[Skip to Content]

Greatness is fleeting.
An ECHO is forever.

Creative excellence and the ability to produce results are important data points that agencies, clients, and bosses rely on to make marketing decisions. That’s the yardstick of ECHO.


2021 Categories


Data-inspired storytelling that has what it takes to move the needle across entire industries.

The automotive category is a critical one across the globe, with this highly competitive sector responsible for billions of dollars in revenue each year. Show us how you drove sales, leases, rentals, accessories, and parts and service for new or used vehicles - or built brands, engagement, and loyalty in the automotive sector. This includes programs developed by manufacturers and marketing organizations, fleet operators, leasing companies, dealer groups, or individual dealerships.

Providing products and services to business is a largely hidden industry, but one which keeps the backbone of business strong and humming. Demonstrate how your great strategy and bold creative was able to champion business marketers. This category is for any campaign that targets a business to sell a product or service (SaaS, collaboration tools, furniture, data management, IT, etc.) which helps it run efficiently and effectively on a day to day basis.

The consumer products and services category is giant, complex, and constantly evolving. From traditional consumer packaged goods to household products, manufacturing products, services such as daycare, restaurants, personal care, lawn care, car care, or anything else that helps consumers achieve their aims and goals. This category is broad, and is intended for any campaign that targets a business-to-consumer audience to sell a product or service.

The business of money is one of the world’s most dynamic yet one of the most cryptic and misunderstood. We’re looking for your best work for traditional banks, as well as securities, investments, loans, real estate, credit cards, or other financial products for consumers, businesses, or agents. This includes auto, home, life, disability and other insurance products and services, except for health insurance.

We all strive to live better, healthier, higher quality lives – and this category recognizes efforts to help us do it. We want to see your best work for products and services promoted to both health care professionals and consumers, whether you are promoting medical supplies to hospitals or daily health care products and or services to consumers, such as health insurance, gym memberships and/or coaching services.

Unique and uniquely challenging, not-for-profits are run as tightly as traditional firms, without the profit motive. We want to see your best work for not-for-profit organizations, charitable foundations, cultural institutions, associations, education and political advocacy groups. This includes fundraising, public health and safety, public service, and social action educational programs carried out by nonprofits.

You bring information and enlightenment to the people and you keep us all entertained. This is where we want to hear about your efforts for single sales or subscription campaigns for print or digital books, magazines, newsletters, podcasts, research, or websites. Also included are ticket sales or traffic for films or live theatre, sporting events or teams, TV shows, electronic games and software, or lottery participation.

These are the stores we love – whether in person or online – for the merchandise and services that make our daily lives work. We want to hear from retailers, e-commerce, direct-order enterprises, department and specialty stores, equipment dealers, health clubs, mail order, and memberships, and everything else in between. Show us your approach to building traffic, enquiries, sales, loyalty, and employee relations.

These are the industries that move our bodies and lift our spirits. Whether for work or pleasure, these categories work to make travel a joy. Show us your best in travel and hospitality services, airlines, car rentals, mass transit, hotels, tourism, sports, entertainment venues or events, and timeshares and vacation properties. (*Does not include automobile manufacturers, dealers, or fleet operators; these should be entered into the Automotive category.)


This is for campaigns that are keenly focused on driving results along the entire customer journey, while leveraging various channels.

Email is the ultimate immediate one-to-one channel – creating timely and engaging connections that we can make uniquely relevant to the recipient. So we’re looking for innovative email that generates response, engagement, relationships, and results. This category can be for single or bulk email campaigns targeting a consumer or business audience. Judges will be especially interested in how data was used to enhance the customer engagement.

Social Media relies on peer-to-peer connections and our desire to share information we find useful, enlightening or just funny. Our judges want to see your social media campaigns that generate engagement, while leveraging the channels uniquely to build personalization with your target through storytelling and/or clever messaging that ultimately produce results. Note that while it may be part of a multi-channel campaign, entries will only be judged on the results attributable to social media.

Direct Mail is a powerful sales tool that reaches consumers where they live and where they make their big decisions – in the home. Show our judges how direct mail is still a powerful data-inspired communication channel for brands. They will look for inspiring use of data, targeting, creative excellence, and flawless execution that demonstrates the effectiveness of the channel. Entrants must include physical samples of the campaign in the submission in addition to uploading images.

Mobile is the medium that travels with your consumer – 24/7 in many cases. Our judges want to see what you’ve done - from wearables and apps to games and location-based efforts. We’re looking for solutions that integrate mobile with other channels or where the unique attributes of mobile meet specific business goals. Winners will be judged on mobile result attribution.

Reaching the right consumer at just the right time is both a science and an art. We’re looking for the executions that deftly combine the two, with online campaigns based around search optimization, search marketing, or innovative use of online display. Judges will be looking for great strategy behind the sophisticated targeting techniques as well as unique technical and/or creative approach.

Sometimes hands-on and in-person is simply the best – or only – way to convert a customer or make a sale. We’re looking for you to demonstrate what live interaction with a target audience can achieve, whether it’s at festivals, exhibitions, concerts, road shows, or PR stunts. We want evidence that shows where engaging with people in the field has driven a response such as building relationships, gathering data, or a direct path to sales. Judges will want to see the insights behind the activation. Results are key and must be aligned with the client’s business objectives.

Video Content is an engaging and exciting demonstration medium. We want to see more than the sizzle, and see how data can inspire and shape the idea. Judges will look for how the strategy, insight, and the creative solution work hand in hand to achieve both business and communications objectives. And, of course, how the final product was executed and delivered.


This bold category recognizes the ongoing shifts in the marketing landscape.

Selling and providing products and services from one business to another presents unique challenges and demands unique appeals. Share your campaign that identified and engaged a targeted business audience and led to a direct call to action. Our judges will look for demonstration of channel strategies, execution, and the measurable impact of the campaign.

Campaign for CSR and Social Good have the power to change minds and change the world. Show our judges your campaigns that have challenged discrimination, inequality or injustice, or have championed initiatives that make a positive impact on people’s lives and the planet. Our regular ECHO criteria apply, with innovative use of data, great insight, and brave creative required to score high in the three criteria of strategy, creativity, and results.

Smaller budgets, through necessity, can often generate the most creative ideas. So show our judges the great insights you combined with original creative to achieve results on a budget of or less than $250,000. Creativity and innovative ideas are what judges will be looking for. The $250,000 must include media spend.

The ultimate challenge: new customers. They’re the lifeblood of any business. Show our judges your campaign with a clear objective focused on acquiring new customers to purchase products or services in either a business-to-business or business-to-consumer environment. Judges will expect robust results focusing on generating leads or final conversion to sales.

Building loyalty and a strong relationship with your customers can bring benefits and sales for years to come. Our judges are looking for your ongoing communications or activities that target and engage existing customers in a business-to-business or business-to-consumer environment. Your campaign must be designed to retain or reward customers. Can include CRM, reward programs, and incentives, but must demonstrate how data has played a key role in engaging the customer base with designs on long-term retention.

When you know how to parse data, it can reveal the keys to the world. Show our judges how you mined data to uncover a unique human insight that drove your campaign’s strategy or developed into your big creative idea. Judges will be interested in the rigor and process through which this particular insight was found. This category will be predominantly judged on strategy and results.

Utilizing the next great thing – whatever it is – can be enough to cut through and leave an indelible mark on the market. Show our judges how you used emerging technologies – such as AR, VR, mixed reality, voice recognition, AI, machine learning and more. Judges will look closely for examples where these technologies have added genuine value to the campaign.

Campaigns work best when they have multiple channels, and channels work best when they work together. Our judges are looking for your multimedia campaigns that identify and engage targeted audiences and lead to a direct call to action. Efforts should use at least three channels and demonstrate the channel strategies, execution, and measurable impact on the campaign. Also show overall synergy and lift from integration.

Branded content is all about providing added value through information. Show our judges how you effectively reached your audience through the creation of original branded content that is not specifically advertising. It can be entertaining or informative, and may include television programming, commercial films, documentaries, online video, or any format that is not considered advertising and fits with adjacent non-branded content.

Data and technology go hand in hand. One informs the other and guides its execution. Our judges want to see how you used technology to create a data-driven experience. What was the technology? And was it a technology you created, adapted, or leveraged? Explain your approach and how it was executed. The creative use of data must sit at the core of your solution and must have amplified the creative idea in an unexpected new way.