NEW YORK: Pepsi, Gatorade and Microsoft are among the major brands competing for honours at the 2010 Jay Chiat Awards for Strategic Excellence.

The winners will be announced during the inaugural Jay Chiat Strategy Festival, organised by the 4A's and being held in Miami from October 11-13.

Open to creative shops, media networks, research firms and specialists in other disciplines, the Awards seek to recognise "the best examples of strategic thinking from around the world."

Nearly 50 judges representing the agency- and client-sides chose the shortlisted entries, covering ten categories overall.

The Pepsi Refresh Project, which aims to support individuals and groups submitting the most impressive schemes to rejuvenate local communities, is in the section allocated to initiatives for existing products.

Its rivals include sports giant Puma, juice drink Capri-Sun and Benylin's All-in-One cold and flu remedy.

Heavyweights like Coca-Cola, IBM, Microsoft and HBO claimed spots in the communications and media strategy competition, as did agencies such as JWT Brazil and Collins in New York.

Best Buy's "Twelpforce", an idea developed by Crispin Porter + Bogusky that has seen many of the retailer's employees take to Twitter to deal with customer queries, features in the creative technology field.

It is up against Mini's "Carfun Footprint Calculator" and similarly pioneering innovations from Nordstrom Photobooth and the Grammys.

Another idea being considered is Gatorade's "A Story of Second Chances", which reunited high-school football teams to recreate matches played years earlier, and ended in a tie first time round.

TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles was behind this platform, which could win two prizes, and the Pepsi Refresh Project.

JWT New York was responsible for two of the nominated campaigns on behalf of new brands; namely Bing, Microsoft's "decision engine", and U by Kotex.

Automakers contributed three of the four finalists for social media strategy, as Honda, Ford and Toyota, are joined by travel website Travelocity.

"In today's market, strategy is about so much more than just advertising in the traditional sense," said Andrew Delbridge, chief strategy officer, McKinney, and chairman of the 4A's Strategy Committee.

"As a result, this year's Jay Chiat Awards include a number of new categories that are representative of the incredible diversity of disciplines that now make up communications strategy."

Warc subscribers can read papers from the 2009 Jay Chiat Awards for Strategic Excellence here.

Data sourced from 4A’s; additional content by Warc staff