The Oscars may be over, but the red carpet season is rolling out now for marketers. And with up-and-coming technology taking center stage (virtual reality and artificial intelligence, to name two), along with a growing interest in global competitions, this year’s award season promises to be one of the most exciting.

3 Winning Trends

Representing the entire data-driven marketing ecosystem, DMA offers a perspective on three key trends that we are seeing from our members that are impacting marketing today.

  1. Diversity
    echo-diversityThis year has been a watershed year for diversity in marketing as well as social consciousness. We’ve seen a major movement toward a more holistic approach that goes beyond advertising campaigns to examine the entire business through the lens of diversity. For instance, DMA member Audi had one of the top performing Super Bowl ads this year with “What Will You Tell Your Daughter”. The spot represented their broader commitment to gender pay equality.

    You can view the Audi spot here.

  2. Data-Driven by Design
    echo-dataThe use of data is growing in the creative world. Not only to show results or tracking, but as a point of inspiration for creating and executing ideas. For instance, DMA members H&R Block and IBM have created a cutting-edge cognitive approach to tax prep. It’s a first in the tax prep industry, and it represents H&R Block’s most personalized tax experience.

    View the H&R Block/IBM Watson Spot here.

  3. Techno-Shift
    echo-techWithout a doubt, the biggest trend this year regards technology. As more marketers explore the possibilities of VR and AI and 360 video, we are starting to see the technology implemented in more consumer campaigns – from healthcare to automotive – and beyond. For example, this ECHO-winning spot from OgilvyOne Worldwide for the Danish national Defence.

    You can view the spot here.

As these trends continue to influence marketing approaches, leading global awards such as DMA’s International ECHO Awards are adapting to reflect them as well. For instance, this year the ECHO Awards have added new categories for:

  • Best Artificial Intelligence
  • Best Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality
  • Best Search & Display
  • Best Web & eCommerce
  • Best User Experience
  • Best Experiential

The ECHO Award: More Sought-After and In Demand

With entrants from 32 countries, the ECHO Awards are one of the biggest competitions on the global stage. And, with a 63% spike in entries last year, the ECHOs are more competitive than ever.

echo-brewtroleumSo what will it take for you to take home one the most coveted prizes in marketing? Beyond bold strategy, brave creative and proven results, we asked international awards consultant Matt Sullivan for his advice. (If anyone knows how to win, it’s Matt. He has been stewarding awards competitions for DMA, Mobile Marketing, DMA UK and others around the world for over 15 years. As a marketer, publisher and consultant, Matt fully understands first-hand, the challenges of entering – and winning – awards.)

“To win an ECHO, you must prove you have devised a brilliant strategy, developed revolutionary creative, crafted smart media selection and planning,” explains Matt. “Most importantly, though, you must be able to prove that you have achieved astounding results based on your campaign objectives.”

echo-burger kingFrom BBDO Colenso’s game changer for “Brewtroleum” that swept all the awards shows (including taking the Diamond ECHO Award) last year to ECHO-Award winning Burger King’s “Backyard Barbecue,” Matt knows what it takes to capture the attention of judges and take home the hardware.

Just click the images to the right to watch the videos.

Award-winning Advice from an Award-winning Coach.

Matt offers the following advice to would-be ECHO winners:

  • Get started early! Read the rules and entry application. Note the requirements, the number of samples you will need to gather, and the entry formats for creative materials.
  • Content counts. What you say and how you say it can be extremely important, especially when you summarize the reasons why your entry is deserving of an ECHO award. When you get to this point, focus on why your entry has the “WOW” factor.
  • Context counts. To dramatize the importance of your entry, you often have to put your accomplishments in some kind of context. With the ECHOs, you have the opportunity to explain how the entry was measured. In the marketplace challenge and marketing strategy sections, set up the context in which your program was devised and evaluated. This helps the judges know the challenges you were facing.
  • Conciseness counts. Be clear and concise—pay attention to space limits within appropriate sections of the entry form. Watch the adjectives. And resist the temptation to add “stuff” to the entry. When you have a multimedia/integrated campaign, it’s difficult to go into great detail about each step of the campaign due to space restrictions.

Above all, be sure to demonstrate the business success driven by your campaign.

“There is no shortage of marketing awards that reward BIG ideas that make judges laugh, cry, feel furious or fill them with joy,” said Jennifer Monaghan – Chair of the ECHO Board of Governors and CMO of Michigan Ross School of Business. “Those are important in marketing, to be sure. Yet, the ECHO Awards don’t stop there. We look beyond emotions to recognize work that drives real business gains – in market, around the world. Results that matter and win the support of CEOs and CFOs as well.”


echo-newfrontFor additional information on how you can be a big winner at the 2017 DMA International ECHO Awards – grab a hold of the “ECHO NewFront,” which has everything you need to vie for marketing’s highest honor.

Ready to throw your name in the hat? The call for entries is open from now until June 25th! Click here to enter your winning campaign to the longest-running marketing competition that celebrates strategy, creativity and results.