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DMA Breakthrough Award 2019: The Winners

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For over 25 years, aspiring creatives have battled it out to impress some of the biggest names in marketing to be crowned gold award winners of the annual DMA Breakthrough Award, which runs in partnership with the Graeme Robertson Trust (GRT).

This year was no different as award sponsors, Direct Line Group, invited students, interns, and non-professionals across the UK to develop a multi-channel campaign that would build awareness, interest, and excitement towards Direct Line pet insurance.

The award is highly competitive and dozens of budding creatives responded to the brief.

For the second year in a row, all three finalists’ study in Edinburgh and they travelled down to London to pitch their ideas to a panel of GRT associates, as well as the Head of Customer Marketing and Marketing Manager from Direct Line Group.

Then, they got their glad rags on and headed for Old Billingsgate and the DMA Awards to find out where they’d been placed.

The lights went down.

Russel Kane, our host for the evening, took to the stage.

It was time.

*Drum roll*

Gold Award: Jack Brodie and Brodie Childs from Edinburgh Napier University with their campaign, ‘Dodge the Drama’

Silver Award: Ida Bukantyte from Edinburgh College with ‘Don’t Guess’

Bronze Award: Marta Winogrodzka from Edinburgh College with ‘That moment’

The winning pair share a cash prize of £1,000, with runners up Ida and Marta receiving £500 and £250 respectively. And, as an extra sweetener, all four finalists have been offered a placement at Direct Line Group’s agency, MRM McCann. This will undoubtedly be a fantastic springboard for all their careers.

We asked Iain Agnew, Head of Customer Marketing at Direct Line Group, why Jack and Brodie were awarded gold and he said:

“This campaign was truly bold, brave and exciting. Not only would this create awareness with our target market of pet owners, but its creativity and unique concepts would appeal to a much wider audience, which is truly impressive.

We were delighted with how this campaign took our brief and elevated it to a whole new level. They delivered an engaging pitch that really sold their vision to us, so much so that I could see elements of the idea being used in our campaign activity.”

Chris Lonie, a trustee of the GRT added:

“We took a range of things into account, including how well teams communicated their campaign, its strategy and longevity, the fulfilment of the brief, and the creativity and quality of ideas. Direct Line Group aren’t as well known for their pet insurance services as they perhaps are with some of their other key product lines. However, it is testament to this campaign that all the judging panel felt it could really captivate interest in their pet insurance with new audiences, due to its ability to spark intrigue and curiosity.

Jack Brodie and Brodie Childs’s approach was something we had not seen before, and we were delighted with the quality of their supplementary direct mail marketing material – a truly remarkable effort.”

The Breakthrough Award will return soon for 2020. If you’re interested in sponsoring next year's award to explore ideas for a new campaign or are on the hunt for fresh talent, please get in touch.

Interested in entering 2020’s Breakthrough Award? Click here to join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all our programmes and events, ensuring you’re one of the first people to get your hands on the brief when it comes out.

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