Curate By

Show All

DMA Awards 2020: Winners' Series Industry Sectors and Data - Inside the Work that Won

InsideTheWorkThatWonIndustry and data[18345].gif

The last part of our three-part Winners’ Series took place on 9 December.

Stephen Maher, DMA Chair and CEO of MBA, introduced and led the live online celebration, which uncovered 12 more Gold winners and our final Grand Prix contender across our Industry Sectors and Data categories.

After each unveiling, a new panel of Judges explored each Gold-winning campaign in detail that reflects the rigour, intelligence, and excitement of the DMA Awards. Discover what we'll see more of in 2021, including turning real-time data into something meaningful and useful, creativity in the form of original thinking, and moving from awareness to empowerment in activism-focussed campaigns.

The third campaign for our Grand Prix Shortlist was revealed: MullenLowe Group, Mediahub & National Health Service England will join Klarna and Wunderman Thompson & BT Sport at our Grand Prix Reveal on Thursday 21 January.

Read on for a recap of all our winners, and our interactive panel discussions that featured:

  • Jill Dougan, Marketing Director, British Gas
  • Jonathan Beeston, Product Marketing Director, EMEA, Datorama
  • Jason Andrews, Creative Partner, Iris
  • Deborah Dolce, SVP, Group Brand and Marketing Director, TJX Europe

Round 1 Winners’ Announcement

Best Use of Data and Insight

  • Gold: MullenLowe Group, Mediahub & National Health Service England
  • Silver: RAPP & Mermaids
  • Bronze: RAPP & Virgin Media

Best Use of Marketing Automation

  • Gold: Merkle & Hyperoptic
  • Silver: Klarna
  • Bronze: Merkle & Now TV

Best Use of AI

  • Silver: Just Eat
  • Bronze: Tiny Giant & Circumstance Distillery

Best Data Storytelling

  • Gold: Table19 & Sainsbury’s
  • Silver: Wunderman Thompson & BT Sport
  • Bronze: The Store, WPP & WPP BrandZ

Round 1 Panel Discussion

Best Use of Data and Insight: MullenLowe Group, Mediahub & National Health Service England

As we all know, the NHS has been under pressure this year, but the longer trend of nurses leaving and not enough coming in is a huge problem, Beeston explained. The campaign addressed this head on, “lifting the lid on what it's like to be a nurse,” he said. It encouraged and guided people thinking about going into nursing, resulting in a real uplift in applications and a big database of people who’re interested in nursing, whether that’s now or in the future.

“The message for a lot of brands at the moment is ‘think about your first party data’ and how to make that direct connection with a customer, or in this case, a potential employee,” Beeston said. This benefit will live well beyond the life of this particular campaign.

Dougan added that the NHS is such an iconic brand that you hear so much about on the news. “This campaign brought out the real people behind all of those headlines,” she said.

Maher agreed that the campaign reminded us when we talk about data, we talk about human beings.

Best Use of Marketing Automation: Merkle & Hyperoptic

Hyperoptic is a broadband provider with a really small footprint, Andrews explained. The challenge for them was running a digital campaign without massive wastage. They used the latest analytical tools from the likes of Google to pick things up in beta and engineer them to create interesting hybrid software models that “allowed them to do things that just hadn't been done before,” he said.

It’s often assumed marketing automation means all bots and no brains, he continued. This can’t be further from the truth. “What they did was anything but automated: it was really, really smart thinking,” Andrews said. He praised the campaign for its originality, entrepreneurial thought, and willingness to experiment. “This is an interesting take on what creativity means within the context of the DMA,” he said. “This is creativity in the sense of thinking originally around the problem.”

He added that it was one of the few campaigns that talked about ‘good’ failure in the results.

Maher asked if we’re going to see more great use of marketing technology in the future.

Andrews said if everything is open source and you know how to use the tools, “there's no reason why you can't go out there and create something unique and really specific to the issue that you're trying to resolve.”

Best Data Storytelling: Table19 & Sainsbury’s

Table19 & Sainsbury’s were trying to maintain loyalty without additional spend and the traditional methods of vouchers and points, Dougan explained.

Using transactional and shopping behavioural data, they created personalised communications, deepening their connections with their customers without giving away that value. Messages tied into baking during 'Bake Off' and sustainability for customers who recycled their plastic, she said. The results really stacked up: ROIs were 10 times higher than previous campaigns; there were 2.1 million unique views on the app; they even got a call out on 'BBC Radio 1 Breakfast with Greg James,' Dougan said.

Consumer loyalty programmes have been around for a long time, but what impressed the Judges was using data and insight to engage consumers in a different way. “It was a great example of using data to support the overall strategy and drive the creativity,” she said.

Round 2 Winners’ Announcement


  • Gold: April Six & Scania
  • Silver: Spark44, Edit & Land Rover
  • Bronze: Manning Gottlieb OMD & Mitsubishi Motors

Travel and Leisure

  • Gold: The Lettershop Group & Titan Travel
  • Silver: Viking
  • Bronze: Ogilvy, Wavemaker & Level

Entertainment and Music

  • Silver: Ogilvy & Formula 1
  • Bronze: Ogilvy & ODEON Cinema Holdings


  • Gold: PHD Media, Uncommon & The Guardian
  • Silver: OLIVER & The Guardian


  • Gold: Wunderman Thompson & BT Sport
  • Silver: Ogilvy & Formula 1
  • Bronze: Search Laboratory & Liverpool F.C.

Round 2 Panel Discussion

Automotive: April Six & Scania

“I never thought I'd find out so much about the world of trucks,” Dougan said, but that was one of the best things about this entry: it made you look at that environment in a different way. The heart of this campaign was how to start turning around a drop in HCV sales during a challenging year, she explained. Dougan said that, at first, this sounded like a standard campaign, but she quickly changed her mind seeing what they were able to do in a short turnaround.

They also released clever creative, she said, putting out strong statements, such as, “Did you know that you swallow eight spiders a year when you're asleep?” It immediately caught people’s attention, making them think, ‘What’s this actually about?’ What’s the offer? And what do I need to do to act on it?’

“It struck us all as being a very different way of approaching a classic retail problem,” Dougan said.

Travel and Leisure: The Lettershop Group & Titan Travel

Dolce explained that this campaign was about creating personalised travel brochures to drive greater revenue. Using different external and internal data sources and logic tables to get the segmentation they wanted, she said, they put together personalised brochures based on desires, attitudes, needs, life stages, and so on. What was really impressive, was that it wasn’t the usual front and back cover that was personalised, but every single element of the brochure reflected that audience based on their previous search behaviours and bookings, she said.

“These hundreds of hundreds of variations drove really impressive results.” This approach was significantly more impactful than the less personalised brochures they had run before. Most importantly, through knowing, understanding, and serving their audience something that was meaningful, they increased their brand connection and love for their business, Dolce said.

That audience then shared their brochures on social media, and this converted into bookings for Titan. She praised not only the campaign’s use of segmentation, but the logistics behind taking real-time data and making it into something sincere and useful, and converting that into sales.

Publishing: PHD Media, Uncommon & The Guardian

The key thing that makes this campaign so beautiful is the title: ‘Hope is Power,’ Andrews said. “It couldn't be any more potent than that.” This was the first brand campaign that they had run in quite a few years. It was about trying to engage more deeply with their loyal readership, he said. “People follow The Guardian, but unfortunately, they don't necessarily put their hands in their pockets to follow The Guardian.”

The multiplicity of messaging across different touchpoints was a key driver, Andrews explained. It appeared in the outdoor space and their own media, going deeper in digital landing places, where hopefully, people might make a contribution. They created a beautiful film of a butterfly trying to break out of an empty room. Andrews described the butterfly repeatedly banging against the glass until it broke free, which he said is even more resonant now with us wanting to break out of our own screens.

“It was this lovely flip flop from a really emotional and enlightening message right through to something that would make you engaged from a commercial point of view, he said.

Dolce added that “there was a certain stillness about the creativity that was underlying the message.”

Sports: Wunderman Thompson & BT Sport

This campaign was about how to go up against the major spenders in this category, when you don't have that kind of budget, Dougan said. How can the biggest and best minds in data be brought together to deliver something really different?

So Wunderman Thompson and BT Sport used data and AI to write a script that delivered the outcomes of all the games throughout the football season. Football is a very emotive topic, she said, so the campaign caused a whirlwind of exposure, from celebrities talking about it to people sharing it on social media and the press (national and global) picking it up. “It really tapped into that passion and love of football in a hard data way,” she explained.

Beeston added that it’s “hugely ambitious to try and attempt something like this.” AI can do a fantastic job of helping us find insights, he said. It can take off a lot of the legwork and free up marketers to actually do the creative stuff.

Round 3 Winners’ Announcement

Financial Services

  • Gold: Klarna
  • Silver: MFUSE & Virgin Money
  • Bronze: M&C Saatchi & Invesco

Utilities and Telecommunications

  • Gold: The Marketing Store & O2
  • Silver: Essence, AnalogFolk & BT
  • Bronze: The&Partnership & TalkTalk


  • Gold: Different Kettle & World Animal Protection
  • Silver: Parkhouse & St Mungo’s
  • Bronze: GOOD Agency & Sense

Retail and E-Commerce

  • Gold: Klarna
  • Silver: RAPP & PayPal
  • Bronze: OLIVER, U-Studio & Rexona, Unilever

Public Sector

  • Gold: MullenLowe Group, Mediahub & National Health Service England
  • Silver: MRM London & No More
  • Bronze: 23red & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

Round 3 Panel Discussion

Financial Services + Retail and E-Commerce: Klarna

Dolce explained that the intention of this campaign was to establish Klarna as a trusted shopping service, acquire new customers, and serve as some of their retailers. This idea was so brilliant, she said, because it was specifically targeted at sneakerheads, took a lot of insight about that community, and pulled together a selection of things.

They partnered with a media partner, Highsnobiety, to create a bot-free sneaker raffle, because their insight revealed that sneakerheads find the increasing use of bots for entering these draws extremely frustrating. To swap the bots, Dolce explained they used VPN technology that took the pulses of real heartbeats. “It aimed and succeeded in switching behaviour, which is no mean feat.”

She said the Judges really liked the incredibly single-minded focus, clear objectives, and how this campaign solved a problem, adding that the creative was also beautiful. Of course, the results were amazing, she continued, but so was the incremental, explaining that it started off as a UK idea, spread across Europe, got influencers involved, had loads of views on YouTube, and received incredible PR coverage. “We've not seen anything taking the bots on in that way and with great craft,” Dolce said.

Beeston added that, in addition to really understanding their audience, they also monitored the campaign while it was live to see how people were responding, which was really important.

Utilities and Telecommunications: The Marketing Store & O2

Dougan said that the challenge of this campaign was how to get existing and new audiences more engaged with their well-known loyalty programme. The insight that drove this was a Government report, she explained, which suggested that by 2030 in the UK, people will be 35% less active than they’re currently.

The campaign was called Go, and they took four executions around it:

  • Go Explore
  • Go Dine
  • Go Green
  • Go Spontaneous

They worked with partners, including a National Geographic photographer/filmmaker, to create wonderful pieces around these that were different and unexpected, she said. There was a Guinness-themed BBQ experience and a living billboard in Shoreditch, which was not only beautifully done, she said, but it got people to stop and stare, creating great PR around it. The final piece, which Dougan said was "apparently a lot more fun than it sounds," was a sober rave.

It tapped into the brand ethos of making customers feel more alive. The results were fantastic, she said.

Charity: Different Kettle & World Animal Protection

This campaign, called ‘Don't be fooled by a smile,’ wanted to raise awareness that dolphins in entertainment venues are treated very poorly. “There's a lot of psychological damage that's done to them,” Andrews explained. “It's just a fluke of their anatomy they look like they're smiling all the time.” Firstly, the campaign communicated this to people, then built up momentum with a petition aimed at travel companies. The idea was if we can get travel companies to stop promoting these places, he said, then they would have fewer costumers, and you would hit them where it really hurts: their wallets.

The people who were most vocal throughout the petition went even further. Andrews said that the CMO of Expedia received around 40,000 personal messages basically saying, ‘stop being so cruel.’ As you'd expect, the travel company has responded. Though they haven’t removed all parks from their marketing, he said, they’ve removed a significant number of over 50%.

The campaign has got even more momentum now, and they're going to start pushing into other travel providers. It shares in common a lot with the winning entries, Andrews said, but what made this really work was how they shifted direction based on responses.

Maher added that he was impressed by their piece of DM that showed a little box where dolphins live in these venues folding out into the vast expanse of the area that they should be living in.

Is activism something we’re going to see more of in the future? Maher asked.

Andrews pointed out that both this campaign and the one from OLIVER and The Guardian, which won Gold for Best Use of Unaddressed Print at the Channels and Craft event, gave people the tools they need. For the ‘Don't be fooled by a smile’ campaign, toolkits were created and delivered internationally, so where there was interest, they equipped people to initiate their own protests. It's not just about awareness, he said. It’s about empowerment.

Round 4 Winners’ Announcement

  • The third finalist is the campaign from MullenLowe Group, Mediahub & National Health Service England.

Round 4 Panel Discussion

Maher began the discussion by asking, how difficult is it to create a work culture fit to produce a Grand Prix winning campaign?

You have to really hold fast to do bold and brave work in these times, Dolce said. “CMOs and agencies have a responsibility to advance the logic that the combination of piercing data and outstanding creative is going to drive your business faster through recovery,” she said. “That is our job.”

Why do Awards matter? Maher asked.

The Awards are evidence that this kind of work works, Andrews said. “It's much easier for me to go to a client with what looks like a brave idea if I can say, look at these 20 things that were equally as brave and look how commercially successful they were.”

Dougan recalled the YouTube montage from this summer of all advertising sounding exactly the same. “Our customers are going to be crying out for more bold, creative work,” she said. There's a brilliant opportunity to bring back this Awards-level creativity next year. The DMAs are so important, she said, because they give us permission to do that.

From a data perspective, what are we going to see more of next year? Maher asked.

“Let's face it, there's no shortage of data,” Beeston said. “We don't need more data: we need action from the insights.” We need to build that framework from a technology point of view, but also from a people and culture point of view, he said, so that everyone can get the data they need. Next year, we’ll still be cautious in terms of budgets, but we'll still be asked to do more.

Dolce said that data is changing so fast. “We're going to have to be a lot closer to our data and insights,” she said. “The sentiments are shifting all the time. It's not like anything I can ever remember." She added that, if you have less budget, “what better excuse could you possibly have to go to your CEO and say, ‘Well, if that's what I've got, I’m making sure every penny is completely well spent. I have not got any space for any filler work.’”

“Everything you do has to be absolutely brilliant,” Dolce said.

Maher asked the panellists to each give one tip to the three Grand Prix contenders who’re going to pitch their campaigns in January 2021.

  • Andrews: “Don't just think of creativity in terms of concepts and execution: think about originality across all of the thinking you did in your campaign.”
  • Dougan: “I just want to be dazzled by your passion and love of your work.”
  • Dolce: “Be clear and tell us the key facts quickly. Point to the things that break the paradigms and that are different and special and unique.”
  • Beeston: “It's not just the result of the process. The process that got you there is something that everyone wants to understand. We all want to replicate it.”

A huge congratulations to all our winners and best of luck to our Grand Prix finalists:

  • MullenLowe Group, Mediahub & National Health Service England
  • Klarna
  • Wunderman Thompson & BT Sport

Thank you very much to our contestants, sponsors, partners, panellists, and Judges. We hope to see you at our ultimate Awards event:

If you would like to catch up on our previous Awards events, you can watch them on-demand or read our detailed overviews on our Channels and Craft and Campaigns categories.

Hear more from the DMA

Please login to comment.