Don't hoodwink the jury or binge on buzzwords – Roses Creative Awards judges reveal entrants' faux pas

Don't hoodwink the jury or binge on buzzwords – Roses Creative Awards judges reveal entrants' faux pas

Winning a pitch is one thing, but when it comes to awards schemes getting your creative noticed can feel like hard work.

A report issued by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport last week revealed that the UK creative industries are growing at double the rate of the overall economy – a significant boost, though one which will undoubtedly mean more competition for those looking to fill up their trophy cabinet.

So what should you avoid when it comes to submitting awards entries? Ahead of The Drum’s Roses Creative Awards, which are open for entry until 5 February, we caught up with some of the judges who revealed the biggest mistakes entrants can make when trying to stand out.

Beri Cheetham, executive creative director at Leo Burnett, says that “overestimating the patience and interest of the jury,” is one of the biggest turn-offs for judges.

“If the purpose and intent of the idea isn't landed within the first 20 seconds or so it's easy to think ‘next’," Cheetham explains. “Padding your entries with waffle and clichés doesn't help either.”

Another big no-no, according to Razorfish’s executive creative director, Nick Turner, is overdoing it on corporate jargon.

“Too much industry lingo, buzzwords and success metrics spin mean the idea gets complicated and you don’t know what to believe,” he asserts, urging entrants to explain their concept “simply and succinctly”.

His favourite type of entry is one with “no bullshit” that allows the panel to understand and remember the idea “within 30 seconds”.

Meanwhile, executive creative director at Rapp, Jason Andrews believes applicants shouldn’t try to “hoodwink the jury with a great entry film that fudges the actual work. I’m looking for sizzle in the idea not the reel”.

For an industry that prides itself on vision, entries can sometimes fall short when it comes to presentation. “It seems like such a basic thing,” says Turner Duckworth design head Bruce Duckworth, but poor presentation (even those by visual communications specialists) “happens a lot” and can be frustrating for judging panels.

All would-be winners put themselves in the shoes of the judges and subject their own work to one question: “Is it a great idea and beautifully executed?” according to Rose Design owner Simon Elliot.

“If the answer isn’t yes (to both - one without the other is only half way there), probably best to save your money."

"Do not enter an idea that hasn’t run. We know who you are. We know where you live... Our judging time is limited, so avoid overcomplicating your entry. Get to the point. Simple is always best,” adds Isobar's creative director James Leigh.

This year’s Roses Creative Awards are open for entries until Friday 5 February; the awards are sponsored by the Chesterfield Group and Become. For more information on the Roses Creative Awards visit the awards website to register.

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