The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) named marketing leaders at Accenture, Ally and Quantcast as the winners of its 55th annual Communicators of the Year Awards. The three winners were honored at an award ceremony and reception held Tuesday, Jan. 29 in New York.
This year marks the first year the awards have been expanded from honoring a single, innovation-driven marketing communicator to three leaders in the space, said Tom Stein, Chairman and Chief Client Officer at Stein IAS, at the event.
“Communications channels have proliferated so much [and] objectives have become so varied and diverse with channel fragmentation and explosion,” said Stein. “The different approaches that are being utilized led us to think that a communicator of the year was not as relevant as a couple, or three in this case, that really excel in different areas of contemporary communication.”
This year’s winners were recognized for their standout marketing across three distinct categories:
1) The Thinker: Accenture Drives Global Thought Leadership Program
The Thinker Award aims to honor a brand leader who leverages thought leadership content to engage customers and set industry trends. Marc Appel, Managing Director of Content Marketing at Accenture, received the award for leading the way on Accenture’s “New Applied Now” campaign, which promotes employee thought leadership at events across the globe.
“We’ve got 460,000 people around the world and an immense wealth of diverse practice experience, insights and perspectives that are out there on the ground contributing to this pool of knowledge,” said Appel. “They invest their personal time to make great thought leadership and not just crafting the piece itself, but also [aiding in the] distribution. They are the big cheerleaders, educating the entire organization plus our partners to convene the dialogues that need to be had.”
2) The Amplifier: Quantcast Boosts Market Awareness With Refreshed Branding, Ramped Up Event Strategy
The Amplifier recognizes a business marketer who skillfully attracts attention amongst their target market, whether through curated networks or organic channels. Steven Feldman, Director of North America Marketing Lead at Quantcast, accepted the award for helping the company elevate its messaging and design, as well as enhance its thought leadership and event marketing efforts.
“Our market presence is where we really ramped up,” said Feldman. “We were at a lot of events this past year — this was key in our strategy. We launched at CES and had homepage takeovers of all the trades. We were on the cover of Adweek and on though leadership panels, getting our message out there.”
3) The Disrupter: Ally Breaks Through Industry Noise With Customer-Centric, Fearless Marketing
The Disrupter Award is reserved for the most “buzzworthy marketer,” who challenges the norms and sets new standards for success. The award was given to Andrea Brimmer, Chief Marketing and Public Relations Officer at Ally, for fostering a culture of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking at the banking company. Under her lead, the marketing team executed campaigns such as the Lucky Penny, Hardest Working Dollar and Banksgiving — all of which were designed to stand out against traditional tactics and give back to their customers.
“Now more than ever, it’s important to show the heart of your brand,” said Brimmer. “We launched something this year that was creating a holiday. It was around this notion that at Thanksgiving, you should be giving thanks to the people that are supporting you in your life and the things that are most important to you. We know we wouldn’t be where we are without our customers, so we created Banksgiving [for them].”