Benchmarking Your Best Creative Work

Entry season for the IHAF Creativity Awards is heating up as internal agencies submit their finest work from last year. How does your team's print and digital prowess compare to the best of the best?

Submissions that boast creative excellence could win Honorable Mention, Silver, Gold or even the renowned Best of Show award! Here's The Inside Scoop on past winners to help you pick the most competitive entries.

What Winning Looks Like

In-House agencies set the bar high when it comes to creativity. Our winners' reel celebrates those who won Gold last year—but don't watch just yet. You'll want to come back in a moment!

While the following are not official criteria, most winning entries excel in one or more of these areas. Read on for added context, using the timestamps to find each example in the video.

Jump to:

• Simple, Yet... (08:27)
• Aesthetic Appeal (03:07)
• Strong Messaging (01:11)
• Emotional Impact (10:55)
• Informative & Fun (03:47 & 06:05)
• Engaging & Interactive (10:08 & 05:06)


Simple, Yet...

Less can be more, since even simple work should be high-quality. At 08:27 in the video, you can see why Blackbaud's "simple yet elegant" report earned high marks in the Publications B2B category. Back to video.

Strong Messaging

If your projects pack copy punch, they could be prime contenders. Jump back to 01:11 and watch how Print B2C champion UCHealth incorporates patient testimonials for impactful messaging. Back to video.

Informative & Fun

Can your team put a playful spin on hard data? Realtor.com delighted our judges with their haunted house infographic (03:47). Likewise, Bloomberg LP scores with sports-themed data visualization in its economic World Cup signage (06:05). Back to video.

Engaging & Interactive

Creative excellence can spark engagement between your target audience and your brand. AT&T nails it with their paid social campaign (10:08) promoting mobile app downloads for their rewards program. Traditional media can be fun, too—Pacific Life shines in the B2C Direct Mail category with an interactive design element in its mailer (05:06). Back to video.

Aesthetic Appeal

Stunning visuals take center stage at the IHAF Creativity Awards. Orvis goes from bold to Gold with its The Great Awaits campaign, full of high-contrast photography and breathtaking design. See for yourself at 03:07. Back to video.

Emotional Impact

Amid the excitement of our creative competition, certain entries evoke something deeper. Boston University shares a video (10:55) starring one thankful student and his proud dad, who also happens to work at BU. We're not crying—you're crying! Back to video.

Originality & Innovation

Fresh ideas are the difference between great creative and creative excellence. The Coca-Cola Company turns vending machine glass into a one-of-a-kind point of purchase experience that earned our Best of Show award. Even if you've seen the rest of the clips, you won't want to miss this one. In fact, it deserves a video of its own:

Enter the 2020 Creativity Awards

Entry season is now open with the award winners announced this fall. If comparing your team's best work to last year's champs has you fired up to compete, it's time to gather your favorite pieces and send your files to IHAF.

Visit our entry details page to explore over 35 categories—and be sure to submit your entries by the July 24 deadline. Our judges can't wait to savor the top-shelf work you produce!

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