The 2011 edition of the New York Festivals International Advertising Awards promises to be bigger than before with the addition of three new competitions, with Michael O'Rourke, president, New York Festivals saying how the rapid changes in the industry is making the world of advertising awards increasingly exciting.
In its 54th year, the NYF International Advertising Awards ceremony will take place on May 6, 2011 as it returns to New York. The call for entries for the 2011 competition was announced last month.
In 2010, NYF's Advertising Awards ceremony took place in Shanghai, China on June 10-12 at the Shanghai Theater Academy and Sino ADI.
The new competitions in 2011 will be Marketing Effectiveness, Public Relations/Brand Communications and Public Service Announcements. With entries that come in from 70 countries, the other competitions include Television/Cinema, Print, Outdoor, Digital and Interactive, Hispanic, Avant-Garde, Design, Mixed Media, Collateral, Art/Technique + Technology, Radio and Student Advertising.
The biggest challenge O'Rourke sees ahead for NYF is the pace.
"About 10 years ago, you could simply copy and paste the categories from year to year and you'd be fine because you knew you were covering it all. Now? Every day I read the trades and have new inspiration for a category. The fine line is that you can't create a category for everything and anything - there needs to be a market for it. So it's a matter of studying the industry and waiting for the right time to act," he explains.
It is an exciting time for awards organisations, feels O'Rourke - and it is no longer about following an accepted norm laid by a few others. He expects simple, clean campaigns with sharp, thoughtful and meaningful content regardless of the medium to emerge as winners.
"At this stage of the game, content is king and it's going to take sharp ideas and well executed concepts to break through the media clutter. Simply taking advantage of Facebook or Twitter doesn't mean you earn an award. It just means you're on the bandwagon. Five years ago, placing something on Facebook might have gotten you an award. That phase is over," he says.
He adds that NYF focuses on making sure that the provided platform makes sense for the industry, for which it needs to listen, watch, read and absorb as much as possible.
NYF prides itself at the size and diversity of its jury and claims to have assembled the largest jury representing the most countries year after year.
"We feel as though this diversity is incredibly important because as different markets around the world continue to emerge, it's necessary to have a fully international jury with a sound understanding of cultural nuances and differences," says O'Rourke.
The winning entries of the 2010 edition were selected by the Grand Jury of 312 senior creative directors from 56 countries. The 2011 Grand Jury will be announced shortly.
Also, a lot of relevance shall be placed on showcasing the winning work online, with in-flight entertainment partnerships with airlines and NYF Media Centres in major universities around the world.