Festival Intelligence – Trends from the globe’s best media and marketing campaigns | M&M Global

Festival Intelligence – Trends from the globe’s best media and marketing campaigns

Each week Jenni Baker from M&M Global will be looking at the key trends and insights from Festival of Media Awards’ shortlisted and winning entries, which are driving the world’s best media campaigns.

Despite issues around ad-fraud, non-transparency, brand safety and unreliable metrics which dominated the headlines around programmatic in 2017, it’s showing no signs of slowing down.

In fact, display advertising is the fastest-growing internet sub-category, according to Zenith, with 13% annual growth forecast to 2020. This is in no small part due to advertisers and agencies now truly reaping the benefits brought about from the transition to programmatic buying, which allows for more efficient and effective targeting with personalised creative.

Gone are the days of debating the impact of programmatic on creativity, the science vs the art. Data-driven marketing and creativity are far from mutually exclusive and what brands and agencies are finding is that it’s a clever combination of both that achieves resonance with consumers. At least that’s what this year’s Festival of Media Global Awards 2018 shortlisted entries tell us…

Akama Ediomi Davies, Head of Brand Development at Oath points to trends in “how different brands are leaning into data and insight to create innovative media experiences with their consumers” to “how the programmatic landscape is evolving from one of technology and hyper-targeting to using data points to better activate customised user experiences through creativity”.

Phil Wade, Chief Marketing Officer of Jetstar Group at Qantas Group, echoes this sentiment: “Some of these entries displayed an emerging way to think in marketing that is exciting to play with; it is the thought that connections between multiple ‘real time’ data sources can be used to create ‘real time’ live dynamic creative that can be programmatically placed in ‘real time’ to provoke thought and action in customers.”

According to Wade, three trends are apparent:

  1. The DMP as the heart of modern marketing: The creative use of data management platform (DMP) data enrichment with multiple external sources and mining to find identifiers as to the trigger point of purchase / behavioural change was the core thread running across multiple entries and the huge creativity in the ‘maths of marketing’ is apparent.
  2. Programmatic buying is king: Many entries focused on new uses of programmatic techniques to buy ‘traditional’ channels such as radio and DOOH to drive multi-channel effectiveness. The divide of digital and ‘traditional’ channels and how they are brought is deeply challenged in the entries and in the industry as a whole.
  3. Programmatic buying needs programmatic creative: Multiple entries reference that the implementation of dynamic creative optimisation (DCO) or other such multi variant refinement techniques have been the bedrock of shifting the dial in performance. Insightful creative tailored and personalised to programmatic buying was prevalent in multiple entries.

Interestingly, these trends aren’t limited to a particular industry sector or region. As this year’s Festival of Media Global Awards shortlisted entries have shown, the innovative development of programmatic creative techniques have been tried and tested across the board from Pharma to Travel, stretching from Russia to Canada.

We put the spotlight on two FOMG Awards 2018 shortlisted entries, which highlight this trend:

Theraflu Flu Tracker | Theraflu | MediaCom | Russia

Shortlisted for: Best Use of Data & Insight Award, Best Use of Real-time Marketing, Best Use of Technology, Best Use of Geo-Location


Russia can be cold – extremely cold, below -50C at time. And then it can be wet, cold and grey for months. It’s the perfect place for flu and colds to thrive. In the world’s biggest country, Theraflu set out to predict how colds and flu would travel through Russia.

MediaCom’s idea was to create a unique service based on real-time data that allows consumers to be ready for a burst of cold in advance and help reduce the severity of any illness during long flu season to protect themselves. The strategy revolved around a unique resource: ‘The Theraflu Map’ – a two-week forecast for each of the 82 regions across the country with real-time updates to encourage repeat visits to the website.

Based on multiple data sources (weather, category sales, social mentions and search requests), the model was first developed manually and then improved using artificial intelligence and historical data to further improve the prediction rate. The data was then applied to create customised content and location-based creative for targeting across digital, TV and out of home.

Read the full case study here

Data vs Car | VIA Rail | PHD agency Touché! | Canada

Shortlisted for: Best Use of Data & Insight Award, Best Use of Real-time Marketing, Best Use of Geo-Location


When consumers plan a trip from Point A to Point B, their primary concern is to have the shortest travel time. In Canada, nearly 78% of the population own a vehicle and because of their unconditional love of cars, drivers tend to be overly optimistic about how long it takes, failing to factor real-time road conditions into their calculations. VIA Rail set up to unleash the power of data to steal shares from cars with real-time information at the moment it mattered the most.

Touché! Leveraged real-time traffic and weather data to maximise the relevance of the message for motorists by comparing real-time travel information for both transportation options: when traffic or bad weather conditions arise, drivers were reminded they took the wrong transportation mode.

The data strategy was brought to life through partnerships with Google Maps and the Weather Network. They created programming interfaces specifically for this campaign and integrated the data feed at each touch point, enabling the real-time data management and synchronisation across all out-of-home and digital channels.

Read the full case study here

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