3 tips on writing a winning awards submission

  Awards season is upon us and clients and agencies alike are gearing up to showcase their winning work. With hundreds of other noteworthy campaigns […]


Awards season is upon us and clients and agencies alike are gearing up to showcase their winning work. With hundreds of other noteworthy campaigns and brands vying for the attention of the judges, how do you cut through the clutter, so they sit up and take notice of your entry?

A creative campaign with great results is a given, but your work can only shine when complemented by a compelling entry submission. Over the years, we’ve helped many clients draft submissions and some of our colleagues have sat on awards judging panels – so we’ve amassed lots of tips on what it takes to make an awards submission really stand out from the crowd. Here are our top three:

1.Tell a story

Developing an awards submission is more than just listing out the campaign objectives and successes; it requires thoughtful consideration. Awards judges typically have hundreds of entries to go through in a day, so we need to keep them intrigued with an inspiring story.

Most entries focus on three areas: the problem, campaign idea, solution and results. Instead of approaching them separately, use this as an opportunity to intrigue and inspire the jury. Take them on your campaign journey with a compelling and thought-provoking narrative. Keep it simple and succinct – don’t overload or confuse judges with unnecessary details or layers. Share it with someone who is unfamiliar with the campaign and seek their feedback.  Did it hold their interest?

2. Focus on impact and effectiveness

A winning campaign needs more than just a good story; it must be effective. Show how your campaign has impacted your target audience by using data, relevant metrics and even consumer quotes. A good sound bite can be a great way to catch the judges’ attention and humanise your campaign.

Highlighting the insight behind your campaign also gives it an immediate point of reference that resonates well with your audience. At MullenLowe salt, we believe strong insights lead to great work. We deep dive into data and research to find the ‘WHY’, then develop creative campaigns around it with messaging that is authentic, relevant and talkable. 

3. Don’t just tell. Show.

According to research compiled by 3M, people retain 80% of what they see and only 20% of what they read. Give judges a front row seat to your campaign with images, videos or even statistics to add credibility and bring your story to life. It also acts as a visual summary to help them remember your campaign. Just like storytelling, be selective with how you present your content. Choose the most interesting visuals that enhance or complement – instead of complicate – your narrative.

Crafting awards submissions isn’t an easy feat, so make sure you set aside ample time planning and laying out all the details before you begin. All the effort will be worth it when you’re up on stage accepting that trophy!

Check out some of our award-winning work here.