Calling all agencies: AOY kicks off first entry phase

In light of the pandemic, strategy has made criteria changes to a couple categories.

Let’s not think of 2020 as the year that never was. Even amidst these difficult times, advertising agencies can still be recognized, celebrated and rewarded for successful solutions for brands, which is why strategy is moving semi-full steam ahead with its Agency of the Year program.

The first phase of AOY opens today and will close on June 26, with a final submission deadline of Aug. 14.

Between now and the first deadline in June, any agencies interested in competing this year can submit their “intent to enter,” a list of campaigns they plan to enter into the competition.

What’s different?

There are a couple of changes to the program in light of the business pressures the pandemic has placed on the industry.

To ease entry requirements MAOY will no longer require case videos – media agencies will only be asked to submit written cases. And to reflect production pauses, the Agency category only requires four cases (instead of five).

What to do?

To state their intent to enter, agencies will need to fill out this form before June 26.

In it, they will submit the (1) name of the client, (2) the name of the campaign, and the (3) dates when it was in market for the four (for Agency of the Year) and/or three (Media, Digital, PR, Design or Small Agency of the Year) cases they plan to submit in June.

As always, the work must have appeared (or will appear) in the 12-month period from June 2019 to June 2020. All of the campaigns have to be for different brands, cannot include self-promotional work and must be Canadian (if it’s a global campaign created here, it must have appeared in this market).

What also remains is our strict no double-dipping policy: agencies must submit unique campaigns for each competition. For example, an agency can?t enter the same work for a specific CPG brand in Agency of the Year and Design AOY, even if it just includes design-driven creative (like a poster or website) that was a part of the overall campaign also entered into AOY.

The entry fee ($750) is payable when the cases are uploaded, and this is a cost per agency to enter MAOY, not per case.

What comes next?

Once an agency’s programs have been vetted and approved by the editorial team, they will be invited to submit their written case studies and visual assets for our expert judges to review.

The submission period will take place between June 29 and Aug. 14.

Following this phase, the cases in each category will be judged by senior Canadian agency executives and marketers to determine a shortlist of agencies, which will be announced later in the summer. The Gold, Silver and Bronze winners for each competition will be revealed this fall, and winning portfolios will once again be published in strategy‘s end-of-year magazine, continuing our long-held tradition.

To read about last year’s winners and for more extensive entry details, visit the Agency of the Year website.