Merkle leads Campaign Tech Awards shortlist

For the first time, the coveted Agency of the Year and Tech Company of the Year categories will be chosen by judges.

Magpie by Merkle: uses AI to analyse Twitter conversations
Magpie by Merkle: uses AI to analyse Twitter conversations

Dentsu agency Merkle is the most shortlisted entrant in the 2020 Campaign Tech Awards and lead a strong field of agencies and tech companies vying for this year’s most coveted prizes. 

The awards celebrate the industry’s most innovative tech-driven work that shows best-in-class creativity or collaboration to deliver effective marketing solutions for brands.

Merkle was nominated six times and three of these are for Magpie, a custom campaign management tool for Twitter that used artificial intelligence to analyse the platform’s conversation topics to create display and search ads in real time. The work was nominated for Best Use of Artificial Intelligence, Best Use of Creative Personalisation and Most Effective Use of Programmatic Media.

The Campaign Tech Awards were due to be announced at an event in London in early June, but this is not possible due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, we will reveal the winners at a virtual ceremony on campaignlive.co.uk and the Campaign Tech Awards website on the week commencing 22 June. 

This year’s chair of judges is Nick Farnhill, chief executive of Publcis.Poke. Farnhill said of the shortlist: "I applaud all those shortlisted for this year’s Campaign Tech awards. More than ever, we live and work in times fuelled by the positive application of technology.

"This shortlist showcases how advertising and media teams are embracing the tech community and creating industry-defining work that we can all learn from. The entries shone a light on the creative use of data and AI-powered solutions, demonstrating how progressive communications seek to serve as much as they do to sell."

For the first time this year, the coveted Agency of the Year and Tech Company of the Year categories will be chosen by the judging panel. Campaign did not invite entries for these awards – they are decided purely on the basis of which companies the judges thought deserved recognition when considering all entries across all categories.

Last year’s winners were R/GA London (Agency of the Year) and Sopro (Tech Company of the Year). 

The shortlist in full

THE INNOVATION

Breakthrough Tech as Part of a Campaign

R/GA London "Malaria must die – the voice petition"
Verizon Media "Find unlimited -–Vodafone"
Makemepulse "The division 2 – Echo"
Wirewax "Football Manager 2020: interactive trailer game launch"
Carat UK "Optimised for attention – The Co-operative Group"
Incubeta "Delivering seamless search for M&S"
MediaCom "Adidas: winning retail search with price (extensions)"
Essence "Discovering lifetime value for Google Ads" 

This category comprises five sub-categories that may award a winner for each: charity, consumer goods, entertainment, retail and services

Best Use of Experiential Tech

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO "Travel to 2050"
GMR Marketing "The Secret Life of Pets 2 bark-activated vending machine"
Green Room Design "Puma skill cube, 5th Avenue New York"
Octagon "Harnessing the power of technology to create a trophy for one that was loved by millions"
Stink Studios "Continuous play"

Best Innovative App

Apadmi "The SailGP app"
Intelligent Mobile "Longleat app"
Unit9 "JFK Moonshot"

THE TECH

Tech for Good

Carat UK "Optimised for attention – The Co-operative Group"
Good-Loop "Huggies with Good-Loop and RocketMill: growing sustainability leadership, purchase intent and charitable funds."
Goodstuff Communications "Change Inc – quit cigarettes"
Islamic Relief "Islamic Relief's new video game – Virtue Reality"
Merkle "Saving the world, one chat at a time"
Unit9 "Real talk about suicide"

Best Use of Experimental Tech

1000heads "Napapijri future tees"
Momentum Worldwide "Microsoft AI cognitive bar"
WeTransfer "Adidas x WeTransfer – space race"
Octagon "Harnessing the power of technology to create a trophy for one that was loved by millions"
Publicis.Poke "World’s first 5G AI stylist"
Stein IAS "SafeTug 360° experience"
Unit9 "Miller Lite: Cantroller"

Best Use of Tech in Connected Home

To be announced

This category has one entry shortlisted and will be revealed alongside the award winners

Best Use of Tech in CRM 

Edit and Spark44 "The Evoque button: triggering a reaction"
Essence "Connecting EE with their customers"
Goodstuff Communications "Goodstuff – the rapport report"
Merkle "Project James – your digital butler"
News UK "Project James"

Best Use of Artificial Intelligence

Ad-Lib Digital "Ad-Lib and Shell optimise creative mid-flight to 5x VTR"
Essence "Discovering lifetime value for Google Ads"
Merkle "Magpie: a 100% AI-driven multi-channel marketing"
M/SIX "Lexus gets emotional with artificial intelligence"
R/GA London "Malaria Must Die – the voice petition"
Xaxis EMEA "Transforming digital media into business outcomes for Ford"

THE USER

Best Use of Creative Personalisation

A Million Ads "Best use of creative personalisation"
Braze "Thoughtful marketing movement set in motion, thanks to Bloom & Wild"
Essence "Project Pegasus: giving context"
Merkle "Magpie: a 100% AI-driven multi-channel marketing campaign"
Unit9 "Diageo: what’s your whisky selector"

Best Audience Engagement

Goodstuff Communications "Change Inc – quit cigarettes"
MediaCom "Mars #bountygate"
Merkle "Project James – your digital butler"

Best Use of Data/Insight

DOOH.com, Kinetic Worldwide, Mindshare and Ogilvy "IBM Watson AI Wimbledon campaign"
Iris "Achieving record-breaking CRM for KFC & Iris"
MediaCom "DLG lifetime value"
Rapp UK "CRM dreams"
R/GA London "Malaria Must Die – the voice petition"
Xaxis EMEA "Boosting brand perception with live insights for Ikea"

Best Use of Tech in Out-of-Home

DOOH.com, Kinetic Worldwide, Mindshare and Ogilvy "IBM Watson AI Wimbledon campaign"
Manning Gottlieb OMD "Dynamic performance growth for Specsavers"
MediaCom "Scottish Widows your future self"
Publicis.Poke "BT Piccadilly Lights"
Rapport "Sky – deep ocean live"

Integrated Campaign of the Year

Croud "Croud & Frontier: launching Planet Zoo"
Goodstuff Communications "Change Inc – quit cigarettes"

Most Effective Use of Programmatic Media

Croud "Croud & Paysafe: driving global growth"
The7stars/The Trade Desk "How the7stars and The Trade Desk’s autumn campaign for Great Western Railway saw customers falling back in love with train travel"
Merkle "Magpie: a 100% AI-driven multi-channel marketing campaign"
OMD UK "Magnet, needle & haystack: utilising audience guaranteed to capture audiences and evade competition"

Location-Based or Proximity Marketing Campaign of the Year

Eleven Hundred Agency "Uberall & BP: ‘near me’ marketing driving customers to the forecourt"
MediaCom "Costa Ready To Drink"
Verizon Media "Find unlimited" 

PEOPLE

One to Watch

Lisa Arnold, director of interactions, Stein IAS
Charlotte Monk-Chipman, marketing director, ReBound Returns

Tech Pioneer of the Year

Simon Harper, vice-president, digital, Clinigen
Sara Robertson, global vice-president of disruption, 5WPR
Craig Service, chief revenue officer, Adgile 
Adam Singolda, chief executive and founder, Taboola

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