How to Identify Your Award-Worthy Work

By Nikki Hughes, Marketing Director for Edelman EMEA and ‘Champion for The Work’.

Hands up who wants to submit their work for awards? There’s no shortage of great PR, creative and integrated campaigns, and naturally everyone wants to see their work get the recognition it deserves.

However, showcasing your work in a way that’s engaging, exciting and concise is a skill, and assessing your best bets takes some strategic consideration.

So, what should you consider?

I take the ‘think like the jury’ approach and look for five key elements when assessing campaigns. These aren’t just useful for reviewing work after you’ve completed campaigns either, they’re good guiding principles when it comes to developing campaign ideas too.

1 A killer insight:

A crystal clear and original insight is the springboard that catapults the rest of the campaign into being. When the insight is right, the creative idea, relevance to audience and application can follow seamlessly. The right insight shows off your creative strategy muscles and leads to that ‘Aha’ moment, when you know the team delivered brilliantly on the challenge.

Edelman’s ‘HSBC: The Sounds of Home’ campaign was based on the insight that 92% of foreign students suffer home sickness, and that of all the senses, sounds are the most missed. The campaign went on to win awards at Sabres EMEA, Creative Circle, Creative Moment and the Shorty Awards.

2 A totally original creative response:

Award-worthy work must be truly original. Work that does something that hasn’t been done before, that takes people by surprise and that that earns people’s attention organically because they want to engage with it, is the holy grail when identifying options.

One such campaign is our currently live, ‘Samsung: Wildlife Watch’ in which we upcycled Samsung Galaxy phones and live-streamed from the African plains, creating a 24-hour watch team of virtual rangers from all over the world, to tackling poaching. Visit to take the watch!

3 A seamless tie-in between the brand or product and the campaign idea:

Award-winning campaigns shouldn’t feel like you’ve bolted an idea to any client that will take it. Do this and you risk your work feeling inauthentic. It’s important to look for ideas which feel inherently linked to the product or brand itself, so there is a sense of the perfect fit.

For example, Samsung wanted to raise awareness of its Frame TV that doubles as an art frame, so we brought 12 iconic pieces of artwork back to life for a virtual exhibition using the Samsung Frame TV and started an online treasure hunt to help art crime detective agency ARCA to find them. You can watch ‘Samsung: Missing Masterpieces’ here.

4 Stand-out executional craft:

First-class execution of an idea is a no-brainer for awards submission. Execution is where the idea comes to life and the brand meets its audience in the world. We consider every aspect of the craft in relation to the idea so that the look, feel and delivery are all pulling in the same direction, enhancing the impact of the work.

‘Asics: Eternal Run’ was an executional feat. The world’s first race without a finish line was a live experience in the middle of the desert, with no existing infrastructure, executed with the help of 60 crew, 25 Asics employees, 23 runners, 7 films crews and 5 agents. It went on to become our most awarded campaign to date, picking up at major PR and creative shows including Sabres EMEA, D&D, Clios Sports, eurobest and The Drum.

5 Great results:

Reach isn’t enough! Great results are what prove that your idea worked. We look for work that led to real business impact and tangible movement towards the client’s goals, whether that’s awareness, behaviour change or something else.

Digging into numbers can be fun. Our award-winning ‘Text for Humanity’ campaign helped Sinch generate over 300% more business leads, ‘Blackout Track’ saw Asics Gel-Kayano sales increase by 134% YoY and ‘FiftyFifty’, our International Women’s Day campaign for IKEA, revealed that 74% of people would rather clean their toilet than complete their tax return!

So, there we have it.

Assessing your campaigns from these five angles gives you an idea of what the jury might be thinking – and if you have something that excels in all five areas, you may well be onto a winner!

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