August 25, 2006 CEO Gene Bryan presented the first annual Account Planning Excelencia (HAPE) awards during a luncheon today at the 21st semiannual conference of The Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA) at the Hyatt Regency Miami. Winners were judged and selected from the 40 submissions received for the first awards competition in the Hispanic advertising industry recognizing the important and influential account planning discipline.

The Account Planning Excelencia (HAPE) awards were designed to identify and reward the best account planning in the industry. "The impressive number of entries alone is testament to the significance of our discipline," says Alex G-Pallete, president of the awards jury and managing partner-director of account planning/The Vidal Partnership. "The brilliant, strategic work we received from hundreds of account planners across the country is inspiring for our industry. The winners today exemplify the amazing ability and thinking of account planning professionals and the growing importance of the discipline in Hispanic agencies."

Account planning seeks to understand the motivation behind consumer behavior and reveals closely held attitudes, beliefs, and feelings about brands, self, family and lifestyle. Insight and consumer perspective combined with innovative concepts, strategic analytical thinking, and instinctive curiosity guide planners in developing the platform for brilliant creative execution. The account planning profession plays a key role in an interdisciplinary approach to serving clients and delivering demonstrated business value.

Judged on insight, creativity and effectiveness, the case study entries summarized a business challenge and described the skillful solution that changed or guided the course of communications development. A distinguished, experienced and motivational panel of judges representing varied disciplines within Hispanic advertising agencies was selected to evaluate the inaugural awards entries in four categories: cultural interpretation; cultural transformation; culture specific; and, pro bono. Also serving as a judge, lending additional credibility to the first-time awards program, was Domenico Vitale, Kirshenbaum bond + partners, a remarkable planner with demonstrated success in the general market and part of the team that launched the Jay Chiat Account Planning Awards, notes G-Pallete.

The winners of the first annual HAPE Awards Competition are:

Clorox Franchise, Dieste & Harmel Partners, Cultural Interpretation
Direct TV Para Todos, The Vidal Partnership, Culture Specific
Bush's Beans, Casanova Pendrill, Cultural Transformation

Milk, Grupo Gallegos, Cultural Interpretation
Home Depot, Grupo Gallegos, Culture Specific
Heineken, The Vidal Partnership, Cultural Transformation
Pledge, Zubi Advertising, Cultural Transformation

X-Box, Casanova Pendrill, Cultural Interpretation
AOL Latino, Casanova Pendrill, Culture Specific
Personal Music, del Rivero Messianu DDB, Culture Specific
Tide Detergent, Conill Advertising, Cultural Transformation
Wendy's, The Vidal Partnership, Cultural Transformation

Honorable Mention
Teen Pregnancy Prevention, Moses Anshell, Inc., Cultural Interpretation
Physical Activity, Garcia 360, Culture Specific
Camry, Conill Advertising, Cultural Transformation
Febreeze, Winglatino, Cultural Transformation
Mercury Milan, Zubi Advertising, Cultural Transformation
McDonald's (Women), del Rivero Messianu DDB, Cultural Transformation
Nexium, Bromley Communications, Cultural Transformation

"AHAA congratulates all of the winners and those who submitted entries in this inaugural competition," says Carl Kravetz, chairman of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA) and chairman/chief strategic officer of cruz/kravetz:IDEAS. "The creativity in reaching Latino consumers that was demonstrated by these talented account planning professionals indicates the increased level of sophistication within our industry. As we embark on a new phase of communicating with this savvy market segment based on the Latino cultural identity model, the account planning discipline will become even more critical in creating effective advertising. AHAA is proud to partner with on this and other awards programs that will elevate the strategic thinking and creativity within our industry."

"We look forward to continuing to host this amazing competition and appreciate the tremendous support from the industry," says Gene Bryan, CEO, "Promoting the Hispanic advertising community and recognizing the value of the talented professionals at each of our agencies is rewarding. This is the first of many opportunities will initiate to continue to build the integrity and professionalism of our industry.

Background on Account Planning:

Originally born in the United Kingdom, the account planning discipline was brought to the United States a little more than two decades ago by Jay Chiat. Soon after the implementation in the general market, Hispanic agencies began to incorporate the practice as a way to stay competitive and produce even better work. During the past several years, the discipline in the Hispanic market has evolved tremendously due in part to the growing sophistication of some of the most relevant advertisers; the increasingly demanding needs of the Hispanic consumer; and the arrival of new talent with planning background attracted by the intriguing complexity of the industry. (source: Alex G-Pallete president of the awards jury and managing partner-director of account planning/The Vidal Partnership.)


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