MRG Awards 2021

Purpose of the Awards


Welcome to the 2021 Media Research Group (MRG) Awards.

These unique awards specifically celebrate the achievements of the media research industry. Research/insight teams are the heartbeat of media and high calibre research can add a crucial creative and competitive edge to a media entity. This is your chance to be recognised by your peers and the most senior media movers and shakers at our highly anticipated media research awards where we will celebrate the very brightest and most creative media research talent from the past year.

Note that this year the awards are open to projects which took place from 1st July 2020 onwards.

Teamwork is, of course, vital and the MRG Awards are all about the ‘team’. So as well as celebrating individual pieces of research we are looking for really exceptional and effective insight teams that have worked together to produce outstanding research. We want to recognise true diversity of media thinking and research teams that drive media excellence.


What are we looking for?

Our team of judges, a range of senior and esteemed media professionals from across the sector, will be searching for those really cutting-edge teams whose talent and groundbreaking ‘insight’ make them really stand out from the rest. We will also be focusing on consistency, and looking for for teams that can show that they have continually achieved outstanding results over the past year. Has your team truly made a difference, either internally or externally?


What will make you stand out?

There will be extra kudos for teams that show evidence of flair, creativity (the use of existing research in a new way or developing a project that has made a real business contribution) and the development of talent (perhaps particular recognition was given to an individual who excelled in a new skill or area). Team work is also incredibly important to the judging criteria, with those who demonstrate a positive working culture favoured.

Will you win one of our coveted awards?


The Categories


The Award Categories that can be entered now:

  • C1: Best Research Team – Media Agency (more info) Sponsored by UKOM
  • C2: Best Research Team – Media Owner (more info) Sponsored by KANTAR
  • C3: Best Research Team – Research Supplier (more info)
  • C4: Best Research Initiative (more info) Sponsored by Toluna
  • C5: The Nick Blake Award for Rising Star (more infoSponsored by Channel 4 and Ipsos
  • C6: Best Trade Industry/Body Research (more info)
  • C7: Best Research Innovation Award (more info)
  • C8: Best Realisation of Research (more info)
  • C9. Best International Research (more info)
  • C10. Best Research Collaboration (more info) Sponsored by Researchbods
  • C11. Best Social Media Insight (more info)
  • C12. Excellence in Media Effectiveness (more info) Sponsored by Savanta

Entry forms can be downloaded further down this page (click here to jump to Downloadable forms)


C1: Best Research Team – Media Agency

Sponsored by UKOM

This award recognises the outstanding achievements of an agency’s research/insight team over the past 12 months.

Judges will be looking for research initiatives that have created truly innovative consumer insight.

Has your team directed and delivered an effective cross-media communications strategy with a demonstrable return on investment? We will be looking at audience insight, teams that have provided strategic value to clients, regardless of budget. Or teams that have shown a demonstrable value to new business wins.

Judges will also be looking for research innovation backed by tangible results, client and staff collaboration and a cutting-edge use of tools and data sets. Positive team culture will also contribute to the successful entry.


C2: Best Research Team – Media Owner

This award recognises the outstanding achievements of a media owner’s research team over the past 12 months.

Judges will be looking for effective work with both internal and external clients, work that has provided market and consumer insight, helped to direct strategy, improved sales initiatives and supported financial growth.

We will also be looking for quantifiable results, collaboration between staff and client and the financial impact of the team’s research.

And we will particularly take note of research that is cross-departmental and has been implemented at board level. Teams whose work has been used outside an organisation (e.g. in pitches) or raised the profile of the department within the company will stand out in this category. Positive team culture will also contribute to the successful entry.


C3: Best Research Team – Research Supplier

Are you the best there is in the industry? Does your team pride itself on effectiveness and innovation?

This award recognises the outstanding achievements of a research supplier team over the past 12 months.

In this category, the judges will put the spotlight on evidence of research work that has impacted positively on an organisation’s media and advertising strategy, showing a tangible upturn in performance and results.

We will be looking at how you have used new technology and the latest methodologies. Judges will also be looking for evidence of innovation, quantifiable results, client and staff collaboration, financial results and budget management.

How has your research made a company think differently about their media campaigns? For example, have you challenged a client brief to produce a better piece of work? Or can you show across the whole project how you’ve added value and made a real impact?


C4: Best Research Initiative

This award is all about that new ‘big’ idea. We are looking for a ground-breaking initiative that has changed the face of research and really made competitors sit up and take note.

Judges will be looking for a research project that breaks the mould, challenges our accepted thinking and has made a significant contribution to the discipline of media research.

Whether client, agency or media owner, we want to see evidence of how this initiative has changed thinking and how it has been incorporated in to strategy and tactics as well as the contribution it has made financially. Crucially, we will be looking for an overview of methodology but with a focus on outcomes rather than process.


C5: The Nick Blake Award for Rising Star

Sponsored by Channel 4 and Ipsos

This award highlights the best young talent in the media research business and recognises the unique contribution made to your organisation by your own rising star. 

It is a special award in memory of Channel 4 and Ipsos MORI’s former colleague and rising star, Nick Blake, whose life was tragically cut short at a young age in 2012. 

Judges will be looking for evidence of accomplishments that: exceed the initial expectations of managers; contribute materially and measurably to business success; have positive outcomes on working environments and demonstrate potential and ambition.

The employee(s) that you nominate must be under the age of 30 or under as of the 15th October 2021. The winner will be the employee seen by judges as having made the most effective contribution to the business and have the most promise to excel further in the industry.


C6: Best Trade/Industry Body Research

As a trade body / industry body you will have conducted research into issues that most affect your members.  Perhaps you’re particularly proud of how you’ve engaged with the industry or delivered value from existing data and we’d love to hear about it!

Judges will be looking for original work that not only demonstrates the power of the medium the body represents (and its impact and interaction with other media) but also encourages smarter, more creative and efficient investment and growth within that medium.

We want to see evidence of how the research has generated a host of rich insights that have been incorporated and used by the industry, challenged conventional industry wisdom and directed smarter planning within the advertising industry as a whole.


C7: Best Research Innovation Award

The award recognises innovation, creativity and ingenuity within media research. 

We are looking for organisations that have applied ‘big thinking’ to the development and application of research by pushing the boundaries of established practice and moving the industry forwards. 

Entries must demonstrate originality on either a technological or methodological level or through the innovative development of existing techniques.

Judges will seek evidence of the effectiveness of the research and how the new techniques employed have added value and created impact for the client.


C8: Best Realisation of Research

This award celebrates the communication and dissemination of research in any form, whether visual, through workshops, infographics, multimedia, dashboards or any other way. Entries should highlight what the research reporting and realisation added over more traditional ways of presenting research findings.

Judges will be looking for innovation, creativity and imagination and how the method of research realisation delivered findings in a unique and impactful way.


C9: Best International Research

This award celebrates exceptional research projects that look beyond audiences and markets solely in the UK.  Again, judges will be looking for a research project that breaks the mould but this time the focus is on international research projects.

Has your research initiative helped to crack the Asian markets or been a big hit in Latin America? If so, you must provide evidence that there has been a significant return on investment in terms of rich insights which have shaped international strategy and prove it has reaped financial benefits for the client, agency or media owner. 

We will require an overview of your methodology highlighting any innovative approaches but once again, outcomes are more important than processes.


C10: Best Collaboration

Have you collaborated with one or more agencies / media owners / other organisations to execute a new and exciting piece of research?

This category celebrates teams working together, utilising skills/tools from different companies to overcome an industry challenge or identify new exciting insight.

Judges will be looking for examples of different teams coming together - not teams within the same company or where you would naturally expect a collaborative approach (your clients for instance).  We want to hear about collaboration beyond the day job, we want to be inspired and surprised.

It could be the nature of the teams collaborating that is unique – or the way that they are working together.  Or it could be how the research is being used that marks a project out as being worthy of our Best Collaboration award.


C11: Best Social Media Insight

This category is into its second year, and seeks to celebrate the best, most innovative and insightful use of the organic chatter found on social media sites from Facebook to Snapchat and everything in between. The research could use syndicated social scraping, harvesting and analysis platforms or proprietary methods developed by the agency or media owner for looking at this data in a new way.

Judges will look for entries which make sense out of big data, show how traditional or new methods can be employed to unearth insights from the online world, and those which have had a significant impact upon media strategy, planning, buying, sales or creative executions.


C12: Excellence in Media Effectiveness

This category, first introduced in 2020, offers our data and analytics colleagues the opportunity to win an MRG award! Recognising the increasing synergy between research-based effectiveness projects and the worlds of attribution, econometrics and ROI modelling, judges in this category will want to be wowed by the numbers. The project(s) in question could be across any media touchpoint, whether best in class use of single-channel attribution or optimisation, or a project reviewing the media mix for a client across a longer period of time.

The judges for this award will want to see a clear and justified methodological approach, a concise but clear view of the results from the study and the impact this has had on business decision making. Open to all in-house client teams, media owners, media agencies, specialist research or analytics consultancies.


Downloadable forms

Click to download:

  • Entry Form MRG Awards 2021: one must be submitted along with any/all award submission(s) DOWNLOAD
  • C1: Best Research Team – Media Agency DOWNLOAD Sponsored by UKOM
  • C2: Best Research Team – Media Owner DOWNLOAD Sponsored by KANTAR
  • C3: Best Research Team – Research Supplier DOWNLOAD
  • C4: Best Research Initiative DOWNLOAD Sponsored by Toluna
  • C5: The Nick Blake Award for Rising Star DOWNLOAD Sponsored by Channel 4 and Ipsos
  • C6: Best Trade Industry/Body Research DOWNLOAD
  • C7: Best Research Innovation Award DOWNLOAD
  • C8: Best Realisation of Research DOWNLOAD
  • C9. Best International Research DOWNLOAD
  • C10. Best Research Collaboration DOWNLOAD Sponsored by Researchbods
  • C11. Best Social Media Insight DOWNLOAD
  • C12. Excellence in Media Effectiveness DOWNLOAD Sponsored by Savanta


Essential Dates

Entries open: Friday 12th July 2021 @ 9am

Deadline for submissions: Friday 13th August 2021 @ 5.30pm 

Judges announced: July & August 2021

Judging: September 2021

Finalists announced: Friday 15th October 2021

Awards Ceremony: Friday 19th November (part of the MRG Conference gala dinner)