effie awards


Effie 2021 categories

You may enter an effort into a maximum of 4 categories, with no more than 1 Product/Service category and no more than 3 Specialty Categories. If you don’t choose a product/service category – you may enter four specialty categories. You will need to submit a separate entry and pay separate entry fees for each category submission for an effort. Each entry should be customized to speak to the specifics of each entered category. Effie Awards Romania has 2 types of categories: Product & Service Categories and Specialty Categories.


For Product & Service Categories, you must choose the industry category of the brand, the category that represents the brand and its main activity, no matter the subject and the specifics of the campaign (ex: a campaign for a beer brand must be submitted in „Beverages – Alcohol”, no matter the subject of the campaign). For campaigns developed as a collaboration between two brands from different areas, the participant can choose the sub-category that best fits its entry, from the two main activities of the involved brands. You may only enter one product/service category per effort.

  1. Packaged Food (ex: meat, milk and dairy products, pet food)
  2. Snacks & Desserts (ex: ice cream, candy, chips, cookies, bakery items, nut, fruit & vegetable snacks, popcorn)
  3. Personal Care Products & Services (ex: cosmetics, fragrances, shampoos, deodorants, hair colouring, apparel, footwear, accessories; personal care services such as spas etc.)
  4. Household supplies & services (ex: cleaning products, waxes, detergents, floor-care products, fabric softeners, paper products, domestic services, fertilizers etc.)
  5. Beverages – Alcohol (ex: beer, champagne, liquor, wine, spirits, wine coolers etc.)
  6. Beverages – Non-Alcohol (ex: diet and non-diet soda, coffee, tea, juices, milk, milk substitutes, bottled water, sparkling water, energy drinks etc.)
  7. Durables (ex: automobiles, electronics, household furnishing & appliances, computers)
  8. Retail (all retail companies with general or specific merchandise – ex: department stores, stores, supermarkets, retail chains, specialty stores etc)
  9. Restaurants (ex: quick service, casual dining, other restaurants, restaurants or fast-food chains)
  10. E-commerce (ex: all e-commerce sites, e-retailers, with general or specific merchandise)
  11. Energy (suppliers of electric energy, gas and fuel)
  12. Financial services (ex: home banking, insurance, loans, mortgage, mutual funds etc.)
  13. Media & Entertainment (exclusively dedicated to Media and Entertainment industry brands; ex: TV stations & TV telecommunications providers with exclusive content, magazines, newspapers, plays, museums, music organizations, concert series, cultural festivals, theatre festivals)
  14. Telecommunications (ex: mobile and fixed, mobile phones, pre-paid, internet providers, high speed internet providers, offers, data packages etc.)
  15. Medical services & Healthcare products (medicines, vitamins, OTC’s, dental, first-aid products and device, medical services, medical insurance etc)
  16. Other products & services (ex: luxury goods and services, software, real estate, transportation, travel & tourism)


The Specialty Categories are designed to address a specific business situation or challenge. When entering into any of these categories, you should present your entry in a way that addresses the situation or challenge as outlined in the category definition. When judging cases from this section, business results are as important as in other any categories. It is critical to thoroughly review these category definitions to ensure your effort meets the criteria of the specific category definition. Judges will down score your entry if you are missing information required by the category definition.


This is a category for tiny, new or emerging brands that compete against big, well-established leaders and/or for established small brands taking on “sleeping giants”. The brand needs to demonstrate that they achieved the results in spite of having disproportionately smaller scale and marketing expenses compared to the clearly defined Goliath brand. The brand cannot be a sub-brand of a larger umbrella brand / or a limited edition.


This is an award for rebirth campaigns. To enter your brand must have experienced a downturn of more than one year and a period of at least six months of upturn sales.


Any communications effort used to introduce an entirely new brand. In this category cannot compete:

– a brand that has a previous history on the market even if no communication effort was undertaken;

– any variation of an existing product/service which shares the same brand name with an already existing brand;

– sub-brand extensions or any form of endorsement from of an already existing brand in a new or the same category.

Note: Cases in this category must demonstrate that the newly introduced brand had not benefited from already existing brand endorsement


The campaign can be applied either to a single retailer or to multiple retailers (physical as well as virtual places). Still, the campaign has to prove that the brand communication was tailor-made according to the retailer’s specifics: the campaign is built in a partnership effort (ex: the retailer is a convenience-driven one; the retailer’s profile asks for a conservative approach; in this store, shoppers are more experiential, they need to explore and interact).

  • Moreover, the solution has to be more than a simple promo offer and come from a deep shopper understanding (shopper need, barrier, opportunity etc.).
  • The communication materials should frame the in-store location and not a part of a bigger, integrated communication campaign (TV spots, radio, Online etc.)
  • The shopper marketing campaign results have to be clearly isolated from the rest of the brand sales.

Note: For this Special Category you must use a different Entry Form. You can download it from here to start preparing your case.


This category celebrates communications efforts made by sport entities (sports federations, clubs etc.) or commercial brands that promote a sport, a team, a competition or a group of sport practitioners, resulting in a positive public opinion impact (visibility, likability, engagement) for the sport and a positive business impact for the brand.

Note: The athletes/team endorsement campaigns and sport products campaigns (sport gear, energy drinks etc.) are not eligible for this category.


Seasons, holidays and events allow marketers the opportunity to build strategic communications based on the time-based interests of their target audience. The category will honour those efforts that effectively capitalized on a season, holiday or cultural event to drive results for their businesses.


This category includes employer branding campaigns, sponsorships, corporate image and identity; advertising to promote corporations, not exclusively their products/services)


This category is for marketing efforts from businesses targeting other businesses. Business-to-business efforts for any type of product or service, from any marketplace segment, are eligible to enter.


The winners of this award will show how advertisers are reaching out to their audiences to establish engaging experiences, meaningful relationships and ownable connections with their brands.

This category is meant to showcase how you can create a brand experience beyond traditional advertising (we define “traditional advertising” as the set of brand messages & assets people are simply exposed to).

This category recognizes ideas that truly brought a brand or product to life and interacted with a specific audience to achieve desired objectives.
You may have re-invented the product demo, re-imagined the pop-up store, or led a “brick and mortar” retail overhaul; you could have created a new game, an alternate or virtual reality experience or interactive/immersive film experience that effectively showcases a new product or brand personality. Experiences can include live events, augmented/virtual reality/digital components – it could have been anything. As long as you can prove it truly came alive and worked.

Entrants in the Brand Experience category must address how the brand experience related back to the overall brand strategy.

Note: As with all Effie categories, you can enter whether your work brought the brand to life as the entire marketing effort or as part of the larger marketing program.

Note: Judges will expect to understand the ‘participation’ in the experience as a core factor. Participation means more than “Like / Share / Comment”


This category is for efforts that effectively reached their audience through the creation of original branded content that is not traditional advertising.

The core of a branded content entry should be content designed to be consumed/experienced and sought out by the consumer for either informative / functional reasons or entertainment.

Entrants must detail the content created, why and how it related to the overall brand and business goals, how it was distributed / shared by, the audience, and the results it achieved for the brand (brand results and/or business results).

Branded content may be produced and distributed by either publishers or independently and can include longform entertainment.

Note: Judges will expect to understand why the chosen type of branded content was the best fit for your brand.

 Note: Entries that have a paid media component are encouraged to prove how their branded content succeeded in grabbing and holding users’ attention beyond paid advertising results and how the audience engaged with the content.


A community is defined by the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common.  A well-defined media target is not a community.

Entrants for this category can be brands that are creating content, experiences, platforms, news with the purpose of engaging a specific community – thus getting them to act, grow, share or amplify the brand message in a way that directly relates to the brand’s goals.

Entrants will need to state clearly how they engaged the community, how they defined effectiveness around the community, what they specifically achieved, and why the engaged community was significant for the development of the brand/business.

Note: Judges expect to receive a clear description of the community your brand engaged with and why it can be considered a community.


This category honours marketers who are creating a product or more likely a “service”, in response to the marketing or business challenge faced that is NOT being sold, but is part of the marketing itself; the intention being to reflect and reinforce the central beliefs of the brand by providing utility to consumers. Entrants must detail the product / service created in response to the challenge, explain its role and objectives, how it was communicated to the audience and, obviously, the results it achieved. Examples: free access to power at airports from a tech company, a training app for a sports brand, a new / unique online or offline content or services that complements the brand, hosting a community that provides shared wisdom and relief to anxious parents from a “mother” brand.

Note: Jurors will expect to understand the ongoing utility to consumers of the product / service created and how it helped enhance the success of the brand.


You can submit any action or business idea that has had an exceptionally positive impact on the market position of a brand, product or service. This category rewards marketing innovation regardless of the quality of the creative idea promoting it. If communication was a significant element of marketing mix, work should be submitted in another competition category of Effie.

Examples of eligible activities in this category include: product innovation; change in packaging, both in terms of its appearance and size; design, technology or UX innovation; consumer involvement in product development; introduction/change of a loyalty program, introduction of a new distribution channel, etc.


This award is for efforts that grew their business / brand by changing the communication model in ways that drive the industry forward.

The entrants must identify a communication pattern and describe the way they reinvented it. The pattern can refer to the communication message, consumption habit, use of media or sponsorship etc. We are looking for those marketing disruptors that have evidence of the positive impact they had not only on their business but also their category or industry.

A marketing disruptor of any size can enter. Entrants must detail the marketing challenge, the competitive landscape and how they succeeded by changing the existing marketing model for the brand and the category.

Note: We are not looking for business idea regarding the innovation of a product, service or business. If this is your case please submit it to the Marketing Innovation category.

See examples here from the Effie Worldwide case database.


This award will go to those marketing ideas that had the ability to burn intensely for a finite period of time, putting a brand or product in a bright spotlight and creating immediate and measurable impact.

A timely opportunity refers to those who had the insight and creativity to either craft unexpected and unconventional moments for a brand, or seize them when they occur in our society by reacting to them.

The best examples will see live experiences, moments, stunts, and tactics, online & offline, perhaps amplified through PR, social media, digital engagement, or even the use of content created in the moment to fuel paid campaigns.

This category spotlights those effective strategic efforts that were able to generate business impact (either brand building or sales) as a direct outcome from a single significant moment of activity.

Judges expect to understand how your brand had the insight to know how and when to “throw a stone into a pond” and maximize the ripple effect from that initial throw.


This category honours brands that had an exceptional performance over 3 years in a row. Submitted campaigns must demonstrate a continuity in both strategy and creative platform, visible in the creative executions through the years (a continuation in terms of communication territory and/or core executional elements, ex: theme / tagline / spokesperson / song etc.). Results must date back to January 2018 and must include the current year results – 2020.

Note: For this Special Category participants must fill in a special entry form (different from other Effie categories) and comply to a dedicated set of creative submission requirements.

Note: “Sustained Success” winners cannot compete for Grand EFFIE.


The Positive Change Effies reward and celebrate the brands and non-profits that are promoting the greater good through marketing communications.

The Positive Change Social Good category celebrates marketing communications efforts proven effective in addressing a social problem or in expanding an existing program in ways that benefit our society. Any effort that sets out to give back in some way for the greater good is eligible to enter. Maybe it was for profit, maybe not. Maybe you got paid, maybe you didn’t. Any and all marketing communications efforts, whether full campaigns or unique efforts within a campaign are eligible to enter as long as measurable results exist.


Recognizing brands that are making the world a better place by using the power of their communications platforms for “good”. This category celebrates for-profit brand efforts that effectively combined business goals with a social cause (health, education, community, family, etc) and successfully related that cause back to the company’s overall brand strategy, resulting in positive business and social impact.


Recognizing non-profit organizations and associations whose communications efforts have effectively driven positive change for society and successfully contributed back to the organization’s purpose. Campaigns must show measurable impact and proven results in support of the cause.