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Unit9 and MullenLowe win top prizes at Campaign Tech Awards

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Unit9 has won Tech Company of the Year at the Campaign Tech Awards for the second year in a row, while MullenLowe was awarded Agency of the Year.

The headline awards – Agency of the Year and Tech Company of the Year – are not open for entry. Instead, they are nominated and chosen by the Tech Awards’ panel of judges of specialists and digital leaders from across the marketing and tech industries. 

The 24-year-old creative production studio picked up five individual Tech Awards this year and again demonstrated its impressive breadth of work by being nominated in 12 categories overall. 

Two of its five prizes this year were awarded for “The Met Unframed”, an immersive virtual art and gaming experience for the The Metropolitan Museum in New York, which won Best Response to Change Using Tech and Best Use of Experiential Tech.

Despite the museum being shut due to the pandemic, Unit9 and Verizon created a virtual experience that featured a replica of The Met, digital renderings of more than a dozen galleries and nearly 50 works of art. This was “a unique and powerful response to change” and an “incredible project with strong results”, one judge remarked. 

Interpublic agency network MullenLowe was awarded Agency of the Year after displaying an impressive all-round breadth of work having won one individual category award, be highly commended in another, and make the shortlist for five entries overall.

MullenLowe emerged victorious in the hotly contested Best Use of Experimental award for ProtectSet, its campaign to change gaming headsets for children in order to better protect then online from sex predators. The six-month campaign began by designing and producing 100 devices that were fitted with voice modifiers that made children sound like adults when speaking into them.

This was a “brilliant example of technology helping to solve a real world problem. Simple but effective,” according to one judge. ProtectSet was also shortlisted for the Tech for Good category.

Now in its fifth year, the Tech Awards champion the collaboration between agencies, brands and the technology communities, and recognises the outstanding work produced together to drive the creative industries forward. 

The awards introduced new categories this year, including a prize for Tech Diversity Advocate of the Year. Kerel Cooper, chief marketing officer at LiveIntent, won the inaugural award for being a respected thought leader in the digital advertising industry, with numerous appearances at conferences and contributions to major tech publications. He is one of the few black executives in the martech space actively calling for more diversity and inclusion in the industry.

There was also two categories for start-ups. Ad-Lib.io, a management platform that enables brands to scale their digital creative by connecting creative and media workflows using intelligent automation, won Start-up of the Year, while Best Campaign of the Year by a Start-up went to Boldspace for “72 ways to thank the NHS”, an awareness campaign for NHS Healthcare Workers Foundation that achieved strong results with a budget of just £4,000.

The new start-up categories were judged in a Dragons Den-style pitching format that was judged by a specialist panel: Jeremy Basset, founder of Co-Cubed and ex-Unilever Foundry; James Sutcliffe, founder of the Founding Network; and Caroline Rowland, founder of Egoli Media.

Sarah Salter, head of innovation at WPP media agency Wavemaker, chaired the overall judging panel for this year’s awards. 

Now in its fifth year, the Tech Awards champions the collaboration between agencies, brands and the technology communities, and recognises the outstanding work produced together to drive the creative industries forward. 

Campaign revealed the winners in an online ceremony, streamed at 5pm on the Campaign Tech Awards website, to comply with Covid-19 social distancing rules.

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