14 July 2023
The Effie Awards is the most prestigious contest for marketers and advertisers worldwide. However, winning the competition requires participants to not only have an effective case but also present their work correctly in their entry. International Effie judges from around the world have shared their tips on how to structure and present entries.
For over 50 years, receiving an Effie award has been a global symbol of success in the industry. The competition's jury consists of leading marketing experts from various countries worldwide. The judges have shared advice with participants on how to prepare their entries for the competition in a way that allows the jury members to understand and evaluate their work effectively. Therefore, when preparing your entry, pay attention to the following components:
Be sure to describe the context and bring the judges up to speed on the market/category's current state. Most judges are unfamiliar with your category/industry and what success looks like within it.
Provide details and measure your objectives. Help the judges understand the essence of these objectives. Ensure that your objectives are clearly defined. Leaving objectives broad and vague makes it difficult to recognize the task's complexity.
Participants whose case stories are presented honestly, authentically, and simply are usually stronger than those participants who use marketing jargon in their descriptions.
Ensure that your insights are somehow connected to human behavior. A data point alone is not an insight. Find a genuine insight, not just audience observation or category data collection. It should be an internal human truth that not only resonates with emotions and behavior but also enables strategic ideas and creative execution to be effective and successful.
The idea should directly align with the insight, rather than being a tactical execution. The idea should be clear but also communicated to the judges with enough detail for them to easily understand how the team arrived at this idea and why it matters for the brand and campaign.
Insights should be fresh and different, with a sense of tension and action. The idea should leverage the insight and activate it in an interesting, compelling, and relevant way. Most importantly, it should help achieve your stated objectives.
Justify why these specific communication channels were chosen. Explain their importance to the audience and the challenge. How and why did you determine the significance and priority of certain channels over others?
Make sure that your video case is not a repetition of what you have described in the entry. Use it to complement/extend the information from the application.
Do not include storytelling or results in the video case; instead, focus on showcasing the creative work and highlight different executions of it. The more diverse creative approaches are demonstrated, the better.
The video case should demonstrate all the work that the jury member has just read about in the application and is eager to see. It is important to clearly show different variations of the creative execution mentioned in the entry.
Clearly link the results to the objectives. Avoid trying to fit and prescribe objectives to existing results. If the jury notices this, they may raise concerns and scrutinize it.
Do not fabricate the results. Your colleagues will notice it. Honesty is more effective. We have all had both successes and failures. No campaign is expected to be perfect.
Ensure that you provide the full context. When showcasing the results, help the judges understand how good these results are and why. Explain the significance behind the numbers.
Avoid being caught downplaying or avoiding data on the impact of inconvenient external factors - the judges are looking for such opportunities. Acknowledge more and provide real context: add a supplementary description to your campaign regarding factors such as economic trends, etc. By being open and honest about all the factors that contributed to your success, you will gain the trust of the judges.
Pay attention to the summary. Make the concluding description strong, clear, and inspiring.
Furthermore, the judges emphasize the importance of paying attention to the following nuances.
Familiarize yourself with the category descriptions to identify any additional requirements that must be met within your work for the chosen category. Failure to meet these requirements may result in a lower evaluation by the jury. If you have doubts about a specific category, review the winners of past Effie Awards Ukraine on effie.org.ua website or reach out to the Effie Ukraine organizing committee for assistance.
Ensure that your entry aligns with the chosen Effie category. Judges assess your entry within the context of the category definition. It should be clear to the judges why your work deserves recognition in the selected category.
Create a distinct entry for each category instead of submitting a single universal case.
Be highly self-critical regarding the storytelling and verbosity, as well as the size of your entry. Judges have limited time and are evaluating a range of different categories and entries. It is crucial to be concise and engage the jury, including with the results achieved.
The principles of advertising also apply to preparing entries: structure and write them in a way that grabs attention and captivates the judges. Focus their attention on how your campaign contributed to achieving the brand's goals without overly complicating it. Less is more.
Mistakes and Inconsistencies
Engage a competent writer or editor to proofread and correct your entry, specifically for spelling, grammar, logical inconsistencies, mathematical calculations, etc.
Show your entry to colleagues who are not familiar with the brand or the brand's industry. Find out what questions they have after reading it and what remains unclear.
Perhaps there are colleagues in your company who were former Effie jury members. Ask them to review your entry.
Review the formatting requirements and reasons for disqualification. Ensure that all data presented in the entry is supported by verified and detailed references to data sources.
Therefore, approach the preparation of your entries carefully and responsibly. For more information on formatting, please refer to the Effie Awards Ukraine website.