EMA Wins Top Prize from B2B Magazine for Advertising That Literally Stopped People in Their Tracks

An innovative campaign designed for steel manufacturer Nucor by Eric Mower and Associates (EMA) literally stopped Washington, D.C., commuters in their tracks to avoid falling through what looked like a hole or tripping over what appeared to be a crushed car. The eye-catching graphics also caught the attention of BtoB magazine’s editors, who named the campaign winner in the nontraditional creative marketing category in BtoB‘s “Best of 2009,” which highlights the best marketers and creative in business-to-business marketing.

EMA developed life-sized graphics that were placed on the floor of Metro stations in the nation’s capital to grab the attention of key decision-makers. “Distinguished people of Washington, may we have the floor,” one read, before highlighting the need for more American exports, fewer outsourced jobs and Nucor’s strong environmental record as the country’s largest recycler.

This was the first time floor graphics in the Metro stations were designed with an irregular shape, which helped them standout. One looked like a crushed car, symbolizing the 9 million vehicles Nucor recycles annually. Another made it look like there was a hole in the floor, exposing a steel beam and reminding people of the many uses of recycled steel and its importance in building, construction and infrastructure projects.

Nucor, the nation’s largest recycler and one of the nation’s most environmentally sound manufacturers, is proud to be recognized for their campaign.

Matt Ferguson, the senior partner who heads EMA’s Charlotte office, said the effectiveness of the floor graphics shows why it’s crucial for an agency to have a creative team and a media team that work side-by-side.

“It’s not enough to just have good advertising ideas,” Ferguson said. “Clients also need an agency that can link engaging media with engaging creative, help them think in new and different ways, and find ways to turn the concept into reality.”

EMA was also named runner up in the integrated category for spread ads and a microsite it designed for Nucor’s special bar quality (SBQ) steel. The judges said the site was “strong, with an emphasis on customer service” and praised the ads’ “fine photography, bordering on art.” In one shot, for instance, a piece of heavy construction equipment that includes SBQ steel clawed at scrap metal beneath a blue sky and wispy clouds. “It’s nice to know,” the ad’s headline read, “that our recycled steel helps recycle steel.”

The recognition in the October publication marks the third time in the past six months that BtoB has honored EMA. In April, the magazine named EMA one of the country’s top two midsize business-to-business agencies. And in July, the magazine named John Favalo, managing partner for EMA Group B2B, to its “Who’s Who” list for the fourth straight year.

EMA will be recognized at BtoB’s “Best for 2009” ceremony on Nov. 12 in New York City for its work with Nucor.

“This is an outstanding achievement, and it’s a tribute to the team’s creativity, collaboration and its approach to BtoB marketing communications,” Favalo said. “There’s so much planning and energy we put into our work to help clients get the maximum value, and when those efforts are recognized by a panel of experts, it’s a tremendous honor.”

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