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 continues to be a tough time for the live experiences sector, but we know there’s great work out there to celebrate. We’re looking for standout campaigns that have engaged with people in real-time, whether in person or in a virtual environment to launch a product or brand, build relationships or drive sales. The best entries should include strategic insights into the live activation and include the detail on all the 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 also looking for the best-in-class use of specific channels.
Best use of Social Media
Was your campaign the talk of the social networks? We’re looking for the best examples of how social media has built communities, generated peer to peer engagement, successfully used social influencers to either to drive awareness, launch a brand or increase sales. Judges are looking to recognise the best use of social media to develop, manage and engage online audiences and achieve demonstrable ROI. 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
TikTok offers a unique opportunity for brands to authentically connect with diverse, engaged communities around the world. In this category, we want to see how independent agencies have helped brands behave more like Creators, delivering inspiring creative campaigns that have driven great results.
Best use of Digital Media
This category celebrates campaigns that have used digital and performance media, including work that has used SEO, PPC, programmatic advertising, video, mobile and other digital media platforms. Any work that has predominantly used social media should be entered into the ‘Best use of Social Media’ category.
Best use of Media
Independent agencies continue to thrive and are powering growth of some of the UK’s leading brands through Google’s products. This category sponsored by Google is an opportunity for independent agencies to showcase and celebrate the best and most innovative use of Google products such as Google Ads and Youtube. We want to see campaigns that boost brand awareness, increase leads, online sales and conversion rates while showcasing their targeting techniques and contextual creative to deliver results and performance.
Best Shopper Campaign (in-store and online)
Sponsored by Halo..demystifying promo risk
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
Great digital products harness the most digitally innovative software technology and offer customers the most simple and effective experiences. Our best digital product category celebrates outstanding insight-driven creativity using digital technology. Including websites designed for any screen including desktop and mobile to virtual reality, mixed reality, augmented reality and 360-video products, application experiences across mobile, tablet, and outstanding Software Services and Platforms. Judges will be looking for outstanding UI & UX as well as clear objectives on the back of the build and proof that these objectives were met.
Group 2. Craft
Independent agencies are full of vibrant energies, personalities, ideas, and dreams – what they do is magic, and we want to celebrate it. We believe the best ideas come from independent minds and this award will be given to the most ground-breaking and original idea coming from the independent agency sector. Achieving cut-through is essential and this category will reward those creative ideas for doing just that – turning marketing logic into amazing creative ideas regardless of channel or discipline.
Best Art Direction & Design Campaign
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
Best B2B Campaign
For campaigns that target business customers. It doesn’t matter what channels or technology were used, the most important thing is that your entry has clearly defined objectives and you are able to demonstrate 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.
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 must target a consumer audience. The most important thing is that your entry has clearly defined objectives and that you’re able to demonstrate how they were achieved. Judges will score the work equally around the three criteria of strategy, creativity, and results. Automotive campaigns should also be entered here unless they are lease programmes or insurance when they should be entered in professional services.
Best FMCG / Retail Campaign
This category is for consumer goods including food, drinks, healthcare and other relatively low-cost household items including electronics.
Best Professional Services Campaign
Our professional services category will award the best campaign for a service provided. Including but not limited to financial & legal, utilities, telecoms and internet, online platforms, ticketing sites, social media, IT, and travel.
Best Entertainment, Leisure and Travel Campaign
Sponsored by Tripadvisor
The profound effects of COVID-19 continue to dramatically impact this sector, with one in five people continuing to stay at home following government regulations and the long-term effect being largely unknown. We know, though, that there are still some shining examples of campaigns that have helped businesses find new ways to attract audiences and generate revenue, campaigns executed with the agility to react to rapidly changing and difficult market conditions. We’re looking for the standout work that’s helped reinvigorate and support the worlds of TV, film, cinema, gaming; sports and other recreational activities; holidays, accommodation, and travel – all affected in one way or another in this extremely difficult time.
Best ‘Not for profit’ Campaign
This category is for fundraising or awareness campaigns for charities, institutions including cultural, arts and education organisations.
Best Purpose Driven Campaign
Sponsored by Tripadvisor
In today’s marketing landscape, businesses and brands need more than just competitive advantage; they need meaning in people’s lives. Consumers want more from brands than just utility. This category will reward creative ideas that raise awareness or positive sentiment towards a cause/issue, and/or help shift culture or change behaviour to make a positive impact in the world.
This important new award will celebrate the agency with the most progressive purpose-driven programme or cultural initiative. From internal development, communications, CSR, sustainability initiatives, community impact, workplace equality and staff well-being, this category is the only one to recognise these critical non-client initiatives. After all, we believe that the most progressive, creatively diverse, and successful independent agencies put their people first by creating socially responsible cultures.
The Freedom Awards…
The Freedom awards are 4 extra trophies that will be selected by the judges.
The three extra awards are:
- Agency Collaboration
- Client Service
Independent Agency of the Year
Independent Agency of the Year will be awarded to the one agency who represents and is demonstrably championing all that is great about being an independent. The risk taking and game changing agency that’s doing work that is impossible to ignore. And the agency that displays an outstanding internal, people-focussed, and socially responsible culture. Each entry will include a separate section to allow agencies to fly the flag for those purpose-based initiatives that go beyond the everyday business of solving client problems and aren’t part of the entry criteria. This award is not for the agency with the most awards for their work; it’s for the agency that’s as good on the inside as its outside reputation suggests.