Competition in the Design of the Times is fierce! Check out these pointers submitted by past Design of the Times judges and the editors of Shopper Marketing magazine for submitting a competitive entry.

  • Increase your chances of winning by submitting entries in multiple Retail Channels/Activation Tactics combinations. Tailor your contest materials for each submission appropriately to showcase how they perform in the various categories.

  • Use high-quality photos that accurately depict how your activation tactic looked. Upload a high-resolution (300 dpi) photo(s) that shows your entry merchandised in a real life setting. Keep in mind, too much touch up work on a photo may reflect poorly on the entry. Furthermore, do not submit drawings, illustrations or renderings. It must be a photo of the actual entry.

  • Provide clear and concise answers. Keep in mind, there are hundreds of entries being judged. Reading wordy, content-barren text is time-consuming and frustrating for judges and can potentially negate the positive qualities of the display. State the goal; describe the project; state a measurable result.

  • Be sure to provide the objective and insight used when determining the tactic. This, in addition to your responses to the 4Cs questions, will help the judges make their final descisions.

  • Avoid using vague phrases like “Most successful implementation ever,” “We are not allowed to provide results,” or “Results unknown.” If necessary, state results with the caveat, “Results are for contest use only, keep confidential.”

  • Pictures don’t always speak for themselves. If your entry has a special effect, a demonstration process or an interactive element, describe how it works.

  • Merchandise your entry in the Design of the Times Gallery, if you are selected as a finalist. If the merchandise is of high value, merchandise the display with empty boxes or photos of the product. This helps the judges get a comprehensive view of your entry.

If you have any questions, contact Kelly Doering at  [email protected] or visit our contact page.