Step 3

Submit Your Entries

All entry materials are submitted electronically.

The entry portal for the 2020 Effie US competition will be open in Fall 2019. 

At this time, you may review your team's entries from past competition years via the portal. 

 

Step 2

Download Entry Materials

Review all entry materials to learn about entry requirements, rules, and important tips on crafting an effective entry.

Step 1

Review Effie's Rules & Regulations

Collaboration yields the most effective, thorough cases.  You are encouraged to work together with your agency and client partners to submit a case. 
Effie entries are judged by some of the brightest and most experienced business leaders. We draw on their experience to not only judge the work of their peers but to highlight learning for the industry overall.  Entries are judged in two phases: 
 
Round One Judges individually review 8-12 cases across a range of categories. Cases that score high enough become finalists and move on to Final Round Judging. 
 
Final Round Judges review all finalists within a category and discuss each case before finalizing scores.
   
In both rounds, judges evaluate the written case and creative executions. Scoring is done anonymously and confidentially. Judges provide feedback on each case for the Insight Guide.​

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 they express 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.

Confidentiality 
Judging events are held in secure locations led by Effie moderators. All judges are required to sign confidentiality agreements before judging begins. Judges cannot remove materials from the judging session and are specifically matched with cases that do not prove a conflict of interest. For example, a judge with an automotive background would not review automotive cases. For this reason, it is critical that entrants provide market and category context in their entries. Give judges a clear understanding of the category situation and explain what your KPIs mean in the context of your category. 

Scoring Criteria
Judges 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%
Results.....................................................30%


The judges’ scores determine which entries will be finalists and which finalists are awarded a gold, silver, or bronze Effie trophy. The finalist level and each winning level – gold, silver, bronze – have minimum scores required in order to be eligible for finalist status or for an award. Effie trophies are awarded in each category at the discretion of the judges.  It is possible that a category may produce one or multiple winners of any level or perhaps no winners at all – no matter the number of finalists. 
To honor even more great work, efforts can be entered into a maximum of four categories.  Of those four categories, only one category submission may be a product/service category and a maximum of two Commerce & Shopper categories.  You are not required to enter a product/service category – you may enter four specialty categories instead.

Product & Service Categories
 

Effie has over 30 Product/Service categories ranging from Electronics to Pet Care.  You may enter one product/service category per effort.
 
Specialty Categories
 

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?

Review the full definitions of categories outlined in the entry kit.  Be sure to review the category definitions thoroughly, visit the Case 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 email entries@effie.org with a brief synopsis of the case, examples of the creative work, the categories you are considering.  

Can I re-enter past Effie-winning work?
 
You may re-enter past winning work within the following requirements:
  • 2019 Gold Effie winners from can re-enter into a category for Effie United States in which they did not win Gold and can re-enter the same category where they won Gold in next year’s competitions.  Gold Effie winners from 2018 and earlier can re-enter any category, with the exception of Gold Sustained Success winners.
  • Past Silver and Bronze Effie winners can re-enter into any category.
  • Past Gold Sustained Success winners can re-enter the Sustained Success category after 3 years.
  • 2019 David vs. Goliath & Challenger Brand Solution winning brands (Gold/Silver/Bronze) are not eligible to enter the David vs. Goliath category this year.  This year, David vs. Goliath winners from 2018 and earlier are eligible to re-enter this category.
The following will result in disqualification and entry fees will be forfeited.

1. Failing to adhere to the Effie Eligibility rules.

Data presented must be isolated to the United States, and the Effie eligibility period is 9/1/18-8/31/19*. No results after 8/31/19 may be included (Exception: Seasonal Marketing - 9/1/18-9/30/19).  Data prior to the eligibility period may be included for context.

2. Entry does not meet category definition requirements.  

Entries are judged based on effectiveness within the entered category.  

3. Data not sourced.

All data, claims, facts, etc. presented anywhere in the entry form must reference a specific, verifiable source. Sources must be as specific as possible in documenting all evidence, while not citing specific agency names.  Provide source of data, type of research, and the time period covered. The Entry Portal is set up to encourage sourcing via footnotes. 
 
4. Including screen grabs or other images of your creative elements in your written entry form.

Entrants may not include any images of creative work, screengrabs of social media or other websites, or any other pictorial elements in the written entry.  An images of creative work must be provided as part of the Creative Examples for Judging.  Charts/graphs are allowed to be included in the written case.

5. Directing Judges to External Websites. 

Entrants are judged solely on the materials presented in their written entry and creative examples (creative reel + images).  Entrants are not permitted to direct judges to websites for further information or for further examples of work.

6. Missing Translation.

All entries with non-English creative materials must include a translation page at the end of your entry form or via subtitles within the creative materials.

7. Violating Creative Example (Reel, Images) Rules. 

Entrants must follow all creative reel rules as outlined in the entry kit. This includes, but is not limited to: competitor logos/creative work and results may not be included in the creative examples; time limits must be followed. 

Please review the Entry Kit for more information on rules and guidelines.
 
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.  

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.
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, 2018 - August 31, 2019 (Seasonal Marketing category is 9/1/18 - 9/30/19), and the awards will be presented in June 2020.  For some companies, this delay also alleviates some concerns regarding sensitive data. 

Judging 

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 entries@effie.org.  

See full details on confidentiality of your case in the 2019 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 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
- Publish the case as it was submitted after three years
- Publish an edited version of the written case after three years


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.

 

Entry Kit

ITEM
DETAIL
FORMAT
DOWNLOAD
2020 EFFIE US ENTRY KIT
Review the rules, requirements, and category definitions for this year's competition.
PDF

Entry Forms

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DETAIL
FORMAT
DOWNLOAD
ENTRY FORM
Entry form used for all categories except Commerce & Shopper, Positive Change: Environmental and Sustained Success.
DOCX
COMMERCE & SHOPPER ENTRY FORM
Entry form used for all Commerce & Shopper categories except Sustained Success.
DOCX
POSITIVE CHANGE: ENVIRONMENTAL ENTRY FORM
Entry form used for the Positive Change: Environmental categories.

Positive Change: Social Good uses the standard Effie US form.
DOCX
SUSTAINED SUCCESS
Entry form used for the Sustained Success category.
DOCX
SUSTAINED SUCCESS: COMMERCE & SHOPPER
Entry form used for the Commerce & Shopper Sustained Success category.
DOCX

Resources

ITEM
DETAIL
FORMAT
DOWNLOAD
2020 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 and entering specialty categories

 
PDF

Review your past submissions in the entry portal via the button below.

7 Tips for an Effective Effie Awards Entry
The 2020 entry portal coming soon. Access past entries via the link below.
Original
QUESTIONS?
Contact entries@effie.org.