GLOBAL: Mars-owned confectionery brand M&Ms, retailer John Lewis, tea brand Brooke Bond Red Label and the US Army have won Golds in the Effective Use of Partnerships and Sponsorships category in the Warc Media Awards.

These Awards recognise communications planning that has made a positive impact on business results. The Effective use of partnerships & sponsorships category rewards collaborations with third parties, including native advertising and sponsorships, that have helped brands meet business goals.

M&Ms celebrated its 75th anniversary by using digital partnerships to reinvent its iconic Candyman song which helped it to engage millennials and reverse a sales decline.

The campaign was through BBDO New York and MediaCom. Anna Watkins, partner, Mofilm, and Warc Media Awards judge commented: "The results were stellar. Even though a lot of the other sponsorships were beautifully executed, this also delivered innovation and results."

Manning Gottlieb OMD's partnership between charity Age UK and John Lewis that highlighted the social problem of older people being alone at Christmas was another Gold winner. "This partnership was a genuine and authentic way to make people think about an issue that's not easy to talk about," said judge Kerry Hemmerich, EVP, Group Client Director, Spark SMG.

Brooke Bond Red Label, the Hindustan Unilever-owned tea brand, used the power of popular culture and a partnership with Y-Films to highlight the social issue of discrimination against India's transgender community. The 6 pack Band initiative impressed judges, winning it a Gold in this category as well as in the Best Use of Data category.

Brandon Keenen, Brand Partnerships, Europe, Buzzfeed, said: "This musical collaboration was risky in a conservative country but it was a great use of local content and was really impactful, achieving more for the transgender community than for the brand itself."

The US Army picked up a Gold for its partnership with the movie Independence Day: Resurgence. Through MRM//McCann, this campaign helped it to increase its recruitment rate and change perceptions. Consultant Brian Goldstein, who was on the judging panel, said: "They identified a really unique way in and made people stop and look at them."

Two gaming-led campaigns won Silvers: in Under Armour's Game Changer campaign, through Optimum Sports and Droga5, the sportswear brand powered up Stephen Curry, one of the basketball players it sponsors, in the NBA 2K video game series.

And Nissan Controller, from OMD Finland and TBWA Helsinki, saw the car brand grow test drive requests through an innovative partnership with PlayStation, entertainment company Konami and UEFA Champions League.

Finally, P&G Prestige won a Bronze for Smell My Neck, a campaign through Starcom US which used online video to show off the power of smell and increase sales in the fragrance category.

Special Awards in this category – and in the other three Warc Media Awards categories – along with all the Grand Prix Awards will be presented at an event in London on Thursday 9 February where guests will hear from winners and judges. Readers can register to attend here.

Data sourced from Warc