IBM, Kellogg’s and GLOW took top honors at Thursday’s Digiday Content Marketing Awards Gala, which took place at Current at Chelsea Piers in NYC with attendees from MTV, Farmers Insurance and Crocs among others.
Tech giant IBM walked away from the evening with two awards — Best In-House Content/Brand Studio and Most Engaged Brand Community — both a result of the tireless work of IBM Originals, which is on a mission to tell stories that connect the consumer and the product in what is, at times, an unexpected way.
Since the inception of this group, IBM has been able to take a more human-centric, storytelling approach to proving the value of their technical products. With over 700 creators worldwide and an internal production company on their side, the studio has been able to churn out high-level work that started at home with the Content Cantina — a Lego and “Star Wars”-inspired bar where content and marketing principles were discussed with company executives and industry influencers.
Also taking top accolades were Kellogg’s and Edelman, who came together for the launch of a cereal we didn’t know we needed: Chocolate Frosted Flakes. These powerhouses won Best New Product or Launch Campaign for a rollout that included an edible record, a boy band collaboration and a music video with Tony the Tiger. Need we say more?
With a client roster that includes entertainment heavy hitters like HBO, YouTube, Showtime, Spotify and Paramount, New York City based digital and social media agency GLOW continues to make a name for themselves. Since 1999, the agency has weathered an industry that changes like the seasons, continuing to produce highly engaging, performance-driven content for clients. It’s no wonder they’ve been named the year’s Best Content Marketing Agency by our panel of industry leaders.
GLOW subsequently took home a Digiday Video Award and now a Content Marketing Award for their Final Space Facebook Live, orchestrated a Golden Globes activation for “Portlandia” and a social stunt for YouTube’s sci-fi series, “Origin.” Up next for GLOW: Continuing to seek new and never before seen ways to tell stories.
See the full list of this year’s winners below.
Best Agency/Client Collaboration
Digital Trends & House Special – Holiday Gift Guide
Modern technology information hub Digital Trends and animation studio House Special, both headquartered in Portland, teamed up to tell a holiday gift giving story through visual shorts that featured must-have tech items in scenes far more elaborate than those within your average gift guide. The overall goal of the guide was to attract attention on social media in order to increase brand awareness and affiliate sales.
Best Brand Publication – Print and/or Digital
Airbnb – Airbnb Magazine
When the magic of your brand exists largely offline, do you extend into the physical world? In an effort to build credibility in the content space, Airbnb teamed up with Hearst to make a splash in print via Airbnb Magazine, a physical extension of the brand that presents an opportunity for hosts to begin a larger conversation with their guests — one centered on the inspirational aspects of the business model.
Best Brand/Influencer Collaboration
Samsung Electronics America & R/GA – Samsung /make
Consumer electronics behemoth Samsung needed a way to reach the next generation of mobile consumers — most of whom are currently using iPhones — in order to begin to shift the perception of their brand. In formulating the plan, an opportunity to focus on a Gen Z playground like YouTube became priority No. 1. The mystery: what, outside of traditional advertising, is going to catch their attention there? Enter innovation giant R/GA.
The two teamed up to show Gen Z that Galaxy smartphones are perfect for creating the types of content they’re interested in — those their favorite YouTubers are producing like a machine. The resulting project is a community platform that peels back the layers of the creation process and highlights the areas where Samsung technology is second to none.
Best Branded Content Series
WP BrandStudio & Harry’s – The Changing Face of Masculinity
If you’ve ever ridden a subway in New York, you’re familiar with Harry’s. What started out as a male-focused grooming and shaving company has now expanded into the U.K., solidifying partnerships with brands like Heyday and launching a women’s brand named Flamingo. Last year, the personal care industry disruptor worked with The Washington Post’s WP BrandStudio to create a three-phase content series that would help to position them as a brand that is continuing important cultural conversations like what it means to be masculine in a modern world.
Best Branded Content Site – B2B
Group SJR – Drax.com
Drax, which is the largest supplier of renewable energy to businesses in the U.K., teamed up with marketing consultancy Group SJR to develop a platform that would feature engaging editorial content that is hyper-focused on energy innovation. The resulting revamped Drax.com features elements that attract the zero carbon curious and investors alike.
Best Branded Content Site – B2C
Farmers Insurance – Learn From Experience
Farmers knows that shopping for insurance is a dreaded experience, often made worse by the tone taken in insurance ads [a 5 billion dollar vertical in which they are ninth in spend]. In order to combat lean TV spend, the almost 100-year-old company dreamed up Learn From Experience, which is a premium, magazine quality content experience designed specifically with college-educated homeowners in mind — those who are willing to pay more for a product they can trust.
With the help of a robust media plan, the campaign drove millions of engaged click-throughs to the site and played a direct role in thousands of insurance quotes.
Best Branded Podcast
WP BrandStudio, T. Rowe Price & Wavemaker – The Confident Wallet™
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’ve listened to a podcast today. The industry, which has grown immensely in recent years, has become an opportunity for many verticals to reach their core customers. This does not exclude investment management firms like T. Rowe Price, who teamed up with WP BrandStudio to create The Confident Wallet™, which would be the first foray into branded podcasts for both companies. The podcast, which began in January 2018, features topics like couples and money, saving for college, retirement strategies and more.
Best Content Marketing Tech Platform
HYPR (pronounced “hyper”) is on a mission to make influencer marketing fully automated and scalable for clients like Simon & Schuster, Hulu, Pepsi and Bloomberg. With the availability of audience demographic tools and in-depth performance tracking for over 10 million influencers, the 6-year-old directory has honed in on micro influencers and automated the outreach and engagement process for users.
Best Experiential Marketing Campaign
Sephora – SEPHORiA
“Experiential” was the common thread between a number of this year’s Digiday Content Marketing Awards finalists. Coming out on top of the most experience-driven category is multinational personal care and beauty power Sephora, who brought their brand to life in L.A. last October via a highly-attended gathering of influencers and Sephora superfans alike called SEPHORiA. With 53 brand activations and 20 unique rooms spanning three floors, the event was a true beauty playground.
Best In-House Content/Brand Studio
IBM – IBM Originals
Best Interactive Content Piece or Series
INNOCEAN USA – Car Configurator for Genesis G70
Huntington Beach native INNOCEAN teamed up with Genesis for a campaign that thought outside the showroom and took the process of building a car to Instagram. With a small number of dealerships prepared for a full rollout of the new Genesis G70, there still needed to be a way for a number of hand raisers to interact with the offerings of the new vehicle — why not allow Instagram users to build their own via unique CG environments on Instagram Stories?
Best Multi-Channel Content Distribution Strategy
Fullscreen and AT&T – “Guilty Party”
Fullscreen and AT&T teamed up for “Guilty Party,” a real-time original series that played out across several social platforms over the course of 10 weeks. The campaign, which sought to position AT&T as an innovator in connected entertainment, recently took home two Digiday Video Awards, one for Best Use of YouTube and the other for Best Video Distribution and Programming Strategy.
Best New Product or Launch Campaign
Edelman & Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes – The New Sound of Cereal
Best Use of Social
INNOCEAN USA – Car Configurator for Genesis G70
Best Use of Native Advertising/Sponsored Content
Hearts & Science & Buzzfeed – “Slay with Olay”
When you need to increase your relevance with women under 35, where do you turn? Olay joined forces with Buzzfeed for three entertaining, light-hearted videos that followed women in their late 20s approaching the next stages of “adulting.” The effort to show that Olay products can help bridge the gap between the products of your 20s and those that will sustain through the next phases of their lives paid dividends.
Best Use of Real-Time Streaming Video
TBS & GLOW – Final Space Facebook Live: Cards with Gary
TBS and GLOW teamed up to bring Gary, Final Space’s intergalactic main character, to life via a Facebook Live that allowed viewers to play cards with him and effectively close the gap in scheduling for their season. A multidisciplinary team of 12 came together for the real-time animation that recently took home Best Live Moment at the Digiday Video Awards.
Best Use of Video
Jungle Creations, Hasbro & OMD UK – If Monopoly was real life
Jungle Creations, Hasbro and OMD UK teamed up to bring Monopoly to life via a shareable and highly entertaining video that aimed to make light of the barriers to playing we all know too well — the length of time and arguments caused between players. The final product, which went viral, gave us a front row seat for a police interrogation that aimed to discover who robbed the Monopoly bank.
Best User-Generated Content
Wattpad Brand Partnerships & National Geographic – Planet or Plastic?
In 2018, there were 250,000 tons of plastic floating in our oceans. In order to address the crisis, National Geographic launched Planet or Plastic? which asked consumers to pledge to reduce their single-use plastic footprint. In order to prevent 1 billion plastic items from reaching the ocean, National Geographic needed to further their reach via partners like Wattpad, who have large Gen Z followings. Through a writing contest held by Wattpad between October and December 2018, over 75,000 pledges were made by their community alone.
Most Effective/Measurable Campaign
Dosomething.org – Voter Registration
DoSomething and their members have clothed half of America’s homeless youth, cleaned up 3.7 million cigarette butts and coordinated the world’s largest youth-led sports equipment drive. Now, the global non-profit is responsible for registering over 118,000 new voters ahead of the 2018 midterms through their “Lose Your V-Card” campaign, which drove non-registered youth to a registration portal through paid media and partnerships that helped combat the barriers to registration.
Most Engaged Brand Community
IBM Originals – Domino
Most Innovative Use of Content
Periscope – “Deadpool” Anti-SEO
WWDD (What Would Deadpool Do)? Trolli, while searching for their next breakthrough opportunity, was approached by FOX regarding a chance to partner with “Deadpool” in a sweet way. The result? Trolli’s Sour Brite Tiny Hands — edible versions of the atypical hero’s regenerating baby hand. Now, how would Deadpool want to spread the word? Perhaps, through flipping the conventions of SEO practices on their head. The product site was filled with Easter eggs, rants and puzzles for fans to solve and resulted in one of the fastest selling product innovations at 7-Eleven ever and over 1 billion impressions.
Best Content Marketing Agency
For more on the Content Marketing Agency of the year’s recent Digiday Video Award win, click here.