Droga5 Nabs Top Facebook Studio Award for Newcastle Brown Ale Work

Check out the (often international) winners

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For the second year in a row, the Facebook Studio Awards' best distinction goes to an agency-brand combo that used the social media platform as an anchor for a narrative ultimately shared via many channels.

Droga5 wins the 2014 Facebook Blue Award for its "If We Made It" initiative for client Newcastle Brown Ale, the Heineken-owned beer brand that employed social ads and content to help drive desktop and mobile views for its Super Bowl spot that it never made. (If you had an Internet pulse back in late January, you likely saw Newcastle's mock-teaser videos starring actress Anna Kendrick, animated cats and a Transformer-like robot.)

Mark D'Arcy, CCO at the Facebook Creative Shop, said the Newcastle effort stood out due to its "investment in storytelling and production." He said it built on the 2013 Blue Award triumph by Draftfcb/360i for Oreo's 100-day Daily Twist push, which was seeded on Facebook but spread across YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and other digital platforms.

"[Droga5] had a huge idea," D'Arcy said. "They had a multitude of different content pieces. They really built it up in a way that people are consuming content."

In other words, the brand team nailed short-form bits that grabbed people's attention and kept them tuned in for days on end. And they had some fun with unorthodox but clever copy, interesting animation and an appearance by the aforementioned Kendrick that drew millions of views across the Web.

"It drove enormous results and really impressed the [awards panel] jury," D'Arcy added.

Per the CCO's team, Newcastle's Facebook-based appeal drew 56.6 million impressions and 1.3 million consumer engagements, while growing brand awareness by 5 percent. The numbers underscore the Facebook Studio Awards' heightened emphasis on business results and mobile effectiveness this year for its awards, according to the Menlo Park, Calif.-based digital giant.

The third annual Facebook Studio Awards leaned on 14 notable jurors from around the ad industry (Grey, AKQA, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Y&R, JWT, etc.), while attracting entries from 80 different countries—21 nations competed for the first time. Its 36 finalists hailed from 17 countries. The top five nations submitting were the United States, India, Brazil, the United Kingdom and Turkey, in that order.

And the tech player is recognizing campaigns from various points around the globe with its announcement today. For instance, Colenso BBDO/Aim Proximity won best goodwill marketing campaign for an Amnesty International campaign titled "Trial by Timeline" in New Zealand.

Saatchi & Saatchi Norway killed it for Toyota ("Try My Hybrid"), while Leo Burnett Tailor Made orchestrated an inspiring plea ("Bentley Burial") for the Brazilian Association of Organ Transplants. Facebook gave both gold awards, which essentially equate to third and fourth place, respectively.

Silver award winners include: DDB Paris for Musée de la Grande Guerre (France); VML for Wendy's; Finch for Save Our Sons & Duchenne Foundation (Australia); Colenso/Aim Proximity for Samsung New Zealand; Clemenger BBDO for National Australia Bank; and Social Flyer for Sportchek (Canada).

The 2014 Facebook Studio Awards bronze winners are: Contexta for SO Appenzeller GmbH (Switzerland); Heimat Berlin for Hornbach Baumarkt AG; 72andSunny for CKE (Hardees/Carl's Jr. brands); FoxyMoron for Worldwide Media; and Rethink Communications for Playland.

See videos and other creative from the 2014 winners by clicking here.

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.