If this year’s Gramias (grocery advertising and marketing industry awards) taught us anything it was that even harsh economic conditions cannot stifle marketing creativity. Despite facing severe cost pressures, the industry has been rewarded for its continued investment in marketing with a series of high-impact creatives, including Aunt Bessie’s Mash Van and the viral sensation that was Cadbury’s drumming gorilla.

Rather than indulge the harbingers of doom, the event gave great cause for optimism, according to chair of the judging panel, Mark Fiddes, global creative director of Euro RSCG Worldwide.

Agency winners
Brand experience: Because Experiential Marketing
: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Consumer: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Consumer PR: Cow PR
Direct marketing: The Real Adventure
Packaging: Landor Associates
Recruitment: Aia
Trade PR: Clarion Communications
Trade press: Mercieca
“It showcases not only what has worked successfully for brands in the past but also guides us to the future,” he said. “These campaigns should give us courage to keep innovating at a time when we have never needed fresh creative thinking more. Robust demand in the economy requires that we continuously search out new, surprising, elegant ways to engage customers – whether it’s a gorilla at a drum kit or an ice cream van that dispenses mashed potato.”

The awards, organised by The Grocer magazine and held in London last week, are in their 14th year and reward the most innovative and effective techniques in grocery marketing across 11 creative categories and nine agency categories.

Diamond Gramia
Every finalist receives a Gramia, and one diamond Gramia winner in each creative category is announced on the night. Sponsored by Unilever, St Helier Pear Cider, Confederation of Paper Industries, In Your Space, TVLowCost and Zig-Zag, this year’s awards were distinguished by the relevance of each nominated campaign to the brands they were promoting, said Fiddes.

“We were careful to weed out those examples that were merely a clever idea looking for a home,” he said.

Cadbury’s Glass and a Half Full Productions campaign, featuring the drumming gorilla, ticked all the right boxes to win the TV and cinema award.

In the packaging category, Fox’s biscuits was praised by the judges for its “smart and playful redesign and good use of typography and images”. Quaker’s “satisfyingly simple” Milk Bottle campaign took the honours in the direct marketing section, while Daz’s Liquid Tabs trade press ad scored highly for “hitting the target market spot on”. Bartle Bogle Hegarty scored a hat-trick on the night, picking up agency awards for online and consumer, and the creative award for outdoor.

Advertising and PR agencies would really have to earn their crust in the coming months, said Adam Leyland, editor of The Grocer.

“I believe the past year has witnessed a renaissance in advertising for food and drink, with chocolate, chewing gum, beer and bread all coming in for superb creatives. If the winners of this year’s Gramias are anything to go by, the industry is in great hands.”

For photos from the night and further information visit www.gramia.co.uk.
Creative diamond winners
Brand experience
Campaign: Beck’s Fusions. Brand: Beck’s. Agency: Slice PR

Consumer PR
Campaign: Aunt Bessie’s Mash Van. Brand: Aunt Bessie’s. Agency: Cow PR.

Consumer press
Campaign: The Taste of Home. Brand: Aunt Bessie’s. Agency: Euro RSCG London

Direct marketing
Campaign: Milk Bottle. Brand: Quaker. Agency: The Real Adventure.

Campaign: Potato Parade. Brand: McCain Foods. Agency: Glue London.

Campaign: Finger Lickin’ Good. Brand: KFC. Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

Campaign: Redesign. Brand: Fox’s Biscuits. Agency: Brandopus.
Campaign: Table Table. Brand: Whitbread Group. Agency: WDAD Communications

Trade PR
Campaign: Gold Fever. Brand: Benson & Hedges Gold. Agency: Clarion Communications

Trade press
Campaign: Liquid Tabs. Brand: Daz. Agency: Mercieca.

TV and cinema
Campaign: Glass and a Half Full Productions. Brand: Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. Agency: Fallon.