It’s awards entry season (nicely timed with patio and pitcher season)

We here at strategy have been adding to the summer fun for case writers and readers, as we're putting on the CASSIES with the ICA this year in addition to being in the throes of Agency of the Year, Media Agency of the Year, and our newest (and biggest), the B!G Awards.

We here at strategy have been adding to the summer fun for case writers and readers, as we’re putting on the CASSIES with the ICA this year in addition to being in the throes of Agency of the Year, Media Agency of the Year, and our newest (and biggest), the B!G Awards.

In the thick of writing (and rewriting) cases and putting together the seemingly endless elements required for a typical award show entry, one is justifiably prone to panic or a nihilistic view of award shows, depending on the stage of entry in relation to the deadline. That’s why strategy limits its awards fever to initiatives that merit the marathon of effort, such as our flagship Agency of the Year (AOY) competition. Since a panel of agency and marketing execs judge both creative and strategic bench strength over a body of work – five cases for five clients – it’s a unique ranking of agencies. And a useful RFP resource.

Just preparing the shortlist involves inviting all agencies to send a precis of their top five campaigns for poll consideration, then we canvas the industry asking who had the most impressive work. It’s a long list (making for long, sometimes fascinating poll conversations) and that’s just the first step. So we appreciate the time invested by all participants, and to make sure the outcome continues to merit the investment, we constantly review what we award – and how – and tweak if need be to provide more useful content.

Which leads me to the moment you’ve all been waiting for…the shortlists (yes, plural). This year, by popular demand, we’ve tweaked our long-standing Media Agency of the Year competition to more closely mirror our rigorous AOY process. So, in addition to nominating Media Director of the Year and voting on the Next Media Star, we asked the industry to give us their top media agency picks. The shops with the most votes have been invited to submit a body of work (three plans) for judges’ scrutiny of relative creativity, strategy and success.

Here’s the industry’s choice as the top performers in our first MAOY shortlist:

Carat

Cossette

Genesis

M2 Universal

MediaCom

Mediaedge:CIA

Media Experts

Mindshare

OMD

PHD/ Touche/PHD

Starcom MediaVest

Zenith Optimedia

And now for the AOY contenders. According to the 50+ senior marketers and agency execs polled, these are the shops whose work most impressed:

BBDO

Bensimon Byrne

Cossette

DDB

Dentsu

John St.

Leo Burnett

Lowe Roche

Ogilvy

Rethink

Sid Lee

Taxi

TBWA

Zig

And we’re happy to report that the B!G field has expanded again this year, since it proves that more agencies are doing significant projects with major clients in the realms beyond advertising. Store design, recruitment, and long-form entertainment are among the areas spanned by this year’s B!G entries.

So, good luck to all, and hopefully we’ll see you on our podium Oct. 30, or at the CASSIES Jan. 27 as we kick off Ad Week.

Cheers,mm Mary Maddever, exec editor, strategy, Media in Canada and stimulant

PS. And yes. Client authorization release forms do indeed need to be signed by the client.