Promax is officially open for 2018!
The PromaxBDA Promotion, Marketing and Design North America Awards 2018 just released its call for entries — and a whole month earlier than last year! All of the details and materials you need to enter this year’s competition are currently live on the PromaxBDA website.
PromaxBDA’s Promotion Marketing and Awards honors and celebrates outstanding achievements in entertainment marketing from around the world. It’s the most popular competition among our partners at Brave Dog, and every year we end up setting a new record for the number of entries we process. Last year, we submitted a total of 854 entries!
There are a lot of changes at Promax this year, so we’ve gone through to highlight the key takeaways for this year’s competition. Here’s everything you need to know about Promax 2018, and we’ll continue to update this list as new developments arise. And don’t forget to check out our quick tips for Promax that can help you get a leg up, especially in the month of December.
The first deadline is Jan. 18
The second deadline is Feb. 15
The final deadline is March 8
PSA: Promax has noted on its website that deadlines are subject to change, and so the competition advises to “please check back often for updates.” We’ll keep an eye out for changes and post them on the Brave Dog Twitter and Facebook feeds.
Ceremony: Thursday, June 14, 2018, at the New York Midtown Hilton. To purchase tickets, register for PromaxBDA: The Conference 2018.
Make your money go further
If your department is on a tighter budget this year, we recommend you register to become a PromaxBDA member (if you haven’t already) and shoot for the first deadline of Jan. 18. Prices to submit entries go up substantially for the later deadlines, so being prepared and getting your work in early pays off.
Pricing tiers are as follows:
Jan. 18 fees
Single entry: $275 for members, $375 for non-members.
Campaign entry: $375 for members, $475 for non-members.
Feb. 15 fees
Single entry: $350 for members, $450 for non-members.
Campaign entry: $450 for members, $550 for non-members.
March 8 fees
Single entry: $425 for members, $525 for non-members.
Campaign entry: $525 for members, $625 for non-members.
The Devil in the Details
Every year, new categories are added and removed; definitions can be edited, and number nomenclature changes. Last year, Promax added 10 new categories, mostly focusing on social media and branded content.
Promax primarily focuses on content in more traditional arenas, such as TV spots, trailers and key art. It’s worth keeping in mind that, while many of our partners are doing awesome things in the digital, social and experiential spheres, these areas are, unfortunately, just not Promax’s main focus. Your best work in these areas might not be a good fit for Promax, simply because the categories don’t exist that will cater to what you’ve created.
That said, if you have a project that you’re especially excited about, we’re always ready to discuss finding another competition where your work is more likely to shine.
While Promax has created a category selection and keyword suggestion tool that will help finding the right categories for entries at submission time, we still find it’s easier on the eyes to make our recommendations using old-fashioned physical print-outs.
Here are a few items to keep in mind that should help you navigate Promax’s many categories and the arenas they cover:
• The “Marketing Creativity” categories are numbered and begin with TV
• The “Art Direction & Design” Categories begin with AD
• The “Branded Content” categories begin with BC
• The “Digital & Social” categories begin with DS
• The “Print” categories begin with P
• The “Multimedia” categories begin with MM
• The “Music” and “Special” Categories begin with S.
New categories introduced last year were all denoted by the letter N in their titles. These categories have now been integrated into other areas of the competition. Here’s where to find them if you’re looking for last year’s new arrivals:
• N 01: Show Trailer Promotion is now TV 08
• N 02: Long-Form Branded Content Promotion is now TV 07
• N 03: Micro Video Content is now DS 01
• N 04: Social Media, Mobile Based Promotional Digital Content is now DS 11
• N 05: Social Media Series or Live Digital Video Content is now DS 12
Throughout the competition, some of the category names have been tweaked slightly, and a category may not have the same number that it did last year, but most of these are not quite different enough to worth noting. (For instance, what was TV 14 is now TV 16, with a few slight tweaks to its category title.)
Some significant changes:
The In-House Promo Spot/Campaign categories (TV 15 and TV 16) have added more specific rules.
“A single video- based promo created to promote a program or series of programs in any genre (drama, comedy, etc.) produced in-house at any channel, content platform, or distributor.
“NOTE: To be eligible as in-house, 100% of the work must be created by internal staff in at least four of these five areas: 1. Script or Concept, 2. Sound, 3. Visuals, 4. design/graphics, 5. Editorial.”
In the “Special Categories” (S) section, the music-related categories were previously listed first. Promax did a flip-flop so that the music categories now come last, so look for them further down the category list.
Entrants will be happy to learn that Promax hasn’t removed any categories since last year and hasn’t added any new ones this year, which should make navigating the competition easier for anyone who was around in the past. The reason for so few changes is likely that Promax reworked its categories significantly in 2017. Still, we advise entrants to check back to the website regularly for changes, just in case, as sometimes Promax will make changes based on competitor feedback or unforeseen issues. Last year, Promax announced three category additions just three and a half business days shy of the reduced-price first deadline.
In recent years, Promax has reduced the length of its write-ups explaining entries to just 250 characters, or about 100 words or less. The 250-character restriction is in place this year, but with a slight change: write-ups should now include discussion of an entry’s marketing objective and/or creative strategy.
The goal of each write-up is to provide the judges with an overview of the submission and call out what makes its creative unique. A judge should be able to read the write-up for context before viewing the asset. The 250 characters is a tight squeeze, but we’re pretty practiced in making it work and it’s far from impossible. On the Brave Dog side, any information partners can provide that help us to tell the story of their work is useful, and allows us to paint the clearest, most interesting picture for judges. Everything from obstacles overcome to demographics engaged, creative solutions discovered and results obtained is useful, and helps tell the story of an entry to judges. Trust us: It all helps.
In past years, the Promax team has allowed us to go into the entry system to make edits to entries even after they’ve been submitted. That gave our partners a little extra time to get certain elements together, like high-quality assets or the full list of credits for an entry.
However, editing Promax entries after they’ve been entered into the system is no longer possible this year. Once we click “submit,” the entry is off to the races. Therefore, it’s very important that when clients give us the green light that entries are “final,” that they really are perfect and ready to go.
“Entries are reviewed and scored based on original entry information as entered by the entrant. Once an entry is generated, details may NOT be revised except for the ‘credits’ portion. Once an invoice has been created for your entries, submissions may NOT be replaced or revised.”
Assets: Your first step should be to compile your assets. Internally decide which of your 2017 promotions (including on-air spots, key art, out-of-home, special projects, etc.) were strongest, and create a dump file of all these assets. Reminder: The eligibility window for this year’s competition is Jan. 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2017.
• Ensure that all of your assets are of the highest quality you can manage — we need high resolution for all video and photos. You’ll want to be sure that assets look great if they’re blown up on a big screen for judges to view; low-quality assets can undercut your entry even if your creative is great, just because they’re tougher to look at and look less good to judges than higher quality assets.
• Decide which projects are the most important for your team to receive recognition. Prioritizing here will make your entry money go farther and give you a better chance of winning. Making the tough call to make sure that you’re focusing on what you know is your best work will ultimately raise your chances.
• Decide as a team what your budget is, and how many entries you’d like to submit.
• If an asset is new to Brave Dog, please send us any marketing decks or other background information that will help us to understand the ins and outs of your promotion. That’ll help us explain anything that’s obvious to you, but might not be to judges. Remember that judges aren’t always familiar with specific shows or campaigns, so any context we can provide for them raises the chances of showing them exactly how great your creative was. Our goal is to tell your story.
• Send us your materials as early as you can. The sooner we can review all of your assets, the sooner we can get started preparing your entries, which will keep costs down and make awards budgets go further.
One last thing: Partners sometimes find themselves sending new materials to Brave Dog for last-minute entries. Please know that, when we’re receiving new assets and new entry requests within a week of a deadline, that we’ll do our very best, but there are no guarantees that we can make the deadline. Since Promax is a big competition for our partners, we’re submitting a lot of entries, and it can be tough to make space for last-minute additions. Our only advice here is that we suggest you try to get us things as early as possible — avoiding any last-minute crunch guarantees we can get your entries in.
Get Organized: Keeping on the ball is the best way to get the most out of your Promax entries, and save money doing it. We recommend putting all competition deadlines and important Brave Dog timeline dates (when write-ups/credits/assets are due, for instance) on your calendar (or a reminder on your computer/phone). Meeting the earlier deadlines keeps entry costs down, because the later your entries go in, the more Promax charges for them. To keep your costs as low as possible, our award experts at Brave Dog create timelines that can help keep everything moving, so you know what to expect to us, and what we need you to provide and when. Stick to the timelines to make sure costs are as low as they can be and entries all get in on time and in great shape.
Credits: Should your entry end up a finalist or a winner, the credits for the entry will likely be published by the competition. So it’s very important that your credits are correct by the time the competition closes. We recommend that you start gathering these early to prevent stress or issues later on.
Help? Even if you’re preparing your own Promax entries, Brave Dog is here to help. If you find that you have any questions, please feel free to call us here at the office at (323) 848-9716, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Promax also has some pretty helpful materials you can reference if you encounter submission-related struggles. Check out the FAQs link under North America Promotion, Marketing and Design Awards and click “How to Submit an Entry.”
Looking forward to another busy Promax! Good luck to all who enter and keep being creative!