AdNews Agency of the Year 2022 - All the winners

By AdNews | 23 February 2023
AdNews Agency of the Year Awards. Photo by Tim Levy.

The AdNews Agency of The Year Awards 2022 have been awarded across over 20 categories, celebrating Australia's best agencies, campaigns and game changers. 

The categories are judged by over 80 CMOs and senior marketers in accordance with set criteria. The full list of winners and judges' commentary is below. 

AdNews Agency Of The Year Award: Presented by TikTok

The winner is BMF Australia, which also won the Ad Campaign of the Year and Creative Agency of the Year.

All the category winners:

A. Creative Agency of the Year

The winner is BMF Australia

The judges: “A great spread of clients and the creative work to go with it. An agency of strong values: Cheeky, Gutsy, Humble. High staff retention, a RAP (Reconciliation Action Plan) Plan, learning and development. Highlighted campaign: You Can't Overcook Christmas (ALDI). Encouraging Australians to break out of the confines of the year and go big.”

Finalists: The Royals, Special Australia, Thinkerbell, The Monkeys Australia, part of Accenture Song

B. Media Agency of the Year – Sponsored by PubMatic
The winner is This Is Flow

“The judges were impressed by the agency's ability to raise their profile over the last year, showcased in the significant growth they have experienced. Client retention was strong with zero client losses in the past year. The judges wanted to call out the agencies Interesting people and culture approach – especially their industry first profit share initiative.”

Finalists: Initiative, Hatched, Half Dome

C. Independent Agency of the Year – Sponsored by Amobee
The winner is Howatson+Company

Judges: “They push the boundaries with their work. Almost perfect entry. Brilliantly written. Compelling entry. Very profitable already. Great structure and lots of thought into people reward. Great work coming from the business, impressive awards, and results.”

Finalists: The Royals, Match & Wood, Emotive, Thinkerbell

D. Small Agency of the Year (Headcount under 25)
The winner is Jack Nimble

The judges: “Stand out work from an agency with a strong focus and clarity of purpose. Business wins included Netflix, Spotify, rebel, MYOB, HelloFresh and Koala. The campaign, Stranger Things meets Bondi Rescue, was Netflix’s most-viewed Reel of 2022. The agency grew to 20 from 8, with a very high retention rate.”

Finalists: Noisy Beast, This Is Flow, Match & Wood, Equality Media + Marketing

E. Digital Agency of the Year – Sponsored by Foxtel Media
The winner is WiredCo.

The judges: "The focus on what they say 'no' to, while still driving business growth and a human-led work culture, was a standout among the entries."

Finalists: CHEP Network, Digital Minds Group, Apparent

F. PR Agency of the Year
The winner is One Green Bean

Judges said: “A lean green bean. Impactful work for a growing small agency, with an impressive culture. Great work teaching Alexa to understand Australian slang.”

Finalists: Red Havas, Eleven, Ogilvy PR, Adhesive Public Relations

G. Content Agency of the Year – Sponsored by Little Dot Studios
The winner is Jack Nimble

Judges said: “A comprehensive entry, displaying an agency with clarity of purpose. Strong retention, new business, agency culture and growing staff numbers. Highlighted campaigns: Stranger Things meets Bondi Rescue; Meet the Flippers with Gumtree.”

Finalist: WiredCo.

H. Ad Campaign of the Year - Sponsored by Quantcast
The winner is BMF Australia, for ALDI Australia, You Can't Overcook Christmas

Judges said: “Push the gravy boat out. Go bonkers without breaking the budget. Building on ALDI’s value platform and encouraging Australians, after the restrictions of the past year, to break out and reconnect post-COVID. A campaign, giving ALDI Australia differentiation in the market, with strong results.”

Finalists: Howatson+Company, for Matilda Bay Brewery, Rejected Ales; Special Australia, for Uber Eats, Grey Wiggle; Host/Havas, for The Australian Federal Police, Crime Interrupted; The Monkeys, part of Accenture Song, for Meat & Livestock Australia, The Lost Country of the Pacific

I. Media Campaign of the Year - Sponsored by Samsung Ads
The winner is OMD & Leo Burnett, for Suncorp, One House

Judges said: “This campaign was built off a transformative insight which focused on improving societal change as well as achieving business outcomes. It was a clever example of paid, owned, and earned media all coming together. This entry should be celebrated for its creative collaboration and storytelling.”

Finalists: Initiative, for NRMA, A Fire Inside; HERO, for Menulog, State of Origin SNACKDOWN!; PHD Australia, for Volkswagen, The Golf Ad Break Championship

J. Small Budget Media Campaign of the Year (Less than $500,000) – Sponsored by Audience360
The winner is Host/Havas, for The Australian Federal Police, Crime Interrupted

Judges said: “This campaign was a fantastic example of collaboration. The judges thought the winner demonstrated a smart use of budget to deliver great business results. The judges also wanted to call out the fact they could see longevity in this campaign, off the back of strong strategy and insights.”

Finalists: OMD & Ogilvy, for Suncorp, AAMI Rest Towns; Howatson+Company with PHD, for Matilda Bay Brewery, Rejected Ales

K. Social Media Campaign of the Year
The winner is Special Australia, for BONDS, Cheer Bleeders

Judges said: "This campaign demonstrated a clear client objective and understanding of audience, paired with performance."

Finalists: Host/Havas, for The Australian Federal Police, Crime Interrupted; WiredCo., for Pizza Hut Australia, Pizzas for Podiums; The Monkeys, part of Accenture Song, for UN Women Australia, Empower Moves

L. Best Use of Data in Campaign Planning - Sponsored by Captify
The winner is Foundation Australia, for Sanofi Consumer Healthcare, Easing Hayfever Suffering through Innovative Use of Data and Predictive Models

Judges said: “Really smart approach to solving a problem and overcoming a small budget issue. They focused on one key data point - pollen count - and focused their budget around that moment. Media execution was clever to serve around those triggers, but also to maximise 1+ reach to potential customers, and to diminish competitors spend by targeting exposed audiences.”

Finalists: PHD Australia, for Virgin Australia, Real Time Routes; OMD, for McDonald's, Macca's Monopoly - Game On!; Involved Media, for O'Brien, Using Data to Make O-O-O-O’Brien Famous for Electrical & Plumbing

M. Best use of Content - Sponsored by ACM
The winner is Jack Nimble, Wavemaker and Akcelo for Netflix Australia, Stranger Things meets Bondi Rescue

Judges said: “A geek's dream crossed with reality television. Who could resist the story of an alien being found on an iconic beach by Bondi Rescue? All in the name of Netflix and Stranger Things. Nicely written, with humour. A portal to another universe of just the bus to Bondi Junction?

Finalists: CHEP Network, for Samsung, Performance Enhancing Music; The Hallway, for Gotcha4Life Foundation, Boys Do Cry; OMD, for McDonald's, Macca's Famous Orders with The Kid LAROI; Jack Nimble, for Gumtree Australia, Meet the Flippers

N. Brand Partnership Award
The winner is Emotive, for Modibodi, EMBODIED #PostpartumUnfiltered

Judges said: “This partnership showed a truly deep understanding of the target audience which helped set it apart. The judges thought it was a well-rounded partnership that delivered across all criteria from strategy to execution and especially delivering business results. Judges loved that it was an equal partnership that was well thought through.”

Finalists: CHEP Network, for Samsung, Walk the Night; CHEP Network, for Samsung, Performance Enhancing Music; Special Australia, for Uber Eats, Choose Your Own AO; Thinkerbell, for Lion, XXXX Postcodes Of Origin

O. Social Responsibility/Pro Bono Award
The winner is The Hallway, for Gotcha4Life, Boys Do Cry

Judges said: “This was a stand out entry for the judging panel. The judges loved the campaign insight, tapping into what we know about men. Judges were impressed with the clear articulation of outcomes, and how they felt bigger than a ‘one and done’ campaign. The campaign stood out because of its execution through song creating “free media forever” with most of the judging panel agreeing they aren’t able to listen to the original song without immediately thinking of the messaging behind the campaign.”

Finalists: Dentsu Creative, for Charles Sturt University, Subject Zero; The Monkeys, part of Accenture Song, for UN Women Australia, Empower Moves; BMF, for Australians for Mental Health, Holding out for Help

P. Diversity Award – Sponsored by TikTok
The winner is Innocean, Fck the Cupcakes, Be the Change

The judges said: "This campaign is expertly framed to drive genuine awareness, engagement and exceptional reach."

Finalists: Think HQ; Initiative, Forgotten Upfronts

Q. The Game Changer Award - Sponsored by Twitch
The winner is Hello Social, for Uber Eats, "Rave2Save Indian Home Diner" - Driving preference via cultural innovation

The judges said: "This is a feel-good story of a big corporate using size, influence and agility to mobilise the community on a local issue."

Finalists: CHEP Network, for Samsung, Performance Enhancing Music; CHEP Network, for 7-Eleven, Coffee Scrub; HERO, for Menulog, State of Origin SNACKDOWN!; Host/Havas, for The Australian Federal Police, Crime Interrupted

R. Emerging Leader of the Year - Sponsored by Vistar Media
The winner is Charles Dangibeaud, GroupM

The judges said: "Charles' sustainability initiative is a differentiator as a leader, in addition to his broader contribution to knowledge sharing in the industry."

Finalists: Elyse Foley, Initiative; Michaela Drewe, Spark Foundry; Elliott Eldridge, Mindshare; Jonathan Henshaw, Ryvalmedia; Charlie Newton, JCDecaux

S. Employer of the Year (Headcount over 75)
The winner is Initiative

The judges said: “Initiative stood out for the strength of its parental strategy, including initiatives such as family planning benefits, extending parental-leave, new-parent learning and extending superannuation.”

Finalists: BMF Australia; PHD Australia

T. Employer of the Year (Headcount under 75)
The winner is Equality Media + Marketing

The judges said: “We were impressed with its four-day week called Equality Time, with full play, flexibility in when and where they work. Also impressed with third party surveying of staff and in training ALL in Mental Health First Aid.”

Finalists: This Is Flow; Adhesive Public Relations

U. Marketing Team of the Year - Sponsored by Nova Entertainment
The winner is Origin Energy

The judges said: "In a category where it's hard to move the needle, Origin's team have built an intrinsic brand platform to drive change."

Finalists: Koala Furniture; Australian Super; Uber

V. Media Trading Team of the Year - Sponsored by SEVEN
The winner is Starcom HX Partnerships Team

The judges said: "Through a broad mix of clients, Starcom has demonstrated a knowledge and ability to understand different areas and deliver products that drive results."

Finalists: Initiative; MediaCom Marketplace

W. The AdNews Effectiveness Award – Sponsored by Google
The winner is Special Australia, for Uber Eats, Grey Wiggle

The judges said: "The identification of an opportunity and strategy around parents at meal-time resulted in a highly memorable, engaging and effective execution."

Finalists: BMF, for Department of Social Services, UnMute Yourself; Dentsu Creative, for Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Disease Dilemmas; BMF, for ALDI Australia, You Can't Overcook Christmas

Thank you to our sponsors:
Presenting Partner: TikTok
Supporting Partners: ACM, AMOBEE, Audience360, captify, FOXTEL Media, Google, LITTLE DOT STUDIOS, NOVA Entertainment, PubMatic, Quantcast, SEVEN, SAMSUNG Ads, StackAdapt, twitch, VISTAR MEDIA
Associate Partner: ExtremeReach

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