How to make Media Week entry judges see red in your entry

September is the month for serious media awards judging.  The Oscars of the industry – the Media Week Awards are entering the final phase when shortlisted entries, agencies and media owners are turned into Silver and Gold (or runners up).

How do judges minds work?  After all they’re only human – just like sporting referees.

Wired Magazine has 3 smart insights to offer about how referees minds work and there are lessons here for the finalists in the competitions.

Firstly – There is now definitive proof that referees listen to crowds.  Researchers asked two sets of football referees to judge game clips, one set with the sound turned up, one on mute.  The referees who could hear the crowds called 15.5% fewer fouls against the (louder) home team.  Media Week judges listen to clients.  The claims of the agency or media owner are one thing in an awards entry.  An opinion from the man or woman whose money it is is quite another and has real authority.

Secondly –  Referees are not blind but they do see things that aren’t there.  Vision scientists claim that to compensate for a 100-millisecond lag in our visual system the brain creates an illusion that shifts objects in the direction they’re travelling.  If a tennis ball looks likely to bounce outside the line we are likely to call it out even if it lands just inside the line at the last minute. Whilst a fast-moving game might fool Wimbledon umpires however Media Week award judges have time to think about their decisions and the opportunity on judging day for a fierce debate about the entry.  This will inevitably include a frankly cynical (in many cases) desire to question appearances and you will need an extremely well supported case for the success of the entry in question.  The more evidence of increased sales and awareness improvements that are directly attributable to the cleverness of your thinking the better you will do.

Finally apparently Refs prefer red, or at least martial arts referees do.  Tae kwon do officials scoring fights on film gave more points to those wearing red than wearing blue.  When the colours were digitally switched so too were the scores amazingly.  This may make some sense on an unconscious level as it is believed by some behavioural psychologists that people prefer red to other colours as it is the predominant colour of the womb.  Red therefore in this interpretation is comforting, safe and familiar.  Other psychologists take a completely different view and say it is the colour associated with anger, passion, love and pain.  Either way red stands out and gets you noticed and it might help to have lots of red in your final entry – unless of course the Media Week judges are Chelsea fans.

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