You don't have to buy media to win

Events, sponsorship and package design eligible for honors at 2007 Effies

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A thoroughly untraditional marketing campaign can be effective too.

So goes the thinking at the New York American Marketing Association, which is finally loosening its eligibility requirements for the Effie Awards. Beginning this year, the organization is opening up its effectiveness awards to executions that don't necessarily use TV, print, radio, out-of-home or the internet, said Denise McDevitt, associate director of the competition. Efforts relying solely on events, sponsorships, package design and word-of-mouth campaigns will now also be eligible.

"It's ensuring that the Effies is reflective of the current communication landscape and all of the media options available to marketers," said Carl Johnson, member of the New York AMA board and founder of agency Anomaly. "It's no longer an advertising-only world and hasn't been for some time."

The inevitable result will be an expanded base of entries, said Gary Steele, past president of the Effies and exec VP of McCann Worldgroup.

John Condon, chief creative officer at Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett-which has stuffed 109 Effies into its trophy case since 1992-said the changes are "more in line with the type of problem-solving that we're trying to do, that our clients are asking us to do, [and that] makes the award even more relevant."

The Effies seem to place increasing value on creativity, said Rob Schwartz, executive creative director TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Ray, Calif. "It's been a show about results, and now it seems like it's going to be a show about results and a show about the creativity within the media," he said.

results still rule

But results are still paramount to the Effies. "The one thing that will never change, ever, and what makes the Effies unique is the absolute requirement to prove effectiveness," Mr. Johnson said.

Other changes will include a more contemporary corporate identity and a new trophy that symbolizes growth, both created by Anomaly. Creative work now will be included during the first phase of judging and there will be new questions on the entry brief.
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