6 Hacks to get your Ad case study right!

Winning awards, becoming the agency of the year, picking up the grand prix is a dream of every creative working in the ad agency, if they say they don’t work for awards or they don’t like picking up metals trust me that person is lying.

I have been fortunate enough to be part of some prominent advertising awards shows as a jury, and with every award show I have learned so much about things you shouldn’t do if you are serious of winning awards (even I have been guilty of committing some of the listed below).

So here are 6 things you should know when you start packaging your case study.

1) #GoUndercover

Displaying your agency name is a complete No-No. I know everyone is proud of his or her agency (mostly). That’s great but please stop tom-tom about it everywhere on the case film. There should be no agency logo on the case study URL or your logo watermark on your video case film nor your website mentioned on the last slides.
Take extra care of the URL link that you send it shouldn’t be your corporate website followed by the entry name. Ideal one should be something like this http://202.22.422.221/awards. I would advise not to get extra creative and make a unique web-URL like “AwardDeDo.com” or “ForJuriesEyes” and so on.
Why you ask? There is a high chances that the jurors knows which agency has such fancy names and once you know the which agency has submitted the work there might be a situation which you don’t want yourself to find in. If the jury is in good books than its ok but if you can’t stand each other than there is a high chances of your work not even going for shortlists. So the best thing to do is go undercover!
Even your YouTube channels shouldn’t be the official ones keep it generic like Awards2016 so that the same can be submitted in multiple awards shows without much hassles.

2) #SayNoToJargons

Words has to be carefully picked, sentences like “one of a kind”, “never seen before”, “world’s first”, “India’s first”, “Andheri’s first” “innovative, clutter breaking, disruptive” should be easily avoided. Let the jury say it’s a nice idea you don’t know need to prompt them. Avoid jargon as much as possible, if even if you have a very complicated idea try and explain it in a simplest way possible. Don’t add more confusion to the already disrupted zone.
If the jury likes an idea he or she will fight for it and make sure it goes to the next level. Also please have a control on the results you faff. I think those are blind spots for the jury unless you are sending it for effectiveness.

3) #Timing

Everything is about right timing, the juries go through hundreds of entries in a single day of judging, imagine the kind of mental torture the juries must be going through. And suddenly in-between somebody sends a 20 min short film (read case film) of your campaign, you surely are going to help him/her lose focus from your case film or make him go to sleep. Either way it is harmful for your prospective metal. The ideal time should be less than 2 minutes. The First 20 seconds is your make or break, it should be interesting enough that it catches the juries’ attention and they sit through entire 2 minutes.

4) #IdentifyTheRightSpot

It’s great that you have made an awesome integrated case study AV but please restrain it only for the integrated category, Don’t shove the same 200 minute integrated case film for social media, microsite, innovation, technology, banner, e-mailer, best image post (I made this one) category. You want your case film to be the most abused and hated one in the meet, please be my guests go for it.
Ideal scenario make customized AVs for respective categories, if the category is banner the jury doesn’t want to know what you did in outdoor medium. Cheat code: if time is not on your side and nor is budget than you can edit the bigger integrated version to smaller sections and submit in respective categories.

5) #Musical

Music is a very essential part of your case film. Imagine the same track used for two different case films; brand recall completely goes for a toss. Using Stock music is strictly ok but the one that goes with your campaign’s thought will definitely help. Imagine a campaign which is cause related and its has a Techno ring to it. My personal feeling stock music really pulls down your entire case film. A great music will definitely wake up the juries who are almost half dead. I still remember a case film, which had the wackiest dub-stub track made of ‘sleazy’ sounds; everybody in the room literally woke up!

6) #AskWithin

Whenever the dates of the all the big awards are announced everyone in the agency suddenly becomes busy for that week, everybody contributes or pretend to contribute, even the receptionist and runners know the award seasons are back.
A piece of paper (read Client letter) never becomes so important in anybody’s life. Everybody likes winning, taking Selfies on the stage with metals and booze. But sometimes people feel their idea is only second to the invention of wheel. Admit guys it is not. Everybody silently hopes and prays at-least “Bronze toh mil jaye”. Ask yourself is it worth spending approx. 10K.
You will get your answer if you ask your gut. Even if a slight doubt cloud passes your mind don’t submit it, instead donate that amount to your favorite NGOs whom you interact for your insights and pro-active ideas.
Congrats! you are going to win a metal for sure! (Not sure which alloy though)

7) #KeepInternsOut (Bonus tip)

No descriptions needed, just keep interns out of the entire process. You are presenting your best works so put your best people on it.
Ok I am reaching the climax of my ramblings.
Even if you don’t score full marks on the above 6 Hashtags just make sure the idea and the execution is like really up there! Sometimes a great idea doesn’t even require any sugar coating. If it has solved a situation or made a difference in some lives, if you manage to tick the master tick!
The article is written by Manesh Swamy on his blog, Digital Chatterbox.