Excellence Awards 2018: winners and highly commended

Award winners 2018

Our Excellence Awards have been going since 1985, with one of the first winners being Sir James Espey. 

And Marketing Society Global Ambassador, Hugh Burkitt, spoke to him back in 2015, on the 30-year anniversary of our awards. Watch their chat.

Anyway, the point we're trying to make is that our awards have history and heritage.

So we don't use the term lightly, but the winners really do represent excellence - a gold standard of bold and brave marketing.

This year, Bodyform was awarded the prestigious Grand Prix prize and Mark Evansmarketing director at Direct Line Group was crowned the 2018 Marketing Society Marketing Leader of the Year in association with CampaignSkittles took the new `Bravest Brand’ award.

The judges, chaired by Marketing Society president, Diageo’s Syl Saller awarded the Grand Prix to Bodyform because of its courageous and powerful campaign tackling the taboo subject of how periods are presented in advertising - normalising periods and empowering women in the process.

Members of The Marketing Society and readers of Campaign voted Mark Evans our Marketing Leader of the Year because of the truly ground-breaking campaigns launched under his tenure including, Fleetlights Legacy and Smart Crossings both of which demonstrate a convention-defying, approach to marketing.

Our chief exec, Gemma Greaves, said, our members and readers of Campaign have spoken and chosen Mark Evans from an impressive shortlist of marketing leaders - and about time too. As well as his outstanding work at Direct Line (which speaks for itself), Mark’s passion for change, notably his work championing neurodiversity, is an inspiration to us all and highlights the human side of marketing - something very close to my heart.

“I’m also delighted to recognise the rising talent of Hannah Pain - our 2018 Young Marketing Leader of the Year.  Hannah is an impressive individual. We were looking for somebody who combined brave leadership with business results, someone with the X-Factor.  It was an incredibly tough competition, but Hannah had the edge over other candidates. She’s a formidable leader and role model- I’m certain we’ll hear a lot about her in the future.

“For the first time we included a prize for the `Bravest Brand’ and the judges awarded this to Skittles for their courage in handing over their rainbow logo to the L-G-B-T community during Pride month, with the message, ‘Only one rainbow matters’ ...while their own branding and product went monochrome.”

Now enough from us, below is what you came here for, the winning and highly commended entries.

Enjoy, and congratulations to all those that made the shortlist, as well as the winners and highly commended.

National Safety Council: Stopping Everyday Killers Winner Brand activation National Safety Council Energy BBDO
Skittles - Breaking Conventions with Pride Highly Commended Brand activation Skittles adamandeveDDB
From boutiques to grocers: How Godiva democratised luxury Winner Brand extension Godiva The&Partnership
Oops Highly Commended Brand extension O2 VCCP
How Beano became the new social currency for a new generation Winner Brand revitalisation Beano Studios Red Brick Road
Direct Line’s ‘Fixer’ brand reboot Highly Commended Brand revitalisation Direct Line Group  
#SuzukiSaturdays Winner Branded content Suzuki the7stars
The Story of Hostelworld's Unexpected Guests Highly Commended Branded content Hostelworld Lucky Generals
Domino's Recovery Channel Highly Commended Branded content Domino's VCCP
Skittles - Breaking Conventions with Pride Winner Bravest Brand (Brand activation) Skittles  adamandeveDDB
IAG Cargo FWD.Rewards Winner Building customer relationships IAG Cargo BBH London
#BetterQuestions Winner Business-to-business marketing Team EY Ogilvy & Mather
HSBC Belt and Road Initiative Highly Commended Business-to-business marketing HSBC Grey London
From promotion to emotion: Landlord legends Highly Commended Business-to-business marketing BT Sport Business AMVBBDO
When The Fun Stops, Stop Winner Customer insight The Senet Group  The Corner London
Shotgun by Direct Line: Understanding young drivers to save lives Highly Commended Customer insight Direct Line Group  
Tested in Life to help you get it right Winner Employee engagement Currys PC World AMVBBDO
TUI Rebrand - The Internal Communications Challenge Highly Commended Employee engagement TUI  
International Volunteering Week 2017: Re-engaging our people with social & environmental action Highly Commended Employee engagement O2  
Toyota Hybrid: Not A Moment To Lose Winner Global brand marketing Toyota The&Partnership
Changing The World’s Oral Health By Thinking Outside The Box Highly Commended Global brand marketing Corsodyl, GlaxoSmithKline  
This is what happens when Whores and Pimps become marketers Winner Grand Prix (Purpose driven brands) Bodyform/Libresse (Essity) AMVBBDO
Myths, misinformation and McDonald's - how fortune favours the brave Winner Long-term marketing excellence McDonald's Leo Burnett
Monkey Shoulder Highly Commended Long-term marketing excellence William Grant & Sons ACA Live
This is what happens when Whores and Pimps become marketers Winner Marketing communications Bodyform/Libresse (Essity) AMVBBDO
One small act. One big outcome. Highly Commended Marketing communications Time to Change Ogilvy
Making Yorkshire Tea Proper Successful Highly Commended Marketing communications Yorkshire Tea Lucky Generals
Boxt Winner New brand BOXT Zone
Everybody can save a life, Scottish Government - Organ Donation Winner Not-for-profit marketing Healthier Scotland, Scottish Government The Leith Agency
National Safety Council: Stopping Everyday Killers Highly Commended Not-for-profit marketing National Safety Council Energy BBDO
Girlguiding - Know Your Place Campaign Highly Commended Not-for-profit marketing Girlguiding J. Walter Thompson
Project Guardian Winner Partnering for good Mayor of London, Metropolitan Police, British Transport Police, City of London Police VCCP
This is what happens when Whores and Pimps become marketers Winner Purpose driven brands Bodyform/Libresse (Essity) AMVBBDO
A Beacon of light in the dark Highly Commended Purpose driven brands Guinness  AMVBBDO
Karma Club Winner Selling on a shoestring Karma Group Bamboo
KFC - Filthy results at dirt cheap prices Highly Commended Selling on a shoestring KFC Group BBH London


Hit play to go behind the scenes and find out what the judges were looking for from this years' entries.