May 26, 2009, Atlanta-based business-to-business marketing agency MLT Creative earned two awards from the Atlanta chapter of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). The South Star Awards of DMA-Atlanta recognize excellence in direct marketing strategy, creativity, and results. These honors add to a mounting number of industry accolades MLT Creative has earned this year.
MLT Creative won the South Star for the best B-to-B Integrated Campaign in the category of Image Building for its work with Airgas, the country’s largest distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases and related equipment. The agency designed a campaign around Airgas’s reclamation efforts, which were prompted by the mandated phase-down of the common refrigerant R-22 and other HCFCs. Targeting HVAC technicians and supply wholesalers, the Airgas refrigerant reclamation program includes incentives like providing free gas reclamation tanks and paying wholesalers for returning their used refrigerant gas to Airgas.
To tout the environmental benefits of the program while playing on the color of printed currency, MLT modified it to read ”Be Green and Turn Those Used Refrigerants Into Cash.” While the direct mail pieces were central, the integrated marketing campaign was branded over multiple platforms, including print and banner ads, point-of-sale materials, and collateral.
“This was a really green campaign to work on,” said MLT Creative Account Executive Vann Morris, ”because we knew that if we were successful, it also meant that we would be keeping ozone-depleting gas out of the atmosphere.”
“For that reason,” she added, ”we are so proud of the campaigns success. And the DMA South Star Award is like icing on the cake!”
The campaigns success speaks for itself: Initially, there were no ReKlaim collection center locations. Now there are 230.
MLT Creative’s other South Star Award is especially dear to the agency, as it recognizes their ability to promote their most important client: themselves. The agency won in the B-to-B Integrated Campaign: Lead Generation category for its own integrated ”Need a Lift? Eight-Straight Strategy” campaign.
After developing a new website, the agency capitalized on its launch by kicking off a new business development campaign. They combined the website with self-promotional efforts to attract, engage, convert, and retain customers. “Pushing for brand awareness and recall, the campaigns strategy included outreaches that were frequent and repetitive. MLT Creative shipped eight tactile, clutter-busting mailers to its target market of 300 Atlanta marketing professionals in a rapid-fire, 10-week schedule.
In order to convey the strengths in both creative and strategic areas, the agency developed a parallel component to the mailers, labeled: an experiment. This experiment invited each recipient to participate in the campaign under the promise of offering a totally transparent view of its goals, strategy, tracking, and results. Creative direction shaped these goals as scientific hypotheses, and an interactive microsite dubbed “The Idea Launch Lab” (www.theidealaunchlab.com) served as an experiential environment for sharing the results. The creative team devised, designed, and constructed a a series of foam and paper airplanes and rockets that backed up the campaigns Need a Lift? theme, designed to drive recipients to “The Idea Launch Lab”, as were incentives such as a travel voucher and other giveaways.
”Our ‘Eight-Straight Need a Lift?’ campaign was a success by enabling us to target, connect, and land work with new B2B marketing clients, even in the midst of a slowing economy,” said Account Executive Kelly Pires. To receive this peer recognition from the DMA-Atlanta makes our achievement that much sweeter.
The campaign was successful because it combined innovative ideas with industry best practices and a creative strategy that generated returns three times the investment.
The DMA South Star Awards are the latest in an exciting string of recent nods for MLT Creative. Additional honors this year include the American Marketing Association AMY Award for B2B Visual Branding, with an additional four finalist awards; recognition as a Georgia State University MAX Award finalist; and, most recently, a coveted spot on BtoB Magazines Top BtoB Agencies List.