Media Research Awards 2019: Thinkbox wins Grand Prix
Wavemaker UK, Channel 4, BVA BDRC and Newsworks were amongst the winners of the fifth annual awards from Mediatel
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World-class innovation was celebrated on Tuesday (19 February) as the winners of Mediatel's 2019 Media Research Awards were announced during a prestigious ceremony at London's Banking Hall.
The winners were led by Thinkbox, which took the Grand Prix prize along with the award for Best Custom Media Research Project - Trade Body for its entry 'Profit Ability: the business case for advertising'.
"Thinkbox is committed to high impact set piece projects that address issues vital for the TV industry," said chair of the judges and director of Research the Media, Richard Marks, in praising the marketing body for TV.
"The transparent, authoritative approaches they employ ensure that their projects and findings have maximum impact."
The judges noted that Profit Ability was a "significant" project with an emphasis on the importance of long term ROI to brands, which addresses the current "obsession" with short term impacts and is also of benefit to other media, not just television.
"For that reason it has been warmly received across the industry," noted Marks.
Meanwhile, judge Catherine Blizzard, BBC World Service director of marketing and audiences, said the findings are an "excellent tool" for the marketing community to use not only to build the case for brands and brand advertising but also to "enhance and improve their own performance indicators to help businesses understand real returns on marketing investment in driving growth."
In the Best Custom Media Research Project - Media Owner category, Formula 1 and Goodform won with their F1 Fan Voice entry, with judge Denise Turner, insight director at Newsworks, citing the work as an "excellent example" of insight making a real tangible difference to a business.
"The project cleverly used innovative research techniques at scale, and the results have been embedded into the ongoing development of F1," she said.
In Best Custom Media Research Project - Agency, Wavemaker led a strong shortlist to win the prize for their outstanding project in collaboration with PHE, Breastfeeding Friend & Wavemaker Voicemaker.
"The judges noted that this was another very high quality category, yet Wavemaker and PHE won thanks to their innovation, clarity of thought and sophisticated execution," said judge David Pidgeon, editor of Mediatel News. "It is a worthy winner from an excellent shortlist."
Meanwhile, in the Best International Media Research Project category, the BBC World Service claimed victory for its project 'News Needs'.
The judges said this entry ticked all the boxes to win - demonstrating how far an in-house research and analytics team could push themselves to bring the insight to life, drive back-end system changes and even change how and what the BBC measures.
In the Best Media Research Tracking Project category, Future Thinking won for its project 'From Algorithms to Analytics (Nuffield Health)'.
"This winning entry demonstrates how the application of thorough and advanced tracking can transform a company into a data driven and insight led organisation, and most importantly drive significant commercial growth," said judge Andy Marrs, global accounts measurement manager, Facebook.
"Huge congratulations, a well-deserved winner."
Best Use of Data Sets was won by Newsworks for its 'Planning for Profit' project. "A succinct, pithy, high-impact entry that really shed new commercial rigour on the longitudinal impact of both print and digital newsbrands," said judge Adele Gritten, UK managing director, Future Thinking.
"Wide ranging in its market coverage, this research really got to the crux of quantifying profit ROI in 30 categories. A best in class example of quality design and output."
For the Excellence in Measuring Effectiveness of a Media Campaign, ITV and On Device Research claimed the prize for their project 'Love Island Partnership Effectiveness Research'
The judges were impressed by the way the study has equipped ITV with a piece of robust insight to inform and engage commercial clients and advertisers - supporting the media owner’s thought leadership position and offering a genuinely new approach to ad measurement.
Excellence in Research Presentation - a particularly strong entry this year - saw 2018's Grand Prix winner Channel 4 win for 'WTF is Dovetail?'
"This has always been one of my favourite categories," said Richard Marks.
"Research withers on the vine unless effective communication motivates people to actually use it. There can rarely have been as complex a piece of media research work as Project Dovetail and the judges loved Channels 4’s approach to helping staff and clients understand it.
"The videos and materials exploited brilliantly the rich archive of content that Channel 4 has available. ‘WTF is Dovetail’ is irreverent, engaging and - importantly - not afraid of the odd swear word or ten!"
Claiming the award for Media Agency of the Year and beating stiff competition from OMD UK and the7stars, a very strong Wavemaker UK was praised by judges for the sheer scope of work it carried out.
"Insight in media agencies has undoubtedly undergone massive transformation, and that was definitely reflected in the entries in this category," said Denise Turner.
"Wavemaker rose to the top of a closely-fought category with a great catalogue of projects, using a variety of techniques and data. The common thread was a singular focus on driving actionable insight for clients."
Meanwhile, Media Owner of the Year was won by former Grand Prix champions Channel 4, who beat Reach Solutions, Sky and BBC World Service.
"This is always a highly competitive category," said judge Brian Jacobs, founder, Brian Jacobs & Associates. "So congratulations to Channel 4 for winning with a superb body of work including a collaboration on VOD with ITV, and - my particular favourite - the 'Contextual Moments' notion that sets out to demonstrate the value and importance of context.
"Anyone who believes that ‘media’ is so much more than bald numbers will applaud."
Picking up yet another award this year, former Grand Prix winner Newsworks won Trade Body of the Year, snatching the prize from JICMAIL and Thinkbox.
"This is particularly impressive in a category which becomes more competitive each year," said judge Lynne Robinson, a consultant and former IPA research director.
"This year’s stellar body of work from Newsworks comprises eight studies, many done in collaboration with industry partners, providing new insights into current key issues such as trust, context and effectiveness across all news platforms and, most significantly, evaluating the relative profitability of advertising in newsbrands."
Finally, Research Agency Team of the Year was won by BVA BDRC, beating strong competition from Ipsos MORI and MTM.
"The combination of inventiveness of approach together with great team work is compelling," said judge Belinda Beeftink, research director, IPA.
"The team at BVA BDRC is concentrated on a small number of clients who benefit from a long standing team of experts at BVA BDRC. This gives consistency in approach, confidence in delivery but also opportunities for innovation and development."
Commenting on the overall standard of 2019's competitors, Derek Jones, CEO of Mediatel, said: "For the fifth annual awards the quality of the work has only increased, truly demonstrating that the UK delivers world-class projects.
"We are proud to run the only awards of this type in the UK and feel privileged to be in a position to reward innovation and help showcase such high calibre work. A huge congratulations to the winners."
In 2018 Channel 4 won the Grand Prix along with Gold in the Best Custom Media Research Project - Media Owner and Excellence in Measuring Effectiveness of a Media Campaign for its 'Contextual Moments' project.
The 2019 judging panel
Richard Marks, director of Research the Media (Chair)
Andy Marrs, global accounts measurement manager, Facebook.
Belinda Beeftink, research director, IPA
David Brennan, founder of Media Native,
Brian Jacobs, founder, Brain Jacobs & Associates
Lynne Robinson, consultant and former research director, IPA
Jonny Protheroe, head of UK market insights, Google
David Pidgeon, editor, Mediatel Newsline
Denise Turner, insight director at Newsworks
Adele Gritten, UK managing director, Future Thinking
Catherine Blizzard, BBC World Service director of marketing and audiences
Judges are excluded from scoring any category in which they have an interest
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