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7 tips to survive the competitive awards scene

2 min, 25 sec read
12:45 PM | 28 November 2014
by August Östberg
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The advertising business is very much based around awards and prizes, and this also applies to students. With award shows all year around, you have a great chance to make a name of yourself. Myself and two other guys were fortunate enough to be one team out of five to win the Future Lions award in Cannes, which eventually led to a job at an agency in New York. 

During my time as a student, I realised a thing or two about competing that I would like to share with you.

So without further ado, here are seven tips on how to survive the competitive awards scene. 

1. Be ambitious. And realistic

It’s hard to find that sweet spot between hubris and self-hatred. I remember the first award show I entered. I was not only going to win, but win so hard that the awesomeness of my idea would create a black hole and consume the entire universe. 

Well, that didn’t happen. So be humble

Visualising the award the whole time will most likely set you up for disappointment. On the other hand, never picturing it will make those late nights hard to pursue. 

2. Don’t step into the dungeon without a flashlight

Preparing yourself for the upcoming task is very important. If you’re entering a competition with a group, make sure you have a discussion before you kickoff. Agree on the level of dedication and time to spend on the project. If everyone isn’t on board, you’ll most likely end up killing each other. 

3. Grab a drink once in a while

Stress relief is not only important for your wellbeing, but also for creativity. 

Quoting Mad Men’s Don Draper is a really cheesy and terrible idea, but here goes: 

”Just think about it deeply, then forget it. Then an idea will jump up in your face."

4. A polished turd is still a turd

No need to polish something you don’t believe in. Coming up with an awesome idea takes time, and pursuing an idea you don’t believe in is a waste of it. Start over, start over, start over. 

5. No censorship

If you hide your ideas from people, you’ll most likely end up creating something introvert. Make sure to pitch your ideas to your friends and colleagues. They’ll help you get new insights. 

6. Crafting is key

One thing that makes me sad, is when awesome ideas are presented poorly. Make sure to take the time that’s necessary to create a good case-film. 

7. Win or loose like a boss

Whether you win or loose, make sure to learn something from it. Have a group discussion about what went well and what didn’t. Make sure to compliment your team members.



Much of the student work we feature on FutureRising is award winning. Take a look for inspiration and to see what it takes to win.

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