Part of the skill of writing your entries is how you put yourself, your agency and your campaign forward. Here are some tips for making sure your entry will engage the judges and stand out from the rest.
We also recommend you check our Campaign of the Year 2016 Case Study for more tips from the judges and insights from the winners on how to win a Grand Prix.
1) Create a good first impression and be unique
First impressions count, so make an instant impact by using short and concise sentences. Leave out any unnecessary details which will only overshadow your “big idea”. Think about what makes your campaign, team or agency unique and focus your entry on supporting this one main “big idea”. One compelling idea is much better than including in as many points as possible, which dilutes the effect and makes the entry confusing to read.
2) Entertain the judges by telling a story
Keep in mind that the judges may have to read through many entries by the time they get to yours, so think about how you can engage your (probably tired) audience. Keep your language basic and avoid using jargon. Long words are not necessary to show you are clever! Present your information to the judges as though you are telling them a story. The beginning should set out your insight and objectives clearly. The middle should explain the strategy, followed by its execution and the end should reveal the results. Bring the campaign to life through descriptive language, good scenario setting, real people and quotes. Add some personality to your write up instead of just submitting a standard summary of your campaign. Remember, you are never going to win over every judge so the most important thing is to be passionate about what you are saying.
3) Check, check and check again!
Be ruthless when redrafting. Once you’ve written your rough draft of the entry, read it over several times and cut out unnecessary information. This will make it much clearer. Always check thoroughly for the basics: typos, grammatical mistakes and spelling (especially of the client’s name). It’s also a good idea to get someone who hasn’t been directly involved to cast their fresh eyes over it to double-check clarity. Also, the best entries are put together by a team of people.
4) Don’t over claim
It’s a set of serious heavyweight judges with lots of experience. They will see straight through exaggeration and unsubstantiated claims can undermine the judges’ confidence in the whole submission. If the client won’t let you disclose numbers, say that. The success of your entry will then depend on how well you can sell your work using other measures of success.
TIPS FOR WRITING INSIGHT, STRATEGY, EXECUTION AND RESULTS:
The beginning should set out your insight clearly. Ensure your insight is a ‘true’ insight – arising from a good piece of research or from being close to your market that, for example, recognises an aspect of or trend in consumer behaviour that creates opportunities for your brands. An example of a “bad” insight: ‘We want to target children’ An example of a “good” insight: ‘We recognised that children aged between 8 and 12, not yet able to join Facebook and other groups, but many already be in possession of a mobile phone are…….’ – HOW did you realise? What evidence did you find? Why is this important to the brand? How did this lead to the “big idea” behind your campaign.
Explain how the “big idea” was developed and translated into campaign strategy in response to this insight – eg: how the brand / campaign was positioned in its market, how objectives and KPIs were set, why certain media channels were targeted, any information re the thinking behind launch / trial / full roll-out of the campaign; any planning re specific geographic targeting etc.
A strategy can look great on paper, but it is all about the effective delivery, e.g. which media channels were chosen and how were relationships with media channels leveraged to ensure effective implementation of the strategy; how were any content development plans activated etc.
It can be useful if you can put your results into context – how do your results compare to the industry average, or the national population/demographic? How do they compare to the campaign target? Results are an important part of your entry and need to support your initial challenge, insight and demonstrate that your objectives were reached.