The AC&E Awards Are Back Bigger, Bolder & Better Than Ever

The AC&E Awards Are Back Bigger, Bolder & Better Than Ever
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The AC&E Awards are back bigger, bolder and better than ever before.

After a brief pause in 2018, ADMA’s (the Association for Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising) is reviving its creativity and effectiveness awards for 2019 – and in a big way.

The AC&E Awards have been re-designed to recognise the power of strategically driven creativity, with the overhaul based on industry feedback and a desire to create something truly unique to the market.

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Entries for the AC&E Awards are now open – SUBMIT HERE (and use the code BANDT to get a 5% discount!)

Sitting down with B&T, ADMA revealed its AC&E Awards’ brief hiatus came after the industry body recognised the Awards needed to have a clearer role in the market, while also responding to ever-changing industry needs.

ADMA CEO Andrea Martens said: “While celebrating great work is important, we also wanted to find more ways to nurture talent and capability.

“By working closely with the industry, we were able to create a bigger platform for AC&E centred around the power of strategy and creativity combined to deliver effectiveness. There is nothing like this in the market.

“Our Gala Awards Dinner will give us the opportunity to showcase the work of our AC&E Award School graduates whilst celebrating and rewarding the brilliant work of individuals, agencies and brands through not just the AC&E Awards but the AMY Awards, all of which will be announced on the night.”

In fact, the AC&E Awards are the only awards rewarding the balance between creativity and effectiveness, which, as a WARC report that came out of this years’ Cannes festival suggested, is more important than ever.

The report, Crisis of Creative Effectiveness (which was unveiled after the awards were redesigned) revealed there has been a continuing decline in creatively awarded campaigns, finding that creatively awarded campaigns are actually less effective than they have ever been and are no more effective than non-awarded campaigns.

Steering Committee member for AC&E and partner at KPMG Sudeep Gohil commented: “The AC&E Awards hold a unique place in the awards landscape, while creative awards have often scurried to recognise effectiveness and effectiveness awards sometimes miss the mark on creativity.

“AC&E stands tall as an award, that has the two spheres core to our business strategy and creativity hand in hand from their very inception – including the categories, the leadership team and the way they are judged.”

The Monkeys chief strategy officer and partner Fabio Buresti who is also on the Steering Committee added: “Early in my career, strategy was never on a level playing field with the creative product. Strategists existed to serve the creative department and to help sell in the work. What a waste!

“By bringing strategy and creativity together on equal footing, AC&E program is helping solve one of the biggest missed opportunities in our industry and educating future leaders on a better way.”

This year’s AC&E Awards will showcase the brilliant work of individuals, agencies and brands, and leveraging the power of strategy and creativity to deliver effectiveness. The categories have been refreshed and refined based on industry feedback with new awards introduced, and the number of categories pared back from 45 to 30.

On why the categories have been cut down, Martens said: “We reviewed the criteria for each category of the AC&E Awards to ensure there was a focus on showcasing the effectiveness of data-centred, strategically-driven creativity. As a result of our audit, some categories were removed, new categories added and others redesigned.”

Jen Speirs, ECD at Irish creative agency ROTHCO and former deputy ECD at BMF Sydney, has commended the AC&E Awards for recognising the importance of both creative and effective work.

She said: “When it comes to what’s better, is it ridiculously creative work? Or amazingly effective? Clearly, the most outstanding work, the sort of work we should all be pushing for, backing and celebrating, is both. Ridiculously creative work that works its backside off. Here’s to AC&E for awarding exactly that.”

Alongside the new and improved Awards, there will also be AC&E School, a 12-week program targeted at mid-level planners and creatives. The 40 participants of the school will graduate at the AC&E Awards.

ADMA has also announced the newly created AC&E Brand Circle, a targeted event to discuss how clients can extract the best creativity and strategy from their agencies and teams. The team leading the new platform includes Steve Coll, Sudeep Gohil, Rebecca Carrasco, Fabio Buresti, David Bell, Asheen Naidu and Tom Ward.

Entries for the AC&E Awards are now open — SUBMIT HERE (and use the code BANDT for a 5% discount!)

Winners will be announced on 24th October at a Gala Awards dinner at the Star in Sydney. Work must have originated and have been executed in Australia between 1 January 2018 and 31 July 2019. Ongoing campaigns can be entered under the same criteria.

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