Following the announcement of the launch of the SLIM Nielsen Peoples’ Awards program for the 13th consecutive year, the President of SLIM, Mr. Pradeep Edward and the Vice President, Mr. Roshan Fernando shared with us the history, purpose and process of the only awards campaign in Sri Lanka, which represents the voice of the people.
What can you tell us about the inception of the SLIM Nielsen Peoples’ Awards?
P: Over the course of its long history, SLIM has introduced and organized a large number of events such as SLIM Brand Excellence, NASCO, the Effies etc., which are all judged by an expert panel of senior professionals of the industry, and the primary focus is on brands. However, when SLIM introduced the SLIM Nielsen Peoples’ Awards program 13 years ago, it was as a means of getting the people of Sri Lanka involved in the process of the program. What the SLIM Nielsen Peoples’ Awardssets apart from all other awards programs and events is the fact that the people of the country are the ones who select the winners in each category.
In the case of the SLIM Nielsen Peoples’ Awards, we go out of our usual scope. We include categories pertaining to the film industry, sports, entertainment and so on. These however, have an indirect connection to the Marketing industry as organizations are able to get an idea of what and who appeals to the people of Sri Lanka, such observances can be useful when planning a marketing campaign or when selecting a brand ambassador.
How does the selection process occur?
VP: The selection process is based on a nationwide survey covering men and women of all ethnicities between the ages of 15-60, over a period of five months using a structured questionnaire. The survey covers all districts in the country and is conducted by trained interviewers from Nielsen, who visit the districts using a random selection process among households in each street to be interviewed. Participants are questioned about their favorite brands, services and personalities.
Can you describe SLIM’s partnership with Nielsen Lanka (Pvt) Ltd?
P: In the case of the SLIM Nielsen Peoples’ Awards, we needed a neutral partner to conduct the process of research, in order to avoid any accusations of partiality. As a global company of good standing, Nielsen has been an invaluable partner to SLIM and we are very happy with our partnership.
How has the SLIM Nielsen Peoples’ Awards program developed over the years?
VP: Over the course of the past 13 years, the program has gained an increasing amount of interest. As a result, we have seen the scale of the event increase. Today the SLIM Nielsen Peoples’ Awards is one of the most popular and respected events of its kind.
How does the purpose of SLIM Nielsen Peoples’ Awards correspond with SLIM’s ultimate mission?
P: SLIM’s ultimate mission is to take the message of Marketing to every corner of the island. Thus, having an event that interacts with the entire population of the country is a primary means of communicating the importance of Marketing.
What makes this year’s SLIM Nielsen Peoples’ Awards differ from those of the previous years?
VP: The most noteworthy change in this year’s program is the significant increase of the sample size. This entails a more extensive research process and we will definitely see some changes in the results at the award ceremony.
What post-event results do you hope to see following the conclusion of this year’s SLIM Nielsen Peoples’ Awards campaign?
P:As the years progressed we have been endeavoring to make the awards better each year. Following a discussion with Nielsen, this year we took up the task of expanding the survey to cover people from all walks of life in detail. We feel that this will result in the output of the survey being even more representative and therefore we are hoping to see notable changes in this year’s results.
We at SLIM are not on the lookout for any direct benefits to the institute via the SLIM Nielsen Peoples’ Awards. Our sole aim is the advancement of Marketing. By way of the SLIM Nielsen Peoples’ Awards campaign we hope to enlighten the organizations of the industry on the preferences of the public and the best ways by which they should approach their potential customers. As a result of the awards program we have seen a number of local brands take over multi-national shares and become players in the global Marketing arena.
What is the significance of this year’s theme and what role does it play in the proceedings?
VP: This year we are looking to reward the brands and personalities that have delighted the senses and made it in to the heart of consumers. The ultimate aim of all brands and personalities is to win the hearts of the consumers and become the most sought after. Therefore, the question to marketers is; “Yes you have created campaigns and strategies to delight consumer senses, but have you been successful in winning their hearts?”