By Digiday Awards  •  April 2, 2024  •  4 min read  •

This year’s Digiday Media Buying and Planning Awards winners found success with data-driven, personalized and inclusive campaigns across the dynamic media landscape. Agencies and brands are increasingly leveraging emerging technologies and influencer partnerships to amplify brand messaging, engage target audiences and drive impactful results. 

In the new Best Use of AI category, home security leader Ring used AI to enhance its marketing strategy, particularly in search, amid growing competition. Facing resource restraints, the brand leveraged ChatGPT early, refining its capabilities well before the AI marketing trend gained steam. Overall, Ring experienced a 40% reduction in time spent ideating new ad copy, which enabled more time for strategic campaign optimization that helped improve overall performance. Its Memorial Day campaign saw impressive results, including a 172% increase in click-through rate, a 73% decrease in cost-per-click and 32% more direct-to-consumer unit sales year-over-year. The brand’s innovative approach also contributed to Ring’s success during Amazon Prime Day, further cementing AI’s role in its marketing.

For the new Best Emerging Technology Campaign category, specialty retailer Party City and agency partner 22squared are winners for their new PartyAI solution. Party City was at risk of becoming a last resort due to increased competition from Amazon, Target and Walmart. Enter PartyAI, a planning tool aimed to transform the customer experience, offering personalized recommendations and reducing planning fatigue. Customers complete a brief quiz to indicate the party occasion and their product preferences, then receive a set of personalized activity and merchandise recommendations integrated with Party City’s product catalog. A three-week pilot successfully engaged users, helping the retailer reclaim its positioning as a destination for party essentials.

Agency GSD&M and Pizza Hut are winners in the Best Influencer Partnership category for a campaign celebrating the return of the Big New Yorker pizza. The brand partnered with popular YouTuber Airrack to break a Guinness World Record for the largest pizza. They amplified the stunt by including fans and other content creators and incorporating fun challenges in the building process, like fan-made marinara hoses and pepperoni cannons. The event garnered massive attention, generating 8.8 billion impressions and becoming the top-trending video on YouTube. The partnership engaged more than 6 million consumers, 64% of whom were Gen Z, and led to the latest sales day in Pizza Hut history.

Best E-Commerce Strategy winners Carhartt and January Digital collaborated on a robust e-commerce strategy, turning to impactful storytelling, social commerce and data-driven audience targeting to elevate brand affinity and drive revenue growth. Tactics included holiday genre-targeting on premium video inventory, a college football TV sponsorship, augmented reality lenses on Snapchat, an expanded holiday gift influencer campaign, vertical video and substantial investments in social commerce. With a focus on new customer acquisition and optimized media spend, January Digital’s full-funnel digital media e-commerce campaign exceeded client expectations and industry benchmarks.
Finally, Movers+Shakers won Media Agency of the Year, pioneering groundbreaking strategies across the digital and social landscape. With innovative campaigns across emerging platforms like TikTok, Threads, YouTube Shorts and BeReal, Movers+Shakers redefines brand engagement and storytelling for its clients, including e.l.f. Cosmetics, Fenty, Tinder, Hasbro, Netflix and Target. The agency’s versatility extends beyond social platforms, encompassing live billboard takeovers, awards shows and educational webinars. Its partnerships with brands like e.l.f and Fenty drive tangible results with consistent sales growth and rising stock prices.

The 2024 Digiday Media Buying and Planning Awards winners guide will be revealed here on Tuesday, April 16, 2024.

Full 2024 Digiday Media Buying and Planning Awards winners list below:

Best Agency Partner

  • Mediaplus 
  • My Code 

Best Connected/Streaming TV Campaign

  • Quantcast and Havas Media

Best CSR Initiative

  • Duncan Channon & CTPP 

Best E-Commerce Strategy

  • Carhartt + January Digital

Best Emerging Technology Campaign

  • Party City & 22squared 

Best First-to-Market Strategy

  • CMI Media Group & AstraZeneca 

Best High Impact Creative

  • Sharma Brands  

Best Influencer Partnership

  • GSD&M + Pizza Hut

Best Omnichannel Campaign 

  • Mediaplus 

Best Out-of-Home Campaign

  • DIVE Billboards

Best Podcast Campaign

  • Rakuten & Ocean Media

Best Retail Media Strategy

  • Sony + Tinuiti 

Best Social Commerce Strategy

  • BLP & MedCline 

Best Use of AI 

  • Ring & Initiative

Best Use of Data

  • Known

Best Use of Technology

  • EssenceMediacom & GroupM Nexus

Digital Media Campaign of the Year

  • Hearts of Science x HBO Max

Independent Media Agency of the Year

  • PMG 

Media Agency of the Year

  • Movers+Shakers 

Media Plan of the Year

  • Initiative & T-Mobile 

Traditional Media Campaign of the Year

  • Hearts & Science

Interested in entering the Digiday Media Buying and Planning Awards? Sign up to receive deadline reminders, entry tips, category recommendations and more.

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