It is down to M&M Global readers to decide which global advertiser they believe should be crowned International Advertiser of the Year 2015.
Here we run through each of the candidates – click to cast your vote.
One of the breakout brand successes of the past few years, Airbnb has taken the step up to become a leading global advertiser. With the recruitment of ex-Coca-Cola marketer Jonathan Mildenhall as CMO, and appointment of TBWA\Chiat\Day and Starcom MediaVest Group to global creative and media agency duties, Airbnb has made the transition from quirky online brand to mainstream player. Its recent much-discussed global campaign ‘Is mankind?’, encouraging viewers to explore the kindness of humanity, marks the latest phase in the beginning of an overarching brand philosophy.
It has been a year of change for Coca-Cola. Over the past 12 months, the soft drinks giant has introduced Coca-Cola Life, its first major brand extension in eight years, while chief marketing officer Joe Tripodi stepped down after seven years in the role, to be replaced by Iberia business unit president Marcos De Quinto. Media agencies in North America are slugging it out to win Coke’s $400m US media business. There was a nod to the brand’s illustrious past, too, when its famous ‘Hilltop’ ad featured in the concluding scenes of drama series Mad Men.
As Dell transitions from PC maker to end-to-end IT services provider, it stepped up its efforts to target technology ‘decision-makers’ in businesses of all sizes. In April, Dell launched a global, multi-million dollar B2B campaign asking whether businesses are “future ready”, featuring a video about a futuristic heart transplant. The tech brand has topped this year’s M&M Global Awards shortlist – its ‘Take IT Easy’ campaign by MediaCom, targeting German IT specialists with humorous content about annoying IT complaints, has been shortlisted on six occasions.
Only four years short of its centenary, hotels and resorts company Hilton continues to explore new content and technology techniques in its communications. The owner of the Waldorf Astoria chain was quick to trial Google’s new Hotel Ads format, claiming a 45% increase in conversion rates and a 12% improvement in ROI. In partnership with its media agency OMD, the company also claimed to be the first hotel to live-stream a concert when singer-songwriter Mikky Ekko performed at its Times Square venue in August last year. It formed a part of Hilton’s wider ‘Our stage. Our story’ campaign.
L’Oreal has kicked on with its ‘Beauty For All’ brand strategy, launched last year, inviting women from across the world to submit videos explaining their own “vision of beauty” to a branded portal. All eyes are currently on L’Oreal in North America, with the cosmetics company reviewing its $1bn-plus media planning and buying account. The French beauty firm has also looked to enhance the sophistication of its digital and programmatic plans with the recruitment of chief digital officer Lubomira Rochet.
It is a mark of Samsung’s continued brand strength that the Korean smartphone maker has been able to hold a resurgent Apple at bay, and retain its global lead in handset shipments. Its latest Galaxy S6 and S6 edge devices have been well received, despite a wobble at the turn of the year when Lee Sang-chul became Samsung’s third mobile business CMO in just a matter of weeks. Other successes include topping Havas’ annual ‘Meaningful Brands’ poll, and recruiting pioneering Unilever marketer Marc Mathieu to become its US CMO.
Shell has notched up a mighty six nominations in this year’s M&M Global Awards shortlist, including for its ‘Power of Sport’ campaign with MediaCom and its partnership with Bloomberg Media. A blockbuster-style global campaign, called ‘Stay Ahead’, launched earlier this year, promoting how Shell’s V-Power Nitro+ car fuel can help avoid engine gunk and corrosion. The oil and gas giant has also been innovating in the consumer space, recently partnering with PayPal to offer UK consumers at its forecourts the option to pay for fuel using a mobile app.
Unilever remains the gold standard by which other global advertisers judge their own performance. Its expertise across international markets, and progressive attitude towards new trends and technologies – not least through its ongoing Unilever Foundry start-ups programme – set it apart from the competition. Despite the departure of high-profile marketer Marc Mathieu to Samsung, Unilever’s chief marketing and communications officer Keith Weed remains one of the industry’s brightest stars. The results of the firm’s $8bn global media planning and buying review will be keenly followed by one and all.
The M&M Global Awards 2015 gala ceremony will take place at Grosvenor House on London’s Park Lane on Thursday 3 September. Click here to book your tickets and tables to attend.