“A Good-Quality Laugh Never Goes Down Badly”: B&T Awards Live Judge Andrew Howie Provides A Few Pointers

“A Good-Quality Laugh Never Goes Down Badly”: B&T Awards Live Judge Andrew Howie Provides A Few Pointers
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The judging process for this year’s B&T Awards (presented by YouTube) isn’t quite over yet, with the first lot of shortlisted entrants getting ready to prove their worth once again.

Yes, that’s right – all the finalists who were named in part one of the B&T Awards 2021 shortlist (not part two) will participate in a (virtual) live judging day, sponsored by Twitch, this coming Monday (11 October).

To help all the companies with their preso, B&T has been catching up with some of the judges to get their hot tips on how to impress and what not to do.

If you haven’t already, it’d be well worth checking out our interviews with The Leach Partnership’s William Leach, Twitch’s Ricky Chanana and Navigare’s Jeff Estok.

Here, we chat to Andrew Howie, head of brand and advertising at Amazon…

Why did you decide to come on board as a judge again for the B&T Awards?

It is always a pleasure to judge the B&T Awards. The quality of entries is always very high, and this year is certainly no different. It is great to read about all the achievements the industry has enjoyed over the judging period, particularly given the challenges that COVID has provided this past year.

Is there some sort of formula or strategy you’ll be implementing during the live round of judging to uncover the cream of the crop?

It is easy to spot an over-claim from a mile away. Stick to the facts. Stick to the truth. That doesn’t mean it needs to be vanilla. Just go easy on the BS.

What’s going to really grab your attention and keep it? Are you a fan of theatrics when it comes to live pitches?

Be mindful of your audience. The judges will be sitting through a lot of presentations across the day, so look for ways to break it up a bit. Stand out from the pack and do something that will be remembered come the end of a long day. A good-quality laugh never goes down badly.

With this year’s live judging day being held virtually, does that make your job any harder?

It is already a very hard job. The entries that make it through to the final stages of judging are all of a high calibre. Whether in person or remote, the job of selecting only one winner is always tough.

What advice do you have for finalists when it comes to live pitching, particularly in a virtual setting?

Always be ready to go. Make sure you have all your technology working. Be respectful of everyone’s time. Finally, use the time you have been given to best effect.

Will you show sympathy for any tech glitches that finalists might suffer during their live pitch?

See above. Doing things remotely has been a ‘thing’ for 18 months. Bugs should have been ironed out. And “Looks like you’re on mute” should result in a small donation to charity by now.

Is there a preparation checklist finalists should be following prior to live judging day?

Just be ready. You are going to be great.

This year’s B&T Awards will take place on Friday 12 November at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney. You can secure your spot now HERE and then get your glad rags ready to celebrate what has been another year of brilliant work by adland!

Kudos to all of our sponsors for this year’s B&T Awards. We wouldn’t be able to put on the industry’s favourite event without your support!

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