The organizers of Pitcher Awards, the pan-African benchmark for creative excellence, part of the annual Pitcher Festival of Creativity announced last week the commencement of entries for the 2023 edition. The Festival stated that a major goal for 2023 is to help restore respect and the pride of place for advertising, giving the present challenges that the industry is facing. The 2023 festival programming is expected to reflect this focus.
This has also necessitated certain changes to be made to the Pitcher Awards system. These changes include the restriction of entries by nonprofit organisations from winning the Grand Prix award outside the Good category. Similarly, the organizers have announced that henceforth, rewards for self-promotion entries made by advertising agencies will be capped at silver level in all categories excluding the Good and Channel categories. The exclusion of the Good and Channel categories is because these categories usually have strong judging criteria that measure results and impact in the real world beyond conceptual creativity. The organisers explain that this is a necessary step for the industry to continue to gain the respect and admiration of all stakeholders.
According to Nnamdi Ndu, Chairman of the Festival, “Part of our responsibility is to showcase the best ideas that are propelling the continent forward and recognize the solutions that are being proffered for the growth of business and for the good of mankind. That is what we’re set to do in 2023.”
Entries into Pitcher Awards are open to work created, implemented or released in Africa. There’s a tired early bird discount of 10% for entries made in December 2022 and 5% for entries concluded in January 2023. The closing date for entries has been announced as 31 March 2023. All entries are to be submitted online at www.pitcherfestival.com.
Entries have been divided into 6 major categories, namely: Channel, Craft, Digital, Entertainment, Good and Heritage. Each category is judged by an independent jury. The Channel category rewards excellence in areas such as Media, Strategy and PR. The entry subcategories are: Integrated Campaigns, Use of Media, Use of Data, PR and Reputation Management as well as Use of Insights and Strategy.
The Craft category is designed to promote and reward excellence in skill specializations such as Copywriting, Art Direction, Photography, Sound Design, Illustration and User Experience. Entry subcategories for Craft are: Audio Craft, Design Craft, Digital, Mobile and Social Craft, Film Craft and Print Craft.
The Digital category recognizes the best ideas and creativity in the technology driven digital platforms with the following subcategories: Integrated Digital Campaign, Social Media Campaigns, Websites, Microsites & Web services, Apps, Games, Messaging, Novel & Devices.
The Entertainment category was created to promote top-notch creativity in audience engagement through entertaining live and broadcast activities and presentations. The Entertainment subcategories are: Entertainment Film, Entertainment Audio, Media Promo, Live Events, Sports, Comic Skits, Use of Music and Music Video.
The Good category recognizes the exceptional creativity displayed by both nonprofits and for-profit organizations in their quest to help make the world a better place. These include innovative ideas that may be connected to a brand’s CSR or Social Purpose or communication materials that have been designed to provide positive behavioral change. The Good category has just 2 subcategories. One being for materials originated by nonprofit organisations and the other for those created by for-profit organizations.
The 6th category, known as the Heritage category, includes the more traditional forms of advertising with the following subcategories: Audio, Film, Design, Outdoor – Billboards & Posters, Outdoor – Ambient & Installations, Outdoor Activations and Print.
Winners in each category are rewarded with the highly coveted Pitcher Awards, which range from Bronze, Silver, Gold and Grand Prix. Winners in the Good category get an equivalent of Gold known as the Pitcher for Good award or simply, the Good award. As stated earlier, entries by nonprofit organisations can only win a Grand Prix award in the Good category.
Winners of Pitcher Awards will be announced during the Pitcher Awards Show, the concluding event of the Pitcher Festival of Creativity taking place from 18 – 20 May 2023 in Lagos. The Awards began in 2018 with entries mainly from Nigeria and Ghana. Since 2020, Pitcher Awards has extended entries to countries across Africa. In 2022, countries outside Africa that sent in entries included UAE, Singapore and France.