Going after a Clio is serious business. The Clio remains the gold standard of advertising and marketing awards, and though Clio has expanded its scope with the Clio Entertainment Awards in recent years, the requirements for winning are just as high — and so is the prestige that comes with winning.
There’s less than a month to get your entries in for the Clio Entertainment Awards, the deadline for which closes on June 22. If you’re going after a Clio, and you should, it’s essential that you put your best work forward in any category you take on. Unlike other competitions, Clio awards aren’t based on how many entries show up in a given category. Put another way, if there are only three entries in a category, that doesn’t guarantee that each one of the three will wind up taking gold, one silver and one bronze.
So you have to bring the goods if you want to take home a Clio, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also consider strategy when you’re picking your categories for Clio Entertainment. A smaller field, or categories that go somewhat neglected compared to others, still give you a better chance of winning than categories that are full of top-tier competitors. Great work has to be even greater in order to shine when judges are considering lots of entries, rather than just a few, because now you’re working to stand out of the crowd as well.
At Brave Dog, we spent some time analyzing which categories our partners competed in in the Clio Entertainment Awards last year, to identify categories that aren’t getting as much love. We found that many of the most obvious categories — Trailer, Teaser, Integrated Campaign and Events/Experiential — drew a lot of entries among the clients we work with.
Meanwhile, categories such as Digital/Mobile Technique, Innovation, Social Good, and Partnerships & Collaborations saw a lot fewer entries.
This isn’t a fully scientific analysis, but it does potentially reveal some insights that might be useful to take to Clio Entertainment this year. Lots of competitors are turning out trailers and teasers, and it’s probably likely that many are excited about their campaigns as a whole — hence entering them into the Integrated Campaign category. But it might be possible to break campaigns down into smaller units, or to think about them in different ways, in order to attack those categories that get fewer entries. And that might open up the possibility for awards that competitors might not have thought of previously.
The Digital/Mobile Technique category actually is an umbrella of four different categories, each focusing on a different element of digital and mobile marketing: Graphic Design, Motion Graphics, Sound, and Other. They’re also specific to the product being marketed, whether it’s for theatrical releases, television, gaming or home entertainment. That means it’s possible to drill down to categories that are pretty specific to what you’ve created.
The “Technique” part refers to the technical prowess of the piece, so anything with interesting uses of sound and graphics should be considered. But there’s no reason to be pigeonholed, since the “Other” option opens up the entire category to creative thinking. Any digital piece with a cool element that can be highlighted for technique is eligible, and Clio Entertainment rewards thinking outside the box.
“Entries in this medium include work that utilizes advertising and marketing in a new, unique, or especially creative manner. This includes, but is not limited to: Brand Identity, Digital/Mobile, Events/Experiential, Original Content, Out of Home, Partnerships & Collaborations, Press/Influencer Kits & Collateral, Print, Social Media or Video/Promo (Special Shoot Spot/Promo, Spot/Promo, Teaser, or Trailer).”
The “Innovation” category is pretty vague, and purposefully so: Clio wants categories to be inclusive enough that lots of different kinds of creative thinking are eligible. Bring your interesting work to the Innovation category, but don’t be intimidated. Innovation can and should mean a lot of things, so consider your most interesting and most brilliant work as a possibility for this category.
Entries in the Social Good category bring awareness to causes and issues, and go beyond usual marketing. That’s pretty specific for the work involved, and means you shouldn’t try to force something that doesn’t fit into it. But for any Social Good campaign you’re proud of, this category is a no-brainer.
Partnerships & Collaborations
Any partnerships between brands are fair game for the Partnerships & Collaborations categories. It’s another category where out-of-the-box thinking might provide a possibility for winning, especially if your collaboration is something unique or interesting for the industry that it’s in. Use creative thinking here and don’t be afraid to enter.
Quick tip: Don’t force it
While addressing categories that might have fewer competitors is a good strategy to maximize your chances for winning, that doesn’t mean you should force something into a category that’s not a good fit. We recommend thinking creatively about your entries, especially if they have exciting elements as part of the whole, because Clio Entertainment is purposely a little vague about category requirements to encourage that creativity. But that doesn’t mean you should enter categories without a lot of forethought.
As mentioned, Clio doesn’t give out awards just because a category is low on entries — excellence is still a must. Calling out an element of your work that most people might not consider, or finding a different view on a piece, however, is a great strategy.
The Brave Dog team of awards experts is standing by to lend our experience to help you win. Don’t hesitate to get in touch.
And as always, keep being creative!