It was only three short months ago that we were applauding wildly as the folks responsible for AstraZeneca's Arimidex “If you were my sister” campaign embarked on their euphoric dash to the stage, having just been named winners of the evening's final award for Best Total Integration Program.
Now the search for the best work starts all over again. The MM&M Awards 2007 program is officially under way, and the entry process starts right here. Entry forms, along with detailed information about the program requirements and the entry procedure, are available for download at www.mmm-online.com. A list of this year's categories can be found on the opposite page. Deadline for entries is June 1, 2007—although it's a good idea to start thinking about your submissions now.
When we launched the MM&M Awards back in 2003, we took on a daunting challenge. There were already a number of awards programs in the healthcare marketing space, so to add another to the pile might not have seemed the brightest idea. But we didn't have a me-too event in mind. Rather, our vision was to devise a set of awards that would represent new levels of authority, credibility and prestige, and invoke unsurpassed excitement. In other words, we wanted to invent the industry's standout program.
We knew it would be critical to get your buy-in from the start. Attracting the best work is not enough on its own. We knew that we would have to get the submissions judged independently and authoritatively by a panel of industry experts. And we knew that we should throw the most exciting and lavish awards show the industry has seen to announce and honor the finalists.
What we didn't know was just how quickly these awards would become established. Every year the program gets bigger and better. Last year we attracted a record 650 entries, while almost 700 guests enjoyed the spectacular gala event in New York. The buzz continues to get louder, and we expect even more entries and guests this year.
We are constantly looking at ways to improve the MM&M Awards and we have again made a few changes to the categories.
We have added new awards for Best Sales Aid and Best Unbranded TV spot, and, in the spirit of the PhRMA guidelines on DTC, we decided to drop Best Launch Ad in Consumer Press. We also reclassified the Digital Marketing Awards, losing the distinction between consumer and professional entries and offering instead the two categories, Best Promotional Web site and Best Use of Interactive Marketing.
We have also updated the entry process. Instead of printing and distributing entry forms this year, we have made them available for download at our Web site (www.mmm-online.com).
Entries will again be judged by an independent panel of 40-50 of the industry's finest minds. Last year our panel included Shire CEO Matthew Emmens, Merck marketing director Charlotte McKines, Allergan's Botox VP, Tom Albright, Novartis executive director, Deborah Dick-Rath, Sepracor's Lunesta executive director Tim Healey, Wyeth's Enbrel product director, Joe Shields; and Berlex' global marketing director, Cynthia North—not to mention the principals of such agencies as McCann, DraftFCB Healthcare, Ogilvy Healthworld, Saatchi & Saatchi and AbelsonTaylor.
So your submissions will be in extremely safe hands. Best of luck to all entrants and thank you to our sponsor companies. We hope to see you all at the awards.