, written in rose petals on the beach and featured on a hot air balloon floating across the sky, among others.
Within three months, the video was shared on Facebook more than a million times, and shared on Twitter 1.8 million times.
The awards take place on March 25 in New York City.