The Insider: Brand Impact Awards with Computer Arts


Have ever wondered what goes into developing a brand for a product or service that you love?  How about generating award-winning strategy that makes branding legends?  In a special industry edition of The Insider, we talk with Computer Arts magazine as it prepares for its second annual Brand Impact Awards in London, UK. Computer Arts editor, Nick Carson, breaks down who will judge and how to win a BIA.  If you’re branding agency or a creative professional, these are awards you won’t want to miss.


PressReader: Tell us about the BIA’s. What are they all about? What is the driving motivation behind them?

Nick Carson: Branding is a real heartland topic for Computer Arts, and it’s relevant to all graphic designers at some level, whether it’s a freelancer designing a logo for a local client or a huge agency tackling a global rollout.

The Brand Impact Awards are designed to celebrate the very best examples of branding design from all around the world. I’m particularly excited to have D&AD president Mark Bonner on board as a co-chair of judges in 2015. Mark joins a panel who between them have helped develop world-class brands including Coca-Cola, Mars, Tesco, Virgin, adidas and Selfridges.

PR: How are these awards different from other awards?

JoshWiddecombeNC: They’re different for four reasons, so bear with me! First, branding projects are judged according to their market sector – with a huge range of categories ranging from not-for-profit and cultural branding through to entertainment, technology, finance and more. Obviously some sectors are traditionally more creative and risk-taking than others, so this ensures that projects are judged as fairly as possible given the constraints they have to work within.

Second, they’re split into two different ‘streams’. These are branding programmes – which include completely new identity schemes or major rebrands – and branded campaigns, which cover any projects that are designed to extend or enhance an existing brand or sub-brand. Obviously it’s pretty rare for an established organisation to undergo a total rebrand, so this enables us to include interesting brand extensions and other branding activity in the mix too.

Perhaps most interestingly, the panel is split between agency-side judges – including creative directors from GBH, Wolff Olins and The Partners – and client-side judges with years of top-level experience in a huge variety of market sectors. These include VP global design at Coca-Cola James Sommerville, Mars creative director Joe Ferry and Gary Aspden, brand consultant to adidas. In the modern branding marketplace, close collaboration between agency and client is crucial, and achieving this careful balance on the judging panel is particularly important to ensure projects are judged as effectively as possible.

Last but not least, to recognise the fact that truly effective commercial branding is about consistency of application as well as quality of execution, entries must demonstrate how the brand is applied across two or more different touchpoints. Phew. Does that answer your question?

PR: How many brands do you consider for the awards? How many typically make the final cut?

NC: Last year we received entries from over 50 agencies. In terms of how many make the final BIA2014-Ceremonycut, our judges have exceptionally high standards, and no qualms about cutting whole categories if the entries don’t make the cut.

Last year, we awarded winners in just 14 of the 21 market-sector categories – and in some cases, categories had Highly Commended projects but no winners. Brand Impact Awards are tough to win!

PR: What are the judging criteria and what are you looking for from the top brands?

NC: We’re looking for a stunningly executed piece of branding design, consistently applied, that stands head and shoulders above the rest of its market sector.

PR: Who were the standout winners last year?

NC: We had three triple award winners in 2014. First, Johnson banks won in the Culture category for its Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival branding, in the Finance category for Acumen, and in Not-For-Profit for Cystic Fibrosis.

Secondly, hat-trick won in Sports for its Rose-BestOfShowWimbledon rebrand, and in Not-For-Profit for its Action On Hearing Loss campaign – which also picked up the Social Impact Award with a huge majority of the public vote. The studio was also commended in three more categories.

R/GA London scooped awards for Beats by Dr Dre in the Fashion category, and The Feed by Getty Images in Publishing – an inspiring example of user-generated editorial that also won the Collaboration Award.

PR: What are your thoughts or predictions for the future of branding?

NC: Our co-chair Mark Bonner is a passionate advocate of multi-disciplinary design, and through his agency GBH, he has worked on everything from interior design to children’s books to tattoo art. It’s certainly the case that agencies are increasingly required to embrace a huge range of different fields, and collaboration is crucial for that.

There’s also a growing trend for participatory projects that involve the public at large and encourage people to interact with brands in innovative new ways – the days of a logo stamped in the top corner of a poster are well and truly over, and the Brand Impact Awards are perfectly placed to showcase and celebrate that exciting new marketplace.

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Do you think your agency has a shot at winning a Brand Impact Award? Apply by June 18th 2015 to throw your hat in the ring! You can also download the latest issue of Computer Arts now on PressReader to explore branding, get tips on enhancing your design work and much more!




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