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Effie Awards Judging
By the time an Effie entry has reached the winners’ circle, it has survived at least two rounds of evaluation from a rigorous jury of senior industry executives focused on identifying the industry’s most effective work.
All jury members in Round One and Final Round sign confidentiality forms and review work within a secure judging location arranged by Effie. 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. 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 & Objectives
- Bringing the Idea to Life (includes the creative and media strategies and the work itself)
30% of the score:
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 finalists and which finalists will be awarded a gold, silver or bronze Effie trophy.
The finalist score level and each winning score level – gold, silver, bronze – has a minimum score required.
Effie finalist status and trophies are awarded in each category at the discretion of the judges' scores. It is possible that a category may produce no finalists, if no case meets the minimum cut-off for finalist status in that category. Similarly, it is possible to have one, two, three or four winners of any level or perhaps no winners at all in a category, depending on whether a case meets the minimum cut-off for each level of award.
Direct feedback from the judges is available by reading the Effective Entry Guide. This guide outlines what judges are looking for overall and within each scoring section.
Achieving finalist or win status in the Effie Awards is a significant achievement. Only a small percentage of cases are finalists each year and of these, a fraction are winners. Effie finalists and winners represent the most effective cases of the year and all finalists and winning cases receive points in the Effie Effectiveness Index. The credited companies and individuals on each case are also celebrated in the Effie Case Database.
Round One Judging:
Judges receive cases across a range of categories. 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. Brief discussion takes place as part of the Effie Round One judging process. However, each jury member is reviewing a unique set of cases. Scoring is done confidentially by each juror and each case is reviewed by multiple jury members.
Final Round Judging:
Finalists are judged against other finalists within their category, and like Round One, all elements of each case are reviewed and scored by multiple judges. Discussion is a part of the Final Round process.
The Grand Effie
Effie awards Ideas that Work – the great ideas that achieve real results and the strategy that goes into creating them.
The Grand Effie represents the single best case entered in a given year.
There will likely be something ‘breakthrough’ about it – whether that be the way a market was re-framed…or an insight that opened new possibilities…or a creative leap that achieved real standout…or the discovery of a new way to engage with an audience…. all 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.