Argos and the NHS recognised at The Drum Marketing Awards as Richard Branson scoops lifetime achievement prize

The Drum Marketing Awards results: Work for Argos and NHS Blood and Transplant awarded top trophies

For the first year ever The Drum Marketing Awards went global in 2017, enlisting an esteemed panel of judges to whittle down the entries from creative shops, in-house teams, design consultancies, digital agencies, PR firms and more.

The results were unveiled at a black-tie ceremony in London's Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel on Tuesday evening (30 May), with Virgin boss Sir Richard Bransontaking home the Lifetime Achievement gong.

The Grand Prix was awarded to CHI & Partners, Mindshare, All Together Now and Sky Media for their combined work on Argos' renewed strategy.

Last year, a collaborative approach from the agencies helped Argos launch a campaign that positioned the brand for a new generation of customer and increased turnover year-on-year in the process.

As previously announced by The Drum, Sir Richard Branson was given the Lifetime Achievement trophy, and though he wasn't there in person to collect his trophy he recorded a speech for the crowd – calling the achievement "fucking great". You can watch the entrepreneur's full interview with The Drum here.

Also recognised in one of the individual categories was Michele Oliver, vice-president of marketing at Mars, who was named Marketer of the Year. Marketing Agency of the Year went to London-based Tin Man Communications, while in-house Marketing Team of the Year was handed to Cruise.co.uk.

This year, the judging panel included marketers from some of the world's best-known brands including: Nando's marketing director Andrew Rayner; Kenny Jacobs from Ryanair; Sam Olstein, global director of Innovation at GE; NFL UK's head of marketing Sarah M Swanson and more.

Cindy Tervoort, UK marketing director Heineken, chaired the judging panel and awarded the Chairman's Prize to Engine for its 'Missing Type' international campaign for NHS Blood and Transplant. Now in its second year, the push asked brands and individuals to remove the As, Bs and Os from their names to highlight the lack of people signing up to donate blood.

Of her choice, Tervoort said: "In a time where the UK was faced with a blood donation crisis, NHS Blood & Transplant came up with a fantastic campaign that was at its heart simple, creative and really stood out. Activating the same campaign idea for the second time is always tricky, however they went above and beyond big time.

"I was extremely impressed by the scale of execution, partnering with 23 donor organisations and over 1,500 partnerships, as well as the quality of the brands and iconic landmarks, sustaining the attention over a longer period of time and leveraging the scale and fan base of these brands."

She added: "I also thought the perfect militaristic timing of the campaign going from time zone to time zone ensured a big bang launch and global pick up. As a consequence the results have been very impressive. All in all a fantastic creative idea that has been executed brilliantly and therefore a very worthy winner of the Chairman’s Award."

A full list of this year's winners can be viewed at the dedicated Marketing Awards website.

This year, sponsors of the Marketing Awards included Audiense, Shazam, Winmo, Tint, The Drum’s Recommended Agency Register (RAR), and The Drum Network.

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