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China’s advertising industry waits to hear the winners of the Effie marketing awards

China’s advertising industry waits to hear the winners of the Effie marketing awards
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The final countdown to the prestigious Greater China Effie Awards, for effectiveness in marketing, has begun.

The gala ceremony will take place on November 22, and awards will be presented in front of executives from a number of leading advertisers and agencies in the region.

Over 1,000 entries were meticulously studied and discussed on 21-22 September by a jury of industry pundits from a range of backgrounds: agencies, academic institutions, media and the brands themselves.

From a shortlist announced at the end of September, a Grand Jury comprising Tracy Alford, the President and CEO of Effie Worldwide; Alex Xu, Managing Director of Effie Greater China and Senior VP of Effie Worldwide; Gill Zhou, Global VP and Greater China CMO at IBM, and other leaders in the industry will decide on the ‘best of the best’ for the Grand Effie award, which will be presented once the winners of the individual categories have been announced.

The Final Judging, which took place in Beijing, opened with a speech from Alex Xu, an expert in global branding strategy with over 20 years’ experience in the field.

Over the following two days the 119 judges, of whom 62 are advertisers, were divided into ten groups to analyse and evaluate each case, bringing their own perspectives from their individual experiences.

They discussed issues such as intellectual property; the leveraging of ‘fan economy’ principles, which builds brand loyalty; and age-related demographic appeal.

Technology giant Baidu, a strategic partner of Effie Greater China, sponsor of the awards and host of the event, took the opportunity to demonstrate their self-driving car to the judges, and created an artificial intelligence experiential zone, which participants were invited to visit.

Effie Greater China and Baidu also jointly presented their ‘AI Effectiveness Marketing Track’, to be launched next year. Baidu is one of the world’s leading artificial intelligence companies, and it is hoped this collaboration will act as a driver for effective advertising in the region.

Also announced at the September event were the new Effie Greater China council members, who attended a welcome ceremony and a council meeting held at the Baidu building. Gill Zhou was appointed chair of the council, and 13 other members were named; some from advertising agencies and educational institutions, others from leading companies.

The council works to promote the Effie award programs as gold standards in the marketing industry, and drives brand development in the region.

In 2019, Effie celebrates 50 years of encouraging excellence in advertising and marketing communication. Created by the New York American Marketing Association in 1968, it was founded to champion and reward effective campaigns across all forms of marketing, celebrating game-changing initiatives and strategies proven to meet and exceed their objectives.

Since 2011, the ‘Effie Index’ has analysed the data from the campaigns of previous finalists in its awards programs to create a global ranking of marketing effectiveness, updated annually. Other resources include a ‘case study database’, featuring hundreds of effective marketing ideas from around the world.

As well as its awards programs, Effie functions as an educational resource for the industry, collaborating with research and media organisations and bringing its key findings on marketing potency and audience insight to a wider audience, along with learning tools for every stage of marketing.

It runs 52 global, national and regional programs across Europe, Latin America, the Middle East/North Africa, North America and the Asia Pacific region. Effie Greater China is responsible for promoting marketing excellence across mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

Winning agencies in 2018 included Media Arts Lab, McCann, J Walter Thompson, Isobar China and Ogilvy Beijing.

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