Three creative jurors share winning strategies


Lau talking about measuring only what is important when looking at the effectiveness of a marketing campaign.

Lau talking about measuring only what is important when looking at the effectiveness of a marketing campaign.

OVER 100 marketing communications industry practitioners attended the Effie Masterclass to learn tips and strategies in creating award-winning submissions.

Held at Menara Star’s Cybertorium in Petaling Jaya, the workshop featured three eminent speakers with stellar track records in the industry to help agencies shape and sharpen their entries.

Creative turnaround consultancy Planner at Large director Judd Labarthe spoke about writing an Effie winner.

“It is not the strongest results that win, but objectives. Without strong objectives, there would not be strong results,” Labarthe said.

He went on to share about the importance of story-telling.

“Effie success is based on a convincing story, and how distinctive and persuasive the stories you tell,” said Labarthe, who is also the chief judge of Effie Awards Malaysia 2018. He also said that the judging process is quick so entries need to stand out by stating their objectives clearly.

He also offered a tip on drafting their Effie entry.

Comar, Labarthe, Lau and Loh at the Effie Masterclass 2018 held in Menara Star.
Comar, Labarthe, Lau and Loh at the Effie Masterclass 2018 held in Menara Star.

“I suggest that people start their Effie drafting process with picking a plot followed by ‘This is a story of ...’

“The words you use to fill in the blank will fundamentally shape your objective, strategy, creative idea and results,” said Labarthe.

Geometry Global Asia Pacific regional executive creative director Daniel Comar agreed with Labarthe on setting a clear story plot for his take in crafting an engaging film.

Comar, who is also a lead juror in this year’s Effie Awards Malaysia, shared on The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories by Christopher Booker for story-plotting recurring in every story told which features plots such as overcoming the monster, rags to riches, the quest, voyage and return, comedy, tragedy and rebirth.

“It is important to find the story plot you want to tell – 95% of case studies fail because they focus on explaining the campaign rather than what is important, meaningful or why they deserve to be awarded.

“The rule of thumb is the first 30 seconds. Apply this to every case study you have done and evaluate if it tells everything important within that time frame as to what the problem is and how to deal with it,” he explained

Meanwhile, Facebook head of agency (South-East Asia) Lau Sulin, also a lead juror in this year’s Effie Awards Malaysia, shared her experience in writing and judging Effies as well as tips for a winning entry.

“No matter what your business or brand goal is, at every consumer stage, there’s a buying objective,” she said.

She emphasised that the secret to strategy is sacrifice.

“Optimising for too many things means we optimise nothing. Choose one main objective per campaign,” she said.

At the end of the session, participants were given case studies to evaluate together with the speakers in a panel discussion.

“The Effies has become more than just a creative award; even clients are gunning for it,” said organising chairman Kenny Loh, who is also the chief executive officer of Geometry Malaysia.

“The creative landscape has changed along with trends like social and e-commerce platforms.

“This also changes how judges look into a winning case and these three prominent people of the industry are the creative industry’s keys to winning an Effie award,” said Loh.

Since its introduction in 1968, the Effies has become recognised worldwide as the pre-eminent award in the marketing communications industry.

Focusing on effective campaigns that work in the marketplace, the global award honours achievement in meeting and exceeding marketing communications objectives.

The Awards is organised by the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Malaysia (4As), jointly supported by Malaysian Advertising Association (MAA) and Media Specialists Association (MSA), in association with the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade).