A Strategist, a Marketer and a Creative Director Walked Into Amazon…

The Effie Awards is a celebration of creative and effective advertising that reinforces teamwork between agency, client and researchers. It is regarded as the most significant award in the advertising/marketing industry as winners are measured by their marketing effectiveness.

Before there was a virus. Before there was a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order, we were fortunate enough to have two of our own attend the Seattle-area judging of The Effie Awards (Effies) at Amazon HQ earlier this year.

Below are a few thoughts from the two Hydrogen judges invited to attend: Hillary Miller, VP Strategy and Accounts and Mary Knight, Executive Creative Director.

On the Effie Awards focus on ideas that work

Hillary: “It was refreshing to see so many ‘client side’ judges this year. We’re all in this as a team, and it helps remind all of us how important it is to share—from creative thought process to final results.”

Mary: “This was the second awards show I judged this year, the first for the ADDY club in Memphis. While both are rewarding, it’s really interesting to see the strategic thinking at Effies. Like Hillary, I always crave results so we can see what’s working.”

On the quality of entries

Hillary: “This year I thought overall the 12+ Briefs I judged were better than previous years – more people understood and could articulate the strategy behind the idea. But the work was more disappointing – very bland, ‘sea of sameness’ work in healthcare, pharma, retail, etc.”

Mary: “Each judge is assigned a block of entries so sometimes they’re great and others, maybe the creative is strong but the strategy is weak or vice versa. Then just when you’re wearing down, you hit gold. It took me about 10 entries before I hit one that I knew would medal at the show. It blew me away.”

What’s the one thing you took away from the experience?

Hillary: “Overall I’m impressed with the Effies and their efforts (see what I did there?) to improve the standing of our industry – and that we really do care and measure effective campaigns.”

Mary: “A winning entry is truly a team effort. If any link is weak, the entry falls apart. Shiny creative (or an amazing insight) isn’t enough to save the day.”

Granted, the world looks very different now than it did in January when the in-person judging took place. But great ideas will stand the test of time.