Cresta Awards sees upturn as pandemic effect recedes and ad spend starts to return
Posted on 2021 Jun,23

With a few weeks to go before final closing, this year's Cresta Awards has surpassed its entries for the whole 2019 season.

The 'global creative benchmark' sees this as evidence, not just of evolution in its own awards but of a wider measure of industry confidence and resilience in many markets.

Lewis Blackwell, Cresta CEO, said: “Last year the global situation meant we had to respond dramatically. The best way to continue with our awards, for the industry's benefit, was to offer free entry. It was the only way of ensuring a level playing field to judge all the work that was still out there. It turned out to be a great competition, despite the terrible pressures brought by the pandemic. 

"This year we see a different situation and mood in the industry. Undoubtedly the virus and its effects are still with us and has had a major impact on the appetite for festivals and funding for awards. But most are extremely eager to get back to work and invest in promoting and building their reputation. We see that energy coming back into Cresta. What we did last year was clearly appreciated by our long-standing entrants, plus we are seeing many new entrants, and new businesses, keen to show what they can do."

These clear signs of a return to optimism in the ad business is also impacting on the Middle East, which is making a strong showing at Cresta as well, noted Blackwell.

In viewof this, Cresta has returned to paid entry but has greatly reduced fees for the 2021 competition to ensure the widest possible access to participants around the world.

"Marketing spend is opening up again," Blackwell continued. “But while some experts predict a strong second half to the year, we know there are tremendous financial pressures on our entrants and we want to help as much as possible with good value fees, along with delivering innovative services for our winners."

Cresta was substantially remodelled by new management in 2019, building on a competition that has been a respected standard-bearer for international creative reputations since 1993.

Alan Page, Cresta President, said: "The evolution of Cresta continues and we are delighted at the response to our most recent developments. These include individually tailored coverage in the Cresta Journal for all winners and new categories such as Brand Transformation and Creative Effectiveness, as well as enhanced Design categories. With the Early Bird deadline coming up on 30 June, we anticipate a busy few days."