Agencies Show That When It Comes to Buying Media, It’s Not What You’ve Got—It’s How You Use It
Presenting Adweek’s 2019 Media Plan of the Year winners
This year’s winners found clever ways to resonate with the coveted youth market (we’re talking about you, Oh Henry! and Visible), channel a massively popular TV series for the greater good (Droga5), inspire organic participation from celebrities (Initiative) and so much more. Presenting the 2019 Media Plan of the Year winners, who proved time and again that it’s not what you’ve got—it’s how you use it.
MullenLowe Mediahub | New Balance, ‘Cizzorz Fun Run’
Category: Best Use of Streaming Media/OTT
Engaging Fortnite fans with a New Balance promotion tied to the Boston Marathon while avoiding guns and violence is not easy, given that the most popular games involve first-person shooters. The footwear brand needed something unconventional, something that would speak to Fortnite’s insular community.
“New Balance is a challenger brand,” Mediahub vp, group media director Allan Apjohn says. “Any challenger brand needs to disrupt the norm, to disrupt convention.”
The agency ultimately decided a speed run—in which a player attempts to go through a game as quickly as possible—was its best bet and connected with Jack “Cizzorz” Cizek, a gamer with a strong presence on Twitch and YouTube.
Cizzorz created a painfully difficult custom course for the brand featuring seven levels inspired by the Boston Marathon route, sarcastically calling it a “Fun Run.” Winning runs were awarded merchandise, or charitable donations were made in players’ names.
For the campaign, Mediahub targeted both Twitch and YouTube with paid media. “Because we were working with Cizzorz and working through something that he was doing on his own as a creator, we were able to come in at a much lower entry point,” says Apjohn.
One million players tried the course, generating 100 hours of user-generated content and more than 35 million race videos viewed, as well as over 2 million social engagements.
“We wanted to do it in an authentic way,” says Andrew Merle, New Balance head of brand and consumer marketing, North America, “by partnering with the right individual and providing value for the gaming community.” —E.O.