LONDON: The Admap Prize 2014 has been won by Megan Averell for her essay titled 'The Age of Less'. Averell, who has previously held account planning/strategy roles with leading agencies in the US, is currently an account director at GALKAL, an independent Australian strategy and research company.

Entrants to the Prize, sponsored by Kantar and which rewards excellence in strategic thinking in brand communications, were asked to write an essay addressing the topic 'How brands are built in the digital age'. Averell argued that too many brands apply old marketing techniques to digital media.

This resulted in the use of invasive messaging often laced with emotion and false promises in an attempt to engage positively. Instead, she wrote, brands should communicate honestly and with restraint. She cited Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe's and Innocent as examples of good practice in brand building.

Marc Mathieu, SVP Marketing for Unilever and an Admap Prize judge, said Averell "presents in a most compelling way why we need to stop using digital to try to do more of the marketing we once did, and to start doing marketing as it can be in the digital age – with more of the right sort of change and more truthfulness, rather than just more!"

The Gold award and a $5,000 cheque will be presented to Averell at a special Admap Prize celebration event at Cannes Lions in June.

A Silver award was won by Sarah Morning, Associate Planning Director at London agency Dare, for her essay titled 'Why we need to learn to manage emotions in the digital age'. She advocated using emotion strategically, to actively manage and regulate people's emotions for a defined purpose.

A Bronze went to Peter Buckley, Group Strategy Director at MEC in London, for his essay titled 'Statics & Flows: the creation of brand fame in the digital age'. This argued for the importance of brand fame that could be best created through 'statics' – such as design, retail space, sponsorship and events.

The judges also commended three essays: 'It's what's on the inside that counts' by Celia Garforth, a Planner at JWT in Australia; 'Patchwork branding and the necessary death of singularity' by Adil Ismeer, Planning Director at Iris Worldwide in Singapore; and 'Why being pragmatically political is the only way to grow brands' by Charlie Ebdy, Strategy Director at Vizeum in London.

All the awarded and commended essays will be published in the June issue of Admap and online at from June 1st. Visit for more details.

Data sourced from Admap