Award season myths

How to win creative awards

The award’s season for creative prowess – that delicious moment where industry accolades and celebrations grab the headlines – is more than imagination captured on film or the narrative of a brand experience.

So, myth number 1: brand narratives, in whatever guise they get delivered, need to inspire and connect emotionally. If only it were that simple.

The knack of winning awards starts long before a film director or creative producer starts to stretch their imagination. Process wins awards, not just creative genius.

You can produce the most amazing corporate film or brand engagement but if you haven’t established quantifiable and (verifiable) goals in the early stages of writing the brief, no amount of creative genius will prevail. Judges pay keen attention to measurement.

It could be an uplift in leads from the previous year’s event. It could be an independently measured shift in perceptions. Benchmarked content downloads, shared posts, re-tweets, sales.

Myth number 2:  the more in-depth the synopsis submitted to judges, the more likely your work will be taken seriously.   

The good-folk judging awards are human. Judges are almost never paid to wade through submissions. It’s a commitment (lovingly undertaken) on top of a high-pressure day job. Judges can be beset by fatigue and visual blindness, pouring over submissions. Keep it concise: context, objective, challenge, solution and result.

Myth number 3: awards go to the insiders’ buddy network.

Awards are reviewed by a diverse group of judges, independently, not in smoke (or vape) filled rooms. Active members in associations are often out-going archetypes; especially in the creative sector. There’s a measure of ego at play that doesn’t kowtow. Consensus is hard-fought. Ultimately, it comes from meeting those elusive measurements.

Upshot: entering awards is a hugely rewarding exercise: boosting staff morale, confidence and belief. Client’s want to be working with the best talent. Awards confirm their belief in you.  Good luck.  

Andrew Reid

Andrew Reid

Author: Andrew Reid is a director at Shelton Fleming Associates – CX experts in how B2B brands engage senior level audiences, through live experiences and immersive, digital content.

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