From finalist to the judging panel

We spoke to Thinkbox Young TV Planner of the Year 2021, Becky France, about joining the judging panel for this year’s awards and how winning the title has impacted her career. Read the full interview below.

How was reading other people’s work? What did you learn?

I underestimated just how interesting reading other people’s work would be!

Having worked at Omnicom for the majority of my career, it was very interesting to read how other agencies plan and activate AV and just how many varying business challenges AV can help solve. More than ever, the pace of media is so fast and reading other people’s work allowed me some time to take a step back and really understand just what makes a great award entry.

When an entry had a clear strategic alignment that fed through into the plan it was so stark that this was a great entry – even more so when coupled with results that showed a genuine brand or commercial shift. Beyond the content, you can’t underestimate how important it is to think about how your award will stand out from the crowd, from formatting to tone of voice and imagery – all the judges remembered one particular entry for the use of jokes (which is no bad thing!).

How was joining the judging panel this year?

It was such an honour to be invited to be part of the Thinkbox judging panel, alongside some of media and marketing’s finest.

Having been on the ‘other side’ last year, presenting to the panel, the experience was obviously very different, especially hearing from the budding young TV planners this time around!

Being on the judging panel alongside strategists, creatives, media planners and Thinkboxers all with so much experience was a very unique position to be in and I made sure that I listened and learned from this broad group of people to capture things to take forward in my career.

The judging panel very quickly created a safe environment where all opinions and points of view were listened to, valued, and considered equally. Job titles and experience were left at the door while we came to a consensus. And throughout all the discussion it became apparent to me just how subjective our work can be!

How was it to be on the other side for the Young TV Planner of the Year presentations?

I loved it! It was so great to have both experiences just one year apart. As soon as the presentations started, I felt the same buzz I felt last year before my presentation to the panel.

It was so interesting to see the presentations behind each of the entrants, so regularly I see a shortlist and don’t get to fully understand the detail behind the people.

Throughout the presentations I was overwhelmed at the amount of passion; despite the ‘newer’ digital options for young planners that are out there, there is still so much love for TV planning (which makes me so happy to see the future of TV is in great hands!).

With so much talent on show it was difficult to pick the winner, and with so little between them there was lots of debate in the room!

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to this year’s Young TV Planner of the Year on making the most of the title and grabbing new opportunities? / What’s one piece of advice you’d give to up-and-coming planners?

Say yes to everything! Having Thinkbox’s Young TV Planner of the Year title elevated my profile significantly in the agency and as such I was given opportunities that I just couldn’t say no to. It wasn’t just within the agency, but due to Thinkbox’s prominence in the industry I was approached by media owners and industry bodies for my opinion and thought pieces, which not only got my name out there but also helped me think about things outside of my day job progressing my career.

  • Becky-France-OMD
    Becky France
    Business Director, Connections Planning at OMD UK & Winner of Young TV Planner of the Year 2021
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