LONDON: Papers from BBC Global News, Unilever, PayPal and British Gas are among the winners at the MRS Awards 2016, which recognise the effective use of market research.

At an event in London last night, the Market Research Society made awards in nine categories from a total of 38 finalists. Warc subscribers can read the winners and finalists here.

The Advertising & Media Research category was won by BBC Global News. It's 'Science of Engagement' paper outlined the use of facial recognition technology to measure emotional engagement to content-led marketing. This work has led to the creation of a new measurement framework which is offered to the BBC's premium advertisers.

Unilever, the FMCG business, took top honours in the Social Media Research category with a paper co-authored with Kantar TNS. A conventional multi-country study was replaced by a plan to use social media analytics, applied to more than 1.5m conversations across various platforms, using AI algorithms to identify the opportunity platforms and create relevant digital activation strategies.

PayPal, the payments business, won in the International Research category. It worked with Firefish on a project to determine the deviation of the current performance of money from 'the ideal', which led PayPal to a new and clearly defined brand purpose in meeting that ideal; this, in turn, has fed into product development and global marketing activity.

Energy company British Gas picked up the top award in the Financial Services Research category. Working with Decision Technology & Sparkler, it developed a bespoke testing tool based around a realistic simulation of the online sales journey, which enabled it to re-launch its Simply HomeCare range, with a large and immediate impact on sales.

Other winners included: United Nations Agencies in the Public Policy/Social Research category; Organ Donation Scotland in the New Consumer Insights category; the International Committee of the Red Cross in the Insight Management category; the UK’s Department of Health in the Healthcare Research category; and the UK’s Home Office in the Applications of Research category.

Data sourced from MRS; additional content by Warc staff