If you are raring to be recognised as the ‘Next Big Thing’ at the 2013 Bookmarks Awards and you haven’t yet submitted an entry, start panicking – because you have less than a week to meet the deadline of 20 September.
To ease the stress, here are some tips from the Bookmarks Awards team on how to get the judges’ attention.
1. Start early. Jokes – we know you skipped that one already. Moving swiftly along.
2. Read the instructions. Use the judging criteria per category to guide how you put forward your case. It sounds basic, but you’d be surprised how few people pay enough attention to the “instructions”, according to the Bookmarks judges. Tailor your story to match the category’s specific focus, remove uneccessary bits that don’t add value, and package the evidence so that it’s easy for the judges to appreciate.
3. Change the world. Ok, just a little bit. The work has to show how it’s impacted on a brand, or changed the industry/society in some way. This is a fundamental element that the judges will be looking for. Nikki Cockcroft, Chair of the Bookmarks, says: “What distinguishes us from all other SA industry awards is the focus on ‘measurable performance’, in addition to creativity and execution.” Your entry needs to demonstrate how the concept and delivery met a strategic objective. “No matter how creative the work is, it has no value unless it has added value relative to the initial objectives (i.e. commercial, growth, access or more),” Cockcroft concludes.
4. Simplicity wins. Don’t break out your glitter pens. Let your work speak for itself. If it’s good, it will impress of its own accord. If it’s bad, no amount of window-dressing will make it brilliant, and it will be painfully obvious to the judges. Come back next year.
5. It’s chemistry 101: Awarded work is a perfect combination of the right idea, the right brand, the right result, impeccable craft and the right people involved.
6. Don’t be annoying. When using stats, put them into context and make them meaningful and relevant. Throwing in some random numbers to make your entry look more credible will have the opposite effect. It is also important to be clear about what you are showing the judges. Using a simple graph of user statistics as an example: although you understand what is remarkable about the stats it reveals, you have context and history. But the judges don’t. By putting in a little more effort from your side – using annotations and highlighting key performance points on the same graph – you immediately change the response from “Huh, what?” to “Oh, wow!”
7. Look for the right fit. Rather than shoe-horning your entry into one of the generalist categories if it’s blatantly obvious it won’t meet the criteria, rather look for alternative specialist categories that might be more suitable.
8. Video killed the radio star. A really charming entry video can elevate your idea, provided it’s a good idea to begin with (see point #3).
9. Be real. Tell the truth about what you did. Winning with a conscience is way more important and rewarding (not to mention less awkward). And give credit where credit is due – note your collaborators on your entries.
10. If you’re good, you’re good. Great campaigns will, by their very nature, meet the criteria and get recognised.
Entries close on 20 September.