David Doty

David Doty

Inside the IAB MIXX Awards

The rigorous process, the objective and expert voices from across the industry who decide who wins and why, the excellence of the work submitted to the competition—that is what makes the IAB MIXX Awards all that it is. Best-in-Show may receive the most prestigious honor, but the industry is the big winner.

The demanding selection process begins with a screening committee, consisting of more than 150 IAB members, agencies, and marketers. A number of these industry leaders examine every single entry, and score them against four measures of equal weight: campaign strategy, use of media, campaign effectiveness, and creativity. The highest scoring campaigns become the finalists in their categories.

Then, the elite judging panel, made up of luminaries from name brands, esteemed agencies, and major media companies, kicks into gear. They delve deep in to the finalists’ award submissions, again scoring every finalist against the same four measures. Then, on judging day, they converge in the IAB Ad Lab in New York City to debate, sometimes heatedly and always with passion, which work stands out for creative reasons, for brand-building, and for moving digital forward. Some decisions are easy, self-evident. Many are not. When the judges deliberate, frequently minds change and new evaluations of the work emerge. At any point, a judge can and often does advocate for a dark horse changing the scope of the conversation. Some work is awarded in 5 minutes based on the scores going in, other can take 30 minutes or more. While all that happens in the judging room is completely confidential, it is safe to say that the most pressing, cutting-edge issues in the industry are central to the discussion.

After this full day, the judges then commit themselves to selecting Best-in-Show. This is when judges can send the loudest message out to their colleagues, peers, and competitors saying: this is what is pacing the present and this is what is signaling the future. All of the gold winners are put into the selection process—and anyone can request for something that didn’t win gold to be included in the running. The debate that follows is as fascinating a conversation as any in this industry. The list is eventually whittled down to the top three, and predictably, vigorous discussion ensues. This process continues until a clear winner emerges from a majority vote.

As I said at the outset, the rigorous process, the enthusiastic discussion, and the commitment of industry leaders is how the IAB MIXX Awards is able to encapsulate what works and why. And now we are bringing these insights directly to you through this the IAB MIXX Awards Insights Report.

David Doty
Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer
Interactive Advertising Bureau