The marketing industry has been faced with challenges at every turn this year. Ofcom's ban on the advertising of HFSS foods to kids has sparked a complete overhaul of the way the industry advertises many well-loved brands. And the unpredictable world of the internet means creatives must come up with more exciting ways to appeal to the demands of consumers.

But ignore the doomsayers talking down the industry, says Patrick Collister, founder of Creative Matters and chair of the judging panel for this year's Grocery Advertising Marketing Industry awards (GRAMIAs): marketers have never had it so good. The Gramias, organised by The Grocer magazine and held in London last week, is in its 13th year. The event rewards the most innovative and effective techniques in grocery marketing across 11 media categories, including brand experience, trade press, consumer press, packaging, TV and cinema, recruitment, online, consumer PR and trade PR.

Every shortlisted entry receives a Gramia and one Golden Gramia winner in each category is announced on the night (see box).

Sponsored by Unilever, Field Sales Solutions, Five, Sales Activation Solutions, Tetra Pak, Zig Zag and, this year's awards have highlighted the important role marketing plays in today's business environment. "In the past couple of years, adland has done a good job of terrifying itself," said Collister. "We read stories of how new media will spell the end for old media. Newspapers will be replaced by blogs, video on demand will kill off TV as we know it and advertising will be created by consumers for their favourite brands. Sergio Zyman wrote a book called The End of Advertising and it sold in tens of thousands.

"Yet there are more people in advertising now than at any time for 20 years. How and where we communicate with our target audiences may be changing but what isn't is the need for brands and for those brands to communicate their values clearly, innovate to provide better products, and provide information that will help people make better choices. There are more TV channels, newspapers and magazines and radio stations than ever. To the scaremongers, change means problems but the Gramia Awards reveal every problem is an opportunity."

The 13-strong panel of judges highlighted Heinz's consumer press adverts for its spaghetti brand as an example of this. The image of a can of spaghetti in a field of corn as if it were a bale of hay told a story about the natural ingredients of the product in response to growing health concerns - without being worthy or dull, it said.

Unilever's online campaign for Flora, called the Day After the Marathon, also got in on the health message. It showed the pain marathon runners were in, but took a fun approach. It was simple, funny and memorable, said the judges.

This year's Gramias showcased many campaigns that had found new ways to interact with consumers, Collister said. "We see ingenuity and success in field marketing and experiential communication - using the internet and email in new and intriguing ways to build relationships between brands and their customers ."

The winners were evidence that the industry was flourishing, he added. "This is the most exciting time to be in marketing and communications. The breadth of the Gramia categories and the depth of the entries is proof of it."Golden Gramia winners

Brand Experience

Brand Superdrug

Campaign Superdrug backstage

Agency BEcause Experiential Marketing

Consumer Public Relations

Brand Go-Cat

Campaign Britain's most adventurous cat

Agency Clarion Communications

Consumer press

Brand Heinz Spaghetti

Campaign Hay bales

Agency Leo Burnett

Direct Marketing

Brand Ginsters

Campaign Communications technology

Agency Mercieca Communications


Brand Heinz Salad Cream

Campaign Pourable sunshine

Agency McCann Erickson Advertising


Brand Loseley Ice Cream

Campaign Loseley Ice Cream

Agency P&W Design Consultants


Brand Robinsons

Campaign Raise them on Robinsons

Agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty


Brand PepsiCo

Campaign Take monster steps

Agency Associates in Advertising

Trade Press

Brand Heinz

Campaign Let's grow grocery

Agency Mercieca Communications

Trade Public Relations

Brand Del Monte Smoothies

Campaign Smooth operator

Agency Cirkle

TV & Cinema

Brand Lurpak

Campaign Good food deserves Lurpak

Agency Wieden & Kennedy


Brand Flora

Campaign Day after the marathon

Agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Agency award winners

Brand Experience

BEcause Experiential Marketing


P&W Design Consultants

Direct Marketing

The Real Adventure


Associates in Advertising

Trade Press

Mercieca Communications


Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Consumer Public Relations

FML Public Relations

Trade Public Relations

Clarion Communications


Swamp at Brahm