Contrary to popular opinion, there is no new normal yet. The amount of speculation about what the future will look like is starting to feel a bit unhealthy. Better to remind ourselves that the world has gone through turbulent times before and we will emerge from this one too.
Like every other organisation, the Effie’s is looking at what we can do now to respond productively to the situation we’re in. This isn’t the time to be planning tone deaf, swanky award ceremonies, but to focus on sharing insights and learnings that might just inspire a way forward.
During the COVID-19 crisis, meaningful actions have become a significant measure of a brand’s outcomes but for marketers who still choose to invest in advertising, there are some principles that hold true in difficult times, whatever the specific challenges of each individual crisis.
The received wisdom is that brands are supposed to keep spending through a recession, and while the Effie’s archive data proves that to be true, it also shows that, as long as you keep investing, it doesn’t matter if your budgets have been pared back a bit.
After the global financial crisis, our 2009-2011 winners were evenly distributed between brands that spent $500,000 - $5m, and those that spent $5m to $40m. The ones that came out on top were not necessarily the big spenders, but the entries that emphasised creative; only 10% of winners in those years focused on media first.
Looking at winners in the aftermath of the financial crisis and the rise of populism, there are three main themes that stand out.