Reach wins Commercial Team of the Year in first day of Campaign Media Awards

MediaCom and Zenith each won multiple awards as the first half of this year's winners were announced in an online ceremony.

Reach: commercial team of the year
Reach: commercial team of the year

Reach Solutions, the ad sales arm of Daily Mirror publisher Reach, has won Commercial Team of the Year at the Campaign Media Awards during the first day of a two-day virtual awards show.

The judges chose Reach Solutions as their winner because they liked the way that the publisher used its scale, following the acquisition of Northern & Shell’s titles in 2018, to create a single source of first-party data, and improved its offer for advertisers in a tough market, including a six-fold increase in the number of cover wraps.

Collaboration between commercial and editorial led to several initiatives, including allowing a group of teenagers to run the Mirror’s newsroom for a day and a special climate-change issue that turned the masthead green.

The judges were also struck by the editorial shift, post-acquisition, at the Daily Express, which pledged to ban anti-immigration stories, and the Daily Star, which toned down Page 3, and the subsequent benefit for advertisers.

Spotify narrowly missed out on the award and was highly commended, following live presentations to the judging panel. 

WPP’s MediaCom was the standout performer among media agencies during today’s awards presentation, winning an impressive three awards out of the 14 categories announced so far. It triumphed in Banks & Financial Services for its campaign promoting a new Lloyds Bank app, and in Fashion & Beauty for New Balance’s “Everybody’s race” activity that built on the sportswear brand’s London Marathon sponsorship. MediaCom’s Christmas campaign for Mars brand Celebrations was deemed a “stroke of genius” by judges, having picked up the Food, Drink & Household award.

Publicis Groupe’s Zenith was another multiple award-winner, with two so far. In the Healthcare category, its creative, outdoor-led campaign for Tena triumphed, having sought to challenge perceptions and break the taboo of incontinence. Judges praised the “bold and effective” work for being “very clever”. Zenith also won in Retail - Online & Offline for Costa Express’s “Free Coffee Day” promotion, in which the brand invested its entire annual media budget in a five-day burst of target outdoor and digital activity. 

The Alcoholic Drinks gong went to Initiative for Carlsberg’s campaign on Twitter in which the brand’s staff read out “mean Tweets” in social-media videos. Judges described this as a “ballsy strategy that won reappraisal from an audience that had long since abandoned the brand for craft beers”.

PHD won the Automotive award for Seat UK’s “Why not now?” launch campaign for the Tarraco marque, which drove awareness by getting people to explore major cities with the help of Time Out

Hot on the heels of its Campaign Tech Awards win, Verizon Media’s mobile scavenger hunt for Vodafone earned a Campaign Media Award in Corporate & Utilities. The AR-powered game was based on a map of London and used blockchain tokens to help people win prizes.

Media & Entertainment went to OMD UK for Channel 4’s Derry Girls season two marketing activity, in which a giant mural promoting the show was painted on a pub in Derry to create a media buzz. OMD also partnered Spotify to design 1990s mix tapes as playlists, and helped the show become the most-watched TV show ever in Northern Ireland.

Goodstuff Communications won in the Public Sector & Charities category for suicide prevention group Samaritans’ effort to encourage more men to seek help.

The charity's collaboration with TalkSport involved presenters talking to leading sporting figures about their personal struggles. The judges said: “Amazing execution going the extra mile by training presenters.”

Carat and Dentsu Aegis Network Manchester found success in Travel & Leisure for Halfords’ “Ride more to get more” activity to reignite a love for cycling through a combination of media partnerships with Mail Metro Media, Global and Strava. 

There were two Product Innovation categories, one open for Media Owners and one for Media Agencies. The Telegraph won for its Women’s Sport campaign, which used editorial and commercial activity to significantly increase awareness of female sports, while Omnicom agency PHD was victorious for its “Increasing mental health availability” work for Argos

The Campaign Media Awards recognises innovation, creativity and strategy. This year’s Awards considered work launched in 2019 and the judging took place in March, before the coronavirus lockdown.

The results are being announced over two days online because of the continued need for social distancing. Rob Pierre, founder and chief executive of digital marketing agency Jellyfish, is the chair of judges. 

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