NEW YORK: The United States Postal Service took the top honours at the 2010 ARF David Ogilvy Awards for Excellence in Advertising Research, at a ceremony held in New York last night.

The annual programme, run by the ARF, rewards campaigns which display research excellence in their development, creative and media strategies, and demonstrate effectiveness in the marketplace.

Gold and Silver awards were handed out in 15 different categories overall, including automotive, consumer electronics, packaged goods and shopper marketing, and case studies will be available on Warc in the near future.

The United States Postal Service picked up the Grand Ogilvy, and also received Gold in the business-to-business competition, for "A Simpler Way to Ship".

As part of this platform, customers were able to buy priority mail flat-rate boxes during the holiday season, allowing them to send any item which fitted in these packages for a pre-determined fee.

This initiative was supported by an integrated advertising campaign, including 20 million pieces of direct mail providing information to consumers, and a dedicated section of the organisation's website.

Campbell-Ewald handled creative and media duties, with the Optimization Group, Millward Brown, Colography, Consumer Insights and Davie Brown involved on the research side.

General Motors, the car maker, walked away with the Research Achievement Award, and won Gold in the automotive contest, for work with Deutsch, Starcom, Harris Interactive, TNS and The Research House.

It was recognised for "Reinvention: Chapter 1", where the Detroit-based company aimed to show how it was transforming its operations having filed for bankruptcy protection.

Alongside a focus on four core brands – Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC – and a renewed innovation drive, the company heightened its emphasis on becoming more "customer-focused".

Bank of America's "The Morris Code: Decoding Finance for Students" collected the Research Innovation Award and Gold in the financial services sector.

This scheme sought to educate students about financial matters, and included an online TV show with a lead character called Morris, who spoke about these issues in a contemporary and engaging way.

Creative services were provided by BBDO, Organic, GMR and TPN, with Starcom responsible for media, and Communispace and Ipsos for research.

Other Gold Award winners included Maxwell House in the beverage sector, Intel for consumer electronics, Wal-Mart for multicultural marketing and Wrigley for packaged goods.

Coca-Cola, Comcast, Dove and Hewlett Packard were among the advertisers that took Silvers in their respective categories. 

The 2010 ARF David Ogilvy Awards were held during the ARF's Re:think 2010 Conference, more coverage of which – written by Geoffrey Precourt, Warc's US Editor – is available here.

Presentations given during this year's event have included an analysis by ESPN regarding how it hopes to measure the effect of advertising during the forthcoming FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

It has allied with partners such as the Keller Fay Group, which will track word-of-mouth, Knowledge Networks, which will measure exposure levels, and Nielsen, which will collect audience data.

Anita Lai, director of research of the strategic planning department at Uniworld Group, and Lynne Johnson, the ARF's svp, social media, also looked at multi-cultural marketing in new media age.

Data sourced from The ARF; additional content by Warc staff