Proud as Punch!

“wee” qualifies for the global industry award with one of the best marketing campaigns

In the category “Best Loyalty Marketing Campaign of the Year”, our project “weeIsland inspires gold digger mood” made it onto the highly competitive shortlist of the industry-leading “Loyalty Magazine Awards 2019” as one of ten finalists. The competition is fierce – with incredibly creative and effective campaigns by the likes of Renault, Lidl Ireland, Accor Hotels, and frequent flier programmes… The proud winner will be announced on 18 June as part of a gala evening in the Pavilion at the Tower of London.

“Dear readers,
friends, partners, retailers, esteemed online shop providers under the umbrella of or future business partners, potential and active users of our weeCard and weeApp,

Once again, after receiving the award for Munich Entrepreneur of the Year, we have achieved yet another important milestone: And to be honest, this came as a total surprise! Which makes my delight that much greater… and I’m sure all of you are also extremely pleased, for me, for “wee”, for the proof of concept of our strategy, and for the successful implementation of our shared vision.

So what happened? Just imagine that you’re sitting in a meeting and a colleague says, completely out of the blue: “Hi, I just received an email from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. We are nominated for the Oscar in the “Best Film” category!” This is the precise equivalent of what happened this past Friday, in the company of 100 overjoyed witnesses, sales partners from all over Europe, during our leader conference on the 32nd floor of the Highlight Tower at Munich Parkstadt. We had never seen our Loyalty guru Jan Boluminski so excited, as he shouted out this happy news to us all. At first, I had no idea what he was talking about, until he later explained everything to me and – accompanied by a lengthy “Phew” – I finally understood the whole thing!

Towering over 100 metres above the rooftops of Schwabing, Jan Boluminski announces the nomination of the campaign “wee Love München” to the shortlist of the industry award to the sales partners.

Why does it bring a smile to my face yet again when I think of the – somewhat strenuous – conversations with our controlling department, during which I had to answer their minutely detailed questions regarding all things budget-related for the campaign “wee love München”? “That’s how it goes with companies that are publicly listed on the stock exchange”, the “penny pinchers” from Switzerland smiled as they explained to me back then, “we have to be able to account for every single cent.” By the way, why do we need 50,000 raspberry lollipops and even more heart-shaped balloons? Wouldn’t half be enough? Do we have three different offers for each? And what’s up with the crazy idea for a mountain of sand made of 2,500 tonnes of special sand, in which gold bars and weeCards loaded with store credit for retail shopping in Munich shops – amounting to a total value of 100,000 euros – are buried? Isn’t all this equivalent to gambling, which requires authorisation? How do we get the population of Munich to successfully accept this event in the Olympiapark and ensure that it is a memorable occasion for them? A four-week event that is up against tough competition in the form of the FIFA World Cup, in addition to what felt like 1,000 events a day – from Helene Fischer and Andreas Gabalier in the Olympic Stadium to the cosy beer garden?”

More than once, nightly telephone conferences had me cursing our head of communication, Tilmann Meuser, who came up with the idea of “wee Love München” and who, with his team from CP/CONSULT, got me fired up with enthusiasm with a 200-page concept in December 2017. To this day, I am not 100 % sure if he himself even grasped the complexity of the interlinking of the event, sales activities, PR, classic advertising, influencer communication and social media as well as public affairs and moving images down to the very last detail. Even if he always acted like he did! In any case, by now I am definitively convinced that everything worked exactly as he explained it to me and the management, with the help of flip chart sketches that even back then were unidentifiable for me and could surely have passed as performance art by Joseph Beuys. “Communication burner 360 degrees”, “networked multi-channel campaigns”, “baked-in social impact”, “reputation catalyst” – these communication strategy concepts are still a foreign language for me today.

Our campaign strategist was right, even if he did manage to really infuriate me one time. In response to my questions “Why are we collaborating with two radio stations and not just one? Won’t that help us save 50 % of our budget?”, he answered in his usual dry manner with a quote by automotive giant Henry Ford, who supposedly said: “I know at least half of my advertising budget works; I just don’t know which half!”

By the end of this uniquely integrated communication campaign, we – a total of at least 50 people from marketing, PR, sales, public affairs, the technical and legal departments and internal services were actively involved – had achieved our goals:

  • in the dreaded “ride through hell” of the various approval procedures, we started right on schedule
  • a media impact reaching over 20 million – radio, TV, print, online – was recorded; the documentation for the campaign comprises 400 pages
  • 14,000 visitors enjoyed weeIsland and almost 1,200 active gold diggers burrowed their way through the special sand
  • the echo from the explosive effect for the Munich retailers and the potential users of weeCard and weeApp could be heard all the way to the Alps

For all of us, this campaign represented a perfectly targeted investment for tapping into the market of Munich: to date, around 2,400 stationary retailers have chosen “wee” as their loyalty programme and cashback partner. In the coming months, we plan to integrate these retailers with full functionality, and what’s more, to also have a further 2,000 retailers sign up with us – while simultaneously motivating 400,000 consumers to shop with these “wee” partners. Naturally, we experienced all the learning loops we could possibly come across. But we will definitely only go through these once!

And speaking of surprises: Jan Boluminski, our loyalty pope, who helped invent Payback, had the idea to make the submission and, with his team from Envolved, came up with an excellent application, discussed it in detail with our PR experts and then simply submitted it online… without ever consulting with me! And it’s a good thing he did, because when you have the right instinct, sometimes you just have to go with your gut!

How did our head of communication put it so succinctly? “While the clever ones consult, the fast ones conquer the castle!”

Now all that’s left to do: keep our fingers crossed! Good luck!

Yours, Cengiz Ehliz

weelovemunich Social Media:

Erste Pressekonferenz 24.05.2018, Olympiapark

Mü berichtet: Eröffnung von „weeIsland

Von der Idee zum Projekt „wee Love München

20.12.2018: der 2.000-te „wee“-Händler in München wird gefeiert:

About the author: Cengiz Ehliz

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.