Virgin's Lisa Thomas named Marketing New Thinking Awards chair

Virgin Enterprises managing director and global head of brand Lisa Thomas is the new chair of the Marketing New Thinking Awards.

Lisa Thomas: Virgin Enterprises' Thomas is the new chair of the Marketing New Thinking Awards
Lisa Thomas: Virgin Enterprises' Thomas is the new chair of the Marketing New Thinking Awards

Now in its third year, the awards celebrate innovative work - be it strategic, creative or executional - making brands fit for the future. They span all areas of the industry, so entries from creative and PR specialists through to those handling data and programmatic campaigns are all welcome.

ENTER NOW - Deadline 9 June

Thomas enjoyed a long and successful career in advertising, rising to group chief executive of M&C Saatchi, before joining Virgin in her board-level role in February 2016.

Reflecting on her role as chair of the judges, Thomas said: "Today’s consumer is complex and unpredictable and we're having to adapt the way we understand and connect with them.

"I’m very excited to chair the awards this year because they should showcase the most successful work from the most innovative brands who are offering something new, disrupting the market and working hard to bring the consumer closer."

Other judges include Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, executive director for customer, marketing and M&; Joanna Allen, global brand president, Unilever; Liam Newton, vice president, marketing, Carlsberg; Chris Macleod, marketing director, TfL and Arjoon Bose, UK and northern Europe marketing lead, Häagen-Dazs.

Learn more about the New Thinking categories

In response to audience feedback, we have simplified and streamlined the categories. The 15 categories are focused on the important themes dominating marketing today.


This award will recognise the best tech innovation. Whether it’s a cutting-edge app, wearable tech, website or custom technology, being able to demonstrate that the work made a difference to the bottom line is key. From programmatic to VR, the winning entry could come from a broad area of tech innovation. However, the winner will demonstrate how it has used tech in an effective way for a brand.

2016 winner: Channel 4, Fuse Sport + Entertainment, AOL, OMD UK, 4Creative - Persona Synthetics


While it’s never been easier to amass data, marketers are still getting to grips with what they should actually do with it. This award seeks to recognise innovative brand activity underpinned by a creative use of data. The winning work will show that data was used not only to solve a problem but also contributed to the brand’s overall marketing mission.

2016 winner: easyJet and Havas Helia - easyJet 20th anniversary


The winner of this award will show how they have targeted the right consumer at the right moment and right time. By using data sets to build target audiences, combined with the right technology to effectively reach that market, entries should demonstrate high precision in their targeting and proven results. Whether adtech or martech, entries should show how they identified their target consumer and how they successfully reached them, through clever use of technology.

2016 winner: Sky Sports and MediaCom - Start of the Season


This award will celebrate the very best in mobile marketing. From apps and mobile product development through to ‘mobile first’ campaigns, the activity will have proven its value to brand growth and/or communication. You will demonstrate how and why this work has delivered meaningful outcomes for a brand, be it sales, awareness, reputation or another measure.

2016 winner: Ovo Energy - Ovo Smart Pay As You Go


Today, the industry is all about collaboration, with brands and agencies of all disciplines working together to achieve a common goal. Entries will be accepted from agencies representing all parts of the marketing mix, including PR, media, experiential, social and creative. The winner of this category will demonstrate that different disciplines can pull together as one team to create a successful body of work reaching consumers across a range of touchpoints.

2016 winner: n/a


This award will recognise the work behind the scenes of a major strategic project or brand overhaul/repositioning to ensure brand-led change is embedded within a company and its staff.

The inside-out activity will have successfully set a fresh tone for the brand, ensuring that the people within the business are inspired to reflect the brand values at all touchpoints. The activity can be run by a brand-side team or an agency/external organisation.

2016 winner: n/a


The winner of this award will be the brand that used new thinking to transform its business, with a strategy that confirms its place as a brand of the future. Whether focused around rebuilding trust or a repositioning to reflect changing consumer behaviour, the entries must demonstrate the challenge they faced, the plan they came up with, the action and the results.

2016 winner: Pot Noodle and Lucky Generals - Success doesn’t come on a plate


This award is all about proven results for a brand over a longer term. The winning entry will demonstrate how and exactly what the work delivered for brand growth, for campaigns and wider marketing, from NPD to media. The activity will have been live since May 2015 or later. The winning entry will need to paint a picture of why this work was a success with specific ROI measures garnered post-campaign to show proof of effectiveness.

2016 winner: Macmillan Cancer Support and VCCP - Making sure no-one faces cancer alone, today or tomorrow


The winner of this award will demonstrate excellence in campaign creation, ideation or delivery for a good cause. Entries can be from commercial brands as well as charities and third sector organisations.

You will show how you have identified a specific audience need and created a piece of work (any medium) that answers this brief in a way that pushes boundaries, be that through the creative, execution or use of media and delivery method. It may or may not be pro bono work.

2016 winner: Amnesty International and VCCP - The-really-big-and-far-reaching-ad-campaign-they-never-really-wanted-you-to-see


This award celebrates the use of social storytelling to enhance a brand and deliver meaningful business outcomes. Whatever your social platform, be it YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, we want to find out which brands have been able to develop a two-way relationship, to bring value to the social conversation, to create social content that people want to share - all of which has amplified awareness and reputation for the brand.

2016 winner: Domino’s and Iris Worldwide - Boggles


This award recognises content that is of high value to its audience. Entries can hail from any field, whether that’s film, magazines or books through to a social brand publishing effort. This is about the creation of content that people want in their lives - instead of just adding to the cluttered landscape - but it must also drive business outcomes for a brand. The winning entry will be a brilliant idea that is successfully executed and distributed.

2016 winner: n/a 


This award is all about the craft of marketing. We will recognise the most inspirational and brilliantly executed creative, across all media, from a TV ad or online video to exceptional experiential activity. The winning entry will be creative work that is the envy of other brands and agencies, but will go on to inspire others.

2016 winner: Harvey Nichols and Adam & Eve/DDB - Shoplifters


In a digital world, the live experience creates deep connections between brand and consumer. This is an award to recognise the best live work from brands, from pop-ups to parties and events, and sampling to stunts. The best live brand experiences are likely to follow through online, gaining meaningful social traction and interaction.

2016 winner: Channel 4, Fuse Sport + Entertainment, AOL, OMD UK, 4Creative - Persona Synthetics


This award will recognise pre-eminent, inspiring work that transcends the traditional marketing-sales message, capturing, reflecting or even elevating societal behaviour change. The winning work will resonate with the wider public, and potentially the media, as it captures the zeitgeist. The activity will either show the brand to be culturally relevant or be a standalone piece of work intended to change behaviour or public perception. This award will showcase the power of marketing in society.

2016 winner: Coca-Cola and MediaCom - The Coca-Cola Christmas Card


An award that recognises quick-thinking marketing in today’s always-on social newsroom environment. From seizing on a national moment and standing out from the pack to spotting and creating your own moment that puts your brand at the centre of the news. Whatever the budget, the winner of this award will have harnessed a great idea and insight to create a piece of work in any medium - work that your peers wish they’d thought of for themselves.

2016 winner: HostelWorld and Lucky Generals - Youth Hostelling with Chris Eubank


Deadline: Friday 9 June 
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