Havas’s Media Experience philosophy guides our work across the world and helps us execute stronger, more impactful campaigns for our clients. To celebrate that work, Dan Hagen, Global Head of Mx Development, developed the Mx awards to celebrate our teams and clients worldwide.
Hear more from Dan about this year’s awards in this week’s Dare!.
Can you talk about how the Mx awards were originally concepted? What drove their creation?
Mx, or Media Experience, was a new approach to how Havas Media serves its clients and was rolled out across the business globally over the course of 2020 and 2021 (slightly tricky time to do this as the pandemic came down, but that’s another story!). The true test of any agency is the quality and effectiveness of the work we do for our clients, so it was important that we aligned both how we created the work as well as how we evaluated and celebrated the work – so the Mx Awards were born. It’s a celebration of both the outcomes of the work we do for our clients as well as the craft required to do that work.
What were some of your greatest successes and challenges in bringing the awards to life?
The biggest challenge was the organisational heavy lifting in one of the hardest contexts we’ve ever faced. Awards entries are sourced across all our offices around the world with 100s of entries every 6 months. These are then judged by a widespread community from all over the world, and a virtual awards ceremony is written, recorded, edited, and released. For both rounds that we’ve done so far, all of this has been done on calls, teams, and emails, with no physical contact.
I have to give a huge shout out to everyone that has helped during this process – the award writers taking time out from working on their clients to craft compelling entries, the judges who read and scored all those entries and recorded the award announcements, the editors and directors who put it all together, plus the absolute rockstars of Daniel and Marina who make this all work together in harmony – while never losing their cool or their sense of humour. Legends!
I think a huge success of the Mx Awards lives beyond the awards themselves – the external impact (more on that below), as well as the assets they create to celebrate our work in cases, events, pitches, PR and more.
Can you talk about the judging process for the awards and what you look for when deciding winners?
We have a small global contingent of judges that are consistent from round to round on the Mx Awards, and they are joined by a group of rotating judges sourced from markets around the world representing different fields of expertise – we think this helps to bring both consistency as well as freshness to the judging process.
Judges are assigned to categories and each entry is reviewed by at least 4 judges. Scores are averaged and winners float to the top. We have a quick calibration check across all the categories to ensure evenness of judging, and to sort out any ties. Then the Grand Prix winner is selected from among the 1st place winners in each category – normally I will pitch my top 3 and have that ratified by the GLT.
In terms of the criteria, we’re looking for work that exemplifies the principles of Mx – strong Intelligence work; identification and use of Meaningful Media; a blend of Connection, Context and Content in the activation; and effective client outcomes that drive attention to the brand and incremental returns to the business. We are somewhat flexible on these criteria though, as we’re covering a collection of categories that range from best integrated campaign to best use of data and analytics.
What were some of the standout campaigns that won?
So I have to talk about the Grand Prix, which was the UK’s multiyear approach with Giff Gaff. The story starts with a change in fortune for the advertiser – consideration was stalling, ecommerce was declining, competitors were copying their model and COVID was driving inflation. The team started a programme to change the understanding of how media drove business outcomes: holistic econometrics to explain acquisition, churn, sales and brand metrics, that drove real insight into the Mx Process. Incrementality experiments followed to determine where media was incrementally driving sales and where it was not. The work drove huge value to the client’s business in terms of incremental revenues.
Some other notable work that included great use of content and influencers was a campaign by the Australian team to encourage young Aussies to visit New South Wales; a clever programme production campaign making use of the most popular daily show in France to showcase EDF’s eco-credentials; and a completely holistic creation – launch and running of Genuino’s nutritional supplement store on Amazon by the German team.
Look out for the monthly “Best of Mx” events where different teams will be sharing great Mx work, including some of the winners of the Mx awards. These will kick off on March 2nd.
How have the internal Mx Awards impacted the external reputation of Havas Media?
The internal awards are the incubation space for most of our global awards programmes. They provide the raw materials for us to develop the specific entries for the global festivals all over the world. And the quality and story of the Mx Awards is paying dividends for our external reputation, with a record number of wins across global festivals in 2021.
How are the awards evolving now that you’ve done the second round and are preparing for the third?
Between the first and second awards we did a fair amount of coaching – individually with market teams to feedback on the first round and encourage participation in the second. Daniel ran a brilliant masterclass on storytelling as part of the awards writing process to help get their creative juices flowing. We also tidied up the entry form and streamlined the judging process – mainly small changes to make the whole process a bit more efficient for everyone involved.
One of the key changes for 2022 will be the introduction of a new category – Best Use of Ethical Media. As we continue to build the product of the agency and think about how meaningful Mx can truly be, we believe it’s important to give our clients the opportunity to use their media investment in the most socially responsible ways. For instance, one product innovation is investing in Social Equity Marketplaces which pool inventory from companies that apply certain standards in representation, diversity, carbon credentials and other ESG principles and we thought it was important to introduce a way of celebrating those clients and agency teams that are activating against those principles.
What’s next for Havas Media and Mx in 2022?
A lot! 2021 was a great year for the agency and has laid the foundation for (hopefully) more success in 2022. We have aligned all the elements of Mx into one global team who are thinking about the philosophy, platforms, processes, products, and people that we need at scale across the agency – globally and locally – to build and deliver the best possible Media Experiences. This team will be focussed on upgrading the agency toolkit and rolling out these new capabilities across the year to support all the work happening in global and local client teams.
Some key areas that we believe will have a big impact across the agency are:
- the relaunch of the Mx System platform later in the year which will help to streamline how teams move along the Mx process, getting access to the right tools and data at each stage, so they can focus on the brilliance of the Mx rather than the process
- the rollout of attention planning and measurement thanks to a global partnership we’re closing right now. This will give us granular and globally scaled attention scores across 1000s of media placements to feed our planning tools as well as a technical solution to tag and track our clients’ campaigns efficiently
- The integration of YouGov data into our audience platform, Converged, will realise the ambition of bringing panel and ID data into one system to help generate and activate more powerful insights, leading to even better Media Experiences.
It’s going to be a busy, but exciting year, and I’m already anticipating the great work we’ll get to see in the next round of the Mx Awards!
Havas Media UK / giffgaff / Building a Culture of Effectiveness with giffgaff
BEST BETTER TOGETHER CAMPAIGN
Gold: Havas Media France / Orange / Reboxing
Silver: Havas Media Ireland / Mediahaus, The Sunday World / If It’s Going On, It’s Going Online
Bronze: Arena Media & Havas Spain / Banco Santander / FootballCan 2041
BEST USE OF CONTENT
Gold: Havas Media Australia / Destination NSW / How Destination NSW Invited Young Australians to Take The Long Road
Bronze: Havas Media Russia / Hyundai / Automatic Katya
BEST USE OF DATA & ANALYTICS
Gold: Havas Media UK / giffgaff / Building a Culture of Effectiveness with giffgaff
Silver: Havas Media Germany / Telefónica / K1 – Streaming on Us
Bronze: Havas Media Argentina / Renault / Alaskan: Made for Those who Make
BEST USE OF DIGITAL MEDIA
Gold: Havas Media Singapore / Shiseido, NARS Cosmetics / XXX Chat by NARS
Gold: Havas Media US / NAR / NAR That’s Who We R – Custom Sequential Podcast Activation iHeart’s with Stuff You Should Know
Bronze: Havas Media US / Fidelity Investments / Competitive Response
BEST USE OF SEARCH
Gold: Havas Performance UK / KIA / Driving Performance for the Kia Dealer Leads Program
Silver: Havas Performance UK / Homebase / Smart Shopping Delivers Revenue Boost for Homebase
Bronze: Havas Performance UK / National Express / Great British Fame Factors
BEST USE OF TRADITIONAL MEDIA
Gold: Native & Havas Media France / EDF / Gestes de Ménages
Silver: Havas Media & Innocean UK / Hyundai / IONIQ 5 Launch
Bronze: Havas Media UK / Telefónica, O2 / O2 vs Co2
BEST EVENT / EXPERIENTIAL CAMPAIGN
Gold: Havas Middle East / adidas / Liquid Billboard
Silver: JUMP UK / KIA / Movement That Inspires x Boardmasters
Bronze: Havas Media South Africa / Leroy Merlin / Fourways Store Opening
BEST MX ECOMMERCE
Gold: Havas Media Germany / Genuino / Creating a Meaningful Brand on Amazon
Silver: Havas Media US / Proximo Spirits / Shoppable Social
Bronze: Havas Market Italy / GBFoods & Forno Bonomi / New Business Model Experience: From Branding to Sales on Amazon
BEST INTEGRATED CAMPAIGN
Gold: Havas Media UK / Domino’s Pizza / DOMIN-OH-HOO-HOO – The Launch of Pizza Yodeling
Silver: Arena Media France / Carrefour / How to Become the Green Reference for Consumer in the French Retail
Bronze: Havas International Paris / Lacoste / Lacoste X Ricky Regal