How To Win An Effie – Hortensia Nastase (MullenLowe Romania)

Creativity, Festivals & Awards

After last year’s successful series “How To Win An Effie“, we decided it’s time to continue it this year as well, bringing you even more info on how to prepare for the most famous international competition celebrating efficiency.

We start this process with Hortensia Nastase, Vice-President Creative Services MullenLowe Romania, present each year in the Romanian Effie’s Jury and in 2019 part of the Organizing Committee. What are the most important to dos when being part of the Effie Jury?

Prepare to work hard –> you will spend one or two full days of reading, debating and rating some of the best work in our market. It’s intense, your brains will burn and your elbows will hurt, but it’s probably the most pleasant intellectual masochism act of the year!

Stay objective -> don’t get into the trap of over-criticizing; it’s easy to do so when you judge someone else’s work.

Stay open -> you will meet and have long chats with some of the best people in the industry – marketers, strategists, creatives, etc; over 170, to be more precise – that’s how many jury members Effie gets every year!

Stay honest -> recusing yourself from cases you shouldn’t judge is not even professional ethics, it’s common sense;

Stay alert -> you need to keep a high sense of urgency in judging, as the limited minutes per case and the vigilance of moderators will not let you breathe;

Stay vertical -> like with every round table debate, there will be at least one alpha guy in your judging room, so don’t let yourself influenced unless for some self-evident, great reasoning!

Drink lots of water and coffee. Have fun in the process. How has your professional experience and judging in other festivals’ experience helped you?

It’s an egg & hen situation. Your work experience helps you understand the Effie cases in their reality and complexity, see the business behind the brand and read the mathematics of the story. At the same time, your Effie experience helps you become a better professional, gain perspective, clarity, critical and lateral thinking. They go hand in hand. What are the main Dont’s?

Don’t be shy -> there might be industries that are totally new, there might be stories that don’t make sense to you, there might be indicators that need clarifying – put everything open on the table in the debate session.

Don’t judge creative -> this is a tribute we, agency people, pay to our creative background. This festival is about business understanding, results, effectiveness and productivity.  Creative is merely an element in this medley.

Don’t get personal -> if you know more about a brand/ category than what is written in the case, don’t bring that information with you – judge exclusively on the bases of the case in front of you; if, for some reason, you feel you cannot be 100% neutral to that case, you’d better recuse yourself. How should one prepare for the judging days?

If you have been invited in the jury panel, it means you are one of the +170 top-notch marketing specialists in Romania and you have done nothing but prepare for this point every day of your career so far. So just be yourself. Plus see answer to question #1. What would you say that are the main ingredients of winning an EFFIE trophy? How important is the way you write your study case?

Have a strong business case + have a strong storyteller to write about it! Like in all festivals, this is probably 50% about reality and 50% about perception. Or perhaps 40%-60%.






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