Mattress company Casper, digital agency Huge and women’s lifestyle media company Refinery29 took home top honors at the 2016 Digiday Awards tonight, celebrating the best creative marketing and advertising being done today by brands, agencies, publishers and platforms.
Casper won Most Innovative Brand for a whimsical marketing strategy and uses of tech that went beyond just selling mattresses. The company’s Web-only, direct-to-consumer business model is a complete departure from how mattresses have been sold traditionally: in a department store, at a huge markup. This year, the brand launched the chatbot Insomnobot 3000, which sent texts to sleepless people, and “Late Night Snap Hacks,” snaps that users posted to their own Snapchat accounts to trick followers into thinking they’re out on the town, instead of home on bed.
“We’re super-honored to be here,” said Taryn Laeben, chief experience officer at Casper. “We are in incredible company and we’re absolutely flattered.” When asked how the company stays innovative, Laeben’s answer was simple: “We’re a debate culture.”
Huge took home Most Innovative Agency for the second time. (The first was in 2012 for its work in developing the HBO GO app.) The agency has experimented with Pokémon Go in its Atlanta café, launched a print magazine called Magenta for tech and design aficionados and tackled its own challenges around internal growth. What started as a 10-person agency in Brooklyn to a shop has now become a 1,400-person operation in offices around the world.
Refinery29 is this year’s Most Innovative Publisher. In the past year, the media company has been at the forefront of adopting distributed platforms including Snapchat and Facebook Live; expanded its operations into Europe and branched out into new editorial areas in an authentic way. In an era where some publishers seek to scale their audiences at any cost, Refinery29 has been laser-focused on its audience of millennial women by providing them with useful, entertaining content. This focus has paid off, literally: In April 2015, it received a $50 million investment from agency holding company WPP.
Best Branding Consumer Campaign
GE and Thrillist – “The Science of Hot”
Best Branding B2B Campaign
HPE Matter – “The Idea Economy”
Best Direct Response Campaign
UM London – “Getting Smart with Real-Time Data” for The Economist
Best Product Launch
The Engine Group – “All Dressed” Ruffles chips
Best Use of Mobile
TVGla – PetMOJI
Best Use of Social
PMG & R/GA’s Hustle for Beats by Dre – “Straight Outta Somewhere”
Best Social Good Campaign
Georgia Center for Child Advocacy & Moxie – #WeStandTogether Lip Sync Challenge
R/GA for Samsung – AntiDiaRy
Best Brand Platform
NPR – NPR Player & Sponsorship Products
Best Publishing Platform
Best in Show
R/GA for Samsung – AntiDiaRy
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