Submit Your Entries
All entry materials are submitted electronically.
Begin working in the online entry area in advance of the entry deadline to see the additional questions you will be required to answer in order to submit.
You may edit or delete your entry at any time until you click submit.
Download Entry Materials
2018 Entry Materials are available for download below.
Things you should know before entering the competition.
Collaboration yields the most effective, thorough cases. You are encouraged to work together with your agency and client partners to submit a case. You must credit all main strategic and creative partners on the case you submit. Effie reserves the right to refuse any entry at any time.
Effie entries are judged by some of the brightest and most experienced business leaders. Entries are judged in two phases:
Round One judges evaluate entries on a stand-alone basis, without comparison to other entries in their category. They will review 10-15 cases across a range of categories, so it is important to be as clear and concise as possible. Brief discussion takes place as part of the judging process, but scoring is done confidentiality by each juror.
Final Round judges evaluate finalists against other finalists within each category. Similar to Round One, all elements of each case are reviewed and scored. Final Round judging also involves a discussion among the judges in the room about the finalists in the category, before finalizing scores.
Jurors are specifically matched with cases that do not prove a conflict of interest - for example a judge with an automotive background would not review an automotive case. For this reason it is critical that entrants provide market and category context in their entries.
By the time an Effie entry has reached the winners’ circle, it has survived two rounds of evaluation from a rigorous jury of senior industry executives focused on identifying the industry's most effective work.
Grand Effie Judging
The Grand Effie represents the single best case entered in a given year. There will likely be something 'breakthrough' about it with the express purpose and proven capability of delivering outstanding effectiveness.
As the Grand Jury is so senior and are expressing their collective opinion, the winning case represents both the most effective case of the year and a message that will be sent to the industry about learnings for the way forward. Only a select number of the highest-scoring gold winning cases are considered contenders for the Grand Effie award.
All jury members in all Judging sessions sign confidentiality forms and review work within secure judging locations arranged by Effie. Judges cannot remove materials from the judging sessions and are individually matched with entries and categories that do not pose a conflict of interest. For example, a judge from the Beverages industry will not judge the Beverages category.
Judges in Round One and Final Round are asked to evaluate a case's effectiveness using the following scoring system:
Challenge, Context & Objectives......23.3%
Insights & Strategic Idea....................23.3%
Bringing the Idea to Life.....................23.3%
Effie jurors seek results with context against challenging goals. Jury scores determine which cases will be awarded a gold, silver or bronze Effie trophy. Each winning level - gold, silver, bronze - has a minimum score required in order for a finalist to be eligible for an award. Effie trophies are awarded in each category at the discretion of the judges scores. It is possible that a category may produce one, two, three or four winners of any level or perhaps no winners at all, no matter the number of finalists in a category.
See further details on the judging process and scoring system in the Effective Entry Guide.
Product & Service Categories
Effie has over 30 Product/Service categories ranging from Fashion to Household Supplies & Services. You may enter one product/service category per effort.
Effie's specialty categories are designed to address a specific business situation or challenge. When entering these categories, you should present your entry in a way that addresses the situation or challenge outlined in the category definition. There are 30 specialty categories, with focuses on audiences, business challenges, health, media, and industry trends.
What category should I enter?
Full definitions of categories are outlined in this year's Entry Kit and in the Categories guide, both found on this site. Be sure to review the category definitions thoroughly, visit the Case Study Database for past winners in each category, and when applicable, make note of specific information that the definition requires to be included in the entry.
If you are not sure which category your case should be entered into, please write a brief synopsis of the case, examples of the creative work, the categories you are thinking of entering, and any other questions you have and email email@example.com.
Can I Enter One Campaign into Multiple Categories?
Yes. You may enter an effort into one Product & Service category and multiple specialty categories. You will need to complete a separate entry form, submit a separate set of creative samples and pay the entry fee for each additional category. Each entry should be customized for each new category – judges frequently note that they can tell when a standard entry has been reused into multiple categories and not customized. Judges review cases within the context of the category definition, so if the entry does not reflect the nuances of the category definition, it will not succeed.
Note: The Effie Awards reserves the right to re-categorize entries, split/redefine categories, and/or refuse any entry at any time.
Can I re-enter past Effie-winning work?
- Last Year's Gold Effie winners can re-enter into a category in which they did not win Gold and can reenter the same category where they won Gold in next year's competition.
- Past Silver and Bronze Effie winners can re-enter into any category.
- Past Gold Sustained Success winners can reenter the Sustained Success category after 3 years.
- 2017 David vs. Goliath winners (Gold/Silver/Bronze) are not eligible to enter the David vs. Goliath category in this year's competitions. David vs. Goliath winners can re-enter this category two years after their win.
The following will result in disqualification and entry fees will be forfeited.
1. Data not referenced.
All data, claims, facts, etc. presented anywhere in the entry form must reference a specific, verifiable source. This could be advertiser data, agency research or third party research companies. We reserve the right to verify the accuracy of the data with the source named.
Sources must be provided next to each piece of data or in clearly marked footnotes at the bottom of each relevant page of the entry form. Be as specific as possible in documenting all evidence; provide sources of data, research involved, and the time period covered. Use the specific name of the company to reference a source except when the source is an agency company (ad, media or other agencies).
Because Effie is an agency-blind competition we require agency research (whether or not it came from your own agency) to be referenced via the term “Agency Research.” However, you must still be as specific as possible about this source (time period covered, research involved, etc.). Effie reserves the right to verify accuracy and completeness for all sources.
2. Agency names/logos published in the entry form or in the creative materials.
As mentioned above, Effie is an agency-blind competition – do not cite any agency names or display agency logos anywhere in the entry form or creative materials.
3. Presenting Results or Competitive Work/Logos in the 4-minute creative reel.
You are not allowed to include results or competitive work/logos on the reel. Refer to the Creative Reel instructions. The reel is meant to showcase the work as it ran in the marketplace. Entries that include results or competitive work/logos in the video will be disqualified.
4. Failing to adhere to the Effie Eligibility Period by including results after this period. Or, failing to provide results exclusively to the United States and/or Canada.
The eligibility period for the 2018 Effie Awards is September 1, 2016 - August 31 2017 (Seasonal Marketing category is October 1, 2016 - September 30, 2017).
Results beyond the end of this eligibility may not be included under any circumstances. It is fine for work to have started running before or continue running after the eligibility period, but the work presented must have run at some point during the period and the results the judges are scoring are from within the period only. Judges are also only scoring work and results from the United States and/or Canada.
5. Failing to follow the formatting requirements as outlined in the entry kit and on the entry form.
Review the formatting requirements for rules on font, color, pictorial elements, leaving questions unanswered, and removing parts of the entry form.
5. Missing Translation / Creative Viewing Guide.
All entries with non-English creative materials must include a translation page (subtitles within the creative materials are also acceptable). All entries in the Multicultural & Lifestyle Segments and Youth Marketing categories must include a Creative Viewing Guide.
Note: Influencers is an audience category that does not require a Creative Viewing Guide.
Review definitions in the Categories guide for more information.
Be direct and concise. Present your story in an easy-to-follow style with minimum hyperbole. The link between the strategic challenge, the objectives, big idea, the creative executions, and results should be clear.
Be compelling. Your entry should be stimulating to read. Share your story with passion and personality – with facts to back it up.
Include clear, simple, relevant charts and tables. If done correctly, charts and tables allow judges to easily assess the success of the marketing initiative.
Proofread. Ask a strong writer to review your case for spelling, grammar, logic flow, and mathematical errors.
Know the rules. Review the formatting requirements, entry requirements, and the Reasons for Disqualification before submitting your entry. Refer to the Entry Sourcing Tips.
Provide context. Identify the competitive landscape. Context is key. Do not assume that the judges reviewing your entry are aware of the marketplace ins and outs of your particular category. Be sure to provide a clear picture of the marketplace situation, category and competitive context. Judges frequently down score entries that fail to give this context as it is not possible to evaluate the significance of the objectives set or results achieved without it.
Tell judges why it was successful. For every objective provide clear, sourced results and provide context for judges to judge those results and objectives. Restate your objectives and KPIs in the results section. For example, what was spend for your brand in the prior year, for the competition, etc.? What were results prior year vs. now for your brand and the competitive landscape, etc.? Explain the significance of your results – what did they mean to the brand?
Eliminate other factors that could have led to the success of the brand. Prove that it was the marketing communications effort that led to the results presented in the case.
Review further tips on submitting an effective entry in the Effective Entry Guide.
We respect that entries may have information deemed confidential. Within the online entry area, entrants are asked whether or not publishing permission is granted for the written entry.
Indexing Data in Your Entry
Companies across the full spectrum – from large to small and across all industry sectors enter the Effie Awards. The Effie Award’s confidentiality policy, the ability to index data, the ability to set publication permissions, etc. are all established to ensure that any company can enter their effective work without hesitation.
While judging is confidential and entrants may select publication permissions for their written case, Effie understands some entrants may still have concerns regarding sensitive information. When presenting numerical data within the entry, entrants may choose to provide those numbers as percentages or indexes, so that actual numbers are withheld. Additionally, unless the entrant opts to allow Effie to publish the entry as it was submitted if it becomes a finalist or winner, only judges will see the written entry as it was submitted.
This year's eligibility time period is September 1, 2016 - August 31, 2017 (Seasonal Marketing category is 10/1/16 - 9/30/17), and the awards will be presented in May 2018. For some companies, this delay also alleviates some concerns regarding sensitive data.
We recommend nominating your client and agency team members for judging. Participating as a judge is one of the most valuable ways to learn about the award, understand how judging works, and experience our security and confidentiality rules firsthand. To nominate a judge, please complete our Judge Application Form.
Effie Board, Executive Staff, and Committee members are senior, well-respected professionals in the industry on both the client and agency side. If you are interested, we would be happy to set up a time for them to talk to you about confidentiality during judging; how to involve key team members in the judging process; and how you can submit indexed data. If you would like to have a further discussion about confidentiality, please contact Steph Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See full details on confidentiality of your case in the Confidentiality & Publication Policies.
Effie Worldwide is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that stands for effectiveness in marketing communications, spotlighting marketing ideas that work and encouraging thoughtful dialogue about the drivers of marketing effectiveness.
In order to help fulfill this mission and provide learning to the industry, Effie relies on entrants’ willingness to share their finalist and winning case studies with the industry.
By providing permission to publish your written case, you are:
Bettering the industry.
By allowing other marketers to learn from your success, you are inspiring the industry to raise the bar and make their marketing better.
Bettering the future leaders of our industry.
Colleges and universities use Effie case studies in their courses, and Collegiate Effie participants learn how to write their own effective submissions by learning from yours.
Showcasing your team’s success in achieving one of the top marketing honors of the year.
Effie wins help attract new talent, prove the importance of marketing in business, and strengthen agency-client relationships.
Publication of Your Written Entry
The North American Effie Awards offers finalists and winners the opportunity to have written cases published in the Effie Case Database, in turn helping inspire the industry and do their part to Make Marketing Better. Entrants who give permission to publish their written case may have their entry featured on the Effie Worldwide website or Effie partner websites or publications.
In the spirit of learning that Effie represents, we encourage you to share your case studies so that we may Make Marketing Better.
We respect that entries may have information deemed confidential. Within the online entry area, entrants are asked whether or not publishing permission is granted for the written entry. Entrants may select from the following options:
- Publish the case as it was submitted
- Publish an edited version of your case
- Publishing the case is under review
The written case is the only portion of the entry that should contain confidential information, and therefore, the only portion of the entry that is included in the above publication permission policy. The creative work (reel, images), public case summary, and statement of effectiveness should not include confidential information and will be showcased in various ways if your entry becomes a finalist or winner.
To learn more about publication permissions, please review the Confidentiality & Publication Policies guide.
2018 ENTRY KIT
Review the entry kit for a thorough outline of all entry requirements.
2018 ENTRY FORM
2018 North American Effie Entry Form.
This form should be used for all North American Effie categories except Positive Change: Environmental (Brands & Non-Profit) and Sustained Success.
The Shopper Marketing and Global Effies are separate competitions with separate entry materials.
2018 SUSTAINED SUCCESS ENTRY FORM
This form must be used for submissions into Sustained Success - Products and Sustained Success - Services.
NOTE: 3+ years of results are required - results must date back to at least August 31, 2014.
2018 POSITIVE CHANGE: ENVIRONMENTAL ENTRY FORM
This form should be used for the Postive Change Effie's Environmental - Brands and Environmental - Non-Profit categories.
NOTE: Positive Change: Social Cause efforts should use the standard Effie entry form.
EFFECTIVE ENTRY GUIDE
Review advice from past Effie judges.
This document provides:
- Brief outline on judging process
- General judge tips on crafting an effective entry
- Specific judge tips for each of the scoring sections
CASE STUDY SAMPLES
Reviewing winning cases is a great way to see what it takes to earn an Effie Award.
Additional cases may be reviewed in the Case Study Database.