Behind the Scenes of the Adrian Awards: Judges Reveal Winning Strategies

Every year, the Adrian Awards demonstrate creativity, strategic excellence, and technological innovation. This year’s awards have not only highlighted the excellence that illuminates our industry but also presented a wealth of insights from the judges —insights that can benefit every travel marketing and PR professional. Here, we dive into the trends that distinguished winners from entrants in the eyes of the judges. Our judges have a rich history of involvement with HSMAI and a deep understanding of the industry’s evolution.  

1. Strategy Meets Creativity 

The essence of winning entries lies in their ability to blend strategic planning with creative execution. Campaigns that stood out were lauded for their “great content strategy” and “impressive results,” proving that a solid campaign foundation combined with innovative execution could create magic. But what sets the winners apart? 

The awards highlighted the undeniable power of creativity—be it through captivating visuals, compelling storytelling, or innovative content formats. Judges were particularly taken with entries that pushed the boundaries of creativity, offering audiences something truly memorable. 

2. The Importance of Technology 

This year, technology emerged not just as a tool but as a core element of storytelling and engagement. The integration of new technologies, from augmented reality to advanced analytics, demonstrated that the future of hospitality marketing lies in embracing innovation. Yet, as we marvel at the tech-infused narratives, a call for authenticity echoes, reminding us that technology should enhance, not overshadow, the human touch. 

3. Demonstrating Results 

In a landscape driven by data, the emphasis on measurable results has never been stronger. Entries that presented clear ROI and tangible outcomes captured the judges’ attention, underscoring the importance of not just crafting beautiful campaigns but also demonstrating their impact on business objectives. 

For Future Competitors 

The shift towards more engaging, technology-driven campaigns has set a new standard. Bolstering the trends, one judge shared some advice for future entrants: 

  1. Strategic Clarity and Comprehensive Reporting: Future entrants, whether hotels, agencies, or DMOs, are encouraged to lean into strategic planning and transparent reporting. It’s not just about winning an award; it’s about fostering growth and learning within your team.
  2. Results and ROI: While tangible results are crucial, the ability to weave a compelling narrative about your campaign’s impact can be just as powerful, especially when numbers are hard to come by. Either way, demonstrating results is key for winning entries. 
  3. Embrace Authenticity and Innovation: In a sea of advertisements, authentic and innovative campaigns stand out. Future entrants should focus on creating marketing messages that resonate on a personal level while leveraging the latest technologies to enhance their storytelling.

As we look forward to the 2024 awards competition, let’s take these lessons to heart, daring to innovate, inspire, and, most importantly, inspire travel in meaningful ways. 

Visit the Adrian Awards Winners’ Gallery for more insights.

Categories: Marketing
Insight Type: Articles