Copywriting courses needed after three categories fail to produce winner at ADMA awards

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ADMA chief executive Jodie Sangster has flagged a new initiative around copywriting, after it was one of three categories to have no winner at last night’s AC&E Awards because entries did not meet the “required standard”.

No gongs were handed out in three categories at the Association of Data Driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA) awards last night after judges ruled that none of the finalists were worthy winners, with the decisions greeted by boos from some sections of the audience.

Sangster told Mumbrella the entries  in the copywriting, email marketing and social media categories failed to meet the “required standard”, but rejected suggestions the entries simply weren’t good enough, but admitted none of the finalists had struck the right balance between creativity and effectiveness. She said the lack of a winner in the categories showed a particular need for agencies to improve their creativity.

“This year we moved to only having one award per category, rather than gold, silver and bronze as we had previously,” Sangster explained. “So to win, an entry had to meet a very high standard and had to have a balance between creativity and effectiveness. If it didn’t meet that grade then no award was given. The judges were given that discretion.

“In those three categories the entries didn’t meet the standard required to say this is the best of the best. There was good work in each, and some were highly commended, but there wasn’t one stand out. There has been a swing towards data and technology and now we need to get back to being a bit more creative.”

Asked if she was surprised at the lack of winners in the categories, Sangster said: “Yes I think I was surprised and obviously we’d like to have had a winner. It means we have to do more to make sure there is this balance between creativity and effectiveness in these categories.”

She flagged the launch of a new ADMA initiative around copywriting, suggesting there needs to be more recognition of “great copywriting” and the role it plays in marketing.

“We need to get back to some of the great slogans, the great ads. You can remember certain slogans and certain words and that’s what we need to get back to,” she said.

“Email marketing was an interesting one. There was some really well written and effective email marketing campaigns but the judges didn’t feel they represented that balance of creativity and effectiveness.

“I wouldn’t say they weren’t good enough, it depends on the objective they were trying to achieve. But as an awards show we are trying to award something that was a step above. In many cases something may have worked wonderfully well for the client but what we are awarding is that balance between the two. We required a creative approach and creative thinking as well results.

“The definition of creative isn’t just around great art work. It’s about a creative approach, and that’s what we are awarding. It’s not awarding the work that we do every day, it’s awarding work that stands out.”

Sangster said the industry was beginning to see a return creativity and highlighted research which showed the greater the creativity the more effective a campaign is.

“There’s a real correlation between the two and that’s part of the reason we have gone down this path of requiring a balance.We have gone down the path of data and technology without this balance and that is what we are trying to get back to. We are saying the creative element is really important.”

Steve Jones

The finalists:

Email marketing

Aimia Australia – 2014 Lifecycle Trigger eDM Campaign – CommBank Awards loyalty program
Edge Custom – Baby and Toddler Club EDM program
Wunderman – Demo Army
OgilvyOne Sydney – How to have a monogamous relationship with 41,982 people
Clemenger Proximity – Make Us An Offer You Can’t Refuse
Soap Creative – New Bank Account. New Look.
RAPP – Relationship eMail – highly commended
Lavender – Telstra Post-Paid Mobile Right Planning – Taking the shock out of bill shock – highly commended

Social media campaign

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne – #discuss
Leo Burnett Melbourne – #SPCSunday
Clemenger BBDO Sydney – #winrichardspoints
Whybin\TBWA\DAN Sydney – Appreciate a Mate
M&C SAATCHI GROUP – Every 6 Seconds
Whybin\TBWA Group Melbourne – GAYTMs – highly commended
Clemenger BBDO Melbourne – How To Drink Properly – highly commended
Clemenger BBDO Melbourne – Melbourne Remote Control Tourist –
Leo Burnett Melbourne – SEEK Learning ‘Learnings from SEEK Learning
The Hallway – The Whitsundays – A movie that’s waiting to be written
Clemenger BBDO Sydney – The Whopper Seduction
Clemenger BBDO Sydney – Zombie Followers – highly commended


WiTH Collective – Australia Baby Making Census – highly commended
RAPP – Dkin Alumni Publication
M&C SAATCHI GROUP – Commbank Cricket Club
Whybin\TBWA Group Melbourne – Heaps More Helpful
Lavender – How to Pick a PIN
McCann Melbourne – PHUBBING – highly commended
WiTH Collective – Symantec Five Stages of Business Data Loss
WiTH Collective – Symantec Privacy Gap Filler
HARDWIRE Agency – We see pluses


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