NEW YORK: Best Buy, LG and Toyota were among the big winners at the 2010 Jay Chiat Awards for Strategic Excellence, held last night.

The annual event, organised by the 4A's, recognises "brilliant strategic thinking" and covers ten categories ranging from the Best New Brand to Social Media Strategy and Research Innovation.

Overall, 11 Gold, 11 Silver and 11 Bronze Awards were handed out, alongside a total of 17 Honorable Mentions.

Selected winning papers are available to Warc subscribers here, and the Grand Prix will be announced later this week.

Best Buy's Twelpforce, providing help and guidance to the electronics chain's current and potential customers via microblogging service Twitter, picked up Gold in the Creative Technologies competition.

The firm's "online army" of more than 2,500 "Blueshirts and Geeks" has answered over 29,000 queries to date, racking up a similar number of followers, and cutting complaints by approximately 20% in its first year.

Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Boulder pioneered this initiative, which was also honoured at the 2010 Cannes Lions Advertising Festival.

Elsewhere, cellphone manufacturer LG decided to reflect the "Life's Good" commitment in its tagline by developing a scheme countering the growing problem of mobile bullying in the UK.

Rather than directing the target audience of teenagers to empathise with victims, a move research showed may not have the desired result, this programme suggested they consider the personal consequences of sending such messages.

Some 69% of teens that consumed campaign videos asking them to "Ponder" before completing a malicious or unpleasant text agreed they had become more careful than previously.

This effort - led by Young & Rubicam in New York - received Gold in the "For-Good Strategy" contest.

BrainJuicer, headquartered in the UK, claimed the top prize in the Best Research Innovation sector for establishing a new way to mine social media.

It introduced avatars, described as "virtual online robotic researchers" representing a particular type of person, and assessed Tweets, pictures, blogs and other sources for relevant content.

"Life-boards" and "day-in-the-life-videos" are then created to display the information found, covering motivations, frustrations, etc., helping marketers and innovation specialists.

Toyota's Sienna was one of two recipients of Silver for Social Media Strategy, through promoting the Sienna minivan - designed to be more stylish than the category norm - to parents.

Based on the idea of the "Swagger Wagon", a viral campaign yielded millions of hits on YouTube, the vast majority of which came from the intended demographic.

Only 3% of views were attributable to advertising, with the remainder "propelled by consumer sharing".

Travelocity, the travel website, took the same Award for utilising its "Roaming Gnome" on Chatroulette, a social media site allowing visitors to talk to strangers, and simply click "next" to meet someone new.

The Roaming Gnome was active on Chatroulette for 40 days and nights, generating 350,000 impressions, as well as securing coverage on the web and on the Dallas Morning News and NBC San Diego.

Data sourced from Warc; additional content by Warc staff