Movies have the Oscars, Music has the Grammys, and Sports have the ESPYs. Commercials have the Clios. Winning a Clio is a huge honor for a brand and an agency, and every marketing guru wants one.

Winning an award is seldom easy, but there are some trends and tips you can put in your pocket that will help you appeal to the judges. Check them out.


Award the best spots

The Clio Awards are a series of awards aimed at celebrating work "that moves consumers, makes icons of brands and defines a global industry."

So, really clever ads.

But also powerful, emotional, and visceral ways of marketing aimed at moving consumers and, potentially, winning an ad award.  

To win, it all starts with  a creative brief to pitch to clients, you’ll need shot list and storyboards.  In short you will need production management software that will see your spot from development to distribution.

StudioBinder has got you covered.  Make sure you have the StudioBinder production calendar and production tools you need to organize your projects so that the Clio can be in your hands.

The organization has divided itself into several categories:

The Clio Awards

The best overall spots in the world of advertising and marketing.

Clio Fashion & Beauty

Geared towards the business of style in the world of fashion and cosmetics.

Clio Awards - Clio Award Winners - Fashion and Beauty - StudioBinder

Clio Award Fashion and Beauty Silver medalist

Clio Sports

The best advertising in sports marketing and advertising.

Clio Music

The best in brand collaboration, artist self- promotion, marketing, and use of music in advertising.

Clio Awards category - Commercial awards - StudioBinder

This Clio Awards category has some famous faces.

Clio Entertainment

Awards for entertainment communication, marketing and advertising.  This category was formerly known as the Key Art awards and includes film, television, and gaming.

Clio Health

These awards are given to the best in medical marketing and advertising.

Clio Awards - Health Winner - Clio Award Winners - StudioBinder

Clio Award Health winner in print.

Getting a Clio is a process of elimination.

Less than 20 percent of submissions make it past the first two rounds. From there, jurors evaluate who gets which kind of trophy.

Entrants can win a gold, silver, or bronze statue.

There is also a short list of honorable mentions.

Less than five percent of entrants receive any hardware. And, from there, less than one percent get the coveted Gold Clio award.

So grab your moodboard, your A/V script and your shot list, as we cover what you can do to be in the rarified number vying for the Clios.

Additionally, the Clio Awards have been expanded to the even more exclusive Grand and Hall of Fame-level awards.


Recognize innovation and creativity

There are many ways to go about picking up awards for marketing and advertising and the one factor that many of those awarded have in common is their originality.  

While we find this to be the paramount quality they all share, it is not the only one. Here are the qualities we find that every winning ad has in common with the other winners.


This is self-explanatory, but the idea is to come up with something that no one has ever seen before. 

Simple visuals and motion graphics made this spot a Grand Clio winner

The originality or innovativeness of the spot was a huge factor in its’ win.

"In recent times, marketers have formed a narrow view that innovation equals technology. Witness all the case studies with deep learning, AI, VR and blockchain all blurring into one. For me, innovation should be a completely new way and best way to solve a problem. Like using a passport as media to protect the environment of a Pacific Island."  

—  Brent Smart (Former CEO Saatchi & Saatchi)

The irony that innovation is measure in ideas rather than technology should not be lost on anyone looking to take home a Clio.


It is difficult to stun modern audiences who have seen everything from cinematic to technologically savvy ads in every form.  

But the visuals will always be a hallmark of a great commercial.

Memorable visuals in an advert can change the perception of a brand and catapult a product to a household name.

"This is a piece of work far beyond advertising. A film that brings together different disciplines of art, music, dance, film. This is more than a commercial. It's a piece of art and pop culture and crowns the oeuvre of Spike Jonze."

— Matthias Storath (on AppleWelcome Home)

As a Grand Clio Award winner Apple’s Welcome Home could have filled any of the categories required for taking home an award.


How the elements of a spot are produced and come together can bring home the gold. The script, performance, execution of camera and sound are seamless in the winners of the Clios.

Grand Clio Winner for Branded Entertainment

Branded entertainment owns this category as many of the offerings come from the world of film and television and usually with a message attached.

"While it took us a bit of time to agree and align on what branded entertainment should be, it only took us roughly 50 minutes—the length of Corazón, plus two minutes of stupefied silence in which we just stared at each other—to decide on the Grand Clio unanimously. Corazón is a beautifully crafted real story that made us forget we were watching a piece of advertising.”

— Mihnea Gheorghiu (Publicis Italy)

Making an advert that meets these criteria of perfection is what every filmmaker and marketing guru aspires too.


Some campaigns work on television and some are better for New Media.  

The medium your agency chooses to operate within is very important towards winning the coveted Clio.

Grand Clio Winner for Mobile / Digital

This advert for Skittles hits it out of the park in terms of where it was best suited.

The Clio awards have categories that cover popular mediums for distribution including but not limited to film, television, digital/mobile and integrated.


Print is one of the largest fields to be awarded the Clio.  

IKEA won the Grand Clio Print for asking you to pee on their ad

Just when one thought the medium of print was dead. Ikea combined social relevance  with explicit marketing to make a memorable campaign.

Pinpointing the best way to highlight your campaign in a less populated field like print will get rave reviews.


The Grand Clio Integrated is one that built around the risks.  Taking risks with your marketing is more than just creatively original, but it is the next frontier in a world where integration is becoming the most glaring way to be creative.,

Marmite by adam and eve DDB took a huge risks and got great returns.

After the marmite spot product sales shot up 14% with an age old product that can be as polarizing as anything with so specific a taste.  

These are the six considerations to keep in mind when crafting your next creative brief.  There are many ways to win an ad award.


Ads that took home the metal

In the 2017 Clio Awards, some of the best TV commercials that stood out really challenged conventions and typical ways of thinking in consumers.

For example, this clever ad from IKEA demonstrates a new product that allows consumers to fill in the ingredients on a piece of parchment paper with the recipe on it.

And then cook that parchment paper.

That was a Clio Award winner, taking home a Clio Grand.

Here's another one for a British tampon commercial that breaks from the mold of the typical ad spot for that kind of product.

Turning perceptions turns heads.

One of the best ways to win commercial awards is to challenge how consumers think and feel about certain products.

Bodyform took a look at what tampon commercials typically look like and decided that wasn’t good enough.

They determined that the way in which these products were historically marketed didn’t fit their brand identity; their established tone.

So Bodyform went in a different direction and as a result, they were internationally recognized.

Check out another Clio award winner about "the world's biggest asshole."

Clio Award winning advert that upends the genre

This one uses humor and a fantastic narrative twist to sell the lasting, emotional effects of being an organ donor.

What went from being a humorous study in etiquette and ethics turned into a heartwarming story on how effective and important organ donation is, making it a Clio award winner.


Watch the best brand commercials

While this year's full list of Clio Awards winners may not be out yet, the ad award organization put out it's list of the best TV commercials in the world of sports.  

Take a look and compare the elements for past winners and see what they have in common with winners for Sports that are sure to be on the list for next years Grand Clios.

Teasing John Malkovich

CBS created a clever ad that pumped up viewers and also winked toward a meta aspect of football advertising. They did this by using the gravitas of a celebrated actor to play against the over-wrought narratives in the NFL.

This is a classic use of the pathos prong of the rhetoric triad.

In this saturated age of digital content, being able to acknowledge the fact that a commercial is a commercial is a refreshing and welcoming form of humor.

And humor is a great way to win to an ad award.

Touchdown Celebrations to Come

Here is another NFL winner, this one uses joviality and playfulness to create a clever ad for touchdown celebrations.

A playful Clio Award Sports Winner

Now that players are allowed to have coordinated touchdown celebrations, the NFL leaned into how much the fans loved it.

They earned a Clio award by twisting the idea on its head and creating an homage to the classic football movie… Dirty Dancing.

So... I guess originality is out for that one. 

Original Is Never Finished

This was a massive campaign from Adidas.

They created a series of music videos and accompanying songs that were all remakes and remixes of old classics.

This Clio winner ups the ante on originality

And, then, within the videos all the visuals were also odes to historic and canonic works of art ranging from paintings to movies and more.

Playing on the idea that nothing under the sun is original anymore, Adidas found a way to take something old and make it original.

The company unveiled the the spots during the Grammy's and it landed them a Clio Gold award.

Hear what the Clio judges have to say

Additionally, none of these commercials would have made it that far in the Clio awards in the first place if they weren't excellently produced.

By using a dynamic production management software, brands, agencies, and production companies can have maximum control and effective communication across the board.

From script to script breakdown, maintaining an organized and clear workflow will only increase your chances of walking away with a Clio trophy in your hand.

Not only is a creative brief useful and necessary, but an entire production management suite in needed when going for the Grand.  

We suggest you use StudioBinder:

Production management made for modern marketing producers

As you can see, nothing will be left to chance, because no other video production planning software is as modern, intuitive, nor as integrated as StudioBinder.

Every spot in every campaign can be winner with the right tools.

Make your production as well crafted as it can be starting with development.


Ethos, Pathos, Logos - Advertising

Before going for the gold, start with a smaller pool as we cover some of the fundamentals of advertising.  Using the commercials of basketball phenom LeBron James we’ll show how advertising a small business with major players can build your agency, production company or brand.

Up Next: Ethos, Pathos, Logos - Advertising
Solution Icon - Shot List and Storyboard

Showcase your vision with elegant shot lists and storyboards.

Create robust and customizable shot lists. Upload images to make storyboards and slideshows.

Learn More ➜

  • StudioBinder is a film production software built out of Santa Monica, CA. Our mission is to make the production experience more streamlined, efficient, and pleasant.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copy link