Havas Media Group’s Dan Hagen tells Dare! about the inaugural winners of the Mx Awards, which celebrated Mx distinction across the globe.
Here, Dan, EVP Managing Director, Global Head of Mx Development, tells us how the global judges approached the process and why the internal celebration guides us to create stronger work.
These were the inaugural Mx Awards! Tell us about what the judges were looking for? What was the winning criteria?
The Mx Awards were launched so we could surface, recognise, and celebrate the best Media Experiences around the entire Havas Media Network and as such, it is the Media Experience that was the main winning criteria for each of the categories.
Judges were on the lookout for campaigns that went beyond the usual media plan, that mainly focused on where and when money was spent. The emphasis was placed on how the Media Experience impacted people in the real world. Judges were looking for experiences that hit the sweet spot of connection with the right audience, in a context where they were in the right mindset, with the right content to create an impact.
Connection: it was clear they did due diligence on finding the right people to drive growth for the brand, potentially by identifying a new audience opportunity.
Context: the case demonstrated that it went beyond thinking about smart media choices, and got specific about environments, times, places and other factors.
Content: this covers both great content ideas (from us, media owners, other agencies) as well as how media enhances and supports those content ideas.
Results: the outcomes were fundamental to the success of the cases. Demonstrating that our activity delivered against the original campaign objectives was super important.
Tell us about some of the winners.
It’s never an easy task to point out a few cases from a festival that produced more than 30 winners. This being said, we have to talk about our Grand Prix winner – The Water Index campaign for Reckitt’s Finish by Havas Turkey! The judges loved this case because it showed a long-term approach that drove both commercial and societal benefits and elevated a dishwasher brand into an agent for change.
Another incredible case, which won Gold in the Best Use of Digital Media category, was The Most Awakened by Arena Media Spain.
This campaign made a connection with a whole new customer segment and owned an advertising context that was completely ignored by the competition. The Media Experience created by the team used NBA influencers to deliver native pizza offers for the next day, to the hard core (and older demo) fans of the NBA in Spain.
What kind of trends did you notice throughout the judging process?
There were three important trends that stood out. The first one was resilience and positivity. It’s been a tough 15 months for everyone, but we’ve had a record number of entries of great work from around the world. In the face of everything the pandemic threw at us, it’s clear our people reacted positively to the challenging circumstances, finding advantages for their clients and wanting to share them with their colleagues.
The second was innovation in the face of adversity. COVID threw some pretty big bricks through a lot of our clients’ windows. But we, and they, responded with some smart thinking, from rapidly monitoring changing hobbies, to super charge SEO, to flipping sales, to online focused, then back to store, then back to online as lockdowns came and went. Smart planning, and fast reacting.
Finally, the 3Cs do make a difference. One trend we noticed is that Mx is increasingly being implemented around the world, and you can see it in the work. There’s a returning of the craft of media. People are really thinking about how they are connecting with audiences, they’re demonstrating that it’s important where our clients show up in media and with so many great content ideas.
How will the Mx Awards continue to influence throughout the year?
There is a lot going on behind the scenes to maximise the impact of the Mx Awards. We will focus on three key areas, celebrating and learning from the teams behind the work, scaling the success of our best cases around the world and preparing for the next round so they are even better than this one!
Even before the awards were announced we began some sharing sessions with the teams behind the best cases we were seeing. We’re going to have another round of these in September as part of a Back to School Mx Development month.
Since entries started coming in, we’ve been busy crafting case studies and producing case study videos. These campaigns have formed the bulk of our fuel for the global awards festivals which have so far racked up 54 shortlists and 25 wins around the world. They are also available in our Agora platform so teams can use them for inspiration, pitches, and training.
The Global Awards Masterclass was just delivered during the month of June. The masterclass focused on the power of the 5-act story telling structure and applied it to case study writing. The masterclass is currently available on our Havas University platform and we will soon be announcing more sessions to help improve the quality of our case study writing.
How do you think internal initiatives like this improve our work across the Group?
The Mx Awards help foster a culture of celebrating the work and the people behind the work in all our agencies around the world. It feels great to share your work and to have other people appreciate it, learn from it, and share it, so it really is a virtuous circle that ends up motivating individuals and teams to produce great work.
The application process for entering a the Mx Awards can force you to look at your campaigns from a distinct perspective and compare your work to those of other agencies around our network. If you enter, you will need to make sure that you stand out from all the other entries. This will help you think about ways you could be doing things better and identify areas for improvement. This benchmarking exercise is just one of the ways our Mx Award can benefit the work in a positive way, and that could be more valuable than the award itself.
Recognition at our Mx Awards ceremony gives a morale boost to members of the winning team and gives them a focus for their purpose at work. Knowing they have contributed to winning an Mx Award accolade or the Grand Prix, is a great motivator to continue to improve the work they do.
And finally, just taking part in a festival, whether internal or external, makes you feel like a winner, and this can impact the quality of the work we do. The Mx Awards can help get this mindset into our agencies and teams; it clearly adds something to the workplace culture. It gets everyone involved and motivated to deliver the best work they can.
Mx AWARDS GRAND PRIX
Havas Turkey / Finish / Water Index
BEST BETTER TOGETHER CAMPAIGN
Gold: Havas Turkey / Finish / Water Index
Silver: Havas Media Australia / Tassal / Switch it for Salmon
Bronze: Havas Media UK / Maersk / All the Way
BEST USE OF CONTENT
Gold: JUMP & Havas Media UK / BBC / I May Destroy You
Silver: HavasPlus Brazil / TIM / The Awareness Keyboard
Bronze: Havas Ortega Group Philippines / Xiaomi / #Mi10TSeriesXDecemberAvenue
BEST USE OF SCREENS
Gold: Havas Media UK / Domino’s Pizza / We Got this Launch
Silver: HavasPlus Brazil / TIM / TIM Black, a Multiscreen Black November
Bronze: Havas Media UK / Match / Start of Something Real
BEST USE OF DATA & ANALYTICS
Gold: Arena Media Spain / Jazztel / Havas Direct Response Project for Jazztel
Silver: Havas Media UK / O2 / Speed to Refresh
Bronze: HavasPlus Germany / Telefonica / Analysis of Qualified Traffic Audience Pool and Usage of Segments in Rubix
BEST USE OF DIGITAL MEDIA
Gold: Arena Media Spain / Domino’s Pizza / The Most Awakened
Silver: Havas Media UK / O2 / O2 Tik Tok #O2BublDance
Bronze: Havas Media US / Epic Games Store / The Vault
BEST USE OF SEARCH
Gold: Havas Media Australia / KitchenAid / SEO Trend Spotting. Brand Building
Silver: Havas Performance UK / Homebase / Safe Shopping at Homebase: Using Local Campaigns to Drive Store Footfall
Bronze: Havas Performance UK / giffgaff / Putting giffgaff Members at the Heart of Non-Brand Search
BEST USE OF TRADITIONAL MEDIA (OOH, TV, RADIO, PRINT)
Gold: Havas Media Group Indonesia / Godrej / How a New Fish Shook the Sharks in Personal Hygiene Segment
Silver: Havas Media UK / Swarovski / Swarovski Christmas Campaign
Bronze: Havas Media UK / Hyundai / Tucson N-Line KONA EV
BEST EVENT / EXPERIENTIAL CAMPAIGN
Gold: Havas Turkey / Finish / Birds will be Back
Silver: Havas Sports & Entertainment Australia / Gillette / Caring for Australia’s Hairiest Suburb
Bronze: HavasPlus Brazil / Fortaleza Esporte Clube / Racism Targets
BEST MX ECOMMERCE
Gold: Havas Boston / TracFone Wireless / TF Covid DR
BEST INTEGRATED CAMPAIGN
Gold: Havas Media UK / giffgaff / giffgaff Gives Back
Silver: Havas Media Boston / NAR / Fair Housing
Bronze: Havas Turkey / Finish / Water Index