MDSG : Advertising Agency of the Year – Chartered Institute of Marketing Awards 2019

About the Awards – 

The Travel Marketing Awards sets the standard for marketing excellence in the travel industry. An institution since 2009, the Awards have firmly established their reputation as the most coveted marketing awards in travel and tourism and are run in association with The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) . The CIM is the world’s leading professional marketing organisation, with over 30,000 members worldwide.

In the 2019 Travel Marketing Awards, MDSG was crowned Advertising Agency of the Year and also won two gold standard awards and two runner’s-up prizes.

Success in this year’s awards followed MDSG and partner agency Hills Balfour, being awarded a Gold Standard Award, in the ‘Best Use of Affinity Marketing and Sponsorship category’, in 2018. The ‘Grillstock – Meat Music Mayhem’ entry for Dallas Fort Worth, charted the sponsorship and activation around the 2017 Grillstock Barbecue Festival in Bristol. See video of the activation here.

In the Agency of the Year Category, MDSG was recognised as the organisation that displayed great understanding and success in the travel sector. We were particularly proud to win, as the Awards included entries from large, global agencies including – Guerillascope, Adam&Eve DDB, Accord and Dentsu Aegis.

  • Our two gold standard winning awards were:
  • Paddington 2 and Peru:  Belmond (tour operator), Marks & Spencer and Odeon ; MDSG & Hills Balfour in the ‘Affinity Marketing & Sponsorship’ category (client – PromPeru) : Making the Connection : Matching Location – This was an opportunity to tell a new, interesting and surprising story about Peru. UK visitors are unlikely to know much about Peru, but they will know Paddington and that he comes from ‘Deepest Darkest Peru.’ The campaign included partnerships with high profile brands including – Marks and Spencer, Canal +, Odeon, Telegraph and The Mondrian Hotel.
  • #GoForGold with the Queensland Games; MDSG & Hills Balfour in the ‘Website or Microsite’ category (client – Tourism and Events Queensland : To make this trade campaign as engaging as possible, we created a series of web-based games. Each ‘game’ had an iconic backdrop that related to a destination within Queensland. Players competed against their travel industry colleagues to reach the final and medal positions. An athletic style leader-board was sponsored by our airline partner Etihad, to track the players progress.


  • We also received two runners-up awards –
  • A Tale of Two Cities ; MDSG in the ‘Website or Microsite’ category. Client – San Antonio & Houston


  • #GoForGold with the Queensland Games; MDSG and Hills Balfour in the ‘Innovative Marketing Category’. Client – Tourism and Events Queensland


We were delighted to win a Gold Award in 2018 and felt we had some strong campaigns, in terms of innovation and effectiveness, to enter in 2019. We were however blown away, by winning two more gold awards as well as two runner’s-up.

We vacillated about entering the Agency Of The Year category. We are a small organisation with 12 employees, and we knew the size of the companies and the quality of the ideas we would be up against.

I have worked 30+ years in advertising, at Saatchi & Saatchi, Dentsu, Publicis and News UK among others. All of this considered, this is the best team I have worked with and my proudest moment.


Nick Hammond. Summer 2019