The mission of the CASSIES is to encourage more world-class advertising in Canada focused on the achievement of business results. They are the only awards in Canada that specifically recognize advertising's effectiveness in the marketplace. It is advertising that proves its role in improving the sales or performance of a product or service.
A key requirement is that the results have to be demonstrated for at least 12 months, relative to the previous year (this, of course, is the reason that the CASSIES cannot be held more than once every two years).
CASSIES entries are evaluated based on how convincingly a case is presented, whether advertising is isolated as the major contributor to improved performance, how well the objectives were delivered, the quality of analysis and the degree of creativity and innovation in thinking and execution. The CASSIES do not abandon the encouragement of creativity – the staple of other advertising award programs – but the burden is clearly on proof of performance.
The origin of the CASSIES
For many years various Canadians had wanted to launch an Effectiveness Awards program or collect Canadian case histories so as to raise the overall level of professional standards, as well as providing practical tips on the development and measurements of effective campaigns. When Rupert Brendon took over the Chairmanship of the first Canadian Congress of Advertising, he saw the perfect all-industry organization under whose umbrella he helped to create the CASSIES. The Canadian Congress of Advertising was a multi-industry, not for profit group originally funded by the Association of Canadian Advertisers, Institute of Canadian Advertising (now the Institute of Communication Agencies), Association of Quebec Advertising Agencies, Canadian Media Directors' Council and Marketing Magazine, along with 72 Founding Patron Companies.
In addition to managing the CASSIES Awards, and publishing the award winning cases, the ICA has organized a conference, trade show and awards dinner to honor the winners and celebrate advertising effectiveness in Canada. Currently, the CASSIES are managed by the Institute of Communication Agencies.