And the Winner is…

David Murphy

Murphy's Law Awards 1Another year, another Awards Ceremony, and time to reflect on some of the great work we saw in the Effective Mobile Marketing Awards this year. And some of the stuff we didn’t.

If you were one of the 300 or so people at the Awards Ceremony last week, I hope you had a great evening. If you weren’t, you missed a great evening, as the winners would surely agree, and those who left empty-handed probably wouldn’t.

As ever, there were some standout entries for me this year. Like the hub by Premier Inn app, a companion app for the techno-hotels of the same name that the budget hotel chain is opening in London and Edinburgh. When the rest of the world is turning smart, why not your hotel room too?

Lufthansa’s Apple Watch app, created by SapientNitro, also caught the eye. Great to look at, intuitive to use, but most importantly, giving all the information a passenger needs as they head for the boarding gate, at a glance of the wrist.

Impressive ad campaigns
Three of the ad campaigns also stood out for me, and obviously impressed the rest of the judging panel as well. Walkers’ and OMD’s Tweet to Eat campaign for instance, which took the award for Most Effective Social Campaign. It was easy to dismiss this as a bit of a PR stunt. After all, it involved just three digital vending machines in three London bus shelters that dispensed a packet of crisps in return for a Tweet.

But like all the winning campaigns, this one was supported by good numbers. Over 8,500 people interacted with the vending machines via their mobiles. In the overall scheme of things, not a massive number perhaps, but what was impressive was the way that Walkers and OMD leveraged the activity, creating a 90-second piece of supporting video content that was viewed more than a million times, driving 5.7m Twitter impressions. For a social campaign, that’s a great result.

Virgin Holiday’s campaign with Manning Gottlieb OMD was equally impressive, for different reasons. Take a bunch of people in a Virgin Holidays concession in January, waiting in a queue to see a sales assistant to discuss their summer holiday options. How do you alleviate their boredom? In this case, with a simple Google Cardboard Virtual reality headset and some content promoting two holiday destinations, Riviera Maya and Miami.

The headsets were rolled out across 50 Virgin Holiday stores. The result: sales rose in all stores, but by more in the VR-equipped stores.

Sales of holidays to Riviera Maya, which featured in the promotions were also up my more in the stores with the VR headsets than in those without. And Manning Gottlieb and Virgin Holidays supplied the judges with a tremendous amount of detail, some of it shared in confidence, in order to help them come to a decision.

Feel Wimbledon
Finally Jaguar and Mindshare’s Feel Wimbledon campaign, which picked up a number of awards, including the Grand Prix award for Most Effective Campaign overall. This was a campaign with real ambition and vision.
Fans at the Wimbledon tennis tournament were given bespoke wearable tech that captured their r emotive response to every moment of the tennis, while sensory beacons were placed in the grounds to capture crowd energy and atmosphere. This human data was then analysed, interpreted, and turned into content in real time to give tennis fans around the world a real-time sense of the Wimbledon feeling. On average, 24 pieces of live content were created and distributed each day, streamed to a bespoke mobile site, and published via a range of paid and owned channels, including social media and digital outdoor screens.

As a result, Jaguar was the most talked about brand on social media across The Championships fortnight, achieving a 27 per cent share of voice, with the #FeelWimbledon hashtag used almost 8,000 times, the most used hashtag of any partner brand.

It was a great way to launch a new five-year partnership between Jaguar and Wimbledon, embodying Jaguar’s brand purpose as a creator of sensory and emotive experiences. On top of all that, it just showed real imagination on the part of the people behind the campaign to create something different, memorable and worth talking about.

What all these campaigns had in common though, were the numbers. In case it’s not obvious from the name, our awards are all about effectiveness. The reason being, when we launched them six years ago, mobile was a much less proven channel than it is today (and not everyone gets or believes in it yet of course). So if you’re going to hand out awards, what better criteria to use than to reward those which pay for themselves. And some.

Strictly confidential
And yet still, year after year, we get a good number of entries that refuse to share the numbers. My advice, if that’s the case: don’t enter, because you won’t win. As we state clearly on the entry forms, the judges are happy to treat the numbers as confidential if that’s how it has to be, but without the numbers, without the proof, how can we score an entry highly on the most important criteria in the Effective Mobile Marketing Awards – effectiveness? Even among the entries that do supply the required numbers, the competition is fierce. Without the numbers, your chances are limited in the extreme.

Finally, a note about some of the categories where the entries were a little thin on the ground this year. The Most Effective App category always used to be the most popular before the big media agencies started building a mobile ad campaign portfolio and weighed in a couple of years ago. Even so, I find it hard to believe there are not more great apps out there than the ones that entered the Awards this year.

No matter how many we saw, however, it would have taken something special to beat off the challenge of our winner, from Domino’s Pizza and Future Platforms. The simplicity and ease of use of the Domino’s app belies its sophistication, and in an Awards Programme that’s all about effectiveness, the numbers, at the risk of repeating myself, are impossible to argue with. 10m downloads, half of those last year alone, with 51 per cent of Domino’s digital orders (which in themselves account for 70 per cent of the company’s sales), coming from the app, equating to over £5m in sales. Every week. Like I say, seriously impressive.

I would have liked to see more entries in some of the other categories too – Smartwatch App, Search Campaign, Tablet Ad Campaign. Surely the work is out there; let’s see more of it entered next year please. On a more positive note, some of the new categories introduced this year to reflect the way the mobile world is moving, such as Programmatic and Native Ad Campaigns, were well represented.

Next year, as ever, as the entries roll in, I will approach the judging process with a slight sense of dread – as Chair of the Judging Panel, I feel duty bound to look at every single one, and with over 230 entries this year, that’s a lot to get through.

And as ever, once I get stuck in, I will ask myself what I was so frightened of. Because once you dig into the entries, start looking at the supporting materials – another bugbear of mine, if you’re entering something that’s hard to visualise from a written entry form, like an ad campaign, some visuals, or better still, a video, will improve your chances – you see just how much fantastic work brands and agencies are doing in mobile. The Awards celebrate this work. Thanks to everyone who entered this year. We hope to see you again in next year’s competition.