Thoughts from the 2021 Beacons Steering Committee

Posted 9 December 2020.

Coming up with ideas without thinking through how those ideas will connect with people is a dangerous business

“Media connections are where the rubber hits the road and with brand behaviour increasingly under the spotlight, how brands ‘show up’ and connect with people has never been more important.

The Beacons are here to recognise that importance. To celebrate what’s possible when creative media thinking and execution combine for maximum effect. And with the data and tech enabled landscape closing the gap between the impossible and possible, it’s an exciting time to be in our industry.

No one claims it’s easy, our industry can be tough especially in a year like 2020, but it’s definitely rewarding and worth celebrating. Clients, agencies, media and tech partners have all had to collaborate like never before, adapting to a constantly changing market. Various events and awards shows also adapted quickly to online formats in the spirit of “the show must go on”. So given the context of 2020 there’s a few important points to note, to ensure your entries are the best they can be:

There will be no COVID-19 specific category, so contextualising results will be even more important. It was debated by the committee and ultimately decided, alongside learnings from similar awards shows, that a specific category could create more problems than solutions. After a challenging year we don’t want entrants feeling restricted by mandating COVID-19 responses can only enter certain categories. So, whether a COVID-19 related challenge or another brand challenge, writers will need to help contextualise for judges if COVID-19 circumstances impacted your results. For example, sales growth may not prove success if the category benefitted from COVID-19 context, but market share proving you grew faster than competitors might.

The qualification period has been extended allowing more flexibility. Given potential campaign and reporting disruptions the qualifying period will still start October 2019, extending through to end of February 2021 instead of ending December 2020. So if you haven’t already, get in early and request results now.

Remember awards are ultimately about storytelling, so you’ll see the entry forms revamped. Insight and strategy are now together in the same section of the entry form, making it easier for writers and judges to connect the dots. A good litmus test during award writing is asking someone to review your entry who knows nothing about your campaign, it’s easy to get too close to it and miss key elements that can leave judges perplexed when they’re reading a stack of entries.

We wish you luck with your entry writing, enjoy crafting those stories and making your clients, media partners and your own hard work shine.

As we all know achieving finalist is a tough feat at the Beacons, so whether you’re toasting to a finalist, an award winner, or even just surviving 2020 we look forward to celebrating with you on the night.”

Anne Lipsham
On behalf of the Beacons Steering Committee