effie awards

Tips for a good case

1. Make yourself familiar with previous winners. It might still be of use to you to look previously published papers. Copies of Advertising Works are available on the site. Or participate in the EFFIE seminars.

2. Start early. Writing a paper is, as much as anything a question of planning. Approach the paper as a project with clear timing deadlines and goals.

3. Consider all effects. List down the effects you expected. Divide them into two: first sales effects or effects on consumers, and then effects across different stakeholders. Every time make sure you push your thinking beyond the intermediate measures. How did the advertising contribute to business success is the core and final question.

4. Data first. The basis of any good paper is data. Good data= good paper. Bad, inconclusive or missing data= bad paper. Understanding your data, having good links with those who produce it, good manipulation of the data is core to the best practice in the study of effectiveness everyday. In the development of a well-written case, they are crucial.

5. Clarity and style. The judges are intelligent human beings. They will be unimpressed by waffle. They are short of time and will therefore appreciate a well written paper, i.e. one that has: a clear structure and signposts avoids jargon and techno-speak, keeps the story focused and interesting, integrates the data and tables into the text in order to allow the argument to flow without interruption.

6. Transparency. Judges are not clairvoyants! Cases must include sufficient background and details to allow clear understanding. For example, cases have become increasingly lax in including basic background data and clear indications of targets, media plans etc. The ideal case should aim to cover: business background and objectives, marketing objectives, advertising objectives and strategies, the creative brief, the media plan and clear indication of budgets, coverage and frequency, clear indication on return.

7. Make sure your first draft s not your last. Give yourself time to write and then walk away. Time away will help you see your own case more clearly. If possible get someone relatively uninvolved to read the paper critically in an editorial role. Use this editorial role to question (what alternative explanations are there, how else the effect might have been achieved, what is not clear).

8. Find a partner. From the start have someone to help – to discuss your argument, to question, to provoke new ideas, and the going gets tougher to support you and to help. The best papers, like the best advertising, are usually team efforts.

9. Involve the client as partner. Last but not least, involve your client. Client support will ensure access to data, support with time and resource, advice on how a client would test the proof and what a client would find interesting. Get your own CEO to talk to the client CEO. Past winners have all seen that a clear agreement and understanding of how advertising worked had improved the client/agency relationship, not simply with the marketing contact but throughout the client organization. One of the benefits of the awards has been to support the client and the marketing function itself in their effort to secure support (and the budget!!) from their colleagues.

For more tips for a good case, please order the Insight Guide Brochure from the organizing agency.

Download the Romanian Effie Awards 2017 Entry Kit Documents.