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Winners announced at The Drum Awards for Media 2023

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By Thomas O'Neill | Managing editor

November 30, 2023 | 7 min read

Hearts & Science took the Grand Prix for its work with HBO Max, while Amplify and Adam&EveDDB received the Chair’s Award for their work with Sony Interactive Entertainment.

House of Dragons

The Grand Prix was won by Hearts & Science for its US launch of House of the Dragon for HBO Max

As part of The Drum’s annual Awards Festival, today we celebrated The Drum Awards for Media, which was broadcast live to the world from our studio in London.

Taking home the top prize, the Grand Prix, is Hearts & Science for its US launch of House of the Dragon, successor to the global phenomenon Game of Thrones, for HBO Max.

Game of Thrones, based on the best-selling book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin, is the most-watched title in the long and storied history of HBO. The series captivated audiences the world over, becoming an instant cultural touchstone and turning the characters and the actors who portray them into household names.

When a series, particularly one with a built-in fandom from the books, becomes a major global phenomenon, its every plot turn gets scrutinized under the microscope of public opinion. Such was the case with Game of Thrones, which built up such an impassioned following that it became appointment viewing, particularly during the show’s final season.

However, that season, and the finale in particular, left a bad taste in audiences’ mouths and left Hearts & Science to wonder if there would be ‘dragon fatigue’ among viewers who felt burned by how Game of Thrones ended. Also, House of the Dragon was the first series launched in the wake of the merger between HBO’s parent company Warner Brothers and Discovery (WBD), and, as such, it needed to be a commercial success on par with its predecessor (despite House of the Dragon’s setting nearly 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones).

With pressure to deliver a dragon-sized hit, Hearts & Science created a marketing onslaught across traditional and decidedly untraditional media that made House of the Dragon the platform’s most successful show ever and put the newly formed WBD on a course for sustained success.

The recipients of the Chair’s Award, meanwhile, as chosen by head judges Soco Núñez de Cela of Burger King UK and Peeyush Sharma of Starcom India, are Amplify and Adam&EveDDB for their work with Sony Interactive Entertainment – a global campaign that saw them reignite hype for experiences on PS5 (the campaign also picked up the Grand Prix at The Drum Awards for Experience).

Immediately following the original launch of PS5 in 2020, it very quickly became difficult to get your hands on a console. In 2023, however, as more PlayStation 5 consoles hit shelves around the world, there was a need to reignite hype around the brand, the console and the worlds that PS5 unlocks.

‘Live From PS5’ was designed to mimic a real news network, featuring journalists from around the world reporting on the captivating happenings within the various PS5 worlds. This innovative concept brought the console’s unique experiences to life. The execution of the mixed-media campaign was both ambitious and comprehensive. The campaign spanned 51 markets and ran in 32 languages, with journalists reporting real-time news updates. Over 600 assets were deployed across multiple channels, including television, social media, out-of-home advertising, digital displays and high-impact special-builds, all within a four-week period.

The results of this creative campaign were nothing short of remarkable. Sony sold 19.1m PlayStation 5 consoles in the financial year, beating its own forecast of 18m. That was up from 11.5m PS5 units sold in the previous fiscal year when Sony was facing supply chain issues – which demonstrates a 66% increase.

Núñez de Cela and Sharma were joined on the judging panel this year by senior marketers from top brands, including General Mills, Condé Nast, NBCUniversal and Unilever.

Among the other big winners of the night are Together for its work with AIA New Zealand, Carat for its work with Microsoft and Touché! for its work with Prema-Quebec.

You can read the full list of winners below and read the stories behind the winning work over on our Case Studies hub.

  • Grand Prix: Hearts & Science for HBO Max

  • Chair’s Award: Amplify and Adam&EveDDB for Sony Interactive Entertainment

  • Innovation or Disruption: Amplify and Adam&EveDDB for Sony Interactive Entertainment

  • Content: Carat for Microsoft

  • Data and Insights: Together for AIA New Zealand

  • Digital Platforms or Gaming: Hearts & Science for HBO Max

  • Social Media: Touché! for Prema-Quebec

  • Experience: Amplify and Adam&EveDDB for Sony Interactive Entertainment

  • Launch Campaign: Hearts & Science for HBO Max

  • TV or Cinema: Wavemaker UK for Paramount

  • Innovative Campaign (over $250k): Twitch Ads for WhatsApp

  • Out of Home: Amplify and Adam&EveDDB for Sony Interactive Entertainment

  • Social Purpose: Wavemaker UK & Mother

  • Audio: Global/PHD

  • Innovative Campaign (over $1m): Amplify and Adam&EveDDB for Sony Interactive Entertainment

  • Integrated: Hearts & Science for HBO Max

  • Print: Touché! for Prema-Quebec

  • Innovative Campaign (under $250k): Global/PHD

  • Long Running: Hearts & Science AT&T

  • Planning: Hearts & Science for HBO Max

  • Sales Team of the Year: Digital Cinema Media

  • Leader of the Year: Benedict Hobson and Wai Shin Li, Dezeen

The Drum Awards for Media took place at The Drum Labs, our very own bar, event and film studio in central London. You can rewatch all of our Awards shows so far over on The Drum TV.

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