Facebook Names the Ad Campaigns That Best Used Facebook

If an agency wants to win Facebook's own ad awards, it doesn't hurt to use the platform's latest formats and technology. Aside from celebrating innovation, after all, the company is trying to showcase what marketers can achieve on Facebook and its Instagram unit.

The Facebook Awards winners revealed Thursday included campaigns that adopted innovations like vertical videos in Instagram Stories and live 360 video. One winning campaign featured a chatbot built to talk with Brazilian teens about alcoholism on Facebook Messenger. Bacardi USA created a DJ experience using Instagram Stories controls.

"We've seen those creative spaces come alive this past year," said Andrew Keller, global creative director at Facebook Creative Shop. "Advertisers are experimenting with telling stories in different ways."

The awards can be a good predictor of the creative work that will get recognized next week at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Keller said. Facebook times its awards to coincide with the yearly advertising pilgrimage to France, and it's not uncommon to see the same agencies and brands honored in both.

This year, Facebook switched up its awards categories and winner selections. No agency or brand won sole top honors; instead five winners were picked in five categories. The categories were new too, based on emoji reactions: laugh, love, cry, wow and act. Agencies and brands could submit campaigns to any reaction that they considered to suit their work.

Here were the agencies recognized as winners in each category and examples of the work:

This is the category for campaigns that took up a cause or social justice. For instance, J. Walter Thompson's work for Alcoholics Anonymous tackled teen drinking in Brazil, and created a Messenger chatbot to converse with people curious about alcoholism. Another notable campaign was last year's "Hungerithm" by Snickers' agency in Australia...

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