Last week I got back from annual leave to an extremely ‘festive’ voicemail from my Account Manager. She was calling from the B2B Marketing Awards where the Investors in People “Outperformance” campaign, which we both worked on in the first half of this year, had just won the award for Best Brand Initiative. The complimentary champagne was clearly in full flow.
And rightly so: it was an incredibly successful campaign and the award was very well-deserved. But what was it that made “Outperformance” award-winning and not ‘just’ successful? On reflection I think there were three things that marked this campaign out as something special.
- The concept
Firstly, “Outperformance” was certainly not the easy option. Apart from convincing focus groups that yes, it is a real word, “Outperformance” represented a bold position for an organisation like Investors in People (IIP) to adopt: impactful, but potentially polarising. But in truth this was its strength, it didn’t shy away from the facts. It was a concept that was firmly rooted in extensive research which showed a change was taking place in HR; a shift from ‘transaction’ to ‘transformation’. From traditional roles, such as payroll and processes, to a department being asked more and more to effect genuine cultural change within its organisation. “Outperformance” recognised and tapped into this feeling perfectly.
- The client
IIP were a great client because they allowed us to do great work, and because they genuinely practiced what they preached. There were several adcepts at the initial tissue session which they could have chosen had they been more inclined to play it safe. But they made the brave choice in choosing “Outperformance”. (Bravery of course being one of the 3 business principals we’re encouraged to strive for at Ogilvy). That they made the right choice went on to be proved by the campaign results.
But, more than that, they genuinely believed in the campaign and adopted the thinking behind it into their own organisation. This is what Alyssa Stringer, Marketing Manager at Investors in People, had to say about the campaign:
“I can honestly say that the “Outperformance” campaign has shaped IIP as we are today; it has taught us more about our product, our brand, and our own capability than imagined.[But] what marks the campaign as a true success in my mind are the individuals – the individuals that really understood that at the heart of creating an outstanding campaign is collaboration, teamwork and a commitment to the purpose.”
Alyssa’s last sentence brings me neatly on to the third and final point of difference for “Outperformance”
- How it felt
The late nights still felt long, but there was a palpable sense through it all that we were working towards a common purpose. We believed in the campaign we were creating. And we were working with a client who believed in it too.
I think the best way of summarising how this felt is with a quote from Sir Dave Brailsford, former Great Britain Olympic cycling coach and spokesman for our campaign:
“If you’re in an Outperforming team, it’s a great place to be. Everyone is motivated, everybody is on the same page, they’ve got a clear purpose. It’s exciting, and you’re challenged, but it’s not easy.”
As the most awarded agency at the B2B marketing awards this year, I’d imagine next year’s batch of award winners are already being worked on, so if any of this this sounds familiar you could be onto something.
To find out more, visit the campaign microsite here.