Red Bee Media wins top Design Effectiveness Award

Red Bee Media has won the Grand Prix prize at the Design Business Association’s DBA Design Effectiveness Awards for its campaign for digital TV channel Dave.

Joe Ferry, head of design at Virgin Atlantic and a member of the judging panel, describes the campaign, which saw the channel’s name changed from UKTV G2, as ‘pure genius’.

Before Red Bee Media took on the rebrand, the channel was recording just 2 per cent spontaneous awareness. It also had the highest misattribution levels of any UKTV channel, with people watching programmes without realising they were watching UKTV G2.

With no money to invest in specific new programmes, and with a limited marketing budget, Red Bee Media was briefed to create a distinct brand personality. The consultancy came up with the banner ‘The Home of Witty Banter’, and from there chose the name Dave. The branding process had shown that a person’s name behind a brand could engender real passion.

The rebranded Dave has delivered a £4.5m profit in the first six months. When surveyed, 53 per cent of adults claimed to watch the channel weekly, even though the actual weekly reach was just 25 per cent of UK adults. Ferry says, ‘Changing a name, and from that change generating an enormously successful brand, to the point where the viewers claim they watch the channel more than they do, is astonishing.’

It is this sort of commercial success that the DBA awards night, held on Tuesday at London’s Hurlingham Club, recognised. Those involved in the awards, which have been running for 19 years, see this as particularly important in these troubled economic times.

DBA chief executive Deborah Dawton says, ‘Design can clearly deliver competitive advantage, product differentiation, leverage value sales and create brand awareness – the list goes on. Clients need to make these demands of the creatives they work with if they want to remain in business, especially now.’

Andrew Summers, chairman of Design Partners and chairman of the judging panel, adds, ‘The reputation the UK has is for great business-oriented solutions coupled with great creative work.’ To acknowledge this, the DBA also presents an International Export Award, set up in 2004, which this year goes to Shoal Creative and Product Development Technologies for its Fellowes binding and laminating range.

Shoal Creative and PDT were commissioned to design and package a new range of binding and laminating machines for a Chinese-based business that had been taken on by Fellowes UK. The Chinese firm had been recording annual losses in excess of £2.7m, and it was in danger of being dropped altogether.

Drawing on consumer research, Shoal Creative and PDT got the new product on the shelves just seven months after the initial design concepts had been produced, and a 48 per cent global sales increase was recorded in the year to March 2008.

Conrad Bird, head of strategic campaigns at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and a member of the DBA judging panel, says, ‘[This is] a heartwarming story of how customer focus, allied to great product and packaging design, turned around a division and saved jobs. Design matters – and this proves it.’

DBA design Effectiveness Awards 2008

Grand Prix winner: Red Bee Media for Dave campaign

International Export Award winner: Shoal Creative and Product Development Technologies for Fellowes binding and laminating range

Materials Innovation Award winner: Virgin Atlantic in-house design team and Pearson Lloyd for the Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy Superseat

Gold Medal winners: Good Creative, Landor Associates, Tayburn, Jones Knowles Ritchie, Coley Porter Bell, Applied Information Group with Lacock Gullam, Red Bee Media, Virgin Atlantic with Pearson Lloyd, and Shoal Creative with Product Development Technologies

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