You can dip a pretzel in hummus, salsa or baba ganoush. But for its Digiday-Award nominated social campaign, “House of Gold,” Rold Gold plunged its pretzel thins into intrigue, betrayal and ambition. The 17-episode social videos have racked up more than 1 million views each.
The work, up for Best New Product Launch at the 2015 Digiday Awards, was put together by AOR Deep Focus, its first such effort since the 1990s. And it’s not alone. About half of this year’s finalists are not full-service advertising agencies — a marked change from last year, when full-service agencies accounted for 86 percent of finalists.
The shift may reflect a growing trend among brands to experiment with other, specialized partners, namely social agencies, content creation agencies and publishers. Among the non-advertising agency finalists are NewsCred and Bloomberg Business for Best Brand Platform, digital media company Woven Digital for Best Branding Consumer Campaign and publisher Forbes BrandVoice for Best Publishing Platform.
Chobani CMO Peter McGuinness is one marketer who argues for keeping creative work in house. “It’s one thing to brief an agency and to give feedback to an agency on their work,” he told Digiday. “And it’s another to create it. Creating is believing, creating is seeing and creating is contagious.”
This year’s Digiday Awards, which will be handed out Nov. 19, may be one litmus test to see if Rold Gold’s efforts and those of other agency challengers can hold up to established shops like Havas Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi LA and others.
The full list of finalists follows:
Best Brand Platform
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Call of Duty: Hack in Black
Best Branding B2B Campaign
Best Branding Consumer Campaign
Best Direct Response Campaign
Best Product Launch
Toyota 4Runner Social Media Campaign
Best Publishing Platform
Best Social Good Campaign
Best Use of Mobile
Best Use of Social
*Featured at the Digiday Career Fair, October 1,2015