The World’s Largest Awards Program Recognizing Excellence in Promotion Marketing

RULES OF ENTRY

ELIGIBILITY RULES

  • The PRO Awards are open to marketers, agencies, suppliers, and manufacturers involved in campaigns utilizing promotion marketing.
  • B-to-C and B-to-B events and campaigns are eligible.
  • Campaigns must have launched or debuted between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
  • International entries are welcome!
  • Entrants may submit as many campaigns as they wish into the PRO Awards. Campaigns may be entered in multiple categories, as long as it is within category guidelines.

HOW THE PRO AWARDS ARE JUDGED

Each PRO Award category will have a Gold, Silver and Bronze winner. A panel of brand-side judges will be looking for evidence of campaigns that demonstrate the following:

  • Clear strategic thinking
  • Innovation
  • Effectiveness

Winners will have succeeded in reaching out and effectively promoting to the target audience. Results must be supported.

Categories

There are 46 categories available for submission. Entries can be made into more than one category. Pre- and post-pandemic 2020 campaigns are eligible in all categories except those explicitly recognizing post-pandemic strategies and campaigns.

SPECIAL AWARDS CATEGORIES

New this year, we shine a spotlight on the pivots and the pandemic-era campaigns that transformed unprecedented marketing challenges into opportunities for creative engagement.

NEW: Best Post-COVID-Era Campaign

This award recognizes the best COVID-era marketing strategy and campaign execution of 2020. Judges will be looking for an innovative concept, a creative response to a pandemic-era consumer or customer pain point, a strategic response to a marketing challenge and proof of a return on investment.

NEW! Best Pandemic-Era Pivot

Awarded to the campaign that represented the most successful pivot from a pre-pandemic strategy to a post-pandemic strategy. Judges will focus on the pre-pandemic campaign and how the post-pandemic strategy supported original marketing goals—or exceeded them—and how quickly the new strategy was planned and executed.

NEW! Best Unboxing Experience

If your brand engagements in 2020 were a clever mashup of at-home kits and online engagements, this category is for you. Judges will consider how the unboxing experience amplified the marketing strategy and enhanced end-user engagement.

NEW! Best Kit

Showcase that beautiful box filled with surprise and delight moments in this category dedicated exclusively to the best “kit” of 2020. The kit should be a central piece of the marketing strategy and should have been mailed or delivered to target audiences at home. Judges will look for a great kit filled with interesting and on-brand elements, and for proof of how those elements enhanced a virtual, digital or IRL experience or engagement.

NEW! Best Virtual Event or Experience

For B2C and B2B marketers—this is your chance to get recognized for the virtual conference, website or online experience that kept your marketing moving forward in 2020. Judges will consider the use of virtual engagement tactics, content programming and delivery, site design, user experience and overall alignment with marketing objectives.

NEW! Best Ecommerce Pivot

Awarded to the brand or campaign that best exemplifies a successful pivot from using traditional commerce solutions to drive customer conversion to establishing new ecommerce solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Judges will be looking for measurable results that illustrate the initiative’s success. 

NEW! Best App Pivot

Awarded to the campaign that successfully pivoted the use of a brand’s mobile app to accommodate for new modes of customer interaction during the COVID-19 pandemic. Attention will be paid to innovation, campaign strategy, execution, technology and results.

NEW! Best Outdoor Campaign

Recognizes the COVID-era campaign that transformed outdoor spaces and unconventional, socially-distanced places into inventive engagement experiences. This category isn’t for billboard advertising. Think: drive-thru sampling experiences, drive-in movie experiences, car wash sampling experiences and more. Judges will look for inventive use of space, a creative concept brought to life and impact on ROI metrics.

PROMOTION STRATEGY

The promotion campaigns that had it all—engaged consumers, killer execution, a rock-solid strategy and a proven ROI.

NEW! Best Direct Mail Campaign

Whether it was part of your pre-pandemic strategy or you shifted it into high gear last year, direct mail made a comeback in 2020. This category awards the direct mail campaign that most effectively leveraged copy, design, message and effective audience targeting to deliver (literally!) a promotional message that inspired awareness and action by its recipients. Judges will consider creativity, concept and impact on KPIs.

NEW! Best Application of Data or Insights

This award is delivered to the campaign that most effectively utilized a piece of research, data, consumer insight or behavior to inform a campaign’s strategy, messaging and execution. Attention will be paid to the application of these insights throughout every aspect of the campaign.

NEW! Breakout Brand Campaign

Awarded to a campaign produced by a new brand (less than five years old) that made waves in its industry category through an innovative launch campaign via any medium or channel. Judges will consider how the campaign’s strategy delivered by disrupting the marketplace and achieving objectives.

Best Integrated Campaign

Awarded to the campaign best utilizing more than one marketing discipline to create a seamless consumer or customer engagement strategy that showcases outstanding creativity, consistency of message and achievement of objectives. This campaign should illustrate how an integrated approach creates impactful touchpoints and moves target audiences on a journey to action.

Best Holiday or Seasonal-Themed Campaign

Awarded to entries that use campaign marketing to focus on a particular holiday or season (i.e. Valentine’s Day, Earth Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Summer, Winter, Spring, Fall, Women’s History Month, Pride Month, back-to-school, etc.) to drive sales. Judges are looking for a strategic and innovative use of creative, messaging and execution.

Best Entertainment Sponsorship or Tie-In

Awarded to the campaign that best promotes or leverages an entertainment brand or franchise to market a product or service. Judges will consider creativity, execution and relevance to both the entertainment and product brand, as well as measurable results.

Best Sports Sponsorship or Tie-in

Awarded to the campaign that best leverages a sports brand or franchise to market a product or service. Judges will consider creativity, execution, relevance to both the sport/sport franchise and product brand and measurable results.

Best New Product Launch

Bringing a new product to market in 2020 was no small feat. This award recognizes the marketing concept and execution that effectively launched a new product or service via any medium or channel. Measurable results, creativity, moxie and overall launch strategy will be considered.

Best Loyalty Marketing Campaign

Awarded to the best use of loyalty marketing to motivate consumers to take action and/or encourage repeat purchases, including using discounts, points, rewards, coupons, premiums, membership programs, clubs and other incentives.

Best Brand Awareness Campaign

Awarded to the campaign most effective in gaining measurable market awareness for a brand, service, product or event including re-launches, repositions and new introductions.

Best B2B Campaign

Awarded to the best business-to-business campaign to generate prospects, leads, sales or customer retention. Judges will consider creativity, execution, relevance to the vertical market targeted and measurable results.

Best OOH Campaign

Out of Home campaigns took on new relevance in 2020 as consumers were simultaneously forced outside and into their cars. This category recognizes the creative use of digital and traditional out-of-home platforms to engage consumers along their path to purchase. Judges will consider the use of OOH as part of the integrated campaign, innovative uses of unconventional platforms and venues, technology integration and smart strategic planning informed by data.

TARGETED CAMPAIGNS

The best promotions targeting specific demographics, groups, interests, people, passions and places.

NEW! Best Health and Wellness Campaign

Awarded to the campaign that best incorporates a health- and wellness-focused component into its strategy, execution and messaging, via any marketing channels, including virtual events, apps and in-person experiences. Attention will be paid to creativity, innovation and measurable results.

NEW! Best Gaming or Esports Campaign

Awarded to the campaign that most creatively and successfully targets gaming and/or esports audiences via any marketing channels. Campaigns will be judged on innovation, execution and measurable results.

NEW! Best Culinary or Spirits Promotion

Awarded to the campaign that most effectively promotes food and/or beverage products through the use of digital or real-world engagements. Incudes on-premise activations, sampling, mailings, influencer experiences, and online or social media-based strategies. Judges will consider how marketers overcame logistical challenges in 2020 to deliver compelling and memorable engagements, and how the campaign delivered against marketing goals.

Best Use of Influencer Marketing

Awarded to the campaign that successfully identified influencers who have sway over potential buyers and then leveraged the influencers’ reach in unique and compelling ways to reach marketing objectives. Judges will consider creativity, alignment with marketing goals and overall impact of campaign.

Best Cause or CSR Campaign

Awarded to the most impactful and compelling campaign that is tied to charitable objectives, including campaigns that support nonprofit organizations, events or corporate outreach. Initiatives can include pro bono, cause-related, social good, CSR, sustainability efforts or corporate donations. Judges will consider how the brand amplified the cause, and how the brand benefited from the effort in measurable ways.

Best Local/Regional Campaign

This award recognizes campaigns executed on a local or regional level with the intent of reaching consumers in a specific geographic area. Creativity and measurable results will be considered.

Best Diversity Campaign

Awarded to the campaign that most successfully targets, acknowledges, celebrates, promotes or champions diversity, diverse groups or diversity-forward causes or organizations. Campaigns will be judged on creativity, execution, market relevance, message and measurable results.

Best Campaign Targeting Millennials or Gen-Z

Awarded to the campaign that most creatively and successfully targets Millennials or Gen-Z consumers or customer via any, or multiple, marketing channels. Campaigns will be judged on innovation, execution and measurable results.

Best Use of Shopper Marketing

Awarded to the campaign that most effectively deployed pre-, during- and post-retail touchpoints that led to a successful outcome. This entry should outline what shopper data led to the marketing tactics employed and then illustrate how the communications strategy led to the desired KPIs.

Best Retail Campaign

Awarded to the campaign that best leverages the strengths of a retail marketing initiative. The program can be executed by the brand or co-branded with other brands or a retailer. This category accepts both brick-and-mortar and online retail promotions.

PROMOTION TECHNOLOGY

The campaigns that utilized the latest technologies, content strategies and social media techniques to amplify their programs—and generate results.

 

NEW! Best Use of Emerging Technology

2020 brought a lot of new tech to the fore—this is your chance to get rewarded for trying it out. This award will be given to the campaign that utilized a new technology for the purposes of driving its marketing campaign forward. Judges will look for never-been-done-before uses of new or emerging technologies and the clever or innovative role the technology played in generating results among target audiences.

NEW! Best Troll

Arguably the most fun category in the program according to our judges: Best Troll. Awarded to the brand or campaign that best incorporated online “trolling” tactics to achieve specific, measurable business goals through social media marketing. Judges will pay attention to innovation, brand reception, creativity, buzz, risk-taking and measurable results.

Best Use of Content Marketing

Awarded to the campaign that shows the most creative and strategic use of content marketing. Judges will consider how marketers created and/or curated and promoted content to attract and retain customers, create brand awareness loyalty, and drive ROI for the overall marketing strategy. 

Best Use of Gamification, Contests and Sweepstakes

Awarded to the campaign that best promotes a product or service through the use of gamification, contests or sweepstakes. This tactic can be part of a broader integrated campaign, but the impact of the gamification, contest or sweepstakes should be clear.

Best Use of AI/VR/AR

Given to the campaign that shows the most strategic use of AI, VR or AR to attract, retain or engage consumers. Judges will consider use, creativity, execution and results.

Best Use of Video

Compelling video content lit up the industry in 2020 as screen time replaced more traditional marketing tactics. This category recognizes the best use of produced or user-generated video to propel a campaign, generate viral impact or drive impressions. Judges will consider the creativity of the video and how well the video strategy generated awareness for the brand.

Best Social Media Campaign

Awarded to targeted, measurable social media campaigns that leverage one or several social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok), to drive brand awareness and/or sales. Judges will consider the creativity of the concept, the effective use of the medium, the viral reach of the campaign and the performance against KPIs.

CREATIVITY & INNOVATION

Clever, inventive, disruptive and bold. Fresh ideas, killer design and never-been-done-before concepts are at the heart of these campaigns.

NEW! Best Sustainability-Focused Campaign

Awarded to the campaign that best incorporates sustainability as a central piece of its strategy, execution and messaging. Attention will be paid to creativity, innovation, measurable marketing results and measurable impact against sustainability KPIs.

NEW! Best Package Design

Awarded to the campaign that best leveraged package design to promote a program’s marketing goals. Creativity, innovation, materials, technology integration and messaging will be considered. Judges will be looking for a strong story that maps the design to real-world action and ROI.

NEW! Best Collaboration

Did you partner with another brand or company in 2020 and create marketing magic in the process? This category recognizes all those “X” campaigns that best conveyed to consumers and customers the added value of a permanent or temporary partnership. (Think: Taco Bell X Forever 21). Judges will consider how the partnership was communicated through creative design, engagement, copy and messaging across all channels, and how the campaign delivered against KPIs.

Best Use of Disruptive Marketing

This campaign really caused a ruckus. It stood out from the competition like a cat in a dog park to prevent competitors. Judges will be looking for a little risk or lots of courage. Judges will be looking for outstanding concepts, pivots and executions that took risks—and courage.

Best Vehicle-Based Campaign

Awarded to the best campaign that delivers a marketing experience by using a vehicle at the heart of the program. Judges will consider the strategy, brand/market relevance, vehicle design, execution and measurable results. Car-based experiences for consumers (drive-thrus, car washes, etc.) should be entered in the Best Pivot or Out-of-Home categories.

Best Use of Event or Experiential Marketing

Awarded to the campaign best utilizing creativity in producing a live event or face-to-face customer experience to enhance the strategic position or sales of a product, brand or service. Judges will consider strategy, target market and audience relevance, execution and measurable results.

Best Sampling or Trial Recruitment Campaign

Awarded to the program that effectively introduced or promoted a product or service by means of sampling or trial. Sampling and trial can include in-store, in-pack/on-pack, event sampling and direct mail. Program should demonstrate in its results an effective trial/conversion rate.

Best Buzz

Awarded to the campaign that generated measurable buzz across traditional and/or social media and disrupted the status quo in a brand’s space through p.r. impressions and/or measurable viral impact. Judges will consider how new ideas performed against the marketing objectives the brand had for the campaign or promotion.

Campaign on a Budget

Awarded to the campaign that achieves all stated objectives while adhering to a budget under $250,000. Judges will consider innovation, creativity, execution and results.

Entry Requirements & Fees

DEADLINES & COSTS

Early Deadline: May 17
Fee: $495 $425 per entry

Late Deadline:  May 27
Fee: $645 per entry

Need some inspiration? Check out the work that took home the trophies in 2020.

Judges

Get your best work in front of some of the world’s biggest brands.

Check back for weekly updates to the judge’s panel.

Elizabeth Malafa

Elizabeth Malafa

Senior Director, Experiential Marketing & Global Events

Under Armour

Chin Wu

Chin Wu

North America Senior Marketing Manager

HP

Pearl Servat

Pearl Servat

Head of Brand Marketing

Visible

Angela B. Turner

Angela B. Turner

Senior Vice President Marketing & PR

Revolt

Dave Spencer

Dave Spencer

Chief Marketing Officer

Centria Healthcare
Angela Burgin

Angela Burgin

Director of Marketing - Mgmt

AT&T

Jorge Oliviera

Jorge Oliviera

Director of Media & Social Channels

Burger King

Kristen Salvatore

Kristen Salvatore

CMO

The Mom Project

Christine Ngo Isaac

Christine Ngo Isaac

Consumer Engagement Director

Hennessy at LVMH
Ronnie Yoked

Ronnie Yoked

Head of Experiential Marketing

Anheuser-Busch

Eric Mills

Eric Mills

Associate Director – Sandwich, Salad, Dipping

The Kraft Heinz Company

Awards Gala

Winners will be named “live” this summer at our virtual PRO Awards Gala—stay tuned for dates and details.

Contact Dara Brooks at dbrooks@accessintel.com to position yourself as a co-host of this commemorative affair in front of hundreds of brand and agency marketers!

Contact

If you have any questions or inquiries about the 2021 PRO Awards, please contact Emily Makadok at emakadok@accessintel.com 

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