We have purposely kept our categories to a minimum while also representing the breadth of disciplines and capabilities of the many independent agencies out there. All categories are judged equally on Strategy, Execution and Effectiveness unless stated otherwise.
Group 1. Disciplines
Best use of PR
Whether it’s brand building, crisis comms or behaviour change, this is a chance to showcase the power and impact of PR at its very best. Judges are looking for an inspiring selection of entries grounded in a clear strategy or business need, with the implementation of integrated activity making best use of owned and earned media channels, to achieve outstanding and measurable results.
Best use of Brand Experience
It’s been particularly tough year for live experiences, but we know there’s great work out there to champion. We’re looking for campaigns that have engaged with people in real-time, whether in person or in a virtual environment to build relationships, drive sales or achieve strategic objectives. The best entries include insights into the live activation and include all amplification tactics surrounding it.
Best Media Campaign
This category champions the use of traditional media channels such as TV, Radio, Print, Online, Cinema and out of Home, there is a separate category for digital channels. We’re looking for smart media strategy and bold creative, with measurable outcomes to show the impact of the campaign. Entries can span multiple channels but judges are looking for best in class representation for specific channels in particular here.
Best use of Social Media
We’re looking for the best examples of how using social media channels effectively can build communities, peer to peer engagement and influence behaviour. Work in this category can be a social campaign or the use of social in a wider more integrated campaign (results must be related to the social aspect only).
Best use of Digital Media
This category champions the digital performance you have achieved for your client, including work that used SEO, PPC, programmatic advertising, video, mobile and other digital media. Any work that has predominantly used social media should be entered into the Best use of Social media category.
Best Shopper Campaign (in-store and online)
This category is for brands & retailers that have created campaigns to directly promote sales or build loyalty in both bricks and mortar and/or online stores. The critical element to entry in this category should be that there has to be a clear and direct call to action for the ‘shopper’ that leads to measurable results against specific campaign objectives.
Best Digital Product
This category is for agencies that have designed and built, or been the strategic lead on a digital destination that has played in integral role in a clients marketing communications programme, such as websites (marketing sites, transactional sites or content sites) or mobile apps. Judges will be looking for clear objectives on the back of the build and proof that these objectives were achieved, in addition to great UI and UX.
Group 2. Craft
Art Direction & Design
This category recognises the freedom that Independent agencies have to unleash creativity that’s a cut above the rest. Is it new? Is it fresh? Is it ground-breaking? Is it work that adds to the world of the viewer – that makes them look at things through a fresh lens? That influences their behaviour. Does it convey emotion through creativity and also reflect the spirit of the times we live in? Judges are looking for the strategic insights behind the creative approach, as well as brave and beautifully crafted executions. Art direction that does what art direction is supposed to do – showcase the creative idea perfectly – not distract from it. Work can be submitted into this category from any channel or media.
Best use of Copy
Copy is mistakenly seen as a dying art (with even D&AD shockingly dropping its Writing for Advertising award in 2020). But we believe copywriting still matters…more than ever. It’s all around us: in our hands, on our screens, on our streets and works best when it gets into our minds. This category celebrates the work that proves the power of great copy. Work that entertains, makes an impact, appeals to emotions and changes behaviour. Words that bring their meaning or character to life in unexpected ways. That capture attention. That truly engage with audiences. We’re championing great writing across all channels – from ads to digital and social channels, to content marketing campaigns and beyond.
Group 3. Sectors
The best B2B Campaign
For marketing communications campaigns that target business customers. It doesn’t matter what channels or technology was used here, the most important thing is that your entry has clearly defined objectives and demonstrates how they were achieved. But to really shine, judges will be looking for knock-out strategy, brave creative or innovation in the winning entry that sets a high benchmark for B2B marketing.
The best B2C Campaign
Who wouldn’t want the title of best B2C campaign? This category is big and broad with the only limiting criteria that you have to target a B2C audience. The most important thing is that your entry has clearly defined objectives and demonstrates how they were achieved. Judges will score the work equally around the three criteria of strategy, creativity and results. Auto campaigns should also be entered here unless they are lease programmes or insurance when they should be entered in professional services.
FMCG / Retail
This category is for consumer goods including food, drinks, healthcare and other relatively low-cost household items including electronics.
Our professional services category is for communications and loyalty campaigns across financial services from insurance to pensions right through to utilities brands, telecommunications and streaming services.
Entertainment, Leisure and Travel
This category is for work in…
Entertainment – TV and Film, Cinema, Gaming and Music.
Leisure – Sports and other recreational Activities
Travel – Holidays, accommodation and travel
Not for profit
This category is for fundraising or awareness campaigns for charities, institutions including cultural, arts and education organisations.
The Freedom Awards…
The Freedom awards are 3 extra trophies that will be selected by the judges.
The three extra awards are:
- Agency Collaboration
- Client Service