How to win at The Drum Digital Trading Awards Asia Pacific

Tips from the judges on entering DTAs Asia Pacific

Prove success, don't use jargon and don't brag are just three tips from judges of the upcoming Drum Digital Trading Awards Asia Pacific.

With the deadline for submitting entries for The Drum Digital Trading Awards Asia Pacific fast approaching, The Drum asked three of the judges what would catch their eye and what to avoid.

The entry deadline has recently been extended (contact The Drum to be in the running), with the judging taking place at the end of August. To find out more about entering and to download and entry pack, visit The Drum Digital Trading Awards Asia Pacific website.

On the panel was Blis managing director for Asia Regina Goh, ESPN senior director of sales for Asia Pacific Mark Mallett and HP’s media and data strategy lead for Asia Pacific and Japan Hemant Chauhan.

How to get the judges attention:

  • How the results fared against business objectives is the key. How well an entry is able to showcase (with proof) that it has really moved the needle on performance would be a key criteria. The other is creativity. This is not just in terms of the creatives but how the trader utilised the tools available to him/her to leverage insights and position the most relevant ads to the most relevant people, thereby driving results.
  • When using percentages to describe results, also look to include real numbers. Savvy judges will be able to see through percentages that don’t mean anything.
  • An important element is succinctness, supporting materials and a focus on client results. Too often entries become long-winded or focus on the "coolness" factor of a campaign that might not have delivered the results a client was looking for.
  • Keep it jargon-free and results-focused. Keep it creative but not vague. Clarity of thought is very important and support it with facts when you are able to.

What to avoid:

  • Don’t brag! A pretty creative is just that, go beyond and look under the hood.
  • Never submit an entry as a dry list of facts. Without oversimplifying, tell the story in a way that someone who isn’t in the industry will be able to grasp it. Anchor these entries with insights that can’t be found through a quick Google search. Keep it jargon-free, keep it relatively entertaining and going the extra mile to share conclusive insights will help immensely.
  • Never lobby the judges.

The panel timed with the start of a three-month series of content around the theme, running up until the awards night on 27 October 2017.

The awards are aimed at showcasing world class work from the ad tech, programmatic and media industry, this year follows the theme of clarity and transparency. The awards have been launched in partnership with the IAB Singapore, The Trade Desk, Integral Ad Science, Bidswitch and Unruly.

If you need any further convincing that you should be considering entering, judge and managing director for Asia at Blis, said: “In the last couple of years, programmatic has evolved beyond simply automating media buying into an incredibly complex foundation powering the advertising industry. With so many players involved, the awards allow us to sift through those who are actively leading the pack in terms of innovation. We get to pick up on trends and issues that we don’t see on a day-to-day basis while covering a breadth of subjects in this space.

It is a given that APAC is an especially exciting region to cover. Personally, it is also a very interesting way to see how brands have woven together creative, strategy and technical knowledge into one story that distinguishes all the amazing work being done in APAC. As a trade, it’s important to set high standards and benchmarks if we want to continue seeing excellent work,” she added.

Or, as HP’s Hemant Chauhan said; “It’s time to make data and media distribution sexy!”

To find out more about entering the awards and to submit your entry, visit The Drum Digital Trading Awards APAC website.

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Charlotte McEleny

Charlotte McEleny is The Drum's Asia Editor, charged with finding all the interesting industry news and insights from the Asia Pacific region. During her year in Asia, she's covered topics as wide ranging as industry overwork to artificial intelligence, and interviewed top CMOs such as Alibaba's Chris Tung, and world famous creatives such as Rankin.

Based in Singapore, she travels the region regularly, attending and presenting at many top events, such as Spikes, Ad Week Asia and Innovfest.

Prior to her role as Asia Editor, she spent 10 years working across the London marketing trade magazines, even picking up an award for Best Digital Team at the PPA Digital Awards during her spell as digital editor at Marketing.

All by Charlotte