UM & Ensemble clinch Gold at WARC Media Awards

Universal McCann Malaysia (UM), and Ensemble Worldwide have taken home Gold in the Effective Use of Tech category of the 2018 WARC Media Awards.

The Gold was awarded on work for the KFC Golden Egg Crunch campaign which ran between the Chinese New Year (CNY) period in 2018. Marrying storytelling and innovative media platforms to enhance the campaign message delivery, the campaign was the first to utilise TV sync technology.

Group Managing Director of UM and Ensemble Worldwide, Amit Sutha (picture) shared, “The TV sync and programmatic delivery tools were developed in-house, and we are really glad to see this level of inter-agency cooperation to produce yet another award-winning piece of work for KFC. This blend of real-time storytelling based on new age media formats forms the very essence of collaboration within IPG Mediabrands.”

The campaign was a collaborative brainstorm effort between UM and Ensemble Worldwide, and involved IPG Mediabrands’ programmatic adtech unit Cadreon and Reprise Digital, its full-service global performance media marketing unit, all of whom were instrumental in the roll out of the campaign.

The campaign made use of second-screen sync technology to hijack ads of all brands that were advertising heavily on TV during CNY by creating an API that predicted the 20 most popular TV ads. The agencies then created similar-looking, KFC-sponsored parody ads, and used TV sync to instantly deploy them on Facebook, Instagram and Google platforms, matching the TV commercials during primetime. Through this, KFC’s ads were seen millions of times, increasing their CNY sales exponentially.

KFC’s Chief Marketing Officer, Angelina Villanueva said, “The way we watch TV today has changed radically, and the team once again managed to come up with a smart and innovative way to reflect this change in consumption and boost our brand awareness during a period that normally faces stiff competition.”

The WARC Media Awards are a comprehensive set of awards rewarding pioneering communications planning which has made a positive impact on business results for brands around the world. This case study competition examines the insight, strategy and analytics that power effective media investment.

The Effective Use of Tech category looks at communications that have effectively used or combined emerging platforms or technology in the media mix, and how a particular tech or platform helps address a specific business problem.

One judge commented, “The tech is kind of hidden, which I liked – in a lot of papers, they were showing it off, tech for tech’s sake. And there’s a cleverness about it – you open up the hood and go Wow.”

This innovative campaign comes after a highly successful awards season for UM and Ensemble Worldwide last year, with both agencies winning the Effective Use of Content Strategy Grand Prix at the 2017 WARC Awards, again for client KFC.

At this year’s awards, Ensemble also won a Silver for Effective Use of Data category for ‘If you can dream it, you can Pylox it’ for Nippon Pylox.

View the Golden Egg Crunch spot here:

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