Speaking at an event in London Jane Frost said the awards were "a testament to the resilience of the research sector" and she observed companies "emerging stronger than ever out of the recession".
"Research itself is also evolving with new and innovative agencies, technologies and methodologies bursting onto the scene," she added. "The new techniques demonstrated clearly show how adaptable the sector is and the levels of innovation and creativity is abundant."
The winner of the Grand Prix for Greatest Impact was illustrative of her point. Pharmaceuticals company Amgen and Ipsos MORI undertook "groundbreaking work" with Cultures of secrecy and hiding: A global syndicated ethnographic investigation into patients living with Psoriasis.
This used video recorded by the patients themselves in order to understand the condition, rather than the usual research approach for this patient group which relies on physicians' experiences. An abundance of feedback and support for the project within the paper helped make the submission stand out to the judges.
The Award for Advertising & Media Research went to Channel 4 for 4oD Demographic Targeting. The broadcaster and its partner MTM showed how big data and survey research could come together to revolutionise online advertising.
Using trial ads, 4oD was able to demonstrate that its new targeted product was worth its higher price, while achieving efficiency gains and proving that relevance increases the effectiveness of advertising.
PepsiCo picked up the Award for New Consumer Insights for its use of sustainable research methods to understand how the Brazilian emerging middle classes felt about its advertising and its brand.
Using real-time experience tracking it found that retail touchpoints were far more engaging than TV advertising and changed its marketing emphasis accordingly.
In other groups, Flamingo won the award for Best Agency (with turnover over £20 million), while Nunwood was judged to be the Best Agency with a turnover under £20 million. The Guardian News & Media took the award for Best In-House team.
Warc subscribers can read the winning case studies and finalists here.
Data sourced from MRS; additional content by Warc staff