Posterscope, ITV, C4, Verimatrix and Total Media triumph at the 2018 Connies
Mediatel is thrilled to announce the winners of this year's Connies - the annual awards celebrating new advertising, tech and commercial opportunities in the connected market.
This year saw Posterscope named the UK Grand Prix Winner for its outstanding campaign 'A Very Black Friday' - which also picked up the Connected Campaign of the Year award.
Meanwhile, revenue security and video analytics company Verimatrix won the International Grand Prix (see below).
Posterscope produced a "brilliant campaign" for online retailer Very, which "delivered on the promise of a digitally evolved and connected out of home market," said judge Robert Ellison, senior comms planning manager UK&I, Unilever.
"Of note was the use of live proprietary data, which maximised the greater flexibility afforded by a connected medium. Best of all, it delivered significant and tangible business impact."
Posterscope was also highly commended by the judges in the Connected Agency of the Year category, however the OOH specialist was ultimately beaten by behavioural planning agency Total Media.
"With a 95% client retention rate, Total Media successfully finds creative and effective media solutions to match the behaviour of real people," said judge Tracey Follows, founder of Futuremade. "A very impressive achievement."
Elsewhere, ITV and Channel 4 took the gold award for Best Research Project Initiative for their joint work on Project Firefly which combines first party data to gain real insights into broadcaster VOD behaviour and campaign effectiveness.
"The judges felt that this project was significant on a number of levels," said judge Richard Marks, director, Research the Media.
"It makes a very strong contribution to our understanding of what makes broadcaster VOD different from other forms of online video."
Meanwhile, the7stars and Ipsos MORI were awarded silver and bronze prizes, respectively, in the same category.
In the Best Use of Connected Data category Exterion Media won gold for its data initiative in partnership with TfL.
"Exterion demonstrated a great use of data both internally and in collaboration with external data sets," said judge Anne Tucker, head of research & AV, Mediatel.
"This project is now powering its client work, new business opportunities, and generating impressive revenue growth for the company."
In the same category, Channel 4 won the silver award whilst Global won bronze.
In the Best Use of Connected Technology category, it was Primesight that impressed the judges most to take the prize.
"In this category we were looking for innovation that shows the ability to deliver significant commercial value,” said judge Stacey Anklam, COO, autoGraph.
“By using connected technology, Primesight is transforming our streets, increasing convenience and connecting people together. They have taken the concept of a telephone box and transformed that into a full connected, engaging experience.”
Although it missed out on a prize, shortlisted business Vewd received high commendation from the judges.
Meanwhile, Channel 4 went on to win Connected Media Owner of the Year .
"This category showed the strength in depth of technological innovation and creativity that media owners are harnessing to drive the industry forward and create ever better consumer experiences," says judge Ellison of Unilever.
"[Channel 4] have continually challenged and pushed technology to new heights, embracing the risk culture that underpins their very existence."
The judges were also impressed with Global, which was 'highly commended'.
Netgem UK walked away victorious in the Best User Experience - Beyond TV & Video category for 'Soundbox', the first fully integrated set-top box and soundbar and "a sneak preview into connected living room experiences to come", according to judge Mark Cross, director, Chartroom.
"Netgem Soundbox delivers a leap in innovation through integrating a collection of audience experiences across entertainment services, from STB connectivity, music streaming with soundbar quality audio, voice and other smart home services."
Last year, The Connies brought together the established UK Connected Consumer Awards from Mediatel and the internationally based Connected TV Awards from Videonet, now part of Mediatel Events.
This year, they continue to recognise innovation and the emerging best practice from across all sectors of the media landscape, showcasing initiatives that meet the needs of leading media businesses and practitioners in delivering value to the connected consumer.
In the international category, Verimatrix took the Grand Prix after also winning gold in the Video Technology Hero category for a cloud-based solution that reimagines the content workflow to reduce the risks associated with distribution.
“Any time content is processed, there are risks that errors may be introduced into the content and risks that unencrypted content can be intercepted and pirated,” said judge Steven Hawley, principal analyst and consultant at tvstrategies.
“The fact that this solution is cloud-based also helps reduce concerns about unplanned equipment expenditures associated with scaling and load-balancing.”
Also victorious in this category were Harmonic, who took home silver, and bronze award winners 3SS.
Elsewhere in the international category, Freeview Australia's 'Freeview Plus' impressed judges of the Best TV/Video Service Update or Launch category, winning the prize over Com Hem and TVPlayer.
“Broadcasters face growing competition for viewer attention, so achieving a 5% increase in the average time that viewers spend on a free-to-air platform is admirable,” said Videonet’s editor-in-chief, John Moulding.
“This service is delivering against metrics that matter, with a huge increase in the number of visitors and new visitors to an existing service. In a country where connected TV and on-demand is growing rapidly, Freeview Plus puts broadcasters at the heart of that universe.”
Finally, 2018 saw Media Distillery win gold in the Contribution to User Experience - TV & Video category with their 'Next Generation Replay Experience'.
"Media Distillery analyses the essence of media to produce descriptive data," said William Cooper, founder and chief executive at informitv.
"It addresses practical problems, like identifying the actual start and end times of programmes or extracting representative images from different episodes. This can really improve the user experience."
Just missing out on top spot were Medialaan in collaboration with Yospace, who received the silver award, followed by Net Insight AB who walked away with bronze.
Cross, director at Chartroom and chair of the judges, said that "the level of innovation, creativity and endeavour evident in this year's Connies was truly impressive, offering a barometer on the smart collaboration that is being forged in today's connected ecosystem."
Also commenting on this year's awards, Derek Jones, CEO of Mediatel, said: "2018 recognises outstanding achievements from a variety of businesses operating in the connected market. It is great 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 2019."