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DMA Awards 2021: Black Tie, Red-Hot Performances

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After a lockdown-enforced gap last year, Validity returned as a headline sponsor of the prestigious Data & Marketing Association (DMA) Awards. Held at the historic Old Billingsgate Fish Market alongside London’s iconic tower bridge, the event celebrated some of 2021’s finest marketing campaigns.

It was an added pleasure to be joined by a cross-section of Validity’s UK clients—Expedia, The Body Shop, Iceland, Maybourne Hotel, TheLoyaltyCo., and The Financial Times—for a fabulous evening.

This year, it was particularly striking to see that recognition wasn’t solely reserved for big brands.

COVID-19 caused a shift towards responsible marketing, bringing themes like empathy and social awareness front of mind. It was wonderful to see this shift reflected in gold medal success for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the Kiyan Prince Foundation, the National Health Service, Nubian Jak Community Trust, and Solace Women’s Aid—all thoroughly deserving, and popular winners on the big night.

But they certainly weren’t the only winners. Despite a year of lockdown uncertainty, the nomination list was sizable. The original 450 applicants were whittled down to 92 finalists. A panel of 350 judges (including Validity’s own Elliot Hogg, Guy Hanson, and Priyanka Roy) oversaw the process.

In total, 106 awards across 35 categories were presented to this year’s brave brands and the inspiring agencies with whom they work.

Seeing a number of clients and partners recognized for their marketing brilliance was a highlight for Validity. We ramped up the applause for Barclays, BT Group, BT Sport, Canon, Expedia, Hilton, IOC/Coca-Cola, Jaguar, Land Rover, Laithwaites, Lakeland, Mazda, McDonald’s, Microsoft, PayPal, Salesforce, Samsung, Toolstation, and Virgin Media.

Great data and great intelligence underpin great marketing—a principle these amazing brands understand extremely well, and a foundation stone for their decision to work with Validity.

It was an honor for Validity to present two awards. I presented McDonald’s with the gold medal for a subject close to my heart: “Best Use of Data Storytelling,” which underpinned their “Anniversary Programme: Cheers to One Year” campaign.

Helen Parslow represents Validity at the 2021 DMA Awards.

Helen Parslow exemplified one of Validity’s core values, rewarding Hellman’s for “Best Sustainability Campaign” for their partnership with Animal Crossing to raise money for FareShare.

Helen Parslow represents Validity at the 2021 DMA Awards.

The best news is that awards season isn’t over yet. Three of the big winners are now shortlisted for the Grand Prix Reveal.

Finalists include:

  • The Kiyan Prince Foundation for their “Long Live the Prince” campaign
  • Solace Women’s Aid for their “#MakeItStop” campaign
  • BT Sport for their “Unseen Stats” campaign

At this event, finalists will pitch their case studies to the judges, who will look beyond the outstanding results to analyze the strategies, creativity, and imagination that delivered them.

Join us on January 19th to see which of these amazing marketing teams will be crowned champion of champions!

This summary wouldn’t be complete without a huge “thank-you” to the DMA for their fabulous event. Over the past few years, Validity has built a strong relationship with the DMA, based on shared values around ethical marketing and data trust. The opportunity to celebrate the success of like-minded organizations was special indeed.

Our clients agreed: Rosie from The LoyaltyCo. told us, “We had a fabulous time.” Emma from The Body Shop, agreed, saying, “We had a fantastic time!” Both fully intend to be back next year—not as guests, but as finalists themselves.

View the full list of DMA Awards winners here. If you’re in the UK and would like to join us for the Grand Prix Reveal in January, sign up here.

If you’d like your campaigns to be recognized with one of these prestigious awards, get in touch with us now—there’s no time like the present to start planning your gold-winning submission for 2022!