Newsworks Planning Awards salute standout campaigns in testing times

Entries open February 1st 2021 for eight awards, including new digital category

Newsworks Planning Awards salute standout campaigns in testing times

Since 2013, the Newsworks Planning Awards have recognised the most creative campaigns to run in national news brands. Open for entries today, February 1st, with eight categories that include the new Best Digital News Brand Campaign award – the 2021 event reflects an exceptional time in the industry, toasting the planning teams who produced their most innovative and daring work against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year’s awards are chaired by NatWest Group’s chief marketing officer, Margaret Jobling, with a panel of leading marketers and agency experts from companies including Samsung and Unilever. “The importance of communication has never been more paramount,” said Jobling, of the unprecedented context. “Brands are being forced to rethink how they engage with their audiences and with that, we’re seeing much more authenticity, humility and understanding.”

Free to enter, the Newsworks Planning Awards 2021 welcomes submissions from agency planners who commercially released a campaign between September 1st, 2019 and January 31st, 2021. Winning entries will demonstrate innovation, insight and knowledge, combined with impactful execution and commercial performance measurable against the objectives. Bonus points will be awarded to campaigns that can show a commitment to sustainability.

The Awards categories

  • Best Digital News Brand Campaign 
    New for 2021, this category salutes the digital-only work that made the most impactful, engaging and innovative use of digital news brand platforms. 

  • Best Newspaper Campaign 
    This award celebrates communication investment where print display ads played a key role. 

  • Best News Brand Campaign 
    Acknowledging multi-platform impact, this category looks at campaigns that featured display advertising in at least two news brand-owned platforms (eg. print, mobile, PC, app, tablet). 

  • Best Topical Campaign 
    This category recognises work that made fast-paced and powerful use of news brands for short-term and tactical goals.

  • Best Creative Content Partnership 
    This award rewards the campaigns that were integrated into the editorial fabric of news brands, from sponsorship and native advertising to branded content, advertorials and promotions. 

  • Best Use Of Insight 
    Campaigns will be recognised for demonstrating stellar application of original thought or published research for sharper news brand planning.

  • Effectiveness Award 
    This award toasts the campaigns that best harnessed news brands’ potential for return on investment and long-term brand health.

  • Chair’s Award 
    This is the final category and will be chosen by Jobling herself, to honour the flagship campaign of a tumultuous twelve months in which agency planners rose to the challenge.

"2020 saw some incredibly powerful ad campaigns," said Newsworks managing director, Jo Allan. "Ones that sought to unite the nation, challenge our differences and thank our key workers. Brands had to adapt quickly in an ever-changing situation, which led to both quick-witted, topical ads and emotional campaigns demonstrating empathy and humility.

"It was a year that we won't forget in a hurry," Allan continued, "but one that perhaps saw creativity at its best. Every year, the Newsworks Planning Awards attracts such a high standard of entries and I'm excited to see what this year has in store for us. We're looking forward to celebrating and sharing the very best news brand advertising over the past year."

Entries to the Newsworks Planning Awards open February 1st 2021 and close February 26th 2021. Entry details can be found here.