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Foster’s campaign wins Grand Prix at 2014 IPA Effectiveness Awards

Foster’s tongue-in-cheek “Good Call” advertising campaign by adam&eveDDB was last night (27 October) awarded the world’s most prestigious effectiveness prize, the IPA Effectiveness Awards Grand Prix, for demonstrating how it restored the once-struggling Heineken-owned brand to market leadership, producing £32 in revenue per £1 spent on advertising.


The TV-led advertising campaign, featuring Australian comedy duo Brad and Dan as agony uncles who humorously advise UK men on how to tackle relationship problems, drove nearly 70% of Foster’s sales growth in the three years to September 2013, amounting to millions of pounds of extra sales for Foster’s.

This moved Foster’s from third to first place for both sales value and volume among lagers sold in the UK ‘off-trade’ (retail) sector. The brand’s revival was achieved in spite of a decline in the total volume of standard lager sold off-trade in the UK, in spite of the fact that Foster’s maintained their premium pricing, and despite the fact that their share of advertising spend in the lager market did not rise.

The campaign also achieved the highest estimated revenue return of any beer campaign in the 34-year history of the IPA Effectiveness Awards (see table below). 

Most effective beer campaigns

The competition rewards campaigns that prove the return on their investment and is widely considered to be the most rigorous competition of its kind in the world.

Commenting on the Grand Prix winner Convenor of Judges Lorna Hawtin, Disruption Director, TBWA\Manchester said, "The Grand Prix-winning Foster’s campaign is a real fight back story with a happy ending. The scale of effect versus competitors and the particular contribution of insight-led creativity to this brand’s obvious resurgence are truly impressive."

The winner was selected from 70 entries, with budgets that ranged from £78,000 to over £100m, by separate industry and client juries. From this total, 35 awards – including nine much-prized Golds – were presented at the 2014 IPA Effectiveness Awards black-tie gala ceremony held at the Park Lane Hilton, last night (27 October). The full list of winners is below.

Said Lord Davies of Abersoch, CBE and 2014 Chairman of Judges, IPA Effectiveness Awards, “Despite the variety of different categories, causes, creative, channels and conclusions, what underpins all of these winning campaigns is the clear, unquestionable return on marketing investment that they have generated. Any client in any doubt about the powerful effect advertising can have on a business need only skim these incredible papers to be amazed and convinced of this. I particularly recommend the Grand-Prix winning Foster’s paper which details how the campaign transformed the brand into the market leader and generated £32 of revenue for every £1 invested.”

The Grand Prix victory is also the second consecutive IPA Effectiveness Grand Prix for the adam&eveDDB agency. In 2012, before its merger with DDB, adam&eve – together with Manning Gottlieb OMD – scooped the top prize for proving how highly emotive advertising for John Lewis helped the department store group grow profits by an estimated £261m.

The 2014 Awards are sponsored by Thinkbox as the overall sponsor and supported by: Arthur J. Gallagher; Campaign; Ipsos ASI; Newsworks; and Warc, the official publisher of IPA case histories.

Says Lindsey Clay, Chief Executive, Thinkbox, the overall Awards’ sponsor, “We have been huge fans of the Foster’s “Good call” campaign since Brad and Dan first hit our screens. It ticks every box: a strong brand idea led by powerful, emotional TV, which is then brilliantly integrated across platforms. It has reinforced the learning from Les Binet and Peter Field’s work on the IPA Databank that the most accurate predictor of effectiveness is likeability. Based on that, we shouldn’t be surprised that it is supremely effective.”

To view further details about the winning campaigns and additional effectiveness content including interviews with clients and agencies, short films of the campaigns and thought pieces from the judging panel, visit here. You can also join the conversation on Twitter #ipaeff, and access the winning papers here or here.

2014 IPA Effectiveness Awards Winners Full List

Special prizes:

Grand Prix
Foster's, Heineken UK by adam&eveDDB

Effectiveness Network of the Year

Effectiveness Company of the Year
Grey London

Best Dedication to Effectiveness

Best Multi-Market
Only, Bestseller by Grey London and UncleGrey (Denmark)

Best Small Budget
Pancreatic Cancer Action, Pancreatic Cancer Action by Team Darwin

Best International
National Depression Initiative (NDI), Health Promotion Agency by FCB New Zealand

The Channon Prize for Best New Learning
London 2012 (Travel Demand Management), Olympic Delivery Authority / Transport for London by M&C Saatchi

Gold winners

  • BHF, British Heart Foundation by Grey London
  • Dacia, Renault UK by Publicis London and Manning Gottlieb OMD
  • Foster's, Heineken UK by adam&eveDDB
  • London 2012 (Travel Demand Management), Olympic Delivery Authority / Transport for London by M&C Saatchi
  • Mercedes, Mercedes-Benz by AMV BBDO
  • National Depression Initiative (NDI), Health Promotion Agency by FCB New Zealand
  • Only, Bestseller by Grey London and UncleGrey (*Denmark)
  • Pancreatic Cancer Action, Pancreatic Cancer Action by Team Darwin
  • Specsavers, Specsavers Optical Group by Manning Gottlieb OMD

Silver winners

  • Aldi, Aldi UK & Aldi Ireland by McCann Manchester
  • Be Clear on Cancer, Public Health England by M&C Saatchi
  • Cuprinol, AkzoNobel by 18 Feet & Rising
  • easyJet, easyJet by VCCP and OMD
  • Everest, Everest by MBA and MediaCom
  • Fire Safety, Department for Communities and Local Government by RKCR/Y&R
  • Group of Humanitarian Attention to the Demobilised, Colombian Minstry of Defense by Lowe and Partners (*Columbia)
  • ITV, ITV by ITV
  • Mobile Internet, Deutsche Telekom by DDB Tribal Group (*Germany)
  • Premier Inn, Whitbread by RKCR/Y&R
  • Ready Baked Jackets, McCain by PHD Media
  • Sainsbury's, Sainsbury's by AMV BBDO, Blue Rubicon, PHD Media and Sainsbury's
  • The Salvation Army, The Salvation Army by Mike Colling & Co and WPN Chameleon

Bronze winners

  • Aviva, Aviva by AMV BBDO
  • EDF Energy, EDF Energy by AMV BBDO and Havas Media
  • Expedia, Expedia by Ogilvy & Mather London and Expedia
  • Fairy, Procter & Gamble by Grey London
  • first direct, first direct by JWT
  • Garnier UltraLift, L'Oréal by Publicis London
  • Kärcher UK, Kärcher UK by Kärcher UK
  • Lux, Unilever by JWT Tokyo and Unilever (*Japan)
  • Make Health Last, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada by Lowe Roche (*Canada)
  • Mattessons / Fridge Raiders, Kerry Foods by Saatchi & Saatchi
  • McDonald's, McDonald's Denmark by OMD Denmark and DDB Copenhagen (*Denmark)
  • MILO, Nestlé Malaysia by Ogilvy & Mather (*Malaysia)
  • Sensodyne Pronamel, GlaxoSmithKline by Grey London

(*international campaigns)

Last updated 28/10/2014

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