gold cups, symbolising 2 award entries being highly commended for firefish in the Market research society awards 2022

2 ‘Highly Commended’s: MRS Awards 2022

December 6, 2022

As the nights draw in – and the year begins to draw to a close – we donned our glad rags and headed down to our final awards ceremony of 2022 – the jewel in the crown, the MRS Awards.

As we headed into the lovely Old Billingsgate venue, there was palpable energy exuding from everyone there, excited to not only catch up with c.1000 of their peers and friends in real life again, but also to see if their work would be adorned with glory.

This year, we saw ourselves shortlisted in two categories. The First: Best International for our global McDonald’s McCafé work. As an agency that does a LOT of global projects – from cultural strategy to tracking & testing – in over 170 cities across 6 continents in our 22 years of business, we are always happy to be recognised in this category.

So why was it shortlisted you ask? Well, facing increased competition, COVID-related consumption changes, and a rapidly evolving coffee culture, McDonald’s were seeking ways to drive coffee growth and deliver a better McCafé experience around the world. They came to us to help them go from a ‘good’ to ‘great’ coffee experience, in 10 countries that were all at different stages in both coffee culture and in their business situation. Knowing that this was more than a brand challenge, we took a 3-pronged approach to answering the question, layering a deep-dive into the coffee culture; the human experience and; the business situation.

This was achieved through semiotics and trendscaping, experts, creative online community exercises and treks, IDIs, brand discussions and client workshops. It all culminated in the delivery of a set of global guidelines – as well as a set of local solutions – for McCafé to offer a more meaningful coffee moment, through product making and consistency, brand communications, and overall product and place experience.

When the category came up, we were delighted to be called out in the shortlist as having received a “Highly Commended” recognition for the paper submitted and so, while we may not have had the chance to lift a trophy, the special acknowledgement was a nice thing to get all the same.

MRS Awards 2022 logo - highly commended recognition for firefish in the international research category


The second category we were shortlisted in is another that is close to our hearts – the Jeremy Bullmore Creative Development award. As we hope you know by now, we have Centres of Excellence in brand strategy & communications, and have been a strategy partner to some of the world’s biggest brands and businesses as they seek to find, craft and tell unique narratives for their brands. With us having picked up the Grand Ogilvy this year at the ARF Awards, for our work with JM Smucker’s Jif peanut butter, we were thinking that we might win this one too.

The project we put forward for the category was focused on The New Axe Effect, that saw us help the Unilever brand’s team understand the culture of modern man and how best to bring that to the heart of the Lynx/Axe brand through its purpose and its communication. It was great to be part of that journey with them – having been a strategic partner of theirs for around 20 years – and also great to see how successful the campaign has been for the brand, with them returning to growth in 2022. Again, the category shortlist was called out and we received yet another “Highly Commended” for our work together, but alas, no trophy again. However, for us and the client team, the impact delivered to the business and brand was clear, so we took solace in that and committed to doubling down on writing an even better entry next year.

If you fancy being doing some award-winning work together, then drop us an email. We would love to hear from you.

MRS Awards 2022 logo - highly commended recognition for firefish in the creative development research category


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