25 September 2022 22:33


Gayle Seminara Mandel, Executive Director, New York Festivals AME Awards


Mediavataar: What sets the AME Awards apart from other competitions?

Gayle Seminara Mandel:  Three things distinguish AME from other competitions:

  1. AME’s powerhouse Grand Jury: a global panel of respected strategists, marketing creatives, and industry leaders recruited from 5 regions, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East & Africa, and North America.
  2. The AME Grand Jury 3-part judging process: jurors evaluate entries in three rounds against high standards of creative execution and marketing effectiveness, in the third round all the 5 panels judge the top scoring gold work to determine Regional Platinum Awards and the AME Grand Award.
  3. Judging Criteria: Grand Jury members utilize a matrix of 4 weighted criteria to review entries.

Mediavataar: Why is effectiveness at the forefront now, even more than previous years?

Gayle Seminara Mandel: Marketers live in a real time data-driven world with a robust number of metrics at their fingertips available to prove their campaign’s worth to the client. Throughout the COVID pandemic multi-channel brand messaging pivoted to address the changing world and effectively connect with the consumer in an authentic/empathetic way to effectively promote the brand story, engage consumers, and deliver results.

AME Grand Jury member, Ali Cheikahali, Creative Strategy Lead for Google MENA had this to say:

Effectiveness has always been the ultimate purpose of advertising; work that works. But this has never stood any truer than today. What could in some periods be seen as a choice, today has become a necessity. The COVID age has prioritized the need for delivering business results and thus forcing brand marketing and advertising to directly contribute to that. Awarding the work that does that in these times sends out the right message to the industry.

Mediavataar: This is your third year at the helm, how has the journey been so far and what changes have been implemented?

Gayle Seminara Mandel: In the past few years AME has gone through many changes and nowhere is it more evident than AME’s Grand Jury. We have greatly expanded the Grand Jury within each of the five regions, recruiting award-winning decision-making professionals from a global pool of thought-leaders, including agency side CEO’s, CSO’s CCO’s, Managing Partners, as well as brand-side strategic marketing executives, and young innovators from both the agency and brand side known for ground-breaking creative and strategic work.  

Updates also include a large-scale revamping of AME’s categories, and the creation of the AME Advisory Council, a brain trust of prominent leaders who lend their creative insights, industry expertise, and global perspective to the AME Awards. Both AME’s judging and entry platform were upgraded to ensure ease of use. Other additions included the launch of AME’s special Grand Jury POV series to showcase jurors and their insights and Effective Perspective, AME’s forum to share industry insights, interviews from prominent advertising and marketing experts, winner’s spotlight series, and best practice tips.

2020 marked the creation of an expanded 24-page AME Report designed to shine a spotlight on effective winning work, showcase the POV of award-winners, highlight jury comments and feature global trends.  

Mediavataar: Tell us more about AME’s Grand Jury and the judging process.

Gayle Seminara Mandel: AME's Grand Jury include some of the world’s most creative/strategic minds in advertising and marketing communications. They bring a toolbox of skills, innovation, industry expertise, and a 360-degree global perspective to the judging panel. Their experience working with prominent global brands on award-winning results-driven campaigns set the benchmark for innovation.

With 150+ jurors recruited from 5 regions representing over 40 countries, AME’s jury will judge entries in 3 rounds to determine the most creative/effective entries that hit the bullseye for the brand, using the benchmark of creative execution and marketing effectiveness, specifics from the written marketing brief, and a comprehensive presentation of the work are all taken into consideration. And of course, evidence of measurable results is of the utmost importance.

The Jury scores entries using criteria each weighted by importance with a matrix that breaks down to 4 criteria: 30% based on Results & Effectiveness, 25% each pulled from both Idea and Execution and 20% from Challenge/Strategy/Objectives. 

I am incredibly grateful that these talented global professionals share their time and talents to select some of the world’s most effective work.

Here’s what Fabio Buresti, Chief Strategy Officer/Partner for The Monkey’s Australia had to say, “I love the AME Awards’ high standard - it’s a beacon of effectiveness excellence for our entire industry. I hope to learn from the high standard of entries. To see how different brands have tackled complex problems with brilliant strategic and creative thinking.”

Mediavataar: What is the ROI for entrants?

Gayle Seminara Mandel:

  • An AME Award is proof that your company can deliver excellence, innovation, and results.
  • Top Scoring winners appear in the AME Report – a ranking report that honors and ranks the most effective agencies and brands, the results of all the Grand Jury’s votes are parsed into this two-part report.
  • AME’s award-winners are featured on WARC’s website in the AME Showcase.
  • Award-winning entries are celebrated on the world stage and honored as effective campaigns that delivered results for brave brands, winners are featured in press releases, on social platforms, showcased on AME’s website, in screenings, and honored in spotlight winner’s interviews within AME’s Effective Perspective blog.

Mediavataar: Any advice or submission tips that you can share with potential entrants?

Gayle Seminara Mandel: Many of AME’s Grand Jury POV interviews feature entry tips on creating an effective case and AME’s Effective Perspective features 7 tips from Alessandro Panella, Managing Director for Serviceplan Consulting Group.

  1. Don’t fill a form but tell a story.
  2. Be clear and concise.
  3. Nail the insight: make sure you really have a powerful insight as the base of your creative strategy.
  4. Context is key: Do not underestimate the importance of benchmarks - and providing reason for those benchmarks.
  5. Make your idea shine: The idea is the pivot which turns the smart analysis of the problem into a unique solution that none of our competitors could emulate.
  6. Present results effectively: There should be clear proof that the communication campaign played a role in driving success.

To read all of Alessandro’s tips visit: https://www.ameawards.com/media/Interior/e41f3d2d-a30b-4a9b-9326-18ab07a1f18b

Mediavataar: Any parting words?

Gayle Seminara Mandel:

Awards inspire, they encourage, they reward. They help build careers. They can change your life and your paycheck. They mark achievement. They focus attention on creativity. They reward passion, courage, intensity and in AME’s case… they reward EFFECTIVENESS.

Creative art direction, copy, and production values are important and worthy of admiration, however, if the campaign did not move the needle for the brand, it’s not worthy of an AME Award.

There’s still time to get your creative and effective work in front of this year’s spectacular judges. AME’s Grand Jury are looking for the most creative and effective campaigns to honor with an AME Award.

As Pearl Vas, Vice President Strategic Planning, Taproot Dentsu India says: “Good advertising triggers what I like to call, the ‘lean in, sink back’ effect. It instantly draws you in, making you go “wow” and thereby it imprints a memory – because as humans, the moments we never forget are the moments in which we ‘felt deeply’ (irrespective of the emotion) or the moments that ‘sparked a new perspective’ – because when we feel deeply is when we we’re most alive and when we learn something remarkable for the first time is when we subconsciously feel we’ve evolved. And that is primal! Great advertising of course does both… makes you feel something + sparks a new perspective… and that has you leaning in going “wow” and then sinking back in your chair going “now why the f*ck didn’t I think of that!”


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