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Mullen's 2007 David Ogilvy Award

Posted by Tara Lasker on Sat, Jul 28, 2007

We wanted to share some good news with you about one of our clients.  The Boston-area based Mullen Advertising Agency has won the prestigious 2007 Advertising Research Foundation DAVID OGILVY award.  The OGILVY award, which was presented to Mullen and LendingTree for the ‘Best of Both Worlds’ advertising campaign, represents the best use of consumer research to build marketing campaigns that achieved superior business results. 
The objective of the LendingTree campaign was to address barriers to online lending adoption. The result: in the three months when the ‘Best of Both Worlds’ campaign launched, LendingTree witnessed a 14% increase in loan requests, while spending  20% less per month in advertising. In addition, LendingTree continued to grow the business year over year during the same 3 month period.

A Framework for Success

The research used by Mullen to develop and refine the campaign (and win the award!) was not complex. It was rather a very focused, disciplined and rigorous application of best practices in brand positioning and messaging research.  The goal of the research was to enable better and more precise messaging decisions. It did this specifically in two ways:

First, the research identified the relative motivational power of more general brand promises (e.g., Trust, Excellent Customer Service, Low Rates) and then looked at the different specific message executions.  In other words, the research identified the most motivating messages for the most motivating promises.

Second, the research allowed Mullen to consider three separate decision criteria simultaneously when deciding which specific messages to use and how to use them.  Those three criteria, applied to specific messages, were: alignment with the long term brand positioning strategy, awareness/knowledge in the market, and the relative motivating power of the message.  Mullen used the criteria in the following manner:

  • If a message met all three criteria – matched with long term positioning, had high awareness and was highly motivating, Mullen knew to speak to it as a known quantity and to leverage it. 
  • If it met only two of the criteria, for example – matched with long term positioning, was highly motivating but had low awareness, Mullen knew to focus on building awareness.
  • Alternatively, if the message had high awareness, but was neither motivating nor in alignment with long term positioning, Mullen knew it had to refocus its efforts.

Ultimately, this three-way insight enabled Mullen to more confidently make nuanced and precise decisions that drove the superior results.

We at Chadwick Martin Bailey are grateful for the opportunity to have worked with Mullen on executing the research that produced an award-winning advertising campaign. 

For more information about the Mullen research project, contact Tara Lasker at tlasker@cmbinfo.com

Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey, advertising