Wendy's, John Lewis & Partners, Nike, Sony, and Skoda are among the many brands who took home the coveted Drum gong at The Drum Social Buzz Awards 2019 on November 27.
The black-tie event saw hundreds of social media gurus flock to The Marriott Grosvenor Square Hotel in London to find out who's pushing boundaries and cleverly using social as part of the overall marketing mix.
VMLY&R and fast-food chain Wendy's snapped up the Grand Prix and Most Innovative Use of Social for Keeping Fortnite Fresh, respectively.
Gaming, the most lucrative entertainment medium, has become a global phenomenon with the widespread success of titles like Fortnite. It was a perfect opportunity, then, to target an audience with many brand advertising efforts.
However, we do live in an age of ad blockers, who are actively avoiding advertising by paying for premium ad-free services. The audience are hard to reach and it's even harder to change their mind.
VMLY&R and Wendy's decided that rather than interrupting entertainment with advertising, they wanted to make advertising the audience’s entertainment. Wendy’s playing Fortnite on Twitch acted as the Trojan horse for its key messaging, getting past the filter of what gamers see and hear by combining advertising and entertainment.
Bogdana Butnar, juror and experience strategy lead, Karamarama said: "Wendy's and VMLY&R impressed through sheer courage and commitment to the impeccable delivery of their creative idea. Their choice of channels, the genuine understanding of the environments and people they were addressing and the fact that all ideas stayed true to the brand made for a perfect, award-winning combination."
Another big win of the evening comes from the Chair's Award. This year, Steve Hatch, vice president for northern Europe, Facebook lead the judging panel. Taking home this award is Manning Gottlieb OMD for John Lewis and Partners (JLP).
To reflect the importance of employees to JLP, in September 2018 the company embarked upon a rebrand and changed from ‘John Lewis’ to ‘John Lewis & Partners’. To communicate this shift, social media key in giving its partners a way to engage directly with customers.
Partners from fashion stylists to home designers were featured and celebrated in many paid social campaigns resulting in a positive business impact, delivering a unique and authentic brand voice with a proven increase in sales results.
On his winner, Hatch said: "Not only did John Lewis and Partners create connections between the business and its customers, it created connections between its people and it’s customers. It is a company that’s famed for putting its people first, the fact that they work in partnership. Not only did they work in partnership with its partners, but its consumers as well.
"They made an unprecedented step, empowered its teams, its people to go and create the work, the connections and build the buzz, that excitement and that deeper connection with its customers."
Awarded both Most Effective Use of Video and Best Use of Live Video is Havas Media Group for NOS.
The biggest issue for media company, NOS was the bad perception Portuguese had of their broadband service. Although this changed with the introduction of the new 1GB technology, the people were not aware.
By bringing the Portuguese together with their love of music, this campaign included a cultural favourite, ‘’A minha casinha’’, that celebrates home, wherever that is.
Havas and NOS called upon 11 Portuguese artists, asking each to create their own cover of the song using the 1GB network.
Seven duet videos were produced with the artists and promoted on Facebook, Instagram stories and display. This was followed by each artist playing their song live for the first time, without streaming fails.
The judges said: "Havas displayed effective use of tech to allow artistic collaboration and clear use of launch phases with great incorporation on culture."
Full list of winners
Grand Prix/ Most Innovative Use of Social
VMLY&R for Wendys
Manning Gottlieb OMD for John Lewis and Partners
Best Socially Responsible Initiative
Havas Media Group for Movimiento Superaçao
Social Buzz Rising Star
Ben Jeffries, Influencer
Community Manager of the Year
Annalisa Wilson, Things Unlimited
In-House Client Team of the Year
Social Media Agency or Team of the Year
Most Effective Use of Twitter
Engine Creative and Content for HBO
Best Use of Facebook
Merkle EMEA for Superdrug
Best Use of Snapchat
Manning Gottlieb OMD for Sony Pictures UK
Most Effective Use of Group or Community
Ogilvy for ŠKODA UK
Most Effective Use of Imagery
Fifty Digital for IAAF - International Association of Athletics Federations
Most Effective Use of Video/ Best Use of Live Video
Havas Media Group for NOS
Largest ROI from a Social Media Campaign or Strategy
Ginga for Burger King
Twentysix for Yorkshire Tea
Best Use of Social Media Advertising
Lida for Christie's
Best Social Media Customer Service Strategy/Campaign
Things Unlimited for Danone
Best FMCG/Consumer Goods Social Media Strategy/Campaign
Elvis for Mondelez
Best Travel/Leisure/Sports Social Media Strategy/Campaign
AnalogFolk for Nike
Best Public Sector Social Media Strategy/Campaign
Great State for The Royal Marines
Best Retail/E-Commerce Social Media Strategy/Campaign
Ogilvy for Boots UK
Best Charity or Not For Profit Social Media Strategy/Campaign
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
Best Financial Sector Social Media Strategy/Campaign
PHD UK for HSBC UK
Best B2B Sector Social Media Strategy/Campaign
Barclaycard for Barclaycard Business
Best Automotive or Transport Sector Social Media Strategy/Campaign
Rokkan for Cadillac
Best Integrated Campaign
Elvis for Mondelez
Best User-Generated Content
Manning Gottlieb OMD for John Lewis & Partners
Best Social Stunt
O2 UK Telefonica UK Limited for O2 (Telefonica UK)
Best Viral Campaign
Engine Creative & Content for HBO
Best Social Event
Hey Honey, Dept Agency B.V. & GoSpooky for JBL
Most Effective Use of a Chatbot
Cubaka & Manning Gottlieb OMD for Virgin Trains
The Drum Social Buzz Awards 2019 took place on November 27 at The Marriott Grosvenor Square Hotel in London. Register your interest for 2020 now.
Partners of the awards are Hootsuite and Winmo