Enter the Competition
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All jury members in Round One and Final Round sign confidentiality forms and review work within a secure judging environment arranged by Effie.
Judges evaluate all elements of an entry, written case and creative executions, on a stand-alone basis without comparison to other entries in the category. Scoring is done confidentially by each juror. Because judges are reviewing 10-15 cases in a judging session, it is important to be as clear and concise as possible.
Final Round Finalists are judged against other finalists within their category, and like Round One, all elements of each case are reviewed and scored. Final Round judges discuss the finalists in the category before finalizing their scores.
Jurors are specifically matched with cases that do not prove a conflict of interest. For this reason it is critical that entrants provide market and category context in their entries. Judges are looking for great results against challenging goals - a truly effective case. Simply entering impressive numbers, without context regarding why the numbers are impressive in the context of past performance, competitive context, category context, etc. and how the communications are directly linked to the results, will not garner an Effie.
Judges in Round One and Final Round are asked to evaluate a case's effectiveness using the following scoring system:
70% of the score, equally weighted for each section:
- Strategic Communications Challenge, Context & Objectives
- Insights & Strategic Idea
- Bringing the Idea to Life (includes the creative and media strategies and the work itself).
30% of the score:
- Results The lense through which each case is evaluated by the jury is effectiveness.
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.
Effie respects that entries may include information deemed confidential by the client. To accommodate this, Effie allows entrants to select publication permission settings and judging is completed both confidentially and anonymously.
Effie's permission policy allows entrants to indicate whether or not they give permission to publish the written case if the submission achieves finalist or winner status. The options to select are Yes; Yes, Edited; or No.
If an entrant selects Yes, the case will be published as-is if the case is a finalist or winner.
If an entrant selects Yes-Edited, the entrant will be contacted if the case is a finalist so the entrant is given the opportunity to provide an edited version of the brief for publication.
If an entrant selects No, Effie will not publish the written case and the written case will only be seen by judges at the judging session. However, Effie has the option to publish, reproduce, and display the public case summary and the creative materials, including the 4-minute creative reel that was submitted at time of entry.
When entering, entrants are allowed to index data if they wish.
Case Summary & Creative Materials (Includes Video, Images)
The creative material & case summary entered into the competition becomes property of the Effie Awards and will not be returned.
By entering your work in the competition, the Effie Awards is automatically granted the right to make copies, reproduce and display the creative materials & case summaries for education and publicity purposes such as, but not limited to, the Effie Awards Journal, website, partner websites, newsletters, programming/conferences, and awards gala.
Creative material submitted to the Effie Awards includes your 4-minute video reel, all .jpg images, and hard copy examples of your work.
All jury members sign confidentiality forms and review work in a secure judging environment arranged by Effie. Judges cannot remove materials from the judging session and are specifically matched with cases that do not pose a conflict of interest where they would need to recuse. Judges do not review submissions from their own agency, brands they work on, or any direct competitors.
Some of the brands most concerned with confidentiality are multi-year entrants and winners for Effie – they are comfortable entering because of Effie’s confidentiality policy, the ability to index data, etc. We recommend taking a look at the winner showcase to see past brands that have engaged with Effie.
Effie Board, Executive Staff and Committee members are senior, well respected professionals in the industry on the client and agency side. If you are interested, we would be happy to set up a time for them to talk to your client about confidentiality.
An additional suggestion we also have is to nominate the client for judging. Sometimes participating as a judge is the clearest way to learn the value of the award and judges really value the opportunity because it provides a chance to understand how success works outside their own specific product / service category (sometimes yielding good ideas to incorporate in their own category) and also provides excellent networking. To nominate a judge, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Be direct. 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 concise. Use the space and pages provided in the standard form. Don’t add pages – they will simply be discarded upon receipt. Judges often say they wish the entry form page limit was lower.
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.
Don’t leave judges with questions. Have a few of your colleagues unfamiliar with your brand read your case through before submitting to find out what questions they have after reading the case, what holes they can poke through your argument, and what parts of the case were confusing. Ask them to give you honest feedback about the length and the jargon. Judges appreciate cases that are not overinflated and that are clear and simple.
Following The Rules
Know the rules. Review the formatting requirements, entry requirements, and the Reasons for Disqualification before submitting your entry.
Category Requirements. Review the Positive Change category requirements and make sure your entry addresses them..
Proving Your Case
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.
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. Effie reserves 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. Including Results or Competitive Work/Logos on 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 in this document. 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 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
All entries with non-English creative materials must include a translation page at the end of your entry form (subtitles within the creative materials are also acceptable).
Credits - Company: All creative and strategic partners who contributed to the marketing communications effort must be credited. In order for each company to receive the proper credits in the Effie Effectiveness Index, the company must be credited uniformly across all entries. For contributing agencies, ask how they should be listed for Index purposes. We suggest reaching out to your own corporate communications/PR departments to ensure all client and agency names are credited correctly.
Credits - Individual: You may credit up to ten individuals (maximum) who contributed to the campaign. Effie advises entrants to credit all main client and agency team members and make sure spelling and title information is correct. See example of how individual credits appear in the Case Database here and the Awards Journal here.
POSITIVE CHANGE EUROPE ONLINE ENTRY PORTAL OPEN FOR ENTRIES - ENTER HERE.
All materials are submitted electronically.
Once your entry form and creative reel are ready to be submitted, upload your work to the Online Entry Portal to complete the entry process.
POSITIVE CHANGE EUROPEThe 2017 Positive Change Europe entry period is closed and the awards gala will take place Oct. 2017. The 2018 Call for Entry will open in Jan. 2018. See 2017 reference materials on this page.
JURY ADVICEReview the Judging Process and Jury Advice here.
If you are interested in judging, please complete the Judge Application Form.