Why Should You Enter Advertising Contests as a Copywriter?
As a professional copywriter, you're always honing your craft. Experience and expertise are critical in this field, and it's important to look for ways to sharpen your talent.
While you can grow your knowledge through special projects and work endeavors, a little healthy competition can also help.
There are many advertising contests designed to promote top performers and recognize significant achievements.
Today, we're taking a look at some of the most well-known ad contests. We'll also share why you should enter them and the benefits that they can provide for both seasoned and aspiring professionals in the field.
Why Advertising Contests Matter
When a client is looking for advertising services, what are some of the first places they'll check? In most cases, they'll ask around to industry peers and consult their partners. Then, they may go online and conduct a search for local firms in their area.
Then, once they find your name, they'll undoubtedly be curious about your background and accolades. Work experience is critical, but awards speak volumes about your ambition and abilities.
While it can be time-consuming to enter these contests and there are often costs involved, the investment is more than worth it. This is especially the case if you're a college graduate just starting out in this industry.
Ad contests give you the chance to get your feet wet, make valuable connections, and learn from some of the top performers in the field.
As you apply and work toward your goals, you'll also make your name more visible to future clients who may need your services down the road.
Top Ad Contests to Consider
If you've decided to pursue a few advertising contests, you may feel pressured to jump right in and apply to each one that you find.
However, doing so could muddle your focus and take you away from your other projects.
It's important to be selective at this stage. You want to choose contests that are applicable to your talents and align with your interests.
Let's take a look at a few of the most prolific awards, how they work, and what you can learn.
The Clio Awards were founded in 1959 to honor excellence and achievement in advertising.
There are Grand, Gold, Silver and Bronze trophies at stake, and the judging process is collaborative in nature.
Different entry and media types include:
Featured past winners include such big-name brands as Apple, Budweiser, and Vogue.
If you're an advertising student, then you'll apply to the Student Medium Types contest.
The Clio Awards define a student as someone who is enrolled full-time or part-time in an accredited college/university or a recognized film school.
The One Club: The One Show
The One Club is an American non-profit organization that recognizes global excellence in the field of advertising.
Each year, the Club hosts The One Show, a program designed to recognize and award high achievers in advertising, design, and digital marketing.
The One Club has handed out these awards, known as Gold Pencils, for more than 40 years.
While the Clio Awards break down entries by mediums, The One Club does so by discipline.
Among others, some of the top disciplines include:
Each year, thousands of agencies, non-profit organizations, and corporations compete for a coveted Gold Pencil.
The One Club: ADC Awards
The One Club also hosts the Art Directors Club (ADC) Awards each year.
For 101 years, the ADC Awards have honored groundbreaking talent in a range of ad-related sectors, including:
The One Club: Young Ones Student Awards
Advertising students can compete in the Club's Young Ones Student Awards.
There are four categories to compete in, including:
As long as you're enrolled in an academic program and will graduate within the academic year of the competition, you're welcome to apply!
Winning any of these contests could give a boost to your burgeoning career.
Standing for Design and Art Direction, D&AD is an education charity that hosts an annual contest for design and advertising professionals.
More than 400 industry leaders around the world judge the entries, and winners receive D&AD Pencils. Award levels range from Wood Pencil to Black Pencil.
If you're new to this space, then consider applying for a D&AD New Blood Award.
Designated specifically for students, graduates, and aspiring creatives, these awards require applicants to download brand briefs and create their own unique campaigns.
Participating brands include such recognizable names as Disney and Netflix, making this an especially visible contest.
If you're looking for a job in this industry, then winning a New Blood Award could give you the attention you need.
One Minute Briefs
Great advertising requires thinking on your toes and being able to conjure up a unique idea in a short timeframe.
One Minute Briefs celebrates this ingenuity with fun daily contests that appeal to experts and novices alike.
Bank of Creativity sponsors the UK-based contest. Applicants can respond on Twitter, and Bank of Creativity retweets every entry to its community of followers, which numbers more than 34,500.
Entries reach millions of people every day, which benefits both brands and applicants.
If you're interested in applying, then check the @OneMinuteBriefs handle daily on Twitter.
Contest briefs appear around 9:00 a.m. GMT, and you can submit as many entries as you'd like. Then, simply tweet your idea back to the handle, along with relevant hashtags and mentions.
The contest closes the same day, at 6:00 p.m. MST. These One Minute Brief contests offer a great way to build a social media following, get your work out there, and connect with top brands.
Benefits of Participating in Ad Contests
If you're an advertising student, then chances are high that you've already got a ton on your plate.
Between assignments, projects, and freelance work, you might wonder if you have time to apply to any of the contests mentioned above.
The same applies if you're already working full-time in the field.
Your workday might be chocked full of assignments and job duties, but we still recommend carving out enough time to work on these competitions.
Why should you spend your time, energy, and money this way? Let's take a look at a few benefits you can expect.
Get Eyes on Your Work
Put simply, you could gain an extensive amount of visibility by copywriting for advertisements.
Even if you don't win, there will still be hundreds of jurors' eyes on your work.
This is a great way to build credibility and gain exposure. You may even pique the interest of a brand!
While everyone naturally wants to win the big prize, this is one example of the power of participation.
Grow Your Network
In advertising, it's important to know the right people and make the right connections.
While your work can speak for itself, it never hurts to meet others who can introduce you to new clients, partners, and employers.
With advertising contests, you can network with other competitors to grow your circle.
This is especially the case with the OneMinuteBrief contests, in which applicants are encouraged to share and retweet the work of others.
Build Your Resume
Finally, entering these ad contests gives you an impressive new line on your resume.
Future employers want to see that you're self-motivated and driven.
Applying to these competitions sends the message that you're willing to put in the work it takes to succeed.
You'll also have a new body of work to share in an interview or meeting.
If you've never worked for an actual client before, contest entries can fill up the bulk of your portfolio and give you plenty of speaking points.
Hone Your Advertising Skills and Competitive Advantage
Do the above advertising contests sound appealing to you?
If you've considered entering into the copywriting or advertising space, then these competitions can be a great way to get started.
They're also ideal for students who are looking to gain real-world industry experience.
Before you sign up and get started, we encourage you to hone your skills and learn as much as possible.
This way, you can improve your odds of taking home a prize! Our Copywriting 101 course is a great place to start, covering the core concepts of creating and writing advertising.
Ready to get started? Learn more about the course and sign up today!