A sellout crowd of over 400 filled the Royal Armouries in Leeds last night for the inaugural running of the Northern Digital Awards.
Agencies, organisations and companies from the far reaches of the North came together to see 21 award categories celebrate the creativity and genuine digital excellence that now resides in our region. Our thanks to MET Marketing, Screen Yorkshire, Orchard, Network Marketing and Leeds and Partners for sponsoring some of those categories, as well as Better Placed, who sponsored the photo booth.
Created by Don’t Panic Event Management and Prolific North, the Northern Digital Awards recognised the very best in digital campaigns, e-tailing, apps, video and more – and it was the identity of the winners that revealed so much about the state of the Northern digital industry in 2015.
Big winners from the night included Newcastle’s Mediaworks, Leeds’s Umpf and Branded3, Chester-based MBNA, Manchester’s R.O. EYE and Tangerine, who each took home two gongs, but there was also recognition for the likes of Sheffield’s Diva Creative, Liverpool’s Hit Search and the BBC.
Expertly presented by Andy Crane in the impressive surroundings of the national museum of arms and armour, the awards represented the first time Prolific North had hosted an awards ceremony in Yorkshire.
Thanks once again to all the judges who gave their time to help decide the shortlist and the winners – their citations can be read below:
The Northern Digital Awards 2015
The opening award of the night – Best Digital Marketing Campaign – Retail – went to Quantcast for its work with Missguided. Praising its “cutting-edge approach to personalised creative”, the judges said the campaign had “showed a level of technical innovation that we really admired”.
Best Digital Marketing Campaign – Finance went to Branded3 for its City Index work which the judges thought showcased some “interesting creativity” and a “solid performance with the client”.
MEC Manchester took home the Best Digital Marketing Campaign – Travel / Leisure category for its work with First Great Western. Although working with a small budget, the judges said its entry had made it an “easy choice” and that they “loved the creativity… in some ways a simple idea but it was really well executed. The end results were excellent both in terms of the qualitative return on investment as well as the brand impact.”
Best Digital Marketing Campaign – Public Sector went to Tangerine PR for its #Team999 work with the North West Ambulance Service. “This was a really competitive category,” said the judges, “but this campaign was challenging in an important area to work in. They produced a really strong strategy and great results”.
Liverpool-based Hit Search claimed the Best Digital Marketing Campaign – Third Sector category for its Alder Hey in the Park online marketing campaign. “We were very impressed with the structure and the presentation of the application and by the way the campaign had worked within the constraints imposed by the client in order to deliver a really impressive set of outcomes,” said the judges, who would no doubt have also been impressed by the bow ties the winners wore when receiving their award.
Best Digital Marketing Campaign – Entertainment / Sports presented a first award to the night for local agency Umpf, whose First Ever Sport Social Media Index was “a really innovative approach to winning new clients”. The judges felt the work would go on to win the agency more clients in the future.
Best Affiliate Campaign went to R.O. Eye for its “very strong entry” for Protect Your Bubble. It had showed an “increase in the level of sophistication in this developing campaign and why they were able to make such a difference to this client,” said the judges, with “a real emphasis on return on investment”.
On to Best Low Budget Campaign and it was a second award for Umpf’s Sport Social Media Index, which the judges felt “took advantage of strong staff interest in sports to produce a really strong campaign that won a number of important clients for the agency”.
Tangerine PR claimed the Best Integrated Campaign, again for its #Team999 work with the North West Ambulance Service. The judges said the award had been made “particularly for the creativity and the choice of medium… they were blessed with great content, but the choice of channels and the way they integrated them really delivered”.
Up to the North East for the next winners, with Mediaworks going home with the Best PPC Campaign prize for its work with Newcastle College. This was “a really competitive category”, said the judges, “but Mediaworks managed to just push a little bit further by introducing this to a client who may previously have not looked at this as a great channel to market.” The results were likely to prove influential in the sector, they agreed.
The Best SEO Campaign stayed in Leeds with Branded3, again for its City Index, which the judges said showed “good creative implementation” and “really good SEO performance”.
Back to Manchester for the Best Use of Social Media winners, MyCleverAgency, whose Visit England campaign had been “the campaign that I’ve been telling people about”, said one judge. “This was a thorough campaign across multiple channels and with the budget they were given, it’s incredible that they got the reach they did.”
Sheffield’s Diva Creative claimed the Best Use of Video prize for its 10 Ways A Condom Can’t Protect You video for the Centre for HIV and Sexual Health. Why? Well, it “made us all laugh”, said the judges, “but mainly because it delivered so much on such a small budget. It’s very hard to put return on investment on good sexual health, so for £6,000 it delivered an incredible amount”.
The Digital Transformation Award went to the in-house team at MBNA, who the judges felt had “adapted to the digital opportunity rather than simply adopted it… it’s really centred the organisation around the potential that digital has to offer”.
Code Computerlove’s app for Chester Zoo was named Best App “by some distance”, the judges agreed. They said it was “a pleasure to look around and to browse”, was “really useful” and had delivered the results in terms of downloads, user feedback and additional sales.
Form analytics tool Formisimo walked off with the Best Digital Tool or Software prize, with the judges claiming that with the “qualitative and quantitative results that they gave, it was really difficult to choose anyone else”. They added that “when a submission is this easy to judge, they have to be number one”.
Fluid Digital claimed the Best E-Commerce Website for its work with Devote Associates on Moda Furnishings, which the judges said was a “clear winner”: “It broke into the Australian market and established great results very early on.”
The BBC Sport site was named Best Website, with the judges noting how they were “particularly impressed” they had exceeded their 2012 coverage last year: “That was really quite an achievement.”
Down to the three big team awards of the night, and MBNA claiming the Digital Marketing In-House Team of the Year award. “It’s great to see an in-house team really get digital,” said the judges, pointing out that they were also “cost-effective – they seem to be able to do a lot with not much”.
R.O. Eye won Small Digital Agency of the Year, with the judges agreeing that the Manchester company “really understands its own mission, and actually has the evidence to prove that it’s delivered on that mission for its clients”.
And finally the Large Digital Agency of the Year went to Mediaworks “by an absolute hair’s breadth”. “They showed that they really are something special,” the judges said.
Congratulations to all the winners and nominees, thanks once again to all the sponsors – and thanks to everyone who made the first ever Northern Digital Awards such a success. See you next year!
Here are a few more pictures from the night:
And finally, a few tweets from the night:
— Fridge Productions (@fffridge) January 23, 2015
— Anna Roberts (@HereComesAnna) January 22, 2015
— R.O.EYE (@ROEYE) January 22, 2015
We didn’t win the #NorthernDigitalAwards but I have just had a bunch of free booze so it’s not all bad I guess.
— Elliot Callard (@elliotcallard) January 22, 2015
Enjoying various agency interpretations of the lounge suit dress code. #northerndigitalawards
— Carley Centen (@ccentenrun) January 22, 2015
— Venn Digital (@venndigital) January 22, 2015