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How to win an AADC Chair with Rory Kennett-Lister

28 July 2022

At last year’s AADC Awards, Showpony’s Yup to the Cup campaign seemed ubiquitous.

Winning awards across the advertising category, multiple finalist listings in the craft category, and taking out the major Client Choice Award, the silly, catchy and luridly-coloured campaign was a clear favourite.

Showpony Creative Director Rory Kennett-Lister says the work had a few notable characteristics that made it a particularly good awards contender.

“It was brash and stupid and fun and we knew it would stand out,” he says, “and we just made sure our case study reflected that and was also brash and stupid and would stand out.

“And we contextualised it pretty well, I think. To appeal to the market we were going for, it needed to be like the stuff that they consumed for fun, so that was the sort of hook for the judges, I suppose. And it had the results - so it had everything that you would need to win at a high level.”

Recognising and articulating the award potential in your own work is notoriously difficult.

With submissions for the 2022 AADC Awards closing August 1, Rory talks through the process he follows when selecting from Showpony’s work and preparing award entries.

Choose carefully

There’s three basic criteria most award-worthy work is likely to meet, Rory says.

“One is, was it executed well?,” he says.

“Two is, was there a good idea?

“And then third, depending on the category - did it have good, demonstrable results?

“It also depends on the category – if you’re entering the craft category, the idea is less important than the execution. If it’s in the advertising category, it’s much more about the idea.”

Find the hook

“For bigger stuff - if it’s a campaign, you can hook in the judges with the entry point into your campaign. Can you make it meaningful?,” says Rory.

“It might be pop cultural, it might be something that relates to human kind. There’s a million different ways to write the hook - it’s about looking for a story really, because you are telling a story as much as you are with the campaign.”

Think of the judges

“My other piece of advice would be, as someone who has judged awards before, is to keep it as short as humanly possible,” he says.

“Judges will be judging 100 entries and if it doesn’t immediately hook them and if it bores them within a few sentences or a few seconds, forget about it.

“My experience is that people don’t practice what they preach with award submissions. They think, ‘I need to explain every nuance of why this campaign is the way it is’. And it doesn’t need that.”

Enter now for the 2022 AADC Awards. Submissions close August 1. (But have also been extended for a bit if you want to pay an extra $35 clams.)

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Rory with the AWARD-WINNING Showpony Team