The best of TV Planning 2015: highlights from the Thinkbox TV Planning Awards

The Thinkbox TV Planning Awards reward brilliant media thinking. Providing insight and inspiration, these are the entries that triumphed this year.


Category winners

Best use of TV in an integrated campaign

Manning Gottlieb OMD
John Lewis

John Lewis’ Monty the Penguin Christmas campaign was a masterclass in TV-led integration. On-air and out-of-home teasers built anticipation, and an immersive world of activation was built around the TV, ranging from Monty’s Den in stores to apps and social. The TV alone reached 83% of the UK and Christmas sales grew 5.5% to an all-time high.

Best ongoing use of TV

Manning Gottlieb OMD

A relentless dedication to fame and maintaining their excess share of voice, combined with great creative and TV planning, has yielded spectacular success and increased ROI for the brand. Specsavers is a testament to the enduring power of TV and to treating advertising as an investment opportunity rather than a cost.

Best newcomer to TV


SSE faced a big hurdle: it was a brand nobody recognised. OMD’s campaign, starring city-shy orang-utan Maya, used TV to unlock the hearts of British people and bring the SSE brand to the forefront. Meticulous planning and high-reaching hero spots saw spontaneous awareness jump by 52% and sales calls increase by more than 60%.

Best use of sponsorship or content

Home Office

MediaCom’s campaign for the Home Office raised the issue of abusive relationships through a series of bespoke ads that tied in with Channel 4’s Hollyoaks. Other teen touchpoints such as VOD, social media, online and radio were also targeted. It created a positive shift in awareness and got people talking about a subject that had been hidden away.

Best use of TV innovation

PHD and Drum
Warner Bros.

To promote the release of The Lego Movie, PHD and Drum created the world’s first all-Lego ad break and premiered it in ITV’s Dancing on Ice. This was a triumph of collaboration between agencies that reached 6.6m TV viewers, drove 1m more on YouTube, and achieved an incremental 5% to the film’s opening-week box-office takings.

Special prizes

Best use of social TV

Carat Manchester
Pets at home

This campaign was social to it its very core. It used the hashtag #mypetmoments to stimulate the nation into sharing their favourite experiences on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, which were then made into a high-profile TV ad.

Best use of data


By using volunteered, first-party broadcaster VOD data, Coke was able to offer something tangible and unique that made consumers stop, smile and talk: a bespoke ‘Share a Coke with’ message with their own name on the bottle’s label. A genuine media first.

Best low-budget use of TV

Capitol Records

Sam Smith sang to more than 1m people in the first live ad break takeover from a concert. Tweets and digital display supported the broadcast, which viewers could watch on Google Play. The album sold more than 100,000 units in its first week.

Grand Prix winner

PHD and Drum
The Lego Movie ad break

PHD and Drum’s campaign for The Lego Movie was a masterpiece, transforming four well-known UK TV spots into Lego for a peaktime ITV ad break. The planning was very impressive, requiring coordination across three countries with 23 stakeholders – including four participating brands, four different ad agencies, three production agencies, two other media agencies, and, of course, Warner Bros and Lego.

Six million people viewed the ad break, with a further 1m watching on YouTube – helping the movie outperform the average UK ticket sales for 15- to 34-year-olds by 8%. "All the best ideas seem so simple that you can’t believe they have not been done before," says Jen Smith, head of planning at Maxus. "What is amazing is actually digging in and making it happen, steamrolling over the ‘doom and gloom’ brigade and their million reasons why it shouldn’t," she adds.

The Lego work is a one-off. I’ve been working in media for 30 years now and it’s definitely one of the most impressive and clever things that I think anyone in our industry has done - Mark Girling, managing director, Rocket
What really stood out was the surprising way the Lego brand was used, the huge level of collaboration in making it happen and how the conversation it created was linked to enhanced first-weekend box-office performance - Russell Place, managing director, UM London

For more on the winners...

This is just some of  the great work from this year’s Thinkbox TV Planning Awards.

To read more about the winners and view short campaign films visit:


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