UM makes Lego the star of this year's MFA Awards

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 13 October 2016

UM's 'Make Lego the Star of Christmas' was the star of the MFA Awards, picking up three awards and the Grand Prix.

The hit campaign, executed with partners Ensemble and One Green Bean, encouraged families across the country to design their own Lego Christmas tree topper with winning designs featured on a Lego TV ad.

It netted a gong in the IT and Consumer Durables category; Best Media Innovation; Best Integrated Paid, Owned and Earned Communications; and the Grand Prix.

Judges described the work as 'inspiring' and one of those 'I wish I had thought of that' ideas. "Lego played to its strength, which is that they exist in most Australian households, however deciding to expand into enhancing a cultural truth - that building the Christmas tree is a family ritual - was a smart move and helped to make the brand relevant," a judge remarked.

The campaign was credited with a 287% increase in social engagement and 18.8% increase in YOY sales.

Lego also won Marketing Team of the Year, capping off a huge night for the toy brick company.

There were 14 different agency winners from 63 finalists, highlighting the spread of great work across the industry. The awards are judged by more than 100 of the industry's finest from media agencies, clients, media owners, vendors and more.

Other agencies that won multiple categories were OMD, Starcom and Cummins&Partners, each with two.

Starcom won two awards for its work on Suncorp's 'Home Loans that Deliver' campaign, including Best Use of Data, Technology or Analytics and the Finance/Insurance/Government/Corporate & Real Estate category.

Judges said the work displayed "a best practice example of modern media trends using mobile".

OMD's 'All New MX-5 Roadstar' campaign for Mazda won the Automotive category. The OMG agency also teamed up with Cummins&Partners to claim the Best Strategic Launch Campaign for their work on Red Cross campaign, 'The Best Biscuit.

Cummins&Partners, which had the most finalists with seven, also won the Best Demonstration of Results award for its work on the National Home Doctor Service's 'Making the Call' campaign.

MediaCom's William Berner picked up the NGen award for his Every Word Counts campaign while Ikon Communications' Aaron Vardon, Eline Rannou and Tim Micallef claimed the MFA 5+ Award for DTO 2.0.

Val Morgan, which earned praise for its innovation and use of new technology, was judged Best Media Partner.

Cherry London managing director Anne Parsons became the first woman to be admitted into the MFA Hall of Fame.

Parsons is one of the enduring figures of the Australian media industry and ran one of the largest indies Zenith Media before taking the reins of MediaCom Australia until 2010.

She is renowned for her rivalry with Harold Mitchell and was one of the true pioneers for women in leadership in a male-dominated industry.

The 2016 MFA Awards winners:

All New MX-5 Roadstar, OMD (collaborating with 1Mazda and CHE Proximty), Mazda Australia

Canadian Club - Making Bad Sweaters A Thing, Unity Communications (collaborating with ARN and Emotive), Beam Suntory

Finance/Insurance/Government/Corporate & Real Estate
Home Loans that Deliver, Starcom (collaborating with Adshel), Suncorp

Clothing/Cosmetics & Retail
Becoming a High Interest Brand in a Low Interest Category, Foundation, OGX Beauty

Food & Grocery
LOL Breaks, MEC, Nestle

IT & Consumer Durables
Make Lego the Star of Christmas, UM (collaborating with Ensemble and One Green Bean), Lego

Media/Entertainment/Travel & Leisure
Deadpool, Zenith, 20th Century Fox

The Great Grain Debate, Maxus (collaborating with Fairfax Media, Macquarie Radio Network, News Corp), Grains Research & Development Corporation

Best Partner Initiative
2015 Winter Warmer Campaign, Seven Affiliate Sales (collaborating with Mindshare and Chief Entertainment), Origin LPG

Pro-Bono/Cause Marketing Incentive in Recognition of Pam Lane
Helping Young Hearts Run Free, Initiative Media, HeartKids Australia

Best Strategic Launch Campaign
The Best Biscuit, Cummins&Partners and OMD, Red Cross

Best Use of a Small Budget (up to $300,000)
Protect Our Cops, KWP Advertising, Police Association of South Australia

Best Use of Data, Technology or Analytics
Home Loans that Deliver, Starcom (collaborating with Adshel), Suncorp

Best Media Innovation
Make Lego the Star of Christmas, UM (collaborating with Ensemble and One Green Bean), Lego

Best Integrated Paid, Owned, & Earned Communications
Make Lego the Star of Christmas, UM (collaborating with Ensemble and One Green Bean), Lego

Best Demonstration of Results
Making the Call, Cummins&Partners, National Home Doctor Service

Marketing Team of the Year

Media Partner of the Year
Val Morgan

NGEN Award
Every Word Counts, William Berner, MediaCom

MFA 5+ Award
DTO 2.0, Aaron Vardon, Eline Rannou & Tim Micallef, Ikon Communications

Grand Prix
Make Lego the Star of Christmas, UM (collaborating with Ensemble and One Green Bean), Lego

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