Campaign Media Awards 2006: Simple, powerful ideas show off the best media creativity

The business of media and communication continues to evolve at breakneck speed, and it's very encouraging to see our industry standards meeting the challenges of media-led creativity and accountability. Our jury of 16 judges from across a wide range of media agencies, as well as a senior marketer and one of London's leading creative directors, all collaborated well to judge 230 entries.

The jury was unanimous in selecting a shortlist from all categories, although we did see stronger innovation and creativity in some categories more than others. The format for the awards asked for the insight to drive the big idea and, correctly, the judges looked at every entry to ensure it seemed credible and campaignable. Those entries featuring one-off stunts or predictable genres were marked down or rejected altogether. Our jury was very demanding in really seeking to recognise and celebrate those entries with a big "wow" idea, rooted in compelling consumer insight. We agreed solid media planning is to be expected and not rewarded, so we're excited that our shortlist is representative of the best of the industry output today.

The buzzwords during the judging? Compelling consumer insights, marketing relevance, engaging content, digital activation and thorough accountability for the success of the campaigns. Many entries bombarded us with overly complicated strategy, often with a disappointingly high level of event activation. These did not usually make the shortlist, as too much multimedia activity minus the smart thinking made for painful reading and doubtful marketplace success.

An enjoyable element of the judging process was seeing the proactive approach various media owners have to creating and implementing marketing breakthrough. We suffered a few repetitions - with the same idea submitted by two different organisations in multiple categories. But notwithstanding, many of the media owners' strategic marketing groups offered a deep level of brand understanding, tremendous consumer insight and strong idea generation.

The digital domain was certainly not as integrated as the jury would have expected and we saw too many strong ideas fail through over-complicated and confusing digital application. Worse still were the many submissions that seem to fundamentally separate digital and traditional media activities.

Our jury was determined to only select those entries offering a simple, but powerful idea, one which can truly represent the very best media-led creativity in action. We hope you agree.

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