Trends to Look Out for at the 2018 Effie Awards

Geometry's Claus Adams and Michelle Whelan go trend-spotting

This summer, two Geometry CEOs judged two final Effie rounds. Claus Adams, CEO, Geometry EMEA at the EACA Euro Effie Awards, and Michelle Whelan, CEO, Geometry UK, at the Effie Awards UK.

European Marketing Communications Effectiveness: Claus Adams

“An effectiveness award is in my view the most important recognition that a marketing campaign can aspire to get, as it values the most important role of our work: the ability to drive tangible outcomes for the business,” said Euro Effie Jury chairman, Adrian Farina, Senior Vice President Marketing at Visa.

And I couldn’t agree more.

Here are a few trends I noticed from conversations with some of Europe’s leading marketing communications practitioners.

The pursuit of innovative, category growth

Campaigns that 'do the job' are simply not good enough. We saw a swathe of 'ATL' led campaigns (I hate that term, but what can you do?): TV commercial, key visual, messaging… The typical channel-mix you’d expect to see with tangible results. OK, but does this really merit a high score? It does the job, but where is the next level? Does it elevate the category, is it brave, is it innovative? Does it set a new standard while delivering proven results? That’s what my jury was looking for. Only a few entries hit that spot.

ROI redefined

Is a clever digital media model truly gold standard? Is an increase in followers, massive PR impressions, reach (and more) enough to make an entry a winner? Tough gig to judge as the results varied so much. Different results, different scale, different measurement of success, different budgets. It instilled healthy discussion around ROI measurement, which is, in my opinion, the only way to go. 

Bold experience-led campaigns out in force

Creatively brave campaigns, activated in pivotal moments, innovatively integrated, with a proven sales uplift and last, but, not least 'experience led' and not 'TV led' – won the day. All will become clear when the winners are announced.


UK Marketing Communications Effectiveness: Michelle Whelan

Like Claus, I was a first-time Effie judge. Welcomed, watered and fed by LinkedIn (who have an amazing in-house chef) I had the pleasure of debating and awarding some of this year’s UK entries.

Events and experiences as growth drivers

Big seasonal events are glorious to tap into and drive a huge emotional high with large groups of people. We embrace these events wholeheartedly and expect brands to heighten their importance. However, those that succeed and are more effective have a strong and relevant point of view on the event and carry that through the whole consumer journey. In two of the excellent papers, that point of view was commercialised so its impact could be tangibly measured in ROI. £25 return on every £1 spent was a huge result.

Brands connecting with empathy: needs more work please

We all experience particularly significant, pivotal moments in our lives. As with seasonal events, life stages are an obvious place for brands to show empathy, value and create a real connection. One brand we reviewed did this exceptionally well. It was by far the best creative work we saw. But I would have loved to have seen the real commercial impact of creating such a high emotional bond and sadly, this was missing. 

Partnerships are the path to glory

Partnerships played a key role in all entries. Partnerships such as charities and populist media properties give people a warm and fuzzy feeling when they purchase. And purchase is arguably the moment that matters the most. 

Measurement must move on

UK entries echoed the European trend: TV still seems to be the lead media channel, which came as a bit of a surprise. As a result, entries concentrated on ‘first stage’ metrics such as number of views, twitter followers and clicks but failed to convincingly follow through to purchase. This seems a bit old fashioned with little effort to demonstrate impact across every step of the journey through to purchase. 

Next year, a good step forward would see all papers capturing real sales impact by channel to understand the full impact and effectiveness of every channel and touchpoint. Let’s move away from measurement metrics that really don’t matter. 

The EACA Euro Effie Awards Gala takes place on 16 October. The 2018 Effie UK Awards Gala will be held on 19 September 2018.


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