The Warc Prize for Asian Strategy is Asia's leading competition recognising great strategic thinking in marketing. 2014 marks the Prize's fourth year. The US$10,000 cash prize is free to enter and will be awarded to the case study that demonstrates the best strategic thinking in the region.
June is the height of awards fever in the advertising and marketing world.
We're all familiar with the drill. The months before are a frenzy of agency folk filtering through all the campaign data (once more) to lock-down their case, getting clients to approve the case study write-ups, last minute re-writes from the higher powers-that-be. All this is then transformed into a slick 3-minute video compellingly demonstrating why the campaign is a blue-ribbon champion.
Finally, the winners are announced and the global industry heaves a collective sigh of sweet relief. Only to be repeated 6 months later.
It's no secret: our industry is propelled by awards.
But apart from just measuring effectiveness and creativity, it's also important to recognise the best in strategic thinking. Razor-sharp strategies can inspire world-first ideas, possibly reacquainting you with a brand you last interacted with in your youth while also delivering hard business results.
This is especially important in Asia, where – let's face it – budgets are modest but expectations are sky-high.
That's where the Warc Prize for Asian Strategy comes in. We are getting ready to celebrate the best from the region for the fourth year running with another US$10,000 prize fund.
But what's so special about the Warc Prize for Asia Strategy, you ask? We caught up with two past winners, who share their views on the Prize and how to be immortal on Warc.
Shahvez Afridi, Head of Strategy at Grey Asia Pacific, 2014 Prize Judging Panellist
"Ever since I joined the business, Warc has always been the seminal go-to source for knowledge. Be it best practice, case studies, papers in innovative thinking or trends. Unfortunately, most of the content originated in the West; which was arguably right for its time. However, with the Asian tide rising, it was critical to invest in a repository of Asian success stories. After all, Asia now had a thing or two to teach the world. The Warc Prize for Asian Strategy first awarded in 2011 was a genius way of ramping up the best strategic thinking pool happening in Asia for the world to investigate and emulate.
Having been a past winner (won the Silver/Runner-up for the Gillette Mach3 India Shave Sutra campaign), I can say without a doubt that it was one of the most satisfying wins of my career. Firstly, integrity: for all that Warc has stood for all these years. Secondly, excellence: for attracting the best and brightest minds in strategic thinking. And, thirdly, home-grown: being a one-of-its-kind Asia-wide competition.
Over the past four years, Warc has built up a formidable repository of Asian success stories that the Planning community the world over can learn from. Going ahead, it probably needs to look at opening up the competition and awarding entries by specific disciplines."
Adil Ismeer, Planning Director at Iris Worldwide, 2012 Prize Grand Prix winner
"There are a few reasons you should enter the Warc Prize for Asian Strategy.
1. The glory
If you win, you will feel awesome – you may even entertain the thought of you being the smartest person in Asia.
2. The resume
The words Warc and Grand Prix on your resume is like fairy dust to recruiters.
3. The money
Five grand is a tidy sum of money – if you're looking to pop the question to your significant other or are dreaming of a week in Europe, this could be your ticket.
4. The practice
Even if you don't win, this is a great opportunity for you to practice your case writing skills – vital for you to pick up those Effies, AMEs and more"
Still looking for inspiration? Here are some learnings and judges' tips from last year's Prize – including a complete webinar with 2013 Grand Prix winner, Tony Harris (BBDO Guerrero).
So give it one last heave-ho and submit your best case studies! The entries deadline for this year's Prize has just been extended to Thursday 3rd July 2014.
Let's see what you've got, Asia!