How To Win An Effie – Sorin Psatta


EFFIE is the most significant award in our industry because it honors the one truly important achievement in advertising: Results. It is the award presented annually by the New York American Marketing Association in recognition of the year’s most effective advertising campaigns – campaigns that have delivered superior results in meeting or exceeding the objectives they were designed to achieve. EFFIE is a national award spread internationally and it has been organized since 1968.

But what are the keys to winning an EFFIE? Some of the specialists in the market answered for Today, Sorin Psatta, Integrated Communication Director BBDO Romania. What are the most important to dos when being part of the Effie Jury?
Before everything, I believe it should be mentioned that the jury of a festival such as Effie has over 100 person in its composition that cover the whole communication industry: clients, advertising and media agencies’ representatives, marketing research companies, as well as people in the profile academic area, therefore the first thing you need to do is enjoy and appreciate the fact that you are part of the jury, as a recognition of your professionalism and expertise.
The second thing is, of course, practically proving that expertise, through an objective judging of the cases, something that is not easy at all, considering the fact that you will be analyzing campaigns in unfamiliar industries and you will only have 10 minutes at your disposal to read the success story full of details, numbers,indicators, results… Fortunately,though,for some years, after the individual judging was introduces a short discussion session (max 10 minutes), in which are clarified the facts or are expressed documented opinions by all the judging sub-committee from each you are part of (between 10 and 15 persons), therefore, in the end, you can grade the cases (between 1 -100) knowing those 4 areas analyzed: context and marketing challenge, insight and communication strategy, creative executions and media strategy, results, and the cases that obtain a minimum of 76 points are awarded with Bronze, Silver or Gold… How has your experience helped you?
Besides the personal experience, gained at the workplace, each Effie judging offers you the opportunity of reading successful case studies and to comment them alongside other specialists, therefore it’s an excellent opportunity in learning new things or discovering new perspectives, after around 9-10 occasions in which I was a member of the organizing committee or a member of the jury I can say that today I find it, without a day, much easier to decipher a case from the first read than it was a decade ago…. What are the main Dont’s?
First of all, each of us is also a consumer, with his /hers own preferences or choices, but it’s mandatory that at each judging to try and forget about these and to analyze as neutral and objective as possible the campaigns,no matter whom it addresses, what promotes or by whom were created.
Secondly, each one of us has a personal or professional history, therefore when you need to judge a campaign to a product in the competition,for example, or towards which, from some reasons, you cannot have an objective rapport, is your duty to recuse yourself from grading that case. How should one prepare for the judging days?
The judging last long enough, 2 full days for selecting the finalists, another one full day for the awarded ones, therefore is good to be tired and in full physical shape. On the other hand, the judging means a lot of attention and maximum concentration, therefore it’s better to disconnect from the phone or other devices, at least as a sign of minim respect towards the festival’s value and the rightness of giving the awards. And, more than anything, to be just as a sponge, because for sure we will have more and very useful things to learn during the judging process.