About the Thinkbox TV Planning Awards 2018

Entries to the Thinkbox TV Planning Awards 2018 have now closed.

The Thinkbox TV Planning Awards are about celebrating brilliantly effective uses of TV and recognising the people behind them. Here you can find out about this year’s awards categories, check the key dates and navigate to lots of other useful stuff to help you put the best possible entry together.

Brilliant planning - that delivers brand and business benefits - lies at the heart of the most successful advertising. These awards are about finding and recognising the most innovative and successful TV activity, whether as part of a multi-media advertising campaign or shining on its own. 

The world of video advertising is growing, quite rightly.  Within this, TV advertising remains the most powerful and effective choice.  TV is not only the most effective form of advertising, its effectiveness is increasing, and TV programmes are the key to this.  They create relaxed viewers, primed to accept and even enjoy the ads that surround them and a quality advertising environment, where the value exchange is fair and brand safety is guaranteed.    

Fuelled by new technologies, we can watch TV on pretty much any screen we choose, live or on-demand and BARB can now measure all of this.  But watching on the main TV set remains the preferred screen for all age groups, and HD and 4k are delivering near cinema experiences.  And watching ads alongside other people - so we can laugh at them, talk about them and even discuss purchases - is one of TV’s unique properties and hugely increases its power.

TV continues to deliver for advertisers and is proven to be the most significant driver of sales and profit across a wide range of products, as our latest Profit Ability research shows. So why on earth wouldn’t you want to get the most out of TV in order to deliver fantastic business results to your clients?  There’s nothing more satisfying than delivering exceptional payback on your clients’ advertising investment.

The Thinkbox TV Planning Awards 2018 are held in partnership with Campaign.

Award categories

Entries are open to UK campaigns only.

There is a total of six categories you can enter.  Two additional awards - including the Grand Prix - are decided by the judges from the category winners and shortlists.  In addition, judges may decide to make special awards for particularly deserving papers.

TV activity, for most of the categories, must have taken place largely within the calendar year January to December 2017*, although it can spill over either side of that period to an extent.  For ‘Best ongoing use of TV’ category, the period is a minimum of three consecutive calendar years, one of which must be 2017.  

Best Use of ‘TV AND’

Evidence shows that TV works best as part of an integrated communications plan.  This category requires the use of broadcast TV in combination with at least one other paid-for advertising medium (e.g. radio) or marketing discipline (e.g. PR, point-of-sale). 

The entry should explain the role of each chosen element and how they worked with each other, not just list the number of media used.  There are no extra points for having the longest media ‘shopping list’, only for combining the right choices well.

For example, if online sales were the over-riding objective, the entry should explain how this response was generated, captured and optimised at a granular level.  Another campaign might be seeking to improve brand perceptions with a major event sponsorship at its heart, where TV was used to publicise this and drive attendance.  The integration can even be across different forms of TV: e.g. sponsorship AND VOD or AND product placement. 

Best ongoing use of TV 

TV keeps delivering value years after campaigns have aired, so consistent TV advertising can produce exponential returns. Entrants need to tell us how they have used TV over three or more years for their advertiser; how the activity has evolved to produce the best results, and what learnings from each year were taken forward.  Entries must feature broadcast TV in every calendar year over the period featured (including the most recent calendar year, January – December 2017)

Best newcomer to TV 

This entry is for new brands or returning brands which have not used broadcast TV for a period of five years.  For returning brands to qualify, they must have been absent from broadcast TV between January 2012 and December 2016, returning to TV in the calendar year 2017*. New product innovations under an existing brand (e.g. a new car model under the same marque/brand) do not qualify.  But existing brands entering new markets (e.g. a retailer entering the finance market) are welcome.

*We will accept launch campaigns that started before the end of 2016 where most of the activity took place in 2017.  If in doubt about any aspect of this category, please get in touch.

Best use of TV sponsorship

TV programmes are the reason TV advertising works so well.  Aligning a brand to existing programmes - or even to seasons, dayparts and channels - is an excellent way to deliver many brand objectives.  Tell us why you have chosen this particular TV property to sponsor and how you have amplified** the relationship through TV and other marketing.

Best use of content

Developing your own content can be a more rewarding solution than sponsoring an existing programme.  This might take the form of a commissioned AFP, an advertorial within the ad break, contextual advertising (that references the programme it appears within), short-form content made for broadcaster players or even a televised branded event. This can form the base for an integrated amplification.**

This category is also the home for other activity related to content that does not include programme sponsorship e.g. product placement.

**For both the sponsorship and content categories, we would expect to see amplification techniques such as product placement, licensing, promotions and prizes.

Best use of TV innovation

From new TV technology to live ads & events, and from contextual advertising and personalisation to multi-screening and video on demand, innovative thinking in communications planning and the clever use of technology is liberating TV and adding new dimensions every year. Entrants must explain how they used TV in a new way to good effect.

Other prizes

The Judges may also award additional prizes that cannot be entered for directly, including:

Best low budget use of TV

Any entry which spent less than £500k in total should indicate so on the entry.  This prize can be awarded to either a category winner or a worthy short-listed entry.

The Grand Prix

The Grand Prix is chosen solely from the winners of the six main categories.

Discretionary prizes

The judges might also choose to recognise other deserving papers by creating special awards

Please contact [email protected] if you have any specific queries about the categories.

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