A property developer, an airline and an optical chain swept the top three awards in this year's HKMA/TVB Awards for Marketing Excellence, with judges praising the stylish and results-oriented campaigns of the winners. The gold award went to Pacific Century Premium Developments (PCPD) for its Bel-Air No8 - The New Landmark in Island South, campaign. When Bel-Air No8, the last phase of the Bel-Air luxury property development in Island South, went on sale earlier this year, the main marketing challenges were the plentiful supply of existing apartments, and what was then a relatively quiet property market. PCPD had early on adopted an innovative, multi-pronged marketing strategy to make the development stand out. It began by engaging the services of architect firm Foster+Partners, famed for its iconic structures such as the HSBC building and Chek Lap Kok airport. The exterior design of Bel-Air No8 featured an eye-catching, wavy facade. 'We wanted to reinforce the point that this was a landmark building,' said Wendy Gan Kim-see, PCPD's executive director. Besides providing input on many aspects of the layout and features of the flats and introducing exclusive facilities for residents such as the use of a private yacht, PCPD's marketing efforts included sponsoring last year's acclaimed exhibition at the Hong Kong Museum of Art of 58 masterpieces from the Centre Pompidou in Paris and creating a customised perfume called Bel-Air No8. The buzz from the campaign helped sell more than 500 units in three weeks at a significant premium over secondary market prices, generating revenues of more than HK$8.8billion. 'We were more than happy. Internally, we had been planning for sales of 200 units right away and the rest throughout the year,' Ms Gan said. In their comments, the judges praised PCPD for its 'refreshing approach' and 'remarkable results'. 'The campaign helped enhance PCPD's reputation and image as a developer of premium developments with a unique ability to come up with luxury properties that could demand a premium price,' they said. The silver award went to Cathay Pacific Airways for its Moving Forward with Hong Kong for 60 Years campaign. Celebrating its 60th anniversary as Hong Kong's home carrier last year, Cathay Pacific pulled out all the stops to reinforce its connection to Hong Kong. 'Sixty is an important milestone in Chinese tradition, and we thought it would be an opportunity to communicate our emotional bonding with Hong Kong,' said Celine Ho, manager of marketing communications at Cathay Pacific. The nine-month marketing campaign included print adverts that listed major milestones in the company's history, and TV commercials recreating an atmosphere of shared experiences and memories from the 1960s, '70s and '80s. An interactive online contest that offered HK$600,000 in free air tickets drew 41 million hits, and sky shows in malls featured a fashion show of classic flight attendant uniforms along with souvenirs such as retro flight bags and T-shirts. 'People went quite crazy with our merchandise sales,' Ms Ho said. 'In the end we had to reorder and reorder.' Both passenger numbers and revenue increased considerably as a result of the campaign. The judges praised the campaign as one that 'successfully changed the image of the company from an international airline to a home carrier committed to the people and community of Hong Kong'. Luxottica Retail was awarded the bronze award for its campaign, Revitalise an Old Brand in a Stagnant Industry. Although 70 per cent of people in Hong Kong need vision correction, optical market sales grew only 1 per cent in 2005, according to Luxottica. When its Italian-based parent Luxottica Group acquired The Optical Shop's chain of 30 shops in Hong Kong in 2003, a massive brand reinvention was initiated last year to help rejuvenate sales. The name of the chain was changed to LensCrafters, reflecting Luxottica's United States brand. More upscale fashion brands were introduced and the shops were transformed into an 'open store', browsing environment that allowed customers to easily pick out and try on their favourite brands. Instead of wearing white laboratory-style coats, staff wore smart black suits with white shirts. Gillman Too, visual marketing director, Greater China for Luxottica Retail, said this was a totally new business model. 'Previously we positioned ourselves as an optical dispenser, but now we wanted to build ourselves into an eyewear boutique and make eyewear a fashion accessory,' he said. 'We had a very good response. Our sales growth was 20 per cent between 2005 and 2006. We also added 25 new stores.' New services such as a 30-day money back guarantee and a one-year breakage guarantee were also offered. The judges commended the company for its 'complex, bold and all-round campaign', which 'revitalised a stagnant, apathetic optical retail market through an overhaul of customer segmentation, product design, distribution channels and sales staff'.