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Highlights from Spotlight

  • Date:

    03 December 2020

Highlights from Spotlight

Sue Todd, CEO, Magnetic takes a look at the work from this year’s Spotlight Awards

After watching other virtual awards over the last few months, it was our turn to put the great magazine partnerships of 2019/20 in the digital spotlight and give our supportive advertisers, their agencies and a few brilliant planners a very public thanks.

As one of the judges, Nadine Young, CEO of Starcom noted after the judging, it was a real pleasure to read such high quality, creative and effective work. Another judge, Andrew Mclean from PHD, made the important point that the metrics for the winning campaigns had really stood out and impressed him.

For me, both the challenge and the comfort of reading through this year’s entries is marvelling at the diversity of the work – a perfect reflection of the ongoing and accelerating changes happening in the world of magazine publishing. It was always the case that great magazine brands were distinctive and super-served an audience with a unique editorial voice and style. However with increased channels at publisher’s disposal and a broader offer beyond pure advertising, it’s clear that the ongoing judging of commercial partnerships is going to become more varied and this is, for me , what makes the process so exciting and the work so interesting to read.

From Sainsburys to Sky, Voxi to Very, Ancestry to Ann Summers, Channel 4 to Comfort, Dulux to the Department for Education, the entries were awash with compelling insight, strong ideas and clever integration of tailored content across numerous magazine channels. The winners clearly understand that leveraging editorial insights and data helps ensure the right tone of voice, but also ensures that the messages are relevant, positive and have emotional resonance for the reader, user or viewer.

Our ‘Client of the Year’ Sainsbury’s, across countless campaigns, showed how to use magazines (in print) to great effect. They understood that magazines provide a unique audience who share similar passions, beliefs and ideals as their Tu brand, and it was this that helped encourage conversation and brought to life a bold branding campaign.

To ensure long term results they wanted to develop a campaign that not only delivered on fashion style and design, but also increased mental availability by making a strong emotional connection with consumers. Sainsbury’s and PHD understood that the high levels of engagement, trust and quality attention generated by magazine brands, created a unique distinction between print and other channels. They have been a committed partner with a wide range of magazine brands from women’s weeklies to Vogue and have achieved some impressive brand and sales results.

Channel 4, winners of two awards at our awards, for their unique and highly effective partnership with Den of Geek, showed you can do incredible things with a relatively small budget by working closely with the right brand partner and leveraging the deep and authentic relationship the audience that publisher brands have.

Finally, a personal thank you and well done to all of the shortlisted planners. It was incredibly difficult to choose between the five shortlisted entries who all demonstrated the strongest credentials as champions of magazine media, and have been at the centre of driving understanding and effective campaigns for their agencies and clients.

Well done to all those shortlisted but especially the winners.

Enjoy your much-deserved time in the spotlight.

To catch all the winners click here