Connected Consumer Awards 2016: Another Grand Prix for Channel 4
Another great year for Channel 4
Industry gathered together this week to celebrate the very best of new advertising, tech and commercial opportunities in the connected market at the fourth annual Connected Consumer Awards - with Channel 4 coming out on top for a second consecutive year.
Another 12 months of innovation saw the broadcaster walk away with the Grand Prix prize, as well as Best Use of Connected Data, for its 'Ad4You' initiative, which the judges praised as an "excellent example" of using consumers' personal data responsibly and effectively for advertising.
"Channel 4's first party data, collected based on the trust that consumers have with the Channel 4 brand, has been leveraged to deliver various personalised campaigns," said judge Stacey Anklam, COO of autoGraph.
"Ad4You allows brands to be relevant and personalised. The results were impressive and this entry demonstrated that consumers will share their data when there is tangible benefit."
The annual awards, also known as The Connies, are aimed at organisations that are devising and powering connected strategies to reflect the changing way consumers use tech and consume media and are hosted by Mediatel.
Elsewhere at Thursday's celebratory event, Sky Media's Sky AdVance won the Best Use of Connected Technology category for its sophisticated innovation in cross-platform targeting.
"The application form said we wanted to see inventiveness...boy, did we get that," said chair of the judges Graham Lovelace - also director of Lovelace Consulting.
Three of the four shortlisted entrants in the category featured out-of-home media, which Lovelace said is "proof that this part of the advertising industry is using connected tech to bring a new dynamic to a much-loved medium."
"There had to be a winner though and that is Sky Media for its truly brilliant Sky AdVance innovation," Lovelace continued.
"It takes targeted cross-platform advertising to a new level of sophistication, creating an integrated solution that works to the great strengths of TV and online."
Yospace picked up the award for Connected Content Service of the Year
In a category that the judges said demonstrated "rapid progress and transformation" to the agency model, Posterscope won Connected Agency of the Year.
"Judges felt the sheer richness and creativity of Posterscope's campaigns - harnessing technology, multiple-platforms and data across connected journeys - pointed to a powerful reframing of the potential influence of out of home," said judge and director of Chartroom, Mark Cross
"Several great examples featuring a new mix of real-time content and tech-driven audience interaction, at a very location-specific basis, were extremely impressive."
Best Research Project/Initiative was awarded to Craft for its work on the BBC's digital audiences, which the judges described as offering a "refreshing" approach to social media.
"Research has a vital role to play in helping us to understand exactly how consumers are connecting with new media and the winning entry by Craft did just that," said judge Richard Marks, director of Research the Media.
"The BBC wanted to know on which of the newer social media, like Snapchat, WhatsApp and Instagram, their presence was logical and expected and on which they would not be welcomed.
"This is refreshing as too many companies have charged head first at new social media platforms just because they are there, rather than taking a step back and appraising their relevance first."
A double win for Facebook
Established giants Facebook and Sky Media went up against newcomer The Pool in the Connected Media Owner of The Year - with Facebook claiming the prize for using "deep consumer insights to power highly targeted and highly creative campaigns."
"The shortlist for Connected Media Owner of the Year featured three very strong entries from three very different players," Lovelace said.
"However, our winner is the platform that in the judges' opinion really came alive in 2016 as an advertising solutions partner."
Lovelace added that judges were also impressed with The Pool, an online content platform founded by Lauren Laverne, the BBC radio DJ, and Sam Baker, the former editor of Cosmopolitan, in 2015.
"The Pool is a mobile first, fully responsive platform," he said. "All the judges were impressed by its clever mix of multi-channel and timed-content to engage smart, busy women."
Facebook also walked away with the gong for Connected Campaign of the Year for its work with Lego: 'Kronkiwongi', which the judges heralded as a "brilliant example of the connected paradigm".
"The Connected Campaign category was an exceptional one this year with an evident increase to the depth of integration across platforms, technology, media and time that provides an encouraging benchmark for campaigns leading the way to the connected consumer," judge Mark Cross said.
"The winner was Facebook's simple, yet excellent, idea to leverage the power of connected communities to inspire, create and share ideas - in this case inspirational video around children's imaginations and play through LEGO, which was full of smart campaign design and targeting."
Connected Content Service of the Year was awarded to Yospace with Channel 4 for its work hunting the 'Holy Grail' of broadcasting - replacing advertisements in a live stream with those that can be tailored to the individual viewer.
"The judges were right to see such good things in Yospace's submission for its work with Channel 4 - as the company has since gone on to win contracts with Sky, ITV and SpotX," said David Pidgeon, judge and editor of Mediatel Newsline.
"I feel this is the start of something very big. The tech is clever, the team behind it more so. A very worthy winner and certainly one to watch."
Craft won the award for Best Research Project
Derek Jones, CEO of Mediatel, said: "2016 recognises some truly outstanding achievements from a variety of businesses operating in the connected market. This year it was great to see so much innovation from the out-of-home sector showcased. It was also encouraging to see how data-powered strategies are now really driving creativity and innovation.
"I'd like to extend my thanks and gratitude to everyone for taking part - and I look forward to seeing more great work in 2017."
The awards will be followed by the Connected Consumer conference on 8 June 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.