Tips For Successful Entries

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 Path to PurchaseIQ magazine for submitting a competitive entry.

  • Click here to see a good example of a concise and thoughtful entry. Use this as a guideline for answering the contest questions.

  • Read the Competition Rules and Award Categories page. Be sure you understand the requirements and adhere to them to avoid confusion or disqualification.

  • Increase your chances of winning by submitting entries in multiple Award Categories. 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 high-resolution photos (300 dpi)  that show your entry merchandised in a real life setting. Keep in mind that 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. In addition, videos are welcome if they help to convey the way the program operated or engaged with shoppers in the field.

  • Provide clear and concise answers. Keep in mind that there are hundreds of entries being judged. Reading wordy, uninformative text is time-consuming and frustrating for judges and can potentially negate the positive qualities of the program. State the objective; describe the project succinctly; provide measurable results.

  • Be sure to provide the objective and insights used when determining the program. This, in addition to your responses to the strategy questions, will help the judges make their final decisions.

  • 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 understanding of your entry's impact.

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