Masters of Marketing Awards 2017: The specials winners

Congratulations to all the winners of Marketing Week’s Masters of Marketing awards.

Marketing Week’s Masters of Marketing Awards took place at London’s Tobacco Dock last night (3 October). The biggest
 of their kind in the UK, the awards cover everything in marketing from strategy through to execution.

From the strategic challenge of digital disruption and transformation, to the societal and business challenge of increasing diversity in your team and output; from boardroom demands to extract more from less, to the challenge of building a winning marketing team – it’s all there.

Click below to see the winners of the sector awards and the channel winners.

Masters of Marketing Awards 2017: The sector winners
Masters of Marketing Awards 2017: The channel winners

Brand of the year [in partnership with YouGov]

Winning brand: Maltesers

The Mars-owned brand has achieved what is seen by some in marketing as the holy grail – doing well by doing good. After winning Channel 4’s competition for £1m-worth of free commercial airtime during the 2016 Paralympics, Maltesers has built differentiation into its brand by putting inclusivity at the heart of its positioning. The first and most successful result was ‘Look on the Light Side of Disability’ campaign, which featured disabled people in everyday situations discussing awkward encounters and experiences. The campaign, which sought to highlight the place of disability in society, was the brand’s most successful in more than 10 years.

Highly commended: Yorkshire Tea

Visionary marketer of the year

Winner: Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer, Procter & Gamble

“The biggest marketing speech in 20 years” was how Marketing Week columnist Mark Ritson described Marc Pritchard’s speech to the IAB in January. In a stunning intervention, Pritchard laid bare digital media’s failings, calling for increased transparency around media buying and viewability while raising questions about “murky” supply chains. If that wasn’t enough, he declared ad blocking was primarily a result of “crappy” advertising. This wasn’t purely an exercise in evisceration; Pritchard committed the world’s biggest advertiser to several measures such as adopting one viewability standard and implementing accredited third-party measurement verification. What will likely be the most effective is the year’s notice it has given agencies and media suppliers, and making the consequences of not complying with its new strategy “crystal clear” – by taking its business elsewhere.Pritchard voiced the concerns that many have but did not have the platform to communicate. The impact of his rallying call is likely to resonate for years.

Agency of the year

Winner: Brainlabs


Brainlabs does not undersell itself in its ambition “to change the future of digital advertising” and “to create the best company to work for in the whole world”. The innovative company employs new technology, analytics and creative thinking to great effect. A great example was the ‘Bums on Seats’ campaign for discount ticket brand London Theatre District (LTD). With the aim of maximising return on advertising spend (ROAS) and ticket sales Brainlabs helped overhaul its inefficient advertising model. The campaign in 2016 gave LTD’s advertising operation a new sense of order using intense manual optimisation, custom coding and automating wherever possible. Bums on Seats reduced cost per acquisition while increasing ROAS and conversions across 50 show campaigns and over 60 venue campaigns. It increased overall ROAS by 18.9% and conversions by 56%; and decreased CPA by 7% and cost per click by 15.9%.

Best use of a small budget

Winning brand: St John Ambulance and Tesco
Project name: Making Baby CPR
Unforgettable: How St John Ambulance Lived in the Nursery to Save Lives
Entering agency: BBH

St John Ambulance faced a challenge in teaching parents baby CPR. The emergency parents most fear is their baby stopping breathing (74%), but only 25% say they would know what to do. ‘Making Baby CPR Unforgettable’ saw St John Ambulance working in partnership with Tesco to create a babygrow that teaches baby CPR. A short film, ‘Baby Lucy’, introduced parents to the babygrow product. With only £800 in media spend, 5.2 million people saw it, 31,000 people visited the website to learn more, and 20,000 babygrows have gone to parents.

Digital transformation

Winning brand: Beano
Project name: Beano Digital Network Launch
Entering agency: Beano Studios

With the launch of Beano Digital Network, the irreverent humour of Dennis the Menace and Minnie the Minx has been reinvented for the iPad generation. Underpinned by strong customer-focused research in a challenging segment, the resulting modernisation fuses the publication’s cheeky emotional values with expertise from broadcast, digital content, tech and analytics. In the six months following the relaunch, the Beano Digital Network has achieved consistent four- or five-star reviews on app stores, smashed user acquisition targets by three times, doubled PR value targets and generated a 30% increase in brand awareness.

Diversity and inclusion champion

Joint winners: Channel 4 and Maltesers
Project name: Rio 2016 Paralympics

Channel 4
In an unprecedented move, we have awarded two brands in this category. Both brands have done great work in improving representation of disability in advertising. Maltesers launched its ‘Look on the Light Side of Disability’ campaign during last year’s Paralympic Games coverage on Channel 4 after winning a competition come challenge from the broadcaster to develop ideas where disabled people feature prominently. The initiative and the execution both deserve credit.

Market disruptor

Winning brand: Cosabella
Project name: Cosabella Drives Major Sales with AI
Entering agency: Albert (created by Albert Technologies)

With sales plateauing, lingerie retailer Cosabella turned away from conventional advertising and marketing agencies and opted for a new business strategy utilising proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) technology. The brand used AI marketing platform Albert to revamp its paid search and social media channels, both domestically and internationally. It used the technology for a range of tasks including identifying new audiences and critical keywords and testing thousands of ad variations. Increases in sales and ROI followed and Cosabella increased its Q4 return on ad spend by more than 300% in 2016.

Marketing team of the year

Winning brand: Aldi

Using a proposition of healthy, sustainably sourced and affordable food for all, German retailer Aldi sought to challenge rivals. The retailer’s marketing team set out to close the market share gap with competitors, increase loyalty, and drive awareness. A slew of powerful campaigns demonstrated the retailer’s quality, range and value. During the year, Aldi increased its high and very high loyals by 376,000 and maintained its position as the sixth largest supermarket in the UK, moving to fifth place in the first quarter of 2017.

Rising star of the year

Winner: Jawad Safdar, acquisition marketing manager for home and ecommerce, EE

Footfall is falling on the high street and digital acquisition channels need to be fit for purpose if they are going to fill that gap. EE’s Jawad Safdar is rising to the revitalisation challenge within EE Home Broadband and TV’s digital landscape. His five years in marketing are informed by an agile approach to market opportunities and a solid belief in the power of customer insight. His work incorporates PPC, social, display, content, SEO and influence and his channels at EE are on track to deliver 96% year-on-year growth in sales.

The CEO award for marketing

Winner: BT Group
Judges: Simon Carter, CEO, ComRes; Paul Geddes, CEO, Direct Line Group; Kathryn Jacob, CEO, Pearl & Dean

The fact that BT Group is led by a former marketer, Gavin Patterson, and is the UK’s third biggest advertiser goes some way towards indicating the faith the company has in marketing to drive its performance. The house of brands, which includes the BT master brand, EE and Plusnet, has also invested time, money and effort in lifting standards in customer experience and marketing capability. For example, it has an internal marketing academy that delivers internal capability and training programmes. Elsewhere, it centralised its eight separate insight departments into what it described as “one powerhouse centre of excellence”, which reports to chief brand officer Zaid Al-Qassab.

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