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Four thou­sand en­tries across 37 cat­e­gories. The big ques­tion this year was: what is me­dia?

As judges, we were look­ing for work that demon­strated: • The craft of me­dia plan­ning; • In­sight: un­der­stand­ing how the me­dia chan­nel works with the au­di­ence and the brand’s val­ues; • Me­dia as the idea, not the distri­bu­tion.

It was for this rea­son that we awarded the Grand Prix. It was a close de­ci­sion but, out of all the en­tries, it demon­strated plan­ning, in­sight and idea. It in­volved data, so­cial lis­ten­ing and a breadth of scale, with a re­sult that was gen­uinely im­pres­sive. We con­cluded that it was an idea we were jeal­ous to have not been part of.

Across the other work, it seems our best is demon­strated when there is a big prob­lem to solve – we were in­un­dated with en­tries from non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tions, char­i­ties and cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity. While wor­thy, it was dis­ap­point­ing not to see sim­i­lar work from the big­gest in our in­dus­try – Proc­ter & Gam­ble and John­son & John­son etc.

Tele­coms com­pa­nies did well cre­atively to show­case their prod­uct of­fer­ing, and there was some great work from Heineken, Net­flix and Burger King.

Fi­nally, the big learn­ing is that it is the year of the statue: from Fearless Girl to Gra­ham to breast-feed­ing man­nequins – if you want to make an im­pact, you must make a “thing”.

Grand Prix: ‘In­no­vat­ing sav­ing’ by R/GA New York

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