Media AOY 2010 – Looking back, moving forward

It’s not about the media, but how you use it. Or at least that’s one of the lessons gleaned from this year’s winning Media Agency of the Year work. While there was plenty of new media and digital to go around, some of the standout cases involved innovative TV buys that interrupted programs, leveraged talent and bought ad time in strategic new ways.

And, sure, the industry is still feeling the aftershock of the recession, but as some of the judges noted, several of the campaigns this year proved that it doesn’t take a huge budget to create buzz – it can even be done with a little sticker, if stuck to the right place.

This year, PHD nabs Gold for the first time, having previously reached Bronze in 2008. It knocks Starcom out of the top spot, which it had held for two years, but the agency was hot on PHD’s heels, with a solid Silver showing. Cossette gave a repeat performance, taking the Bronze a second year in a row.

“What I see is a relentless effort to think outside the box – no idea is so outrageous in terms of a media perspective if it can be seamlessly integrated across a number of platforms and reaches the elusive target group,” says judge Barbara Smith, director of brand engagement for the Globe and Mail, about this year’s work. “It’s refreshing to see even classic and established brands taking some interesting risks. I also sense greater collaboration between media and creative departments.”

No doubt the media game keeps evolving, so we asked the winners to tell us what they predict for the future, and how their agency is planning to stay ahead of the game. Read on to find out…