The XP Land Guide to 2022 Experiential Awards Season

2022 Experiential Awards Season

2022: New year, same pressure to submit last year’s work for experiential awards so you can be recognized by your industry and capture new business. Back in the day, we displayed trophies and plaques in our office lobbies. Today, it’s even more important to plaster those award logos on our websites for all prospective clients to see.

A Cannes Lions Grand Prix? Probably the closest any of us will ever get to an Oscar (and, arguably, harder to win). The prospect of nabbing one — or any of the dozens of other industry awards out there — helps motivate creative teams, and winning agencies tend to keep and reward their winningest staffers. Clients, in turn, benefit from having top-notch XP pros handling their events and experiences. It’s a win-win-win.

There’s no denying the value of industry awards. Too bad submitting for them can amount to a full-time job. So, to kick off 2022 with a bang, we’re sharing XP Land’s guide to this year’s experiential awards season. Not only do we list the most established advertising industry awards (by due date), but we include application tips straight from the XP Land team. Hey, we’ve been there, typing our little fingers to the bone and harassing our creative teams for activation dimensions. Learn from our experience — and we’ll see you on the red carpet. 

In this guide, you’ll find:

  • Submission due dates, costs, and activation eligibility periods
  • Our favorite XP and team categories
  • Past winners, for all the inspo
  • Submission tips and affirmations, straight from the XP Land team

This experiential awards list will be updated throughout the year, so be sure to check back regularly.

The award: American Advertising Awards

Cost to enter: Determined by geographical region

Due dates: January 16, 2022; January 23, 2022 ($15 late fee)

Activation eligibility period: January 1 – December 31, 2021

XP categories: Branded Content & Entertainment; Advertising Industry Self-Promotion Integrated Media Campaign; Art Direction Campaign; Brand Elements; Computer Generated Imagery; Consumer Website; Corporate Social Responsibility Ambient Media Campaign; Event; Games; Guerrilla Marketing; Innovative Use of Interactive/Technology; Integrated Advertising Campaign – Regional/National – Consumer; Mobile App; Mobile Interaction; Out-Of-Home Installation; Out-Of-Home Multiple Installations; Social Media Campaign; Video Editing

Past winners: Theirworld – The Infinity Classroom by BBDO (Best Event); Minneapolis – Tiny Doors-Big Pride by BBDO (Best Guerrilla Marketing); Google – The Flaming Lips at Google IO by Deeplocal (Best Innovative Use of Interactive/Technology)

XP Land team tips: Scrolling through categories and can’t seem to find anything explicitly XP? Submit specific components of your activation such as your event website, social media promotion, partnerships or use of influencers.

The award: Eventex Awards 2022

Cost to enter: €495 ($563) per entry

Due dates: January 21, 2022 (registration deadline); February 25, 2022 (submission deadline)

Activation eligibility period: March 01, 2020 – February 25, 2022

XP categories: Art, Entertainment & Public Events; Conferences, Meetings & Expos; Corporate & Community Events; Events by Region; Brand Experiences: Sectors; Brand Experiences: By Type; Brand Experience For Good; Virtual Events: By Type; Virtual Events: Art, Entertainment & Public; Virtual Events: Conferences, Meetings & Expos; Virtual Events: Corporate & Community Events; Virtual Events For Good; Virtual Brand Experiences: Sectors; Virtual Brand Experiences: By Type; Event Design; Event Technology; Technology for Virtual Events; Venues; Destinations

Team categories: Production Suppliers; Agencies & Teams

Past winners: Road to Coachella by Mirrored Media (Best Brand Activation); Scarlet Sails by TV Channel Five (Best Art Event); Kaleidoscope Festival by Event Fuel, The Tenth Man and Festival Republic (Best Festival)

XP Land team tips: Always take onsite video of your space and activation whenever possible. Even if it’s shot on your smartphone, a visual representation of your XP work can put you ahead of the competition.

The award: REGGIE Awards

Cost to enter: $845 per entry (ANA members); $995 per entry (nonmembers)

Due date: January 28, 2022

Activation eligibility period: January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021

XP categories: Entertainment or Sports Marketing and/or Sponsorship; Experiential Marketing (Live Events or Installations); Experiential Marketing (Virtual Events); Small Budget Brand Activation Marketing (Overall Budget Less than $500,000)

Past winners: “Cheetos House of Flamin’ Haute” by Frito Lay and The Marketing Arm (Best Experiential Marketing Campaigns); “Be an Outsider at Work” by L.L. Bean and Jack Morton Worldwide (Best Experiential Marketing – Budget Over $1M)

XP Land team tips: Consider joining the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) if you haven’t already. Not only is there a submission discount for members, but you’ll enhance your reputation and raise your profile in front of decision-makers at 1,000+ client-side marketer member companies.

The award: Clio Awards

Cost to enter: $650 – $1150 per entry

Due dates: February 4, 2022 (final deadline)

Activation eligibility period: August 1, 2020 – February 16, 2022

XP categories: Digital/Mobile; Events; Guerrilla; Immersive; Branded Entertainment & Content, Experience/Activation

Past winners: Tinder Swipe Night by 72andSunny Los Angeles (Best Experience/Activation); Skittles Broadway the Rainbow by DDB Chicago (Best Event); Burger King’s Whopper Detour by FCB New York (Best Guerrilla Activation)

XP Land team tips: Treat each award submission like a client project to ensure your team can accommodate the added responsibility. Set a budget, assign jobs and tasks, and follow a strict schedule to finish a few days early before the actual deadline.

The award: Adweek Experiential Awards

Cost to enter: $595 (first deadline); $695 (final deadline)

Due dates: January 17, 2022 (first deadline); February 28, 2022 (final deadline)

Activation eligibility period: January 1, 2021 – February 28, 2022

XP categories: Experiential Activation Less than $1 Million; Experiential Activation over $1 Million; Experiential Activation by Auto Brand; Experiential Activation by Retail Brand; Experiential Activation by Technology Brand; Experiential Activation by a Media Brand; Experiential Activation by a Packaged Goods Brand; Experiential Activation by an Entertainment Brand; Experiential Activation by a Spirits or Alcoholic Beverage Brand; Experiential Activation by a Beverage Brand;

Experiential Activation by a Travel Brand; Best Use of Mobile in an Experiential Activation; Best Use of Video in an Experiential Activation; Best Use of Data Insights in an Experiential Activation; Best Use of Out-of-Home Media in an Experiential Activation; Best Use of Social Media in an Experiential Activation; Best Use of Celebrity in an Experiential Activation; Best Use of Music/Audio in an Experiential Activation; Best Use of Partnership in an Experiential Activation; Best Use of Influencers in an Experiential Activation; Best Use of Experiential Activation to Launch a Brand/Product;

Best Sports-Related Experiential Activation; Best Community-Focused Experiential Activation; Best International Experiential Activation; Best Virtual Event in Support of Diversity and Inclusion; Best Cause-Related Experiential Activation; Best Activation in Support of Sustainability; Best Use of Virtual Event Technology; Best Use of Delivery and Merchandise; Best Use of Drive-Up Experience; Best Virtual Event Pivot; Best Virtual Consumer Activation; Best Networking Event; Best Virtual Event for Professional Development

Team categories: Experiential Agency of the Year; Experiential Brand of the Year; Experiential Executive of the Year

Past winners: Reporters Without Borders’ The Uncensored Library by MediaMonks (Best Cause-Related Experiential Activation); Pedigree’s Dogs on Zoom by BBDO New York (Best Cause-Related Experiential Activation); General Mills’ The Cereal Man by SGK (Best Experiential Activation by a Packaged Goods Brand)

XP Land team tips: Spend a little time researching the jurors for each award and check out their LinkedIn and Twitter pages. We’re not saying to suck up or pander to specific industry leaders, but educate yourself on their expertise and experience.

The award: D&AD Awards

Cost to enter: Free – $1,512

Due dates: February 16, 2022 (early bird); March 16, 2022 (deadline)

Activation eligibility period: January 1, 2021 – April 18, 2022

XP categories: Experiential Advertising; Press & Outdoor Advertising; Design: Creative Transformation; Design: Spatial Design; Craft: Production Design; Culture: Entertainment; Culture: Gaming; Impact; Future Impact; Collaborative; Side Hustle; Use of XR, AR, VR and MR; Creative Transformation; Direct Advertising

Team categories: Advertising Agency of the Year; Production Company of the Year; Independent Agency of the Year; In-House Agency of the Year; Collaborative Award; President’s Award

Past winners: Reporters Without Borders’ The Uncensored Library by MediaMonks (Best Experiential); Reporters Without Borders’ The Uncensored Library by MediaMonks (Best Gaming); Pizza Hut x IKEA SAVA by Oglivy (Best Direct Advertising)

XP Land team tips: Invest in awards that give back. D&AD is a non-profit organization and its New Blood program helps new talent prosper, promotes diversity, and works toward a more sustainable future for agencies. According to D&AD’s website, “In 2021, we provided 141,716 vocational learning opportunities to emerging creatives.”

The award: Cannes Lions International

Cost to enter: €610 – €2515 ($693 – $2,856) per entry

Due dates: January 20, 2022 (entries open); April 14, 2022 (final deadline)

Activation eligibility period: March 1, 2021 – April 30, 2022

XP categories: Brand Experience & Activation Lions; Creative Business Transformation Lions; Creative Commerce Lions; Innovation Lions; Mobile Lions; Outdoor Lions; Entertainment Lions; Entertainment Lions for Sport; Entertainment Lions for Music; Talent: Live Experience; Partnerships with Talent; Brand Integration & Sponsorships / Partnerships; Sports: Brand Integration & Sponsorships / Partnerships; Live Advertising and Events; Interactive Experiences; Immersive Experiences; Ambient Outdoor

Past winners: Microsoft Changing The Game by McCann New York (Best Brand Experience And Activation); Johnson & Johnson 5B by UM Studios New York (Best Entertainment)

XP Land team tips: There are so many Cannes Lions categories and subcategories (and sub-subcategories) that agencies can miss out on winning opportunities. Even though new sections are added every year, keep a running list of last year’s categories handy. Choose your categories while actively working on an activation.

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