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2019 EDMAs winners profile – Grand Prix, Chairman's and Digital Partner Awards

David Murphy

With the winners of the 2019 Effective Digital Marketing Awards now revealed, over the next few days, we are profiling the winners in each category. We start today with a look at the winners of the Grand Prix Award, the Chairman’s Award and our two Digital Partner of the Year awards.

Grand Prix Award
Liverpool FC and NMPi – There's No Substitute for Good Display
The Grand Prix Award went to Liverpool football club and its agency, NMPi, for a fantastic campaign to promote sales of the team’s new kit at the start of the 2018-19 English Premier League season. The campaign also took the individual category awards for Most Effective Retail & FMCG campaign, and Most Effective Programmatic Campaign.

As the campaign launched, the pressure was on Liverpool FC and NMPi. The previous season, the club had celebrated its 125th anniversary and new kit sales had gone through the roof, but nonetheless, NMPi was tasked with busting last season’s targets. With a countdown element

The campaign centred on banner ads, with a countdown element to generate suspense and build interest. Once the kit had been revealed the ads also enabled supporters to click through to customise their kit, choosing their combination of name, number, font and patches, and of course to buy it. The ads were also designed to engage with supporters, rather than simply hitting them with a ‘Buy Now’ message.

All of this was driven by data. An algorithm was developed to select the initial product shown based on previous interactions with the kit builder, search history and contextual relevance. The sequential nature of the ads was key to the campaign. The way a user interacted with them influenced the subsequent ads served.

The results of the campaign were confidential, but sufficiently impressive for it to take the Grand Prix Award, in addition to the two individual category Awards.

Judges’ summary: “Great use of personalisation in the ad creative, with temporally evolving creative as the campaign developed. Results were easily the most compelling in this category.”

Chairman’s Award
GumGum – Art.Ificial Campaign
The Chairman’s Award, chosen by Chair of Judges David Murphy, went to GumGum for its Art.Ificial campaign. This campaign also took the individual category award for Most Effective Content Marketing Campaign.

The aim of the campaign was to shift perceptions of GumGum from ad tech company to an AI company with a focus on computer vision. To do so, GumGum carried out a Turing Test. Named after the English computer scientist, cryptanalyst, mathematician and theoretical biologist, Alan Turing, a Turing Test is a method of inquiry in artificial intelligence for determining whether or not a computer is capable of thinking like a human being.

In this instance, with the focus on establishing Gum Gum’s computer vision credentials, the subject of the test was a piece of art. GumGum commissioned six 20th American abstract expressionists to produce a piece of art, the twist being that only five of the artists were humans – the fifth was Pindar Van Arman’s Cloudpainter, an AI robot artist.

When each artist had completed their painting, the public were invited to view the work online and guess which piece had not been painted by a human. Only 5 per cent of those who guessed got it right.

A clever campaign, but what most impressed the judges, given the category it was entered in – Content Marketing – was the media coverage GumGum achieved for it. It was featured in broadcast segments on CNN and CNBC, and written up in Quartz, Scientific American and many other publications. And in every piece of media coverage, GumGum was described as an “artificial intelligence” or “computer vision” company, significantly moving the needle in terms of how the company is perceived.

David Murphy’s summary: “Just a brilliant, clever, off-the-wall campaign that was hugely successful, both in terms of the coverage it generated and in changing perceptions of the company.”

Digital Partner of the Year
Every year, Masterclassing hosts around 150 events around the world in which we bring together digital marketing experts, and brands who might need their help. The experts present to the brands, and then discuss their current marketing challenges in more detail in a series of round table discussions.

At the end of each event, delegates are asked to feedback on the presentations and the round table discussions from each digital expert. The Digital Partner of Year Awards is given to the company that consistently received the best feedback from the brands at our events. There are two Awards, one for North America, one for EMEA and APAC.

Digital Partner of the Year – North America
Mavrck
This award went to influencer marketing platform, Mavrck. Delegate feedback included the following comments: “They offered practical recommendations with clear, concise and actionable advice.” “This expert provided great market insight.” And “they shared an excellent and informative presentation and were clearly expert in their field.”

Digital Partner of the Year – EMEA and APAC
Journey Further
The Digital Partner of the Year Award for EMEA and APAC went to performance marketing agency Journey Further. Delegate feedback included the following comments: “They were both pragmatic and inspiring, offering a lot of actionable advice and specific examples.” “This expert presented an interesting discussion around the clever use of audiences.” And “this digital expert was very relevant and action-orientated, engaging and thought provoking.”

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