How do you make an idea work when your entire media budget is pulled, a week before launch?

The team at Marvelous Moscow have the answer. CCO, Artem Sinyavskiy shares the story of how their work for Skylink, 'The 1 MB Campaign', went on to win Bronze at Eurobest in 2017, despite the media budget being pulled a week before the launch of the campaign.
Tuesday 15 Sep 2020
Marvelous Moscow's Marat Shakirov (Creative Director) and Artem Sinyavskiy (Chief Creative Officer) with their Eurobest Award

Marvelous is an independent full service agency based in Moscow. The team focuses their creative talents on making consumers fall in love with brands and messages. Eurobest spoke to Partner and CCO, Artem Sinyavskiy about their award-winning work, The 1MB Campaign.

This particular piece of work was for mobile telecoms provider, Skylink, promoting their high speed internet access for remote areas in Russia. Using a clever algorithm to gather info about low-speed users, their locations and session duration, a precisely targeted database of potential customers was collated over a number of months. And Marvelous created an ultra-light website (under 1 MB) by using ASCII symbols to create images, digital banners and materials to support the campaign.

Then Artem got a call, he says, "It's the craziest story we've every had in the agency; the client cancelled the whole media budget. We'd already made the website, the ad banners and all the materials and a week before we were due to start the client said, "Actually we don't believe in it, let's put all the media budget into traditional advertising.""

To save the campaign they believed in and had put so much time and effort into, Marvelous decided to fund the campaign launch with their own money. Relying on the crucial relationship of trust that they’d established with the client, the team agreed that, if it was a success, Skylink would continue to fund it.

So, with a media flight just one tenth of the original budget, they launched. An overwhelming number of website visitors contacted the call centre...causing it to crash. A victim of its own success, the campaign had to be paused for a week to allow the client to upgrade the call centre.

Banner from The 1MB Campaign

And it worked... every tenth website visitor contacted the call center and number of applications for the installation of the equipment tripled! The campaign was entered into Eurobest 2017 where it won a Bronze award in Mobile. Says Artem, “It was a bold new idea that hadn’t been done before - the best thing is when you make something new that touches people’s heart and is also effective.

The campaign also won Gold and Grand Prix in various Russian creative awards. The agency values its Eurobest trophy as the highest award it has ever won (Artem also admires it as the most beautifully designed trophy!). Their win put Marvelous in the top five in the Russian creativity rankings from the Association of Communication Agencies of Russia (ACAR) in 2018.

Besides it being a hugely exciting and proud moment for the team to win at Eurobest, one of the major benefits of winning is that the phone doesn’t stop ringing with people who want to work with the agency. “This is crucial as all we have is the team; the brains of the people we work with. We receive a lot of good resumes following a win." says Artem. He calls this the Boom! effect of winning. Clients also look at creative rankings when inviting for pitches so having a win is very beneficial.

Banner from The 1MB Campaign

For people who are thinking of entering Eurobest in 2020, Artem believes that the new Culture & Context section, with its focus on local campaigns and cultural insights as well as challenger brands and breakthroughs on a budget, offers a brilliant opportunity for independent agencies like Marvelous to compete. He advises agencies to spend time explaining the local context in their case films as this isn't always obvious to international juries.

It’s been a tough year for everyone, but, though ever mindful of the threat of the second wave, Artem sees signs of the industry beginning to awake from what he terms ‘the Pandemic Sleep’, with regional events and tv ads and digital video shoots beginning to happen.