April 18, 2023  •  3 min read  •  By Digiday Awards

This year’s Digiday Media Buying and Planning Awards winners traversed a saturated media environment marked by several global crises spanning political, social and economic issues. To make their messages stand out, they needed to confront a range of variables. 

As Gen Z’s demand for inclusive and values-aligned campaigns expanded, brands and agencies worked toward tackling sustainability. They identified innovative methods of engaging target audiences and captured their attention. 

For this year’s winners, gaming also provided an opportunity for deeper connections as agencies explored more channels. 

Notably, one agency won 6-out-of-8 categories for which it was shortlisted — Hearts & Science. Its partnership with AT&T Fiber via Twitch won them Best Creator Partnership, focusing on bringing awareness of AT&T Fiber’s consistent high speeds to the gaming community in an authentic way. By partnering with two emerging female streamers in the Twitch community, massive awareness and positive attention resulted. 

Another win for Hearts & Science in 2023 is Best Digital Media Campaign for their work with AT&T and ATTN to produce ‘The Love Connection.’ This initiative supported both the LGBTQ+ community and The Trevor Project to show how technology can support the well-being of marginalized individuals by fostering a social connection. The LGBTQ+ individuals highlighted in ‘The Love Connection’ experienced genuine hardships and were able to speak in a way to which viewers could relate. AT&T’s strategy raised their voices and gained exposure for the benefit of the LGBTQ+ community while highlighting allyship. 

For this year’s Best Digital Out-of-Home Campaign, the recipient is Canidae. The premium dog- and cat-food brand’s commitment to sustainable practices with farmers expanded as it set out to eliminate single-use plastics by launching environmentally friendly Kibble Refill Stations. To ensure this campaign succeeded, Canidae partnered with January Digital for an out-of-home campaign targeting consumers seeking brands that could boast sustainable practices. 

Another recipient tapping into gaming this year secured a win for Best Use of Emerging Media — Levi’s. The jeans brand worked with The Trade Desk, media buying agency OMD and in-game ad provider Anzu.io to deliver a 10-week global in-game campaign spanning mobile, PC and metaverse games. Brand awareness, consideration and ad recall all increased, with nearly two-thirds of gamers exposed to the in-game ads taking some follow-up action afterward. 

Check out all of the 2023 Digiday Media Buying and Planning Awards winners below, and learn more about the winning programs, why they were selected as winners and critical learnings from each. You can also download the complete guide here. 

Full 2023 Digiday Media Buying and Planning Awards winners list below:

Best Audio Activation 

  • Intuit Mailchimp

Best Creator Partnership 

  • Hearts & Science x AT&T Fiber: The first 500

Best CSR Initiative

  • Hearts & Science, OLAY  & Harper’s BAZAAR: STEM Statue
  • MAGNA and IPG Mediabrands – Media Responsibility Index

Best Digital Media Campaign

  • Hearts & Science x AT&T x ATTN: – The Love Connection

Best Digital Out-of-Home Campaign

  • Canidae™ Curbs Waste And Sees 5x Bump in Weekly Sales With January Digital’s Innovative Programmatic OOH Strategy for Eco-Friendly Kibble Refill Stations

Best E-commerce Strategy

  • Horizon Media & Petco

Best First-to-Market Strategy

  • e.l.f. Cosmetics & Movers+Shakers

Best High Impact Creative

  • Emodo & The Broadway League — Broadway Show Globe

Best Media Agency Pivot

  • Hearts & Science x HBO Max – Winning Time

Best Multi-Channel Experience 

  • Rufus, powered by Initiative – The Boys Season 3: Not Safe For Work

Best Traditional Media Campaign

  • Hearts & Science, OLAY & EBONY: STEM QUEENS

Best use of Data

  • Spectrum Reach triples website visits for automotive client

Best use of Emerging Media

  • Levi’s® & Anzu: A Bootcut Above The Rest With In-Game Ads

Best use of Technology

  • Hearts & Science x AT&T Fiber: Into the Metaverse

Media Agency of the Year

  • Movers+Shakers

Media Plan of the Year

  • Rufus, powered by Initiative – The Boys Season 3: Not Safe For Work


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