Discover Boating campaign named Effie Award finalist

CHICAGO — The recreational boating industry’s national marketing campaign, Discover Boating, has been selected as a finalist for the 2011 North American Effie Awards, according to a release from Discover Boating. The recreational boating industry’s campaign is being recognized in the Small Budgets-Products category.

The Effie Awards were established to recognize, educate and encourage effectiveness among the marketing communications industry. Finalists are selected following two rounds of judging by peer panels. Finalists will be awarded a gold, silver or bronze trophy during the 2011 Effie Awards Gala on June 7 in New York City.

The 2011 Effie is being awarded to Discover Boating for its interactive Facebook campaign Making Waves, which the group says was “designed to put at-home water sports enthusiasts in the virtual captain’s chair to experience the joys of life on the water.”

The award recognizes the campaign’s significant results: more than 28,000 people entered the Making Waves sweepstakes, with more than 9,000 opting in to receive the Get Started in Boating DVD; and, Discover Boating’s Facebook fans grew from 7,000 to more than 39,000 throughout the campaign’s eight-month run in 2010.

“In 2010, with our industry in the midst of a challenging economic climate and facing reduced budgets, Discover Boating focused on the most efficient and effective ways to promote boating,” Carl Blackwell, chief marketing officer for Discover Boating and the National Marine Manufacturers Association, said in a statement. “Being honored with an Effie is a tremendous brand accomplishment, especially given our limited budget, and recognizes Discover Boating’s work as one of the most successful marketing campaigns of 2010. Now that we are in the finals, we hope to bring home the gold.”

Discover Boating partnered with space 150, a Minneapolis-based digital communications firm to create Making Waves. Developers at space150 went to work building a scaled model complete with water, shoreline, trees and other miniature details. The model was then photographed under a variety of lighting conditions to capture times of day, movement of the sun over the water and weather conditions for game play.

The Effie Awards were founded in 1968 by the New York American Marketing Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the art of marketing among professionals. The award expanded globally, with the first programs emerging in Germany in 1981, followed by Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland in 1984. Today there are more than 40 national and regional Effie programs worldwide — Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, North America and the Middle East/North Africa.

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