More than 200 entries competed in this year's IDFA SmartMarketing Achieving Excellence Awards competition in categories ranging from website design to new product packaging. The winners were announced in March at the 2004 SmartMarketing conference in New Orleans. The awards, sponsored by IDFA, honor the top marketing, public relations and advertising efforts for the dairy industry.

More than 60 submissions received "Awards of Excellence" in 16 categories. Entries with the highest score in each award category won "Best Overall" and represented the best work for that category. Due to a tie, two "Best of Show" award winners were selected from all of the category winners.

The first "Best of Show" award went to Schroeder Milk Co. for its Hyper Cow packaging design, which also won "Best Overall Package Design." The second "Best of Show" award was given to Sorrento Lactalis for its "Shapesters," which also won "Best Overall New Product" and "Best Overall TV Ad."

Shamrock Foods won for "Best Package Redesign" for its new dairy creamers packaging that features a coffee cup on the package to remind consumers of the product's key usage - as an accompaniment to coffee.

Once again, Saputo Cheese USA won the "Best Overall Website" award. This year Saputo's Frigo® Cheese Heads® Factory website partnered with the movie, Looney Tunes Back in Action, to create an interactive site that featured screen savers, movie stills, character interviews and maze games designed for kids 6-12.

Other highlights this year included Plains Dairy's entry that won "Best Overall Billboard/Transit Ad" for a billboard that promoted the freshness of the company's products. Plains reinforced this message by showing cows making deliveries of its products to stores.