Thursday, November 23, 2006

Scottish Retail Excellence Awards 2006

To Scotland now where the winners of the Scottish Retail Excellence Awards 2006 were announced at a gala ceremony recently. Hosted by TV personality Lorraine Kelly and held at Glasgow's Hilton Hotel, these prestigious awards are intended to pay tribute to the retail industry's top achievers and to showcase the outstanding achievements of retailers from across Scotland. The Scottish Retail Excellence Awards were created by the Scottish Daily Record and Scottish Business Insider magazine, with support from the Scottish Retail Consortium. Other sponsors of the 2006 awards included Deloitee, Sainsbury's and the Scottish Co-op. The 2006 awards were divided into ten categories plus the overall winner's title, the 'Retailer of the Year'. Judging of the entries was by a panel of industry experts. The prestigious title of Retailer of the Year went to John Lewis Partnership. Other category winners included B&Q (Customer Service Initiative of the Year Award), Gayle Honeyman of the Scottish Co-op (Store Manager of the Year Award) and Cove Boutique (Consumers' Favourite Chain of the Year). All the winners received magnificent crystal awards trophies, supplied and engraved by Glasgow-based company Uppermost Business Gifts.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The CIPS Supply Management Awards 2006

This week the shortlist of finalists was announced for the 2006 CIPS (Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply) Supply Management Awards. Here at Winner's Podium we love a well-run, meaningful and well-publicised awards scheme and the CIPS awards are an excellent example. Established in 2003, the awards seek to celebrate and reward excellence in the field of purchasing and supply. As they are organised by the CIPS, they have the effect of consolidating this body as the de facto authoritative organisation to represent and champion the purchasing and supply profession. The awards also help to promote and maintain interest in the group's fortnightly magazine, Supply Management, which is jointly running the awards. In 2005 the final awards ceremony attracted an audience of over 900 people. The 2006 ceremony will take place at the London's Park Lane Hilton on 26th October, where the winners of 10 team and two individual categories will be announced and awards trophies presented. The shortlist for these categories was announced this week, after the judging panel considered some 160 entries. Speaking about this year's submissions, Gerry Walsh, CIPS vice-president and chair of the judging panel, said: "The judges were delighted with the quality of the entries. The standard seems to have gone up again this year". Which is a nice progression for such a recent awards scheme. As with many successful industry awards schemes, the CIPS Supply Management Awards have lined up a number of sponsors. For the 2006 awards, the headline sponsor is Ariba - who receive the bonus of having their own logo incorporated with the special 2006 awards logo. Two previous sponsors, Hays Purchasing & Supply and Atos Consulting, both continue their support of the awards. Two further sponsors, The Office of Government Commerce and RS, are first-time sponsors for the awards.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Last Call for Entries to AOP Online Publishing Awards 2006

The deadline for entries to the 2006 AOP Online Publishing Awards is Friday 28th July. The awards are organised by the UK Association of Online Publishers and seek to establish and reward the highest standards in all aspects of multimedia digital publishing. Now in their fifth year, the awards also provide industry recognition for businesses that have excelled over the previous 12 months. The categories include: Editorial Team 2006; Design 2006; Online Advertising Campaign 2006; and Innovation 2006. The award winners will be announced at a black tie gala ceremony at London's Park Lane Hilton Hotel on 4th October 2006, following the annual AOP Online Publishing Conference. The awards are supported by ABC Electronic, Deloitte, IPA Digital, MIVA and PPAinteractive. Other partners include NMA (Media Partner), Brand Republic (Online Media Partner) and HCUK (Technology Partner). Full details and application forms can be found at the AOP Awards 2006 microsite.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Superbrands Awards 2006

Now here's two themes close to our hearts here at Winner's Podium - awards and branding. Put them together and you get the Superbrands Awards, the UK independent branding awards which held their 2006 awards ceremony at The Brewery, London last week. The awards are intended to recognise and reward the highest standards of branding within the UK as voted for by both experts and consumers. The expert panel is selected by Superbrands while the consumer opinion was canvassed by YouGov. The Superbrands Council considered some 1,200 brands and passed 650 of the best over to YouGov for the consumer vote. Some 2,373 consumers were canvassed and the top 500 brands were awarded Superbrand status. At the Awards event, over 300 guests enjoyed a networking introducation with canapes and a string quartet at the prestigious east London venue before sitting down to a gala dinner. Hosted by BBC TV and radio presenter Adrian Chiles, the crystal awards trophies for the top three consumer brands in the UK went to Microsoft, BA and the BBC.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Success Breeds Success: The Value of a Trophy

It may be a cliche to say 'nothing succeeds like success', but that doesn't make the phrase any less true. We'd like to focus today on one of English football's most successful clubs over the past 15 years. During that time, Manchester United have won every major domestic and European trophy, including the European Cup in 1999. Their manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, is recognised as one of the most successful in English football history. Yet for the past couple of years the current team has failed to live up to the achievements of the recent past. Last year they failed to win a single trophy and this season sees them with just one remaining opportunity to win silverware - the League Cup final against Wigan Athletic this Sunday (26th Feb 2006). In previous seasons Manchester United have regarded this trophy - seen as the least glamorous of the three main English competitions - with disdain, often putting out teams of reserve and youth squad players. So on one level it is a sign of the club's decline that in 2006 their only hope of winning silverware is in this competition. However, the winning spirit has not disappeared. And perhaps more importantly, and certainly more interestingly for us, is the reason behind this desire to win the League Cup. Sir Alex has repeatedly said that winning a trophy - any major trophy - is the aim at the start of every campaign. He knows, and his experienced players know, that success breeds success. A trophy won one year very often creates a momentum that ensures another trophy is won the following year. As team captain Gary Neville says of Sunday's cup final: "This final presents a fantastic opportunity to win a medal for lads like Wayne Rooney and Kieran Richardson, who have not done it before. ... And I know what confidence medals can bring". Neville and Ferguson both know the truth behind the adage 'nothing succeeds like success' and that for the current generation of youngsters in their team it is imperative that they get the taste of silverware and success ... to ensure further and future glory. It is a lesson that can be repeated in all walks of life, from sports to arts to the corporate world to public honours. Reward achievement, and it will reward you.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

People Management Award 2006

Entries are being invited for the 2006 People Management Award, a major British industry honour that is organised jointly by the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) and People Management magazine. The aim of this annual award is to honour an outstanding achievement in the field of people management and development. The prestige of the award is reflected in the level of corporate sponsorship and support it receives, and for 2006 the scheme will again be sponsored by telecommunications giant BT. One of the things we real like about this award scheme is the way it is presented to potential entrants. The CIPD web site has a specific page outlining the benefits of entryto the People Management Award, something that other awards organisers could learn from. It explains that the very process of preparing an entry for the awards can have a positive and galvanising effect on an organisation or department. Previous finalists have all reported that the publicity and prestige associated with the awards has helped 'open doors' for them. On a practical level, the CIPD and People Magazine offer a number of events and publicity opportunities for the finalists and, of course, the winners. And going forward, the winner from the previous year will feature prominently in the judging and awarding for the subsequent year. To us, these awards are an excellent example of providing real value to finalists and winners over an extended period of time. And there's more. The People Management Award commissions a unique sculpture as a trophy for the winner. The original People Management Award sculpture was created in bronze by Robert Erskine and aimed to convey the idea of people working together to break through barriers and realise their own potential in the workplace. Since then, a new sculpture has been created each year, all with the brief of capturing the essence of "people, life, rhythms and direction". Each of these bronze sculptures takes between twelve and sixteen weeks to create and provides a unique and lasting trophy for the award winners.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Oscars Mean Big Business

Think awards, think Oscars. There's no doubt that the Oscars are one of the world's foremost awards programmes, famous across the globe and emulated by awards schemes in virtually every industry. How many times do we hear the phrase 'the Oscars of the widget industry'? And just to underline the sheer scale and economic draw of the Oscars we'd like to focus on two news items published this week. Firstly the BBC's website has reported on The Politics of an Oscar Campaign. Penned from Los Angeles by reporter Peter Bowes, this feature article details the behind-the-scenes efforts by publicists, PR companies, lobbyists and campaigners to promote particular films and individuals for awards. The ultimate goal, of course, is box office takings. An Academy Award nomination can add substantial sums to the receipts for a film both at the cinema and in subsequent promotion of rental and home viewing formats. Bowes reports in particular on the boost that Oscar publicity can offer to foreign or independent films. According to Fredell Pogodin, who runs a public relations agency that specialises in independent, foreign and documentary films: "A lot of these films start the Oscar race without a US distribution deal. Invariably about 80 to 90% of the time if you are an Oscar nominee you will be picked up by a US distributor." But distibution deals, future earnings potential for actors and directions, and direct box office revenue are just one element of the Oscar economy. The second item we'd like to focus on today was prompted by this press release for Aquabar's Hydration Station. This upscale water fountain concept is to be available at the Platinum Guild International's Academy Award Red Carpet Jewelry Preview event. Yes, you read that correctly. The platinum jewelry industry is hosting an exclusive preview of designer jewelry for the benefit of Academy Award attendees, and they are now offering concessions at the venue (Hollywood's Mondrian Hotel) for complementary products and services. Its a smart move for both parties - Aquabar gets publicity and kudos for being the water station to the stars, while Platinum Guild International (PGI-US) gets to offer first class refreshment facilities to its celebrity visitors. The tie-up was first used at the PGI's Golden Globes Red Carpet Preview event last year, further evidence of the economic reach of the major awards events.

Monday, February 20, 2006

BAFTA Goodie Bag Competition

So, the 2006 BAFTA awards were announced at a glamorous ceremony in London last night. Last year we focussed on the low profile given to sponsors Orange (Orange Stuggles to Make BAFTA Impact?) and it was good to see that this year the BBC reported them as the 'Orange Bafta awards'. Orange also gained huge exposure from the soggy red-carpet runway, as the stars were covered by Orange-sponsored see-through umbrellas for their photo-shoot walk up to the entrance of London's Odeon Cinema. The star-studded ceremony was hosted by Stephen Fry and included A-list celebrities such as George Clooney, Charlize Theron and Reese Witherspoon. But stars and sponsors aside, what we'd like to focus on this year is the BAFTA goodie bag. What really interested us here at Winners Podium was a competition run by Yahoo! UK & Ireland which was offering BAFTA goodie bags as prizes. Now usually the goody bags at awards ceremonies are reserved for the awards nominees and also the presenters of each award. But in a move that really opened up the event to public participation, Yahoo! was offering a number of the bags as prizes in a Web-based competition. It allowed us non-celebs a glimpse of the A-list lifestyle as the contents of the bag were listed in detail. They included: a Motorola SLVR phone, a Furla Farrah bag, an American Airlines first class voucher, four nights in the One&Only Le Saint GĂ©ran resort in Mauritius, Taittinger champagne, Lancome products, Beautcamp Pilates sessions, Steinmetz phone jewellery, Timothy Han candles and a haircut with Nicky Clarke. No wonder the Orange British Academy Film Awards have been growing in stature in the world of film awards, and now attract such high-level stars to their events. It also provides a standard for other awards events to emulate with their own goodie bags and gifts for nominees and citation readers.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

BRIT Awards Publicity Blitz

Promotors of the BRIT Awards, the UK's music industry awards, are in publicity overdrive at the moment ahead of the awards event on February 15th. This year's event will be held at London's Earl's Court venue and will be televised on ITV on 16th February. We reported on the publicity ahead of last year's 25th annual BRIT awards show, which included a tie-in with BBC Radio 2 along with a Nomination Launch party. The launch party for the 2006 BRIT awards was held at London's Riverside Studios on January 10th, and this event was reported on in the BRIT Awards 2006 blog. The introduction of the blog allows the BRIT Awards publicity team to release new items on a daily, if not hourly, basis. So far these have included interviews with nominated acts, opinions from music industry figures, details of acts appearing on the awards night, and promotion of the BRITs compilation album. The BRIT Awards 2006 blog also contains a section dedicated to awards sponsors Mastercard. The company uses this opportunity to showcase its Priceless Evenings promotion, which includes a chance to win VIP tickets to the BRIT Awards and a trip to the GRAMMY Awards in Los Angeles. Nice move by the BRIT Awards organisers to give their sponsors such prominence, and nice move by Mastercard to follow up their sponsorship with related promotions. Smart moves all round.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Academy Concern Over Globes Bad Publicity

A publicity storm is brewing over the antics of one TV presenter at last week's Golden Globe Awards. Outrageous fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi was commissioned by the E! entertainment channel to conduct 'red carpet interviews' outside the venue for the prestigious awards. Mizrahi shocked viewers by groping and asking intimate questions of female stars, including Scarlett Johansson, Teri Hatcher and Eva Longoria. Comments made by the presenter - who is gay - to actress Charlize Theron about her character in the film 'Monster' have been criticised by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, who have submitted a formal complaint about the item. These antics were just what the TV channel had expected from Mizrahi. E! Networks President and CEO Ted Harbert told Associated Press: "I've hired Isaac because I felt the red carpet work on television, not just on E!, had become predictable, staid and frankly boring. What I wanted is someone who would bring surprise." Where it now gets interesting is that Mizrahi has also been lined up to present the carpet interviews for E! at the Oscars in March. While some people believe there is no such thing as bad publicity, others at the Academy are less certain. "I have no idea what plans E! has on Oscar night. If they're suggesting they would do something similar on our red carpet, we would have some good discussions with them," said Academy spokesman John Pavlik. "I can predict we would be extraordinarily angry if that happened on our carpet. I cannot predict what we would do afterwards." Of course, the pre-publicity about the possible bad publicity does the Oscars no harm at all!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

B&Q 'You Can Do It' Awards

DIY chain B&Q has announced the launch of its 2006 'You Can Do It' awards scheme. These community awards are available to organisations such as charities, sports and youth groups, disability and environmental groups and others. Since their launch in 1995 the B&Q You Can Do It awards have donated over £1m worth of products to over 200 community groups across the UK and Ireland. For the 2006 scheme, twenty awards worth £5,000 each will be presented to the successful organisations. Entries are invited up to the deadline of 17th March 2006. What we like about these awards here at Winners Podium is the tie-in with the sponsoring brand - its all about doing it yourself - and the reach of these awards. By targeting such a wide range of community groups, particularly sports, B&Q is getting its name promoted in a very positive and brand-enhancing manner before a huge audience. Nice one B&Q.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

What Car? Awards 2006

Motoring publications group What Car? held its annual awards ceremony at London's Grosvenor House Hotel venue last week. Top honour of Car of the Year went to the new BMW 3 Series while the Skoda took two awards - Best Small Family Car (Octavia 1.6 Ambiente) and Best Hot Hatch (Octavia vRS). The What Car? Awards are selected by a panel of judges from the magazine group, though one particular prize - the Reader Award - is judged by votes cast on the whatcar.com website and by readers of the magazine Eve. The What Car? Reader Award 2006 went to Jaguar's new XK model. As we have often noted here at Winners Podium, running an awards scheme is a tried-and-tested successful strategy for media groups to increase their profile within a sector, to boost the exposure of that sector, and to build significant relationships both with their own audience and with key figures and bodies within each chosen sector. With the advent of website polling software it is now even easier for a publisher to involve its audience in the selection or voting procedure for their business, corporate or industry awards schemes.

Friday, January 20, 2006

2006 Laurence Olivier Awards Announced

Nominations have been announced for the 2006 Laurence Olivier Awards, the UK's most prestigious stage and theatre awards. Dubbed 'London's equivalent of the Tony Awards', the 30th annual Laurence Oliver Awards will be announced in a ceremony at the London Hilton on Sunday, 26th February. The Hilton UK & Ireland hotel chain are sponsors of the awards. Awards will be presented in over 20 categories including Best Actor, Best Actress, Best New Musical and Outstanding Musical Production as well as fields such as Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre. The awards are organised by the Society of London Theatre, the trade association which represents the producers, theatre owners and managers of the major commercial and grant-aided theatres in central London. Established in 1976 as the Society of West End Theatre Awards, the awards were renamed in 1984 in honour of legendary British actor Laurence Olivier.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Golden Globe Awards 2006

The 63rd annual Golden Globe Awards were announced this week in a lavish ceremony at the Beverly Hilton. The event, broadcast live by NBC television in the USA and syndicated globally, is one of the largest and most glamorous awards ceremonies in the world. For full details of the winners and photos of the event, we recommend the official Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Golden Globes website. The 2006 event featured no fewer than 45 Hollywood stars as presenters of awards, with figures ranging from Penelope Cruz, Tim Robbins, Pamela Anderson and Dennis Quaid to Drew Barrymore, Mariah Carey and Catherine Deneuve. It is a measure of the sheer scale and momentum of these awards that they can attract such a large number of high profile actors and artists to present awards. As we commented last year regarding the 2005 awards (Golden Globes Set Shining Example), what really impresses us here at Winners Podium is how these awards manage to sit comfortably alongside other A-list film and TV awards ceremonies such as the Oscars. This mutual respect - deference? - was set at the very establishment of the Golden Globe Awards, when the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HPAS) decided to hold their event in January so as not to clash with the Oscars ceremony later in the year (see history of the Golden Globe awards). One final item we would like to note regarding the Golden Globes - the HPAS has donated over $5.5m to entertainment related charities over the past 11 years thanks to the revenue raised by the awards ceremony. In 2006 the donation was over $1m, with an additional $250,000 donated to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.