The Drum has launched its annual quest to identify the very best in adtech and programmatic.

The Digital Trading Awards USA will once again give you an opportunity to get the recognition you deserve.

And ‘recognition’ is very much the operative word! Because the DTA are part of The Drum eco-system, one of the world’s largest marketing platforms. Every month it is consumed by 1m unique users - so if you win the world will know.

Our readers loved the insights these awards offer. They want to know about best practice. But more importantly they want to hear about the best companies and the best people. That helps them make better decisions - like for example - who they should be working with.

So download an entry form. It is time you and your team get the recognition you deserve.


What is The Drum?

The Drum is Europe’s largest marketing website with plans to rapidly become the largest Global website, with our 1.4m page views per month, we provide an extensive targeted audience for all our partners.  

The Drum has been around for almost 40 years, initially as a magazine and changing with the times to add, our hugely successful news site.  The past few years has seen The Drum rapidly grow to dominate the London market.  

Having a strong hold in the ad-tech sector, we have a track record of embracing the industry via projects like the Digital Trading Awards Program UK.

25% of our online traffic at already comes from the USA market (we have up to 800,000 million unique visitors every month to the site)

We already work with the likes of the UN, MTV, 4A’s, Association of National Advertisers and many more.  In the UK programmatic sector our clients include; The Trade Desk, App Nexus, TubeMogul, Tremor Video, Adform, Rubicon to name a few.

We are constantly being approached to media partner major events and we work with Cannes, SXSW, DMexco, CES, New York Festivals, Advertising Week, Clio Awards, etc

About the awards

In 2013 The Drum, Europe’s largest media and marketing website, joined forces with the industry to address the fact that many advertisers were shying away from programmatic trading for an abundance of reasons including not fully understanding how it all works, lack of transparency and as a consequence not trusting the process.

We wanted to rid the mystic and confusion surrounding this buoyant sector, so we focused on highlighting the companies that were majoring on clarity and transparency. We made things a lot easier to understand (without lumascapes and confusing acronyms) and we challenged the industry to do better. That was when our Digital Trading Awards program was born.

The program has been running for three successful years in the UK and we have secured the support of many key publishers, agencies and advertisers. 2016 was the first year of the DTAs USA and we are excited to make a difference by building on advertisers’ trust and by continuing to focus on industry issues like transparency and clarity, trust and data. .

In 2018, these awards will reward programmatic performance and give recognition to the best in the programmatic and ad-tech industry in the USA. 

Entries are open to anyone in the digital media/trading eco-system who can show that they offer a high value service or technology. Agencies/companies must be based within the USA or have produced work for a USA based client,

The awards are open for entry and as the program builds momentum we will produce and circulate a supplement specifically aimed at the sector; host an intimate business breakfast event; produce the awards show itself and then publish a manifesto which will be the round-up of the months-worth of activity.  (Download 2017 manifesto here)

Be part of this year’s event by entering, attending and/or sponsoring and help us to reward the best in the USA’s programmatic industry. 


Key dates

Important Dates to Note: 

Entry Deadline: August 30, 2018

Nominations announced: October 2, 2018

Awards Date: November 1, 2018 | Edison Ballroom, New York, NY

Why enter?

There are many reasons why you should enter the Digital Trading Awards USA, and here are a few: 

  • To raise your profile as an award winning agency/company in the programmatic industry. 
  • To prove your credentials in the increasingly complex digital trading market.
  • To help attract new business. 
  • To demonstrate your digital talent and skills to your company, clients and peers.
  • To have your work judged by the esteemed clients and creatives on our judging panel.
  • To reassure clients that you are the best company for the job.
  • To gain fantastic PR opportunities
  • To boost morale throughout your company and to reward your hardworking individuals and teams.

Take a look at what a few of our 2016 judges said about the importance of the awards. 

How much does it cost to enter?

The cost to enter is:

  • $295 for your first entry
  • $195 for each entry after

(sales tax as applicable will be added to the above) 

You may enter as many categories as you like, however each entry must be treated as a separate entry and payment made for each. Please note: you will only receive the 2nd entry rate if you enter all your submissions at the same time. Leave your entries in your basket until you are sure they are complete

Who can enter?

Entries are open to anyone in the digital media/trading eco-system who can show that they offer a high value service or technology.  Advertisers, publishers, agencies, trading desks, technology companies, buy-side, sell-side, platforms etc 

Agencies/companies must be based within the USA/Canada or if based outside USA, have produced work for a USA or canadian based client.


How do I enter?

Please follow these steps to enter: 

  1. Register as a member to set up your account or sign in/submit entries f you have already created your account and are ready to enter.
  2. Browse the categories to decide which ones suit you best. Remember you can enter as many as you like but they will be treated as separate entries and charged at the reduced second rate entry fee.
  3. Entries into the awards are report based and this is what you will be judges on. (see writing your report section)
  4. Once you have registered and logged in, go to your ‘dashboard page and ‘add an entry’.
  5. Upload your report (PDF only max size 10mb) in the box provided.
  6. Submit your 100 word summary, in the box provided, which will show live on the site if you are nominated/win. This will be used to give visitors to the site an insight into what your entry was about and why it was successful. (do not include confidential information here) 
  7. Upload URL if applicable to your entry, in the box provided.
  8. Attach a leading image in the box provided to support your report (Jpeg max size 10mb ). Please note this image will go live in the event of your work being nominated so please take this into account when choosing this image.  Option to upload up to additional images in the boxes provided to support your entry (Jpeg max size 10mb )  If you are entering a video, please follow the instructions provided.  This will also go live in the event of a nominaton.
  9. Check your entry meets the rules criteria. 
  10. Follow the onscreen instructions to submit your entry and make payment. Please note: you will only receive the 2nd entry rate if you enter all your submissions at the same time. Leave your entries in your basket until you are sure they are complete
  11. A confirmation email will be sent to you and a receipt will be emailed to you within a few days. 

Once this process is complete your entry will go forward for judging.

Writing your report

Your report should be no more than 1500 words.  250 words should be used for an executive summary and you must use the entry templates avaliable here, once the awards are open for entry.

The format for your report is as follows: 

To see what to cover in each category, see the categories page

    Executive Summary to summarise the key points in your report
    Brief description of project/campaign/strategy
    Provide details of the campaign/strategy's budget
    Brief and objectives, including any targets set. (e.g. cost-saving, income generation, increasing brand awareness)
    Strategy for achieving the above objectives (including details of marketing, PR etc)
    Results including evidence of effectiveness prior and post campaign E.g. and increase in sales/revenue/traffic /awareness etc . Please provide comparable before and after figures. Use exact figures rather than %.
    Testimonials - are not essential but can help to improve your report

Tips for entering

In the UK we held an awards workshop to hear from previous Drum judges and award winners and find out the secret to an award winning entry.

Watch the video to find out their hints and tips. 

Other tips include: 

  • Give each entry a unique title to grab the judges interest - try to avoid generic names e.g. Best strategy. 
  • When writing your report don’t assume the judges have seen your work or campaign, give clear concise answers on the brief, the objectives and results and figures should include the starting point and any increases.
  • If not commercially necessary please do not add additional password protection.
  • Please include usernames and passwords, if required, for the judging.
  • Although not essential, testimonials can help reinforce statements made in your entry.  

Entry rules

Entry rules

  • Entries must be received no later than the published deadline date. 
  • All submissions must be made online. 
  • Entries must have been live to market at some point between June 15 2017 and August 30 2018. Entries do not have to be created within this timescale.
  • Do not include password protection or if essential, include passwords for judges to access.
  • All entries must be supplied and conform to the category rules/submission formats.
  • Work entered into more than one category must be treated as a completely separate entry.  Multiple entries can be made but separate payment must be made for each.  Please note: you will ONLY receive the 2nd entry rate if you enter all your submissions at the same time. Leave your entries in your basket until you are sure they are complete. Refunds will not be given.
  • The judging panel will only read and use the entries/reports for the purposes of the judging and are required to sign NDAs.
  • The judges reserve the right to re-allocate entries that in their view are entered in an incorrect category.   The judges also reserve the right to remove categories where entries do not meet the standard for nomination. These entries will not be refunded as they will have been judged accordingly.
  • The judges’ decision is final. 
  • Due to the number of entries received, the awards cannot give feedback on individual entries.
  • By entering these awards, you give the organisers the right to publish/exhibit screen grabs and/or submitted report. If you wish to upload a modified /less commercially sensitive version for publishing purposes, please do so on the entry upload form.
  • Entering physical work is at your own risk – entries will not be returned. Whilst every care will be taken in the storage of entries, the organisers will not accept responsibility for loss or damage of entries.
  • The organisers reserve the right to verify that all entries have been commercially produced for a commercial client where relevant.
  • All entries submitted must be legal. Any entries containing offensive material will be disqualified. Any entry that has a complaint upheld against it by the Advertising Standards Authority will be disqualified.

How will my entry be judged?

After the entry deadline the judging panel will be given access to read your submission and view your images, videos and links.  The judging panel will be looking for evidence of:

  • Clear strategic thinking
  • Innovation
  • Effectiveness.
  • Tangible results
  • Clarity and Transparancy 

After the panel have carried out their pre judging they will meet in September to discuss the entries and decide on the finalists, commendations and award winners.

When will nominations be announced?

The finalists will be announced on the website and via social media on October 2, 2018.

All entrants will be notified when the announcement has been made and nominees will receive a congratulatory email.

The Awards Ceremony


A must for your awards calendar in 2018. The Digital Trading Awards USA will bring together the elite of the industry to celebrate and reward their successes over the past year.

Event Details

Date: November 1, 2018
Venue: Edison Ballroom- New York City
Time: 6.30pm sharp to midnight 
Dress code: Formal

The evening will proceed as follows:

  • 6:30PM - Cocktails & hors d'oeuvres
  • 7:30PM - Seated dinner 
  • 9.30pm - Awards show
  • Midnight  - Evening concludes

Tables are on sale here

The Awards Manifesto

The editorial program culminates with the Manifesto published at the end of the year. 

This publication takes a look at the past year, catches up with a few of the industry’s key players, showcases the top award winners' and will look at the idea of AdTech for 'Good' 

You can download your complimentary 2018 copy here