1. Excellence in Advertising
This category recognises the best advertising campaign or individual spot which engaged the target audience through strong creative thinking and media use to achieve a specific marketing outcome or result.
2. Excellence in B2B Marketing
This category recognises the increasingly creative methods used to reach B2B audiences. This category encompasses all advertising, branding, marketing and communications work for B2B brands and can include a one-off or on-going campaign.
3. Excellence in Brand Awareness
This category recognises the best marketing campaign or initiative that successfully increased recollection for a firm’s products or services amongst target audiences. The initiatives can include both above the line and below the line activities.
4. Excellence in Brand Strategy
This category recognises the best brand strategy as reflected in a campaign or any marketing initiative. Entrants are reminded to expand on how the brand strategy took shape and the results it saw.
5. Excellence in Communications / Public Relations
This category recognises the organisation that has best enhanced its corporate branding, image or identity with the consumer public, other businesses, or internal stakeholders through effective implementation of strategic communication to deliver core business objectives.
6. Excellence in Consumer Insights / Market Research
This category recognises the organisation that used research or database development most effectively to gain insights that were pivotal to the success of a campaign, initiative or communication.
7. Excellence in Content Marketing
This category recognises the organisation that worked with a content producer, or independently, to create the best content or native advertising and marketed it in ways that led to significant growth in brand awareness as well as commercial success.
8. Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility
This category recognises the best marketing campaign, initiative or programme by an organisation for a charity or cause the organisation had a partnership or association with. The organisation should be able to prove the initiative benefited both parties and had positive effects and outcomes for society or the cause.
9. Excellence in Customer Engagement
This category recognises a campaign, initiative or programme that successfully encouraged customers to emotionally connect with the brand. Judges will be looking for initiatives that went beyond advertisements to encourage consumers to actively participate in the brand’s programme.
10. Excellence in Data-Driven Marketing
This category recognises the best marketing campaign, initiative or programme that adopted innovative and effective business intelligence, data planning, measurement and analytic tools to improve targeting whilst successfully driving the organisation’s core business objectives.
11. Excellence in Digital Marketing
This category recognises the best marketing campaign, initiative or programme that used digital channels such as web, mobile, email etc. to deliver an engaging consumer experience whilst successfully driving core business objectives.
12. Excellence in eCommerce Marketing
This category recognises the brand / marketplace that had an outstanding performance in the online selling of products, services or information to end users. Entrants should illustrate the best innovative eCommerce strategy that successfully communicated a brand’s image, changed consumers’ behaviours and drive consumer traffic to the ecommerce platform. Judges will be looking at how the strategy was developed and how the online platform(s) were used in offering a unique online shopping experience and which helped to achieve brands’ business targets.
13. Excellence in Esports Marketing*
This award recognises the best marketing campaign, initiative or event that utilises Esports games or competitions in an event campaign to enhance an event’s promotion and / or improve engagement levels at an event. Judges will be looking for high levels of creativity, interactivity and engagement from the target audience as well as effective and seamless execution to support the event’s focus. Entries should also provide relevant and tangible evidence to demonstrate the purpose, reach and results of the campaign.
* This category was previously Excellence in Sports / Esports Marketing.
14. Excellence in Event Marketing
This category recognises the organisation that best used events as a key tool to increase brand awareness and customer engagement. Entries can be for small-scale events or large-scale events targeting the general public. This category is open to physical, virtual or hybrid event executions.
15. Excellence in Experiential Marketing
This category recognises the organisation that best implemented an experiential programme that allowed consumers to get involved in, feel, enjoy or share in the brand experience. This should have translated into a positive perception of the brand for consumers.
16. Excellence in Gamification
This category recognises the best marketing campaign, initiative or event that utilises gamification or gaming to entertain consumers and to enhance the brand experience while driving core business objectives. The campaign can be carried out both online or a live gaming event.
17. Excellence in Influencer/KOLs Marketing*
This category recognises the organisation that effectively used influencers within a marketing campaign to enhance awareness and successfully achieve business objectives. Influencers could include appropriate experts, ambassadors, bloggers or celebrities etc.
* This category was previously Excellence in Influencer Marketing
18. Excellence in Integrated Marketing
This category recognises the organisation that best engaged its target audience through an integrated marketing strategy. This strategy should have employed a suite of marketing tools and at least 3 media channels whilst successfully driving core business objectives.
19. Excellence in Interactive Marketing / AR & VR
This category recognises the best marketing campaign, initiative or event that successfully engaged consumers using entertaining and engaging content in the form of a game, competition or other interactive media forms such as virtual and augmented reality. Judges will be looking for how an interactive solution enhanced the brand experience and drove business objectives. We welcome entries from sophisticated gaming, VR, AR and related apps created by highly creative developers, agencies and client marketers.
20. Excellence in Launch / Re-launch Marketing
This category recognises an exceptional marketing strategy to support the launch or re-launch of a brand, product or service. Entries in this category should be able to demonstrate the impact this launch strategy had on the brand, product, service or organisation’s success.
21. Excellence in Loyalty Marketing
This category recognises the best campaign, initiative or programme that demonstrated a cohesive customer loyalty strategy and effective CRM programme to grow and retain existing customers through incentives whilst enhancing the customer proposition. It should also have encouraged greater spend, resulting in positive business outcomes.
22. Excellence in Marketing Innovation
This category recognises an organisation that has pushed the boundaries and demonstrated outstanding marketing innovation in a campaign, initiative or programme, be it through the use of unconventional marketing techniques like guerrilla marketing, new technologies like augmented reality, or adapting limited resources to achieve specific marketing objectives.
23. Excellence in Marketing to a Specific Audience
This category recognises the best marketing campaign, initiative or programme aimed at a specific audience. This is not exclusive to a single audience but the majority of the target audience should be a specific demographic the campaign set out to approach. Specific audience bases could include gender, age group, interest groups (e.g. wellness, racing, eSports etc.) and other profiled audiences. Entries should show why the specific audience was important and how the audience responded well.
24. Excellence in Marketing Transformation
This category recognises the organisation who best revamped a marketing team(s) to transform their marketing process and / or output. This could be a consultative project by an agency or a project conducted by in-house transformation team. Entrants should be able to demonstrate an effective transformation with minimal disruption and a positive impact on subsequent marketing campaign results.
25. Excellence in Media Strategy
This category recognises the organisation that best utilised media channels as their key strategic tool to execute a powerful marketing campaign while successfully driving core business objectives.
26. Excellence in Mobile Marketing
This category recognises the most effective and innovative use of mobile marketing. Campaigns could have included the use of mobile as a media format or marketing advertising platform to achieve a specific marketing outcome, be it branding, prompted consumer behaviour or simply increased consumption.
27. Excellence in Out-of-Home Advertising
This category recognises advertising campaigns that utilised the Out-of-Home (OOH) medium in an innovative, creative way that successfully raised brand awareness. OOH can include media such as billboards, transit media or any other media traditionally classified as OOH.
28. Excellence in Performance Marketing
This category recognises the best performing marketing campaign, initiative or programme. Campaigns entered into this category should be aimed at driving actions and response as opposed to simply raising awareness. Entries should demonstrate evidence of campaigns having been optimised in real time and remuneration to the relevant vendors and platforms should have been based on results delivered.
29. Excellence in Personalisation Marketing
This category recognises the best marketing campaign in perfecting the consumer journey and creates more personalised marketing or one-to-one marketing to deliver individualised content to recipients across channels, and buying stages. Entrants should illustrate the strategies to deliver value and expected experiences to customers. Judges will be looking at how the strategy was developed and how the organizations leverage omni-channel advertising to drive personalised customer experiences in real-time.
30. Excellence in Pivot Marketing
This category recognises the best adjustments in messaging, method, and execution made mid-campaign or once the campaign became active. The campaign must have been launched or in the final planning phases of being launched, such that original plans had to be revised in order carry out the campaign under new emerging circumstances.
Judges will be assessing the overall strategy and impact of the pivot on the overall success of the campaign. Where possible, demonstrate how the pivot led to a more successful and effective outcome towards campaign and business objectives.
31. Excellence in Programmatic Marketing
This category recognises the organisation that best used programmatic strategies and solutions to optimise a campaign and greater enhance the targeting to a specific audience. Entrants should be able to demonstrate how the programmatic strategy specifically improved the campaign’s success and helped achieve business objectives.
32. Excellence in Public Sector / Non-Profit Marketing
This category recognises the best public sector or non-profit campaign, initiative or programme that raised awareness and successfully drove business objectives for government schemes, community services and / or NGOs.
33. Excellence in Response to COVID-19 *NEW*
This category recognises the best idea that acknowledged and/or responded to the challenges consumers were undergoing as a result of COVID-19. Unlike the Campaign Pivot category, the campaign must have been planned from scratch, not adjusted after or during launch.
Judges will be assessing the overall strategy and impact of the idea on the overall success of the campaign.
34. Excellence in Retail / Shopper Marketing*
This category recognises the organisation that most effectively ran a campaign, initiative or programme designed to reach shoppers via sampling, competitions, in-store or in a retail environment etc., and successfully translated this into future purchases of the featured product(s).
* This category was previously Excellence in Shopper Marketing.
35. Excellence in Search Marketing
This category recognises the most effective digital marketing campaigns that had search marketing at their core. Entries should cover campaigns that were geared for cross-channel search engine optimisation, including both desktop and mobile SEO.
36. Excellence in Social Media Marketing
This category recognises the best campaign, initiative or programme that optimised social media channels to build strong relationships with customers, recruit new audiences or engage existing consumers whilst driving core business objectives. This can be a one-off campaign or a longer term strategy.
37. Excellence in Sponsorship Activation
This category recognises the organisation that best developed and activated a brand-relevant sponsorship activity to target a specific audience or marketing opportunity. Entrants should have built successful partnerships with key stakeholders to deliver strong business returns.
38. Excellence in TV / Video Advertising
This category recognises the most creative, entertaining and effective video advertisements. This category will cover both traditional television advertising as well as advertisements deployed on digital video platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo etc.
39. Excellence in Viral Marketing
This category recognises the best campaign, initiative or programme that successfully captured its target audience and subsequently turned into a self-replicating viral process with its results meeting the organisation’s core business objectives.
40. Marketing Leader of the Year (Individual Category)
This category recognises outstanding leadership and excellence from a brand-side chief marketing officer / head of marketing unit or marketing leader who has made a significant impact to their brand’s overall advertising / marketing output.
Entrants can nominate themselves or others; they should show achievements against objectives and evidence of business impact in the following areas within the eligibility period:
- Creativity, innovation and the ability to pivot quickly and effectively
- Strategic, out-of-the-box thinking
- Excellent execution that helped manage cash flow for optimum business health
- New business or the creation of new business opportunities / new markets etc.
- Stability of the organisation’s business performance
- Unquestionable leadership, motivation and support for their teams
- Any other exceptional action, achievement or work that especially merits this award
*This category was previously CMO Of the Year.
41. Marketing of the Year (Not for Entry)
This category recognises the organisation that performs best at the Marketing Excellence Awards 2021. This is awarded to the organisation with the highest number of winning entries (4 points per Gold, 2 per Silver, 1 per Bronze). This award is not open for entry.