SOURCE: The AME Awards

December 19, 2007 09:00 ET

Fictional Motorcycle Stuntman and Video Game Character Propel HEIMAT Berlin and McCann Worldgroup San Francisco to Best of Show in the 2007 AME Awards

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - December 19, 2007) - Blurring the line between fact and fiction and disregarding the traditional boundaries of marketing, both HEIMAT Berlin and McCann Worldgroup San Francisco effectively and creatively sold a home improvement store and video game respectively to score this year's coveted Grand Awards at the 2007 Advertising & Marketing Effectiveness Awards.

In 2006 Ron Hammer, a fictional American motorcycle stuntman, attempted to scale the span of a Hornbach home improvement store but failed miserably, proving that Hornbach's mega-stores are "the DIY store for customers with big projects." The staged stunt was videotaped and a clip of the event was strategically placed on user-generated video sites like YouTube. The video was eventually played an astounding 2.4 million times. Viewers had no reason to believe the stunt was a fake and a massive pr campaign, which helped to legitimize what turned out to be a hoax, furthered the buzz surrounding the mystery. The web 2.0 approach generated nearly 75 million online contacts and catapulted website traffic up 78 percent. For this impressive integrated campaign HEIMAT Berlin takes home the Grand Award for Best Use of Discipline: Integrated Marketing.

Another imaginary character, this time a video game hero named Marcus Fenix from the game Gears of War, helped propel sales of the adult XBOX 360 game to 1 million copies in just two weeks. At 10 weeks it sold over 3 million copies and ended the year 2006 as the top-selling game among all platforms during the month of December. McCann Worldgroup's success in the campaign was due in large part to a video clip. A striking visual narrative of Fenix, as he roams the desolate apocalyptic streets, was created with all original footage generated specifically for the spot. Featuring a somber rendition of "Mad World" as the only sounds in the clip, despair and anguish are personified by the juxtaposition of violent imagery against a solemn and heart-wrenching tune, effectively forging a personal connection between Fenix and the 18-to-25-year-old male target demographic. Shortly after the commercial aired, the Michael Andrews and Gary Jules cover of the 1982 Tears For Fears song topped the iTunes chart. To further the buzz, a full-scale guerilla marketing campaign simultaneously launched, which included the use of ominous sidewalk stencils and bloodstains placed strategically in newspapers. McCann Worldgroup San Francisco was honored with a Grand Award in Consumer Product/Services for their innovative approach.

Two Gold medals each went to Jung von Matt of Hamburg, Germany, and McCann Erickson of New York, USA. JWT of Bangalore, India; Nordpol + Hamburg of Hamburg, Germany; Trigger, Grow Partners and Daddy of Göteborg, Sweden; Hakuhodo Kettle of Tokyo, Japan; BBDO Guerro Ortega of Makati City, The Philippines; Mudgra Communications of Bangalore, India and McCann Erickson of Hong Kong also received Gold for their outstanding work.

For a complete list of this year's winners please visit http://www.ameawards.com/main.taf?p=2.

This year's AME Awards saw entries from 33 countries, with judging sessions conducted worldwide by hosts June Laffey at DDB in Sydney, Australia; Bianca Barbucci at Publicis in Montréal, Canada; Edgardo Mermet Ovalle at McCann Erickson in Santiago, Chile; Norbert Fischbach at Profile Marketing Group in Wiesbaden, Germany; José Luis Betancourt at JWT in Mexico City, Mexico; Fiona Moore at Blue-Chip Marketing in Edinburgh, Scotland; Matthew Kretzschmar at Wunderman in Johannesburg, South Africa; Kiek Berger at Cayenne Communications in Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Lissie Heinkele at McCann Erickson in Birmingham, Michigan, USA; and Michael Demetriades, AME Awards Executive Director, at the AME Awards in New York, USA.

About the AME Awards:

Noted as the premier showcase for marketing and creative strategies that work, the Advertising & Marketing Effectiveness (AME) Awards celebrate work that breaks from normal frameworks and demonstrates successful problem solving combined with exceptional ideas. For more than 10 years, the AME Awards have honored daring and triumphant strategies, providing a lens through which to view the diverse ways successful campaigns define issues, select targets and develop insights. Winners are featured internationally with an online winners showcase and through the International Awards Group (IAG) Annual of Advertising, which offers a comprehensive view of advertising and creativity of the past year.

Contact Information

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    The AME Awards
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