How to win the Licensing Awards Marcomms trophy

Pink Key Licensing’s Richard Pink on what to bear in mind for the Licensing Awards category.

It’s that time again folks… the panel members are gathered and poised like a coiled spring ready to pounce on your entries for the prestigious Best Licensed Marketing Communication Campaign at this year’s Licensing Awards.

Last year the prize was grabbed by Trolls, beating off stiff competition from Thunderbirds, Ab Fab and the superb Epic Skeletor campaign from Money Supermarket. So it’s probably time to remind everyone to get their campaigns in.

Remember, this award goes to the best use of a licensed brand when it is promoting another product or service. It could be a charity, a drink, yoghurt, financial services or anything other than itself. For example Top Cat promoting Halifax – tick… Star Wars on a cereal pack – also tick.

So what’s going to win it for you?

The most important things to be able to show is that the licence was used effectively. One of the ways this has been shown in the past is where the character has acted totally out of, well, character.

Think of Postman Pat knocking Greendale down, Mr Happy not being very happy, He-man and Dirty Dancing – you get the idea.

But this doesn’t have to be the case – a couple of years ago The Gruffalo walked away with the prize with a campaign that was totally in keeping with the character of the brand. This was simply because the campaign was so effective. It had clear measurable objectives and it delivered in spades.

There are two stages to our judging process. You first need to enter online, after which we eliminate all but ten entries. These then go through to the panel discussion where we nominate our top five and pick an overall winner.

It is important to write your entry so that you get through stage one. Be clear and succinct, but sell the idea – assume the judges don’t know anything and, most importantly, don’t just say it was great – say why it was great!

The entry page is open (you can access it by clicking here) and if you need any advice don’t hesitate to contact me and I’ll be more than happy to help.

Richard Pink is md of Pink Key Licensing and is the chair of the judging panel for the Best Licensed Marketing Communication Campaign award. He can be contacted on

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