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The Drum Awards for Experience 2023 preview: everything you need to know


By The Drum, Editorial

November 16, 2023 | 4 min read

The Drum Awards for Experience on November 27 officially kicks off The Drum Awards Festival 2023, our showpiece celebration of the best work, companies and people in marketing and media.

The Drum Awards for Experience

Netflix was nominated in the Media and Entertainment category for Stranger Things

The Drum Awards Festival is a two-week celebration of the very best marketing, digital, creative and media campaigns from brands and agencies around the world and The Drum Awards for Experience will be the first of our 15 live awards shows, officially launching the Festival on November 27 and rewarding global marketing activations, teams and technologies.

Last year’s Experience Awards saw Ogilvy UK scoop the Chair’s Awards for its work with professional services brand EY, while the top award of the show – the Grand Prix – was awarded to Factory 42 for its work with The Crown Estate for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. (You can read more about 2022’s biggest winners here or rewatch the full awards show here.)

This year’s Experience Awards were chaired by Judy Lee, global director of experiential at Pinterest, and Jonathan Emmins, founder and global chief executive at Amplify. They led a jury that included representatives from the likes of General Motors, Bumble, Pepsico, and BBH.

The Drum’s senior reporter Hannah Bowler recently caught up with Lee and Emmins to talk about what went on inside the jury room as they deliberated the entries.

One trend they noticed this year was how brand experience work was leading the marketing strategy.

“I genuinely believe that, for consumers and marketers alike, the pandemic brought on long-overdue innovation and integration,” says Emmins. “Maybe 10 years ago, the brand experience was the party at the end and now, with more traditional forms of advertising struggling to cut through, the brand experience can be the big idea and driving cross-channel campaign. It’s exciting to see. The trends I saw coming through [in the entries this year] were bigger ideas and real integration.”

After poring over entries to the awards this year, Lee agreed that brand experience work is being prioritized by marketers and that is leading to more consideration of the metrics for how to measure success.

“We all have to work smarter,” she says. “One of the things I’m seeing is that [brand experience work] has to fit a number of goals; it’s not just about press, impressions and reach. It’s got to hit multiple things. And those are the pieces of work that really stand out. The work is just getting smarter as marketers and brands think about investment.”

Winners will be announced during The Drum Awards Festival, taking place from November 27 to December 8. For more information on the Festival and how to attend, visit the website.

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