Channel 4 wins Grand Prix at 2015 Connected Consumer Awards
Companies leading new advertising, tech and commercial opportunities in the connected industry were celebrated on Thursday at the third annual Connected Consumer Awards.
The winners - which included media owners, agencies, consultancies and tech providers - were led by Channel 4 which took the Grand Prix prize, along with the awards for Connected Media Owner of the Year and Best use of Connected Data.
The judges praised the UK's second largest commercial broadcaster for its outstanding commitment to placing the consumer at the heart of a forward-facing strategy that embraced technology, data and changing consumer behaviours.
"The Grand Prix award gives us the opportunity to recognise the deep commitment on the part of one of our highly deserved winners to build a dynamic, two-way relationship with connected consumers," said chair of the judges, Graham Lovelace, director, Lovelace Consulting.
"Channel 4 recognised early on the potential of data to enhance its business model, and get closer to viewers across 25 different platforms and devices. It is now using that data to sell targeted advertising as well as offering brands new creative executions."
Judge Rupert Staines, European managing director of RadiumOne, added: "As a team of innovators in the TV space, Channel 4 are spot on in putting their viewers' data at the heart of their idea generation. They are worthy winners and their work is a genuine triumph for the connected market."
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The 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 annually by Mediatel.
One of the most closely fought categories of the event was the Connected Agency of the Year award - which was handed to MediaCom for the second year running.
"This category illustrated how the connected consumer is transforming the way agencies now work and all entries presented strong evidence of transformation and new propositions cast from the connected reality," said judge Mark Cross, director of Chartroom.
"MediaCom won because they not only offered an obviously connected proposition of 'Better Connections' together with an interesting interconnected system of communications approach, but they worked through what it meant for their business and for their people with very impressive outcomes.
"The challenge of driving change across the whole organisation was recognised from the outset and by re-engineering structures, planning approaches and working practices around the proposition, they demonstrated that widespread change had taken place to everyday practice. An outstanding effort."
Connected Campaign of the Year was awarded to Manning Gottlieb OMD for its outstanding work with John Lewis on 'Monty the Penguin'.
"I'm delighted to say this was the most popular category with exceptionally strong entries across the board," said Lovelace.
"As a result, it was by far the hardest category to judge. It's the category that goes to the heart of what The Connies are all about: recognising those initiatives that target, reach and engage connected consumers.
"We were looking for novel campaigns that really exploit the opportunities of connected technologies, and campaigns that potentially change the way things are done."
Special mention went to Clear Channel UK for its 'Tap to beat cancer' campaign - a highly innovative use of contactless technology which turned a shop window into an interactive display.
The judges were also highly impressed with Clear Channel's 'Tweet to eat' campaign - another world first for Clear Channel, in which a digital panel became a crisp dispenser...with a little help from Gary Lineker.
"But there had to be a winner," Lovelace said, "and that is Manning Gottlieb OMD for John Lewis and 'Monty the Penguin' - a multi-channel campaign staged across TV, online, social and in-store, looking at the world through the eyes of an imaginative child.
"This brilliant campaign raises the Christmas TV advertising bar even higher, and provides a valuable case study from which we can all learn."
Thinkbox and Craft took the prize for Best Research Project with the Screen Life: TV advertising everywhere study - part of an ongoing project the judges felt raised the bar in terms of how multiple research sources can be blended and effectively communicated.
The marketing body for TV focused on the connected, multi-screen viewer, working with Craft on a mix of ethnography, online research and behavioural psychology to look at how traditional TV interacts with multi-screening and the direct implications for advertising.
"Thinkbox has shown its ability to get the maximum return on their research investment in terms of industry impact and engagement," said judge Richard Marks, director of Research the Media.
"It's effective, thoughtfully-conducted research about the connected consumer that connects and resonates with its target audience of media planners and thought leaders."
Derek Jones, CEO, Mediatel
The Best Connected Technology Breakthrough was awarded to Monterosa for LViS, with judges applauding the business for developing a platform for connected television services.
"This approach drives down costs and increases speed to market for companion solutions," said judge Stacey Anklam, vice president, client solutions, autoGraph Inc.
"Monterosa is developing formats that enhance broadcast - keeping viewers engaged and driving affinity to broadcast channels and programmes. Of course, they are also enabling viewers to interact with both programmes and advertisers."
Monterosa's LViS platform has powered a wide range of experiences for both TV and out of home, allowing media owners to create new forms of saleable media. The company has also demonstrated successful multi-lingual projects in Europe and the US, across various programme genres and working with broadcasters, out of home and OTT providers.
"The breadth of applications of the LViS platform was particularly impressive; as was the list of top tier clients that Monterosa have been able to sign in just a short 12 months since launch," Anklam added.
Finally, the Connected Content Service of the Year was awarded to Easel TV for Curzon Home Cinema.
"This was a new category for 2015," said judge David Pidgeon, editor of Mediatel Newsline. "The judges were looking for the breadth and relevance of the content offering, as well as its design and the overall user experience.
"The winner, Easel TV, struck the judges with its smart, cloud-based approach to the Curzon Home Cinema project. This means consumers can pay for a movie on one device and watch on another, and bookmark across platforms as well."
Derek Jones, CEO of Mediatel, said: "As the connected market has grown, so too have the Connected Consumer Awards. From humble beginnings only a few years ago, we're now celebrating on a much larger scale and with many more businesses involved.
"This year's event showcased some outstanding achievements and it is my hope both the winners and the short-listed entries will set new industry bench-marks for others to try and better through further innovation.
"A huge thanks to everyone for taking part."
The awards will be followed by the Connected Consumer conference on 10 June where a selection of the winners will showcase their work.
To understand more about the fast moving connected marketplace, Mediatel Connected features the latest market data, consumer surveys and analysis to keep you ahead.
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