How Organizers Are Revamping the Clio Awards (Again) and Pushing Agencies to Get More Involved

By Anna Sekula May 14, 2012, 3:57 PM EDT

After a stint downtown, the planning team behind the Clio Awards moved the ceremony to the American Museum of Natural History last year. The Upper West Side institution will be the site of this year's show and after-party, and include some visual and strategic changes onstage as well as at the post-presentation reception.

Photo: Slaven Vlasic/WireImage for CLIO Awards

The organizers of the Clio Awards are continuing their strategy to update the ad-industry honors. On Tuesday at the American Museum of Natural History, the gathering, with event production by Stoelt Productions and technical production by Phoenix Productions, will showcase some new components designed to bring in more young ad-agency staffers as well as boost the brand's presence on social media channels.

One notable change this year deals with the judging program for the Clio Awards. In addition to bringing jury members—some of the most influential executives in advertising, from firms like Publicis, Ogilvy, and BBDO—to Las Vegas for a three-week stint, the team behind the Prometheus Global Media-owned competition invited more junior agency staffers to help assist with the process. These volunteers came from the group of employees that work on the award submissions and were chosen to build brand awareness with the younger generation.

“It was a huge success for us to get people who knew the industry and were interested in it—and great at helping us out,” said Nicole Purcell, executive director of the Clio Awards. (Purcell works closely with Clios director Karl Vontz, one of our 2012 Event Innovators.) “They learned so much from judging, about the work, and about entering better. They're pushing their agencies to get more involved now with Clio.”

“It also makes a difference in being able to cultivate relationships live on-site somewhere, even in terms of ticket sales,” said Brooke Barasch, the director of marketing. “Just having people there and developing relationships, all of sudden people that have never attended the event before are all coming because of the word of mouth from people that were part of the judging process.”

A bigger investment in social media is also helping to add more buzz. Much like last year, the planners revealed the winners via the networking platforms before the big night, promoting which categories would be announced on what days, starting April 30. Newly added elements for the 2012 ceremony include live tweeting from the event and an initiative devised with the help of Carrot Creative. The latter will display Instagram images taken by guests and tagged with #InstaClio and #SpottedatClios on a 70-inch screen at the post-presentation reception.

Although Purcell and Barasch declined to release specific details about the award presentation itself, the plan is, according to Purcell, to “step up the presence onstage.” This includes having comedian Joan Rivers serve as the night's host and bringing in some key names to present awards to winners that include Piyush Pandey of Ogilvy & Mather India, and photographer Annie Leibovitz and author/TV host Anthony Bourdain, who are also being honored.

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