5 of the best innovations that won in 2021, including Riot Games and Posterscope

As part of our Best of 2021 series, our journalists have been picking out their favorite award-winning work of the year.

Throughout the festive season, we’ll be looking back through the winners from our 2021 global awards program, which includes The Drum Awards for Marketing, The Drum Awards for the Digital Industries, The Drum Awards for B2B and more.

Here, we round-up some of the best work to win in The Drum Awards’ innovations of the year categories.

Channel 4 ‘BrandM4tch’ by 4 Sales, Infosum and Mediarithmics

Winner of the best commercial innovation at The Drum Awards for Online Media, Channel 4’s Brandm4tch allows advertisers to match their own first party data with All 4’s 24 million registered users to create their own bespoke custom audience segments – all in a cookieless and GDPR compliant way.

City, University of London ‘Clearing Monitor’ by Anything is Possible

Named technical innovation of the year at The Drum Awards for Search, ‘Clearing Monitor’ is a hybrid machine-learning tool that increases the flow of information to multiple parallel ad campaigns, enabling better optimization and tactical decision-making, to reducing costs and boosting ROI.

Amid the chaos of Clearing 2020, Clearing Monitor made the critical difference for City, University of London, enabling it to handle the extra complexity as uncertain students’ search behavior became more unpredictable than ever.

Thanks to ‘Clearing Monitor’ and Anything is Possible’s search marketing experts, City was able to drive down cost-per-click and make every click count. Beyond the click, the Clearing page web visits converted at a higher rate, and delivered both more and a higher quality of candidate.

Posterscope ‘Recycled Paper’

With paper consumption at unsustainable levels and OOH paper posters contributing to the problem, Posterscope spent months researching and developing a 100% recycled product that offers advertisers green printing techniques to small format posters with no loss of quality.

Unlike current paper that has no recycled content, Posterscope used paper that is de-inked and pulped prior to reaching the paper-making stage. Old processes involved using chlorine to brighten the paper, but this recycling process no longer involves the use of chlorine and all inks used are vegetable-based and eco-friendly.

Working in partnership with Nestlé to bring to life its vision, Posterscope brought the brand new paper technology to the streets with the launch of Quality Street’s ’Intrigue’ campaign, winning it the innovation in out-of-home category at The Drum Awards for Out-of-Home.

The Ozone Project ‘Ozone Marketplace’

As customers seek alternatives to open market programmatic, Ozone Marketplace launched to offer advertisers and agencies a direct connection to Ozone’s premium inventory.

Named best sell-side innovation at The Drum Awards for Digital Advertising, Ozone Marketplace delivers impressive efficiencies and results via a single connection. Its creation allows for tailored enterprise-level integration and has already generated significant engagement and investment from the majority of the major agency groups like GroupM, Omnicom and Dentsu, and directly from brands – including Vodafone and P&G – which have in-housed elements of their digital marketing activity,

Riot Games ‘The Battle of Baron’ by Unit9

When League of Legends: Wild Rift expanded its open beta to Vietnam, Oceania, Taiwan, Europe, Turkey, the Middle East, North Africa and Russia, Unit9 helped Riot Games celebrate by turning YouTube Live into a collaborative multiplayer story experience for fans all over the world.

Named best technology-led innovation of the year at The Drum Awards for Marketing, it hosted the biggest Baron battle in history on YouTube Live. Anyone, anywhere, could join the biggest Baron battle in history, typing in live chat to take down the beast. The global gaming community worked together to defeat Baron Nashor in a way that’s never been done before.