The Jay Chiat Awards at the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's) 2012 Strategy Festival threw up a particularly strong trend this year: advertising and, more broadly, the marketing application of technology, can not only drive the bottom line but also improve the way we live.

So the Strat Fest proved a good venue for Louise Ainsworth, Warc's CEO, to issue a challenge not only to the strategists in attendance but to the global community of marketing thought leaders: the 2013 Admap Prize. This free-to-enter competition will award $5,000 to the essay that best answers the question: "Can brands maximize profits and be a force for social good?"

The competition, sponsored by WPP's Kantar, has an entry deadline of January 31, 2013.

Joining Ainsworth on the Strat Fest stage was one of the judges, Gareth Kay, Chief Strategy Officer at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, who encouraged the delegates to get involved, and gave a few tips on how to stand out. "Admap magazine turbocharges how I think about advertising and how I do my job," he said.

The Prize, he added, was a way for strategists to sharpen their thinking, to stand out among their peers, and to move the industry forward. There were, he added, five reasons to enter:

So what will he be looking for in Prize entries? He listed four criteria for entries:

  • Be interesting
  • Ground the argument
  • Provoke a response
  • Have a point of view

Turning to the specific subject matter of the Prize, Ainsworth added: "The question for brands is, are the pursuit of profit and doing social good conflicting objectives, or does one beget the other? Does Corporate Social Responsibility directly add value and grow the business, or is it simply a marketing/PR expense, a cost of doing business?"

Alongside Kay, judges will include Sara de Dios (Global Head of Meaningful Brands at Havas Media), Guy Murphy (JWT Worldwide Planning Director), Colin Mitchell (Ogilvy & Mather's Worldwide Head of Planning), Miguel Pestana (Unilever VP/global external affairs), and Faris Yakob (Chief Innovation Officer at MDC Partners/KBS+).

In addition to the cash honor for the top Admap Prize, the judges will award silver and bronze prizes. The full roster of winners-as well as a group of judges' commended essays, will be published in Admap and on

Find out more about the Prize, and read some articles to help your thinking, at the 2013 Admap Prize website.

And read more of our coverage from the 4As Strat Fest via our Event Reports page.