Vodafone, German Ad Agency TLGG Win MIDEM's First Marketing Campaign Competition
Vodafone, German Ad Agency TLGG Win MIDEM's First Marketing Campaign Competition

German ad agency Torben, Lucie und die gelbe Gefahr GmbH (TLGG) was named the surprise winner of MIDEM's first Marketing Campaign Competition Monday, winning on behalf of client Vodafone. TLGG was one of 10 competitors selected by Contagious magazine and presented during a two-hour pitch session Saturday afternoon.

The global finalists included ROCKSTAR4000 (South Africa) and Airtel Africa with Airtel ONE8, France's Carte Musique with agency Euro RSCG, Converse's Rubber Tracks in Brooklyn, Anomaly's Instagrammed music video for The Vaccines and American Express and Digitas' global "Unstaged" program, among others. They were then judged by a panel consisting of Nick Bailey, executive creative director of AKQA Amsterdam; Ryan Fitch, music producer for Saatchi & Saatchi U.S.; Julie Nollet, international communications manager for Hennessy; Steve Mullins, content director for brand-e. Biz and Olivier Robert-Murphy, global head of new business for Universal Music Group UK.

Billboard's MIDEM 2012 Blog

For TLGG, the task was to create a social-media campaign for Vodafone that matched the company's super-fast mobile network with music. So the agency tapped German band Bakkushan to participate in a crowdsourced studio session in which they created micro-songs out of fans' tweets hashtagged "#tweetlied" or comments on Facebook, often with a turnaround of five minutes or less. The session extended across 11 real-time hours and was live-streamed, generating 62,000 video views and 17,000 new fans of Vodafone day-of alone.

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Cliff Fluet (far left), partner at media and entertainment law firm Lewis Silkin, moderates the MIDEM Marketing Campaign Competition, judged by (from left) Nick Bailey, executive creative director of AKQA Amsterdam; Ryan Fitch, music producer for Saatchi & Saatchi U.S.; Julie Nollet, international communications manager for Hennessy; Steve Mullins, content director for brand-e-biz and Olivier Robert-Murphy, global head of new business for Universal Music Group UK. (Photo: Andrew Hampp)

What set TLGG apart? Judge Robert-Murphy of UMG told Billboard that the Vodafone campaign best represented the three most important traits - artist value, brand value and sustainability. "The cases we saw were mostly one-off campaigns," he said. "When today it's all about long-term strategic marketing partnership, if you want consumer engagement you need repetition, a long-term plan. That's the best way to create benefits from a brand."

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TLGG CEO Chrisoph Bornschein was notably surprised and tearful during his acceptance speech, later tweeting, "thanks for all of you that crossed fingers, watched the livestream and hoped for this to happen, great support, gotta get wasted now #midem." His competition harbored no hard feelings, even after word got out about the winner on Saturday. Converse CMO Geoff Cottrill shared an Instagram post on Saturday in which he wrote, "We came to MIDEM with hopes of winning a contest for best music campaign of the year. We just found out we lost. Oh well, congrats to the winning campaign! On to the bar now to celebrate our loss. For all the artists who have recorded at Converse Rubber Tracks - we built the studio for YOU - not for fancy awards. Thx to all the artists who have been so good to our brand. We appreciate you - more than you will ever know. Peace!! @ Hotel Martinez - Cannes."