Eric Salama

The insight information and consultancy category is a bit harder to judge and much harder to write about than others. Much of the work in the category is not published or visible, clients often don't allow us to talk about it and it is quite often the input into a new product or campaign or strategy rather than an end in itself.

So we agreed that there would be two awards - one for projects which have had a demonstrable effect on a client's business and one for innovation (in our offer or in the way that we run things internally) which places us in a better position for the future.

We had numerous entries, all of them case studies of good work that had been conducted on behalf of clients. On the basis of the entries, India and Poland are the places to be! and there were some incredibly strong entries from Added Value and IMRB amongst others. We set the bar high. We did not reward entries which did not show a big demonstrable impact on a client business nor did we reward entries that did not demonstrate genuine innovation in our offer.

Henley's entry for its Nestle work won because of the way its insights were delivered to the client and disseminated internally, resulting in widespread use in communication and new product activity within Nestle. Research International's entry for Pepsi won because of its ground-breaking approach to understanding drivers of consumption and an ability to exploit those insights. And finally Millward Brown won the Crème de la Crème award for its Link360TM work. The product - now rolled out amongst clients such as Unilever, Kellogg's, Coke and Hershey - addresses a need which agencies and clients have been cr ying out for. Clients have reacted enthusiastically and positively.

As MB said in its entry: "The output, Link360TM is a flexible, state-of-the-art research approach for creative evaluation. evaluating campaigns at a finished or prototype stage with the primary aim of optimising performance before the campaign is aired. It provides answers to core areas of performance including the likely effectiveness at engaging the consumer, the specific brand associations the campaign establishes for the brand as well as its motivational potential. It is a solution that is designed around a specific media plan, no matter how unique or complex. Whatever the channels it determines the contribution of each, to the overall campaign effect as well as helping to optimise budget allocations."

Our one wish for next year... entries from creative businesses who use insights imaginatively and effectively in the course of their work.