The winners of the 2008 Jay Chiat Planning Awards was announced last week at the American Association of Advertising Agencies Planning Conference in Miami. The awards celebrate the best thinking in the industry by evaluating papers on the creativity and execution of agency plans from the last year, and every year, the Jay Chiat Planning Awards judges evaluate well over 100 case studies, submitted by agencies big and small from every corner of the globe.
International recognition of the Jay Chiat Planning Awards also seems to be growing, two years after the judging was opened up to international submissions. This year submissions were received from agencies in the U.K., France, India, China, Latin America, Australia and Japan. Four of the international entries made it to the shortlist of nominees: eBay, France; DeBeers, India; Barnardo's, U.K.; Work Safety Insurance Board, Canada.
The judging mechanics are as follows:
- The first-round judging is conducted by planning directors from agencies in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston. Each judge is asked to read 20 or so papers and nominate those that they believe are exemplary. The judging criteria instruct judges to choose "Papers that fill you with envy. Papers that both humiliate and inspire. Papers that are a showcase for what is possible in planning." The output of these judging sessions is a shortlist of planning case studies. Adweek says that within planning circles, getting on this list alone is a career-building accolade.
- The second round of judging involves the broader advertising community. The 22 shortlisted papers are given to industry thought leaders including creative directors, agency heads, clients, planners and the press. This group decides which papers will be awarded gold, silver and bronze. This is where the important discussion of "what makes a great idea" comes to the fore. All of the submissions were agreed to be good, solid case studies that any agency would be proud of, but this group of industry leaders insisted that an award winner has to break new ground.
The judges commented that many of the international papers rose to the top because they presented engaging narratives of innovative and original thinking, rather than linear marketing cases following a more traditional planning formula focused on consumer insight alone.