Media Research Awards 2016: News UK wins Grand Prix
News UK picked up three awards, including the Grand Prix
Innovators in the UK's media research community were celebrated on Thursday (11 February) at the annual Media Research Awards, hosted by Mediatel.
The winners, who were rewarded for driving innovation in an industry where measurement and insight are at the very heart of business planning and success, were led by News UK, which took the Grand Prix prize along with Best Custom Media Research for its 'Project Footprint' - as well as picking up the gong for Media Owner of the Year.
"The winner of the custom category was always likely to be the favourite, having already batted to victory in the most tightly fought category of 2016," said chair of the judges, Richard Marks. "And so it proved, as the judges were unanimous in giving the Grand Prix to News UK for its excellent Project Footprint."
News UK, publisher of the Times and the Sun, was hugely ambitious in what it set out to do; examine both the correlation between digital advertising and digital outcomes, as well as the offline impact on behaviour.
Recruiting a group of multi-platform Times readers the team monitored all of their activity, both online and offline, over a full month. The project encompassed a collaboration between comScore and Keller Fay, and also used Sky IQ, Face Facts and CrowdLab to build the approach.
MEC picked up the award for Best Social Media Project
"It will come as no surprise that the category with the most entries also created the most debate amongst the judges, which is a real testament to the creative design and strong results delivered across the entries," said Kristin Bayliss, the global account measurement lead at Facebook and an awards judge.
"Project Footprint from News UK really stood out by combining online and offline techniques including word of mouth to paint a more representative picture of how their readers interact with advertising, challenging last click attribution."
Given the overwhelming response and high quality of submissions to custom research category, further awards for silver and bronze were also handed out this year.
Created with flickr slideshow.
The BBC took silver for its 'Blurred Lines' project, whilst PHD took the bronze prize for its work on 'Advertising Brands: Cross Device Effectiveness'.
For Media Owner/Trade Body of the Year category, News UK - which faced competition from Global and Newsworks - was named the winner for its innovative design and clarity of communication, said judge David Brennan, founder of Media Native.
"The team's depth of insight and relevance to the target audience, was also outstanding," he said. "News UK have achieved some impressive results from a small team of people."
In the Best Media Research Tracking Project category, Weve claimed the prize for its work on 'Weve Footfall', which judge Denise Turner, insight director at Newsworks, described as providing vital evidence, robustly linking advertising exposure to actual consumer behaviour.
JCDecaux were shortlisted for Best Custom Media Research Project
"Weve developed and implemented a successful measurement technique to demonstrate the real world impact of mobile advertising," she said. "In an increasingly connected age, projects like this will become more and more necessary, and Weve should be applauded for this initiative."
Digital Cinema Media won the Best use of Data Sets category for its 'Cinemapper: Cinema's proximity planning tool', an impressive means to be more pro-active in its discussions with agencies and clients in demonstrating how cinema can drive retail footfall.
"Cinemapper brings together DCM's own databases, industry sources, an end frame system and a new software tool to enable DCM to deliver highly targeted national cinema campaigns with specific local messaging," said judge Lynne Robinson, research director at the IPA.
"The new dataset has allowed cinema to take maximum advantage of its move to being a full digital operation and has already attracted new advertisers to the medium."
ZenithOptimedia scooped the award for Media Agency of the Year - praised by Judge Brian Jacobs, founder of Brian Jacobs & Associates, for recognising a weakness in their previous ROI positioning, and illustrating what they have done to balance the large volume of briefs with the practical requirement to deliver relevant and actionable insights.
Zenith Optimedia was crowned Media Agency of the Year
"Their use of their planners to experience at first hand their clients' issues was particularly impressive," Jacobs commented.
The Excellence in Research Presentation went to ITV for the broadcaster's 'Primal Screen' project - an in-depth study looking at the unique relationship between TV content and viewers that was launched as if it was a TV show.
"The presentation category was very competitive with lots of excellent entries," said judge Richard Shotton, head of insight at ZenithOptimedia. "However, 'Primal Screen' stood out because ITV publicised their research in a way that aligned beautifully with their brand values: big, bold and with plenty of celebrities."
The Research Agency Team of the Year category was won by MTM - who describe themselves as a truly hybrid research and strategy consultancy. The judges did not disagree.
"MTM have delivered a number of high profile projects in the last year for YouTube, BBC, Channel 4 and Twitter amongst others," said Richard Marks. "The client testimonials are glowing and as a result their financial growth in a challenging market has been impressive."
ITV's Primal Screen won them the Excellence in Research Presentation category
Finally, the Best Social Media Project was won by MEC for its 'Emotion Wheel' submission, which examined the sentiment behind social media activity and turned social listening into "social understanding" by giving clients a better insight into emotional response.
Judge David Pidgeon, editor of Mediatel Newsline, commented: "We're starting to see some really interesting and ambitious social media projects coming through - and MEC, already shortlisted for two different projects in the same category, is a step ahead of the crowd.
"Many people would have seen the Emotion Wheel used by the Guardian and elsewhere during the election showing its broad value; it's an impressive win and an interesting agency to watch in this space."
Derek Jones, CEO of Mediatel, added: "My thanks to everyone for taking part. For the second annual awards, the quality has actually surpassed last year's, as the IPA's Lynne Robinson points out - and so our judges have had to pick winners from an extremely high quality crop of entries. But what we have from the entire shortlist is a show of industry best practice.
"We're proud to run the only awards of this type in the UK and hope it drives future innovation. I look forward to hosting the awards for 2017."
The awards will be proceeded by the Future of Media Research Conference on 29 February where a selection of the winners will showcase their work.
Mediatel operate two essential services for the OOH industry. SPACE is a collaboration between IPAO and Outsmart and is the most comprehensive and up-to-date list of inventory in the UK. The RouteAPI is a SaaS solution that enables easy integration of Route audience data into client's systems. See mediatel.co.uk for more information.