World exclusive: the DMA Awards grand prix winner

foxy 414You know how I scour the world in search of the latest news to brighten up your Fridays? No, I’m not just talking about looking to see what is trending on Twitter (although today it’s all about the death of Meat Loaf and the cancellation of Adele’s Vegas gigs if you’re interested).

Yet even though I spend a whole ten minutes researching this column each week before bashing out any old nonsense (my esteemed editor’s words, not mine or yours, thankfully), I’m under increasing pressure to get clicks (as if my musings aren’t already the most popular part of this august website anyway?).

Therefore, this week I’ve been forced to bow to pressure from above (well, pressure from The Bridge Inn to be more precise as that is where McKelvey seems to reside these days) and go for the popular vote.

And, dear Foxy fans, in what is a world exclusive (no-one else is bothering to cover this stuff, even the organisation which runs it hasn’t bothered to issue a press release), I can soon reveal the winner of the 2021 DMA Awards grand prix, and a mighty fine one it is too…

But first…

Quite why the data-driven marketing industry trade body waits nearly two bleedin’ months after the DMA Awards ceremony to announce the grand prix winner is anyone’s guess. Maybe just maybe, in these kinder times, it doesn’t want to upset the “losers”, even though they are the winners, too.

They will be the agencies that have spent a small fortune entering awards, buying hugely expensive tables at the event and also shelling out to put their clients up in posh London hotels.

They will be the ones which have already bagged a clutch of gold medals, maybe also some silvers and bronzes for work the judges deemed award winning and have been kept waiting to find out whether they have scooped the top prize.

So, drum roll, I am pleased to reveal that this year’s grand prix winner is EA and The Kiyan Prince Foundation, Long Live the Prince, by Engine Creative.

Want to know why? Well, you’d be hard pushed to find out on the main DMA website, there’s nothing, nada, zilch. Look carefully and you might find it on the DMA Awards website but, just in case you can’t, here goes and it is actually an amazing campaign.

Designed to raise funds for Kiyan Prince Foundation (KPF) and spread its anti-knife crime message to a predominantly young, urban and male audience, hard to influence through traditional marketing, the campaign needed to inspire the audience rather than lecture them.

With this in mind it tapped into what would have been the 30th birthday of football prodigy Kiyan Prince, who was stabbed to death while protecting his friend from a knife attack; the strategy was to reframe Kiyan’s story from tragedy to inspiration.

Focusing not on his loss but instead celebrating the man he was destined to become, the activity saw a virtual Kiyan re-signed by QPR and given the squad number 30. Simultaneously, he was entered into FIFA 21 as a playable character with a boot deal from Adidas.

These world firsts produced the publicity needed to capture the public’s imagination and generate donations, while influencers such as F2 Freestylers also promoted KPF’s message of knife-free positivity to a notoriously elusive audience.

The campaign was featured in every major UK newspaper as well as on the BBC, ITV and Sky News and led to Google’s biggest ever spike in searches for ‘Kiyan Prince’.

KPF raised three times its normal annual revenue in one day and educated young people through a coordinated social campaign and it continues to be successful in raising funds for KPF and increasing its profile among the young people it aims to help, plus the wider public.

As I said, this was amazing; so why hasn’t the DMA done more to promote it?

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