You only have 20 minutes to present your case to the 12 judges who will decide the winners at the 2013 Account Planning Group (APG) Awards. But how can you make the most of this short timeslot? Here are the top tips gleaned from a ‘How to win’ APG event, held at Google’s headquarters in London earlier this week – and attended by many of the UK planners set to compete for this year's prizes.
First to speak was Richard Huntington, chief strategy officer at Saatchi & Saatchi who gave his view on what makes an award winning presentation based on his experiences of being a judge for the 2011 awards. His main points were:
Next to speak was Andy Nairn, chair of short listing judges for this year's Awards, and winner of Best Presentation in 2011 for his work with the UK department of health's anti-smoking campaign (subscribers can view the full case study on Warc A new approach to an old problem ).
Nairn’s anti-smoking campaign struck gold by breaking with category norm. Despite the effectiveness of the client's ad campaigns, there were still eight million smokers in England. Nairn’s strategic idea was to move away from the usual analogies that focused on smoking as being detrimental to physical health, the advertising that traditionally conveyed hellish images of blackened lungs etc. Instead, this award winning strategy showed smoking as something that inflicts emotional harm on others – namely, the children of those who smoke. The campaign brought this thinking to life by recording real, unscripted messages by the children, who spoke directly to their parents about their fears and concern for their loved ones’ health. The media strategy was highly personalised: messages from children were strategically placed in locations where their parents would frequent – such as a beer mat in the local pub, or a poster at their local shop.
In short, this campaign identified a familiar and age old problem, but tackled it in a unique and emotive way. The campaign made people take notice, and perhaps think about the impact of smoking in a different way. The magic in the thinking therefore was the shift from smoking as inflicting physical harm (mainly on oneself) to smoking inflicting emotional harm (on others).
The speakers also had some final words of advice for entrants:
Entries need to be ready by 12 noon on Thursday 21st March 2013. The 20 minute pitches will follow soon after.
Good luck to this year's entrants!