Mark Ritson
Wednesday 11 September 2019

Adjunct Professor Mark Ritson* on why the Effies are special

There are a lot of awards for marketing and advertising. And I mean a LOT. There are awards for the biggest brands, the smallest brands, the brands that grew the most, the ones with the best ads, the most creative ads. You name it and there is probably an award for it.

But in a sea of gleaming marketing trophies and certificates, the Effies are special.

The big clue is in the name. Giving prizes for creativity is lovely but subjective and just a little bit pointless. But judging a campaign on the goals it set itself, the tactics it generated and the subsequent results means the Effies enjoy a level of impact and rigour that all the other awards simply do not have.

And they can teach us so much about what works and what all of us can do better and different.

Then there is the longevity thing. Most awards come and go and rebrand and merge. It’s hard to keep track of what award now rewards which pursuit. The Effies have marked the time of advertising and marketing.

Fifty years of effectiveness awards means that this is a prize that has been around since the days of the great gods of advertising and all the way since.

And finally that means something for the small group of agencies and clients that win an Effie, and the ultimate accolade of the Grand Effie, it means you’re good. Not quite good. World class, best in the industry good.

And it means that when you meet the marketers and advertising people who have won Effies you know they are the very best. So there are lots of prizes for marketing and advertising. And then there are the Effies.

*Mark Ritson is Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Melbourne Business School. In 2018 he was rated one of the “Power 50” most important people in media by AdNews, one of ten top business thinkers in Australia by Smart Company, and recognised by the AMI with the Sir Charles McGrath Award, the highest honour for marketing in Australia.

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