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Top tips for wooing awards judges – the inside scoop from the BIMA shadow jury.

21 Aug 2018

Posted by Rachel Johnson

Ade Chong and Lauren McGregor - Impero

Results are everything!

Every agency dreams of winning awards for their work... for the industry recognition, the pride, the fame, but it’s the big shiny trophy we really want right? Because we all love a bit of bling.

But entering awards can be tricky, obviously, otherwise, everyone would do it. Entries can be time-consuming, knowing what to write and how to frame your work can be difficult – but the biggest (and most important) challenge of all is knowing how to hook in the judges and ensure your entry stands out from the crowd.

But panic not! Impero is here to give you the inside scoop on how to woo the judges after two members of our team joined the 2018 BIMA Awards Shadow jury to learn some trade secrets direct from the judging panel.

So, are you ready to smash your next awards entry? Thought so. Here are Ade Chong (Design Director) & Lauren McGregor’s (SAD) top tips for winning over awards judges…

1. Do your research!

 Knowing everything about the category you’re entering and its criteria is KEY! Make sure you’re extremely clear on what your entry is about and HOW it’s relevant to the category. If there’s info in your entry that doesn’t relate directly to the category – scrap it.

Review the judging criteria and make sure you’ve ticked every box.

2. Structure your entry like it’s a pitch.

Your entry should have a clear beginning, middle and end. In advertising speak, that involves...

Beginning: Recap the brief, identify the problem

Middle: Explain your insight, then your strategy

End: Describe your creative approach, hit them with the results

3. Video is king!

Big categories with lots of entries mean thousands of words, tired eyes and bored judges so video can make all the difference. A video can make your entry memorable, add that wow factor, paint a picture in the judge's minds, and in many cases - seal the deal. Just make sure you don’t repeat exactly what’s in your written entry.

Your video doesn’t have to be Hollywood quality, judges can see straight through the fancy production and flashing lights - it just needs to be watchable and add value to your entry.

4. Size doesn’t matter.

If you’re a small agency and worry about getting overlooked and outdone by the big fish - don’t. Judges actually like small agencies, and often root for the underdog.

5. Say what your budget was.

Judges seem to like that. But don’t overload them with unnecessary detail, this will lead to judge fatigue and they just won't read it all.

6. Results are everything!

The most important part of your awards entry is to show that your campaign worked. They want cold hard facts and figures folks, and remember to show your workings! But heed some warnings first...

Beware of percentages, judges can be sceptical about what the percentages mean in real terms. Don’t oversell success with a huge percentage increase when all it translates into in reality is a few extra comments on Facebook.

Results are great but if there’s nothing to compare them to, they mean nothing, so aim to give clear and concise benchmarked results.

So now you’re armed with all the ammo you need to create a killer awards entry that’ll have the judges swooning. Just make a plan, stick to a structure, tick the boxes and seal the deal with a video.

Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favour. 

Rachel Johnson
Posted by Rachel Johnson

Rachel has recently joined BIMA having worked for more than 20 years in the world of Marketing. Rachel has many impressive client, charity and agency-side results to her credit and stories to tell. As both a team player and independent advisor, Rachel loves to see the bigger picture and is a strong strategic thinker. She has led ambitious projects for start-ups, worked alongside growing businesses and has been fortunate to work with some of the UK’s most respected and renowned agencies. A self-motivated original thinker, Rachel is also an extremely able marketer. She brings out the best in people at all levels. Her wealth of transferable skills includes project management – often with direct budgetary control - results-driven commercial awareness, proven networking strengths, digital marketing expertise and broad IT literacy. However, her achievements do not end there! In her spare time, she makes full-use of her Cumbrian home-town environment, walking, biking and running, and spending time as an enthusiastic side-line rugby and football mum for her two boys – Louie and Harley.

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