BAA Announces The Winners of The First-Ever Brand Brilliance Awards

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Recognizing The Most Dynamic Marketers In The U.S.

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Ranging from Red Bull’s Stratos Project featuring Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner’s astonishing 24-mile free-fall from the stratosphere to All-State’s cutting edge “Mayhem” campaign, the winners of the inaugural Brand Brilliance Awards were unveiled today by the Brand Activation Association (BAA).

Created by BAA to recognize the most influential and dynamic brand marketers in the US marketplace today, the Brand Brilliance Awards honors individuals for outstanding achievement in brand activation, industry impact, legacy, and creativity in four different categories. The four categories and the 2013 winners in those categories are:

Active Brand Award - Honors the brand marketer who led his or her brand to excel in brand activation by driving equity, engagement, and sales.

2013 Winner Is: Wonderful Pistachios “Get Crackin’” Campaign, Paramount Farms Int’l. LLC

Over its four years, the Wonderful Pistachios’ “Get Crackin’” campaign has become something of a pop cultural barometer. The $20 million national campaign expands the humorous thematic of how everyone cracks open a pistachio in their own unique, light-hearted way. The cast of characters promoting the brand has run the gamut from Bristol Palin’s baby-daddy Levi Johnston, America's Next Top Model wife Adrianne Curry, and disgraced former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. The brand’s videos have collectively drawn nearly 12 million views, and sales increased 233% after their first batch of viral videos. On February 3, the five-year-old Wonderful Pistachios brand made the ultimate statement of its importance with its first-ever TV ad during the Super Bowl. The ad featured Psy, the South Korean YouTube sensation, singing his "Gangnam Style" song with special lyrics. The “Get Crackin” campaign was created by the Fire Station Agency in Los Angeles, California.

Game Changer Award - Honors the brand marketer who challenged the status quo, and changed the industry through a unique approach to marketing.

2013 Winner Is: Red Bull Stratos Project, Red Bull USA
On Oct. 14, 2012, Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner rode a helium balloon into the stratosphere, about 24 miles over New Mexico, and free-fell, breaking two world records. The event forever altered the potential of content marketing. The energy drink maker not only spent seven years orchestrating and researching the science involved in the jump, but also directed all the coverage and syndicated it to 80 TV outlets in 50 countries, along with a live stream on YouTube that drew a record eight million concurrent views, about 16 times as many views as the summer Olympics at its peak.

Red Bull's primary YouTube channel has more than one million subscribers; second only to the NBA among YouTube sports channels. The traffic boosts the amount of money the company gets from ads on the channel by brands like Izod and Intel.

Hero Brand Award - Honors the brand marketer who made the world a better place while building the legacy of the brand.

2013 Winner Is: Chipotle Sustainable Farming Campaign- “Food with Integrity”, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.

Chipotle’s Sustainable Farming Campaign reflects an important part of their journey towards “Food with Integrity”, which includes:

  •     Serving the very best sustainably raised food possible with an eye to great taste, nutrition and great value.
  •     Supporting and sustaining family farmers who respect the land and their animals.
  •     Whenever possible, using meat from animals raised without antibiotics or added hormones.
  •     Sourcing organic and local produce when practical, and use dairy from cows raised without the use of synthetic hormones.

After showing the film called “Back to the Start,” first online and then in movie theaters, the company decided to turn it into its first national commercial. The ad closely reflected Chipotle’s own story as they began moving away from using factory farm suppliers 10 years ago. Chipotle’s goal of trying to make its customers more aware of sustainable ways to farm has been a success. The film has been viewed more than seven million times on YouTube. It was shown on virtually 10,000 theater screens nationwide; and was rated one of the top 10 advertisements in Internet buzz in 2011.

Inspiration Award - Honors the brand marketer who inspired consumers to take action through insightful strategy and superb creative.

2013 Winner Is: All State “Mayhem” Campaign, Allstate Insurance Co.
The ads depict all kinds of carnage that could be caused by “Mayhem” in our lives. Mayhem is played by Dean Winter, a recognizable actor who personifies the possible pitfalls that could happen to us, like car collisions, trees falling, the roof of the house caving in from heavy snow and many more. The ads are meant to break through and make viewers think twice about buying cut-rate insurance - are you really protected?

All the ads end with the tagline: Dollar for dollar, nobody protects you from mayhem like Allstate. The ads are funny, and they inform people that in situations where they think they might be on their own, Allstate will be there to help. The agency is Leo Burnett.

Winners and finalists of the first-ever Brand Brilliance Awards will be honored at a luncheon during the BAA Annual Conference on April 3, 2013, in Chicago. With the theme of The Art & Science of Brand Activation, the BAA has created a dynamic two-day program that is a must-attend for anyone responsible for Brand Activation strategies. The prestigious REGGIE Awards, recognizing the top brand activation programs in 20 different categories (in its 30th year), will also be announced and presented during the BAA Conference.

“As the organization dedicated to Brand Activation, we felt it was important to recognize those individuals who are responsible for helping their organizations achieve Brand Brilliance” said Bonnie Carlson, BAA President and CEO. “Their success stories will also inspire other organizations to enhance their efforts in achieving brand brilliance.”
For more information on the awards and the conference visit

About BAA
The Brand Activation Association (BAA) -- the newly rebranded Promotion Marketing Association (PMA) - is the national non-profit trade association dedicated to the industry of marketing disciplines that motivate behavior, activate response and build brands. Representing over $750 billion dollars in sales, brand activation disciplines include all the myriad connection points with the consumer, such as digital/mobile/social media marketing, shopper/retailer marketing, experiential marketing, marketing law, promotion marketing, multi-cultural and niche marketing, cause marketing, and sports, entertainment and sponsorship marketing. Founded in 1911, the BAA has championed this industry through its combination of research, education, advocacy, and collaboration opportunities. The organization's membership is comprised of Fortune 500 companies; top marketing agencies, law firms, retailers, service providers and academia, representing thousands of brands worldwide. The BAA is headquartered in New York City with its affiliate, the BAA Educational Foundation, Inc. For more information about BAA visit

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Roger Halligan
H+A International, Inc.
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