Expensive participation and complicated procedures: why agencies from the regions do not participate in federal advertising competitions

Local agencies and brands often bypass participation in industrial projects due to lack of experience, high cost and lack of self-confidence. This thesis was confirmed by the AKAR study among members of specialized associations from the regions of Russia. The survey was conducted in April before the start of the First Regional Advertising Festival. Market participants were asked about their attitude to festivals, reasons for participating or not participating in professional competitions.


85% of those who filled out the AKAR questionnaire are representatives of advertising agencies from the regions. It turned out that ⅔ companies do not declare participation in major festivals, considering their cases worse than others; the majority are convinced that the same well-known market players become the winners of the competitions, while one in seven thinks that the jury does not take regional participants seriously at federal festivals. And only 15% of those surveyed felt that their work lacked qualifications.


At the same time, half of the respondents are confident that lower registration costs and adapted nominations would increase the number of applications. When asked how the circle of participants could be expanded, the answers were received that festivals need to increase the number of regional cases and projects, and simplify the procedure for submitting competitive works.


The new AKAR project, the 1st Advertising Festival, aims to change the attitude of regional agencies, brands and freelancers towards industrial competitions.


“When creating the First Advertising Festival, we took into account the requests of regional players and tried to solve the pains of the audience: we made many nominations, a simple form of participation and an affordable price. At the same time, already at the start of the project, the most powerful agencies in the country joined the project as experts and partners, who have won the world’s largest advertising competitions behind them. The jury consists of top 10 experts from the AKAR creativity rating, owners of advertising agencies, marketing directors of the largest brands – advertisers…


On the one hand, participants can be sure that their cases will not be lost among global projects with billions of dollars, on the other hand, they will receive expertise of the highest professional level”, says Ekaterina Markova, organizer of the First Regional Advertising Festival, director of AKAR Ural.


Experts point out that earlier in Russia there was a successful advertising festival “Idea”. It was held in Novosibirsk and gathered thousands of participants from the regions and the CIS countries. But in 2016 the festival was closed and in the last five years it was the regional format of industrial advertising competitions that was simply absent.


“Since the end of the «Idea» festival, there has been a lack of a Russian-language festival in Russia. We have a rather verbal culture, and many works simply do not have a chance to gain recognition when they are evaluated by people who do not speak Russian”, says Igor Kirikchi, President of the 1st Festival Jury, BBDO Moscow CEO, BBDO Group Managing Director.


“At one time the Novosibirsk «Idea» became for many agencies, now insanely famous, a serious step towards international recognition. Due to the fact that «Idea» no longer exists, festivals remained only in Moscow and outside Russia. The emergence of a project that would support the regional market is a very serious and interesting story. When we were told about the festival in Yekaterinburg, we were very happy. In fact, festivals in Russia can be counted on one hand. And it is unlikely that a conditional agency from the region will pull participation in the same Red Apple – even on a budget. The more projects like the upcoming festival, the more opportunities”, agrees with his colleague Vladimir Tomko, a member of the festival jury, director of development of the Novosibirsk agency Melekhov and Filyurin.


At the same time, the festival is also interesting for the already held, known not only in the Russian, but also in the international advertising market, agencies. Not to show oneself, but first of all to see others – young and talented.


“There is a personnel issue, it is always relevant – a lot of qualified ambitious advertisers want to get into the agency that regularly participates in festivals. Agencies, in turn, acquire not only cool employees, but good clients who want to create something creative and bold. I think festivals are very important for the entire industry. Works that win professional competitions go beyond what we see in most commercial projects, they set a new vector and show what the industry will be like tomorrow. The first advertising festival will take place in our Ural land – it’s a sin for us not to support this new project. We had no doubts when we were offered to make an identity, it is an honor for us”, said Vladislav Derevyannykh, brand design director of Voskhod.Agency.


1st is a regional advertising festival for brands, agencies and freelancers. This is a new project of the Association of Communication Agencies of Russia. Among the main tasks of the First is the development of the advertising industry in the regions of the country, the identification of the best cases and practices, the exchange of experience with the participation of leading federal and regional experts. The 1st festival includes a professional creative advertising competition (submission of entries for the competition will last until June 18) and offline networking, which will be held within the framework of the NAF “Regions” in Yekaterinburg on July 1-2. The laureates of the competition program will also be named here. The best cases of the First Regional Festival will be able to participate for free in the Red Apple International Festival.


Organizers: AKAR, AKAR Ural, CRBK

Title partner: Gazprom-Media

General research partner: Mediascope

Partners: Gallery, National Advertising Alliance, sales house “EVEREST”

Industrial content portal: ADPASS

General industrial partner: Sostav

General News Agency: TASS

Supported by: IAB Russia, RAMU

Communication partner: CA “GlavSovetnik”

Official media partner: Holding 1MI

Information partners: PrimaMedia, PRO BUSINESS TV, PR News, Performance 360, AllAdvertising, All-Events, World Expo, Advertising Portal, AKOS.

Brand Style: Voskhod.Agency

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