Some people are ego driven. Some are competitive. Others see no value in them at all. You can get into multiple debates about entering advertising awards. This isn't that conversation.
This is about engaging your team. I've never heard of any careers being hurt by recognition, including mine. Advertising awards are a great way to reconnect and acknowledge teamwork while we're working apart. This isn't just about entering, it's about participating, too.
Award competitions are expensive, so you often have to choose carefully. And if you're spending all that money, you also want to see if you have a shot at winning the prize.
There's a great way to gain insight about how to win advertising awards – and it's absolutely free. Become a judge.
Let's get "judgey."
Many award programs have open applications for judges. There aren't many jury calls for major advertising awards (Clios), but popular awards, like the Webbys, let professionals weigh in. Judging benefits you by:
Making it a team activity. If budget and timing aren't in your favor to enter, have your team sign up as judges. It makes a great group activity to discuss the work outside of what you do.
Exposing you to good work. To create your best work, you need to be where you can see good work. After all, entrants are submitting best work from the previous year. Some of it may not inspire you, but you'll find those entries that will make you say, "I wish I'd done that." Learn from their thinking to take your work to another level (and that doesn't mean steal from them). There are advertising awards for commercials, events, social media, etc.
Sizing up the competition. Maybe judge one year and enter the next. Many people and agencies enter the same award programs, so you can see the quality of entries and get an idea of how you stand up. (Another note to evil-doers: no, you won't be able judge your work and sabotage the competition.)
Wanna judge? I've got a place to start. I serve on the board of the directors of the Insurance Marketing Communications Association (IMCA). We're looking for judges, and no, you don't have to be in the insurance industry. Just fill out the form and the committee will be in touch.
Enter the IMCA Showcase Awards
Now if you did some insurance advertising last year, there's time to enter the IMCA Showcase Awards. Nominating your team for any award is a perfect way to say "thank you" while we're all away from each other.