The 2021 Effie Awards |  A View from the Committee

Posted 23 June 2021.

The Effie Steering Committee members are currently Deborah Brown - Client Service Director at MBM, Rupert Price - Chief Strategy Officer at DDB Aotearoa, Lisa Divett - Executive Strategy Director at Clemenger BBDO, David McIndoe - Chief Strategy Officer at Saatchi & Saatchi, Rory Gallery - Head of Strategy at Special Group.

​​Successful marketing communications relies on two fundamental parts, creativity and effectiveness. However, in recent years a schism has been growing between both sides of the equation, where the creative agenda and effectiveness agenda don’t necessarily balance each other out. Look at the type of campaigns that receive the accolades at creative award shows internationally and you could be mistaken in thinking the marketing communication industry is obsessed with short term ideas designed to create a big and immediate splash but then disappear beneath the waves, only to resurface come award show time.

Of course, creative award juries are motivated to reward the ideas that are provocative, original and fresh but often this takes them into the realm of celebrating the worthy, the obscure or the obtuse. Those campaigns that use creativity to drive commercial outcomes seem to be taking a back seat when it comes to picking up the gongs. As a consequence, creatively awarded campaigns are showing diminishing commercial returns. A worrying trend for a commercial communications industry.

In a post Covid world where marketing communications needs to demonstrate payback more than ever, it’s vital to prove that demonstrable effective outcomes is the purpose of all marketing communications. Winning an Effie does that. An Effie Award celebrates ‘art in the service of commerce’, not the other way round. Something the industry should never forget, nor ever have to apologise for.

Therefore, the role of this year’s Effies Aotearoa Awards, as it ever was, is to reconcile the two sides of the equation. Creativity, when purposely applied to commercial outcomes is our industry’s super power. It’s the difference between an expected result and an outstanding result. It’s the bold move that will transform a company’s bottom line and give a business true competitive advantage.

Our theme for The 2021 Aotearoa Effies Awards in association with TVNZ is ‘Creative Effectiveness is Everything’. Effectiveness is the fuel that drives our industry, it is the lifeblood that makes all creativity possible in the first place. Effectiveness ensures marketing communications is an essential investment for any business or organisation looking to grow. Without proving effectiveness, marketing communications so easily becomes an expendable cost.

So let’s celebrate the long term creative best practice, that we know builds brands and drives commercial success over time. Let’s resist the temptation to reward short-term, disposable creativity, that is designed to cause an immediate stir and then disappear without a trace. Let’s call out and celebrate all effective creativity, the kind of ideas and initiatives that pursue purposeful objectives and drive proven, quantifiable outcomes.

Because Creative Effectiveness is everything. It’s the credibility on which marketing communications is built and reminds us that this is an industry that matters.

If you have a campaign that was clearly designed to meet a well-defined objective and in turn it utilised creativity to meet that objective, then these are the awards for you. If you can demonstrate that your application of creativity effected a positive commercial or social outcome then celebrate your success by winning an Effie. These are the awards that make the commercial case for creativity and tell the stories that are vital for the success and sustainability of our industry. Come and be part of that story. Because creative effectiveness is everything.