For the first time since its launch in 2014, the Stationers’ Innovation Excellence Awards ‘Innovator of the Year 2021’ winner is a campaign and not a product. ‘Turn on the Subtitles’ aimed to get the message across that turning on the TV subtitles can double the chances of a child becoming good at reading. It targeted parents, broadcasters, and programme providers.
The team behind the campaign have been presented with the award at the live hybrid of the Stationers’ Innovation Excellence Awards ceremony, attended by an audience of over 150.
The ‘Turn on the Subtitles’ campaign was launched on World Book Day in March 2021 with a budget of just £1,000. It was started by two British entrepreneurs, Henry Warren and Oli Barrett, who managed to persuade celebrities such as Stephen Fry, Sandi Toksvig and Lenny Henry to lend the support in person.
In addition to the Innovator of the Year, ‘Turn on the Subtitles’ was also the winner of the Award for Communications including Marketing category.
It was chosen from 47 entries to this year’s Innovation Excellence Awards.
Jill Jones, an independent non-executive director within the EdTech and publishing sectors, was chair of the judges’ panel. She said, “in January it was clear that innovation was being stimulated as a result of the global crisis, but the quality, and number, of entries for the awards outstripped our expectations. Variety was married with really strong social benefit themes around delivering innovation to address customer need, community building and collaboration, diversity, inclusion, attention to environmental impact, and customer and employee safety.”
Other category winners were:
Award for Business Process: Troika Systems with its AniCAM HD product which monitors and measures anilox 3D volumetric and cell geometry results.
Award for Customer Experience: Class Professional Publishing for Para Pass, an app that supports paramedic learning and development.
Award for Service Development: World Textile Information Network for WTiN Discovery which harnesses technology artificial learning and machine learning to help readers discover content faster and uncover data and trends that may have passed them by if they weren’t using the tools.
Award for Product Design: Kogan Page for its Kogan Page Accessible Ebooks programme which puts books into a useful and accessible format for all readers including those who are blind, cognitively impaired, have low vision or are otherwise print-impaired.
Award for Start-Ups: Trust Elevate for Making the internet a safer place for children with a solution that securely verifies the age or identity of users under the age of 16 via their telco using anonymous tokens.
Pandemic Response Exceptional Performance Award: All entries were reviewed again to recognise outstanding achievement in adapting to the pandemic.
All winners were brought on to the stage to accept their award and to be interviewed by former BBC Radio 4 In Business presenter Peter Day. The Innovation Excellence Awards were sponsored by Mathys & Squire and Picon.