LONDON: The Admap Prize 2017 has been won by Thomas Henry, Senior Strategist at Mother New York, for an essay that accepts social media is very helpful in improving effectiveness for FMCG brands, but is subordinate to TV when it comes to achieving effectiveness that leads to long-term growth.

For this year's Prize, entrants were asked to write an essay discussing the question: How should TV and social media be used to maximum effect?

In his paper, entitled Prioritise TV for long-term brand growth, Henry argues that social media can complement TV, but only as part of a long-term marketing strategy.

"Social media doesn't ruin commercial effectiveness for FMCG brands," he writes. "However, as budgets have shrunk and increasing pressure has been piled on clients to achieve short-term results, social media has been mis-sold by agencies and misused by marketers."

He says marketers must stop wasting their time prioritising short-term, social media-driven thinking because "only by focusing on long-term brand growth will TV and social media be used together for maximum effect".

Admap Prize judge Rachel Bristow, Director of Partnerships at Sky Media, described Henry's essay as "a well-presented argument putting FMCG brand success at the heart of it, [and] recognising the role of short- and long-term marketing".

Now in its sixth year and sponsored by Kantar, the Admap Prize is an essay contest that encourages and rewards excellence in strategic thinking in brand communications.

In addition to the Gold awarded to Henry, the judging panel selected one Silver and two Bronze winners, and also commended three other papers.

The Gold Award and its $5,000 cash prize will be presented at an Admap celebration event at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity on Wednesday June 21st when a panel of experts will discuss this year's essay topic. Readers can find out more about the event at WARC in Cannes 2017.

The Silver Award went to Kyle Findlay, who leads the global data science team at Kantar Innovations. His essay, entitled Four tips for using TV with social, argues that social media should be used to spur engagement and interaction with a "conversation-starting" TV campaign.

That means advertisers need to cede some control over the campaign to audiences to allow and encourage brand conversation, he says.

Two Bronze Awards were won this year. Charlie Ebdy, Head of Strategy at Vizeum UK, won his for an essay entitled TV and social are competitors not complements, while Mathew Turner, a senior strategist, won the other Bronze for his paper, Properly integrated social and TV can deliver both short- and long-term results.

Commenting on this year's topic, Admap Prize judge Gemma Craven, SVP and Director Social & Mobile at McCann New York, said: "The essays were thought-provoking, diverse and very well-researched.

"There were different opinions on how TV and social should work together, but the clear message was that we spend much time on short-term, knee-jerk approaches to creating buzz and much less time on building long-term success via well-structured programmes."

All the awarded and commended essays will be published in the June edition of Admap and all the shortlisted essays can be read on the Admap Prize 2017 website.

Data sourced from Admap