To All Awards

2020 Advertising Awards

Call for entries

Final Deadline: October 16, 2020

Eligibility Period: August 2019 – September 2020

The Applied Arts Advertising Awards are open.

Creativity wasn't paused – in fact you've never worked harder during these difficult and uncertain times to keep up the positivity on behalf of your clients. Your hard work shouldn't be over-shadowed. Let's celebrate this amazing creativity together.

Creativity in a year like no other - Our Response

This is an international competition open to all forms of commissioned, published, unpublished and personal advertising brand and promotional work, including these categories and many more:

The competition also includes categories for newly minted professionals and Canadians working in smaller communities or smaller businesses. Please see eligibility section for details.

Be sure to review the Call for Entry kit and 2020 Categories kit for important information and tips on entering.

2020 Call for Entry Kit 2020 Advertising Awards Categories Kit

2020 Advertising Awards Jury

Creative directors of all stripes – from across Canada and beyond, make up our Advertising Awards jury. Big agencies and small are represented, as are both independents and multi-nationals. With clients from every category, a wide variety of expertise, and enough Lions, Pencils and other awards to fill a stadium, you can be sure that this group can spot award-winning work. But we'll let you see for yourself, by reviewing this year's judging panel.

Noreel Asuro
Group Creative Director
Toronto, ON

Noreel is an award-winning Group Creative Director leading the TELUS account. Throughout his 20+ year career, he's worked on national and global clients including Coca-Cola, Bell, Dove, P&G - Gain and Bounce, IKEA, Kellogg's, Taco Bell, TD Bank, Nissan, and The Great Mardini Party Magician, to name a few. He has won numerous awards, but his favourite is having work featured on "The World's Funniest Commercials with Kevin Nealon", because it's the only one his Mom understands.

Chris Booth
Senior Vice President, Creative Director
BBDO Toronto
Toronto, ON

Chris has led both highly effective and internationally award-winning campaigns across diverse categories, from financial, to confectionary, telecoms, health care, and more during his more than 6 years at BBDO. Prior to BBDO, Chris worked at some of Toronto's most creative agencies including DDB and john st. in addition to having spent 3 and half years helping Rethink launch and grow their operations in Toronto. More recently, Chris has also enjoyed directing his own film work, including the One Show double-Gold-winning-film "Notes", for stationery store Take Note.

Debbie Chan
Creative Director
Toronto, ON

Debbie is an award-winning creative with more than a decade of experience in the advertising industry. With a background in design, she has spent the majority of her career as an Art Director before becoming Creative Director at Narrative. She has been busy working with brands such as Scotiabank, Casey House, White Ribbon, LCBO, Volvo and Shopify Plus to name a few. Most recently named Top Art Director by Strategy's 2020 Creative Report Card, she has also won at a number of other prestigious international awards shows including Cannes Lions, D&AD, One Show, Communication Arts, and the Clios.

Kevin Dunleavy
Creative Director
McGarrah Jessee
Austin, TX

Kevin made it out alive from the VCU Brandcenter in 2006. Since then, he spent a long while at the Martin Agency in Richmond, a short while at mono in Minneapolis, a medium while at McGarrah Jessee in Austin, a little while down the street at GSD&M, ultimately returning to McGarrah Jessee. In all that time, he's been lucky to work with smart people on accounts like GEICO, UPS, Whataburger, Lyft, Shiner Beers, Petsmart, and more – and win an award or three in the process. Kevin believes it's important to work hard and have a laugh, to be honest in everything, and that somewhere in America, at any given point in time, a Peter Frampton song is playing on the radio.

Sylvain Dufresne
Vice President, Head of Creative
Montreal, QC

Despite his distinguished title, Sylvain has been trying to explain what he actually does for living to his parents over the past 20 years. Otherwise, he's had the pleasure to work on campaigns for advertisers such as Air Canada, BMO, MAXI, YWCA, BMW, Bell and many more. He's also contributed to skits on the year-end sketch-comedy show "Bye-Bye", written and performed monologues on the Just for Laughs stage, and worked as a bodyguard for Robert DeNiro. He's received several industry awards including Créas, Boomerang, Marketing Awards, Clios, One Show, and MIA, and he's often invited to sit on panels to discuss advertising and other topics. Let's hope this clarifies his job to his parents.

Rodger Eyre
Group Creative Director
Zulu Alpha Kilo
Toronto, ON

Throughout his 20+ year career, Rodger has had the privilege of working with many prominent brands such as Gatorade, Nissan, Interac, Visa, Tim Hortons and Apple. His work has been recognized for both creativity and effectiveness at shows including Cannes, One Show, Communication Arts, Clios, Webbys, Applied Arts and Cassies. Additionally, his spot for the Nissan Leaf, was named one of The 10 Best Commercials of 2011 by Adweek. Outside the industry, Rodger's friends and family would describe him as an incredibly mediocre hockey player, remarkably average guitar player and (hopefully) an adequate husband and father of three.

Shravan Hegde
Associate Creative Director
Saatchi & Saatchi
Los Angeles, CA

Shravan is currently focused on helping create a global marketing campaign for Toyota's Global Olympics & Paralympics sponsorship. He is an award-winning multidisciplinary Global Associate Creative Director with an art direction background, specializing in new and emerging digital platforms and experiential marketing, making him a unique innovator and creator. His achievements have been awarded at shows like Cannes Lions, Art Directors Club, One Show, Webbys, London International Awards and ADDYs, to name a few, for such globally-recognized brands like Chevrolet, Doritos, and Häagen-Dazs. Shravan was also selected as one of San Francisco's top ''32 under 32'', and he was a judge at Portfolio Night in San Francisco.

Kelsey Horne
Co-Executive Creative Director
Toronto, ON

Kelsey brings a proven passion and dedication to his craft as demonstrated in his strategic, world-class work at top-tier agencies around the world for brands such as Audi, United Way, Black Lives Matter and many others. Over his 15-year career, his work has been consistently awarded by numerous shows including One Show, D&AD, Cannes, Clios, Communication Arts, Art Director's Club of New York, Archive Magazine, ADCC, Cassies, Marketing Awards, and Applied Arts. Along with industry recognition, his work has been covered by global media outlets ranging from The Toronto Star to The Metro UK, CBC News to Jimmy Kimmel, and BuzzFeed to Huffington Post. Kelsey's strategic and collaborative approach has helped build and grow brands from the small and local to the big and national.

Stephanie Kochorek
Co-Founder, Creative Director
Calgary, AB

Stephanie spearheads Daughter, with a bold approach to branding for clients such as Bow Valley College, Rocky Mountain Soap, Phil & Sebastian. She started her career in San Francisco creating multi-faceted campaigns for Audi, HBO, and PG&E and went on to work at Rethink, working on Canadian brands such as Lululemon, Science World and Coast Capital Savings. She has been recognized by award shows including the Crystal Radio Awards, Lürzer's Archive, One Show and Applied Arts. She is also on the Board of Directors for Long View, one of North America's largest privately-owned IT companies, as well as the Ssubi Foundation, a non-profit focused on educating children and empowering women in Uganda. Outside of work, she likes her Nintendo Switch, kickboxing and hanging with her two daughters (but not necessarily in that order).

Marketa Krivy
Co-Founder, Chief Brand Officer
ruby & foster
Toronto, ON

Before founding ruby & foster, Marketa was Executive Creative Director at TribalDDB where she led advertising, brand and digital experience initiatives for clients spanning QSR, CPG, automotive, government and insurance. A champion of cross-disciplinary team collaboration integrating both agency and client, she focused on bridging the gap between brand-lead ideas and user-lead thinking. This collaborative approach resulted in the 2017 multi-platform Crime Stoppers campaign that led to the rescue of an under-aged human trafficking victim. Over the course of her multi-disciplinary career, Marketa has led many global and national brands including Ikea, McDonald's, Dove and Loblaws. Her work has won at Cannes, One Show, Clios, Effies and Cassies, among others. Marketa also has the distinction of creating one of ICA's top 10 ads of all time.

Geneviève Langlois
Creative Director
Montreal, QC

Geneviève has worked with many brands over the years, helping them touch the hearts of consumers. Maxi, the Loblaws discount banner in Quebec, went from flying under the radar to being the second most-influential brand in the province. Valentine, a local fast food chain, surpassed the international giants in just one year with only a small fraction of the budget. In both cases, creative efficiency made all the difference. Geneviève's creativity comes with two secret weapons: versatility and a strong strategic mind. This combination has helped her work be recognized both locally and internationally, with awards at the Créas, Grafika, Boomerangs, Marketing Awards, ADCC, ADC, Applied Arts, One Show, in addition to a nod from Cannes.

Julie Markle
Executive Creative Director
Toronto, ON

Julie believes in creating work that adds meaning to people's lives. For years, her creative has helped brands like Huggies, Dove and Hellmann's stand for more. From communicating the importance of skin-to-skin hugs for babies (Huggies), to shaping the self-esteem of girls (Dove), Julie strives to unearth new ways to make people feel and connect with brands. Her work has been consistently recognized at Cannes, D&AD, One Show, Clios and Communication Arts. Her numerous Effies, including a recent Gold for Sustained Success (Huggies), prove her work is good for business. But her Cannes Glass Lion for Change shortlist, proves her work is also good for people.

Krystle Mullin
Creative Director
Los Angeles, CA

Krystle moved to the USA in 2017 after having worked at some of Canada's most creatively renowned agencies, including FCB Canada and BBDO Toronto. Her work has earned a number of industry awards for creativity and effectiveness, including 13 Cannes Lions for her work on PFLAG Canada's As a thought-leader/activist for equality in advertising, she's organized and participated in speaking events across North America. In 2018, she was a featured speaker at the 3% Conference, and was honoured with The One Club's Next Creative Leader award, which recognizes 10 women in the industry who represent the future of creativity. She was recently shortlisted as one of the Top Creative Directors in Canada by Strategy Magazine.

Neil Shapiro
Group Creative Director
DDB Canada
Vancouver, BC

As a child of the 80s, Neil was raised as much by TV as he was by his parents, which means he was exposed to more commercials every day than 100 focus groups. So, when it came time to pick a profession, advertising seemed like a logical career path. Originally from Toronto, Neil answered the call of the west and is the Group Creative director at DDB Vancouver. During his time there he's been named one of the top creatives in Canada by Strategy Magazine and won national and international advertising awards for clients like Volkswagen, Dairy Farmers of Canada, Canadian Tourism, BC Hydro and Emerald Cannabis.

Chris Staples
Founding Partner
Vancouver, BC and Toronto, ON

Chris is one of Canada's leading creative thinkers. He is currently the number-one ranked creative director in the country, along with partner Ian Grais, a title that he has held an unprecedented 10 times over the last four decades. His career started in Edmonton, before moving to Vancouver in 1990 as a writer with Palmer Jarvis. Three years later he was creative director, helping lead that shop to three Agency of the Year titles in five years. He's won a slew of international awards, and has served as a judge at Cannes, Clios, One Show, D&AD and Communication Arts. In 1999, Chris started Rethink with Ian Grais and Tom Shepansky. Today he serves on the Rethink Board of Directors, helping guide the company's overall strategic and creative direction.

François Vaillancourt
General Manager, Executive Creative Director
Montreal, QC

François has been working in advertising for a long time, in several Montreal agencies such as Cossette, Ogilvy, Havas, Publicis and now Cundari. He started as an art director, then copywriter and finally executive creative director. This bifurcation in his career allows him to easily gauge the different aspects of effective communication. He has worked on campaigns for Ford, BMW, GM, Bell, McDonald's, to name a few. After 30 years in advertising, François believes that he is either a decent creative or extremely bad at anything else.

Judging Process

All work is entered digitally and judged digitally. There are no hard copies. Therefore, please read our RECOMMENDED BEST PRACTICES, in the 2020 Category Kit to see how you can help our judges.

The judges are divided into groups, with each viewing a different and random group of entries. Each judge reviews and scores entries separately. Judges do not confer or discuss their work, and there is only one round of judging.

Entries are given one total score, based on three criteria only:

  1. Creative merit
  2. Technical excellence
  3. Suitability for end use in the category into which it is submitted.

NOTE: Young Blood, Community and COVID-19 Response entries are judged with the level of experience and/or available resources taken into consideration.


Open internationally to all forms of commissioned, published, unpublished and personal work from professionals and enthusiasts created between August 2019 and September 2020 (but not entries that have been submitted into last year's competition). Only digital entries are accepted for this competition.

Young Blood
For professionals that have graduated within the last 5 years.

Exclusively for Canadian artists and firms working in smaller communities or with smaller businesses or budgets, to help them get the recognition they deserve.

To be eligible to enter Community Categories, you must be Canadian and meet one of the following criteria:

NOTE: Work submitted in one of the other Advertising categories is not eligible to be entered into the Community categories, with the exception of the Young Blood categories (i.e. you may not submit the same entry to both a Community and non-Community category, except for Young Blood).

Categories & Entry Fees

Entry fees vary per sub-grouping and category. Please be sure to download the 2020 Advertising Awards Categories Kit for detailed pricing.

Integrated Campaigns - $90
Brand Activation - NEW
Corporate Responsibility - NEW
Entire Advertising Campaign
Entire Online Advertising Campaign
Pro Bono/Public Service/Charity - NEW

Advertising - Single: $40 / Series: $55
Agency/Artist Self-Promotion
Branded/Sponsored/Native Offline Content
B2B Print
B2B Direct Mail/Media Insert
Consumer Print
Consumer Direct Mail/Media Insert
Pro Bono/Public Service/Charity Offline Advertising
Transit Vehicles

Digital Advertising – Single: $75 / Series: 90*
Augmented & Virtual Reality
Branded/Sponsored Digital Content
Online Banner Ad
Online Video
Pro Bono/Public Service/Charity Digital Advertising

Broadcast – Single: $70 / Series: $90*
Branded or Sponsored Content
Podcast - NEW
Pro Bono Radio/Video
PSA/Charity Radio/Video

Advertising Craft – Single: $70 /Series: $90*
Art Direction
Ideation - NEW

Young Blood, Community and COVID-19 Response – Single: $35/ Series: $40/Campaign: $55*
Entries can be from any application from the groupings of categories above.

*Rates vary by category. Refer to the Advertising Category Kit for details.

Entry Material Guidelines

All entries are submitted digitally only. Hi-res, final files are to be submitted for judging. These files will be used for publication, if selected as a winner.

Main Entry Files

Your Main Entry File(s) must clearly show the creative to be judged (ideally with no additional graphics) in hi-res format.


Case-studies are not permitted as your Main Entry File. See below for more info.

Support Files

Support files are for clarity to assist the judges. They are not for publication (except where noted) and do not count towards the file limitations noted above. Upload these to the "Entry Supporting Materials" sub-section of ENTRY MATERIALS on the entry form. Please note these important required vs. optional files for certain entries.

~ English translations for French (other language) entries:  Include any important text (i.e. headlines, entry title), with your entry files for judging purposes.
~ Scripts for Radio entries. Include an English script.

~ Case-studies: While we don't recommend case-studies (as outcomes are not a criteria for judges in scoring), case-studies can be added only as a Support File and should be limited to max 45 seconds. REMINDER: You must include the actual creative to be judged as the Main Entry File.
~ Explanatory notes for the judges: Although not recommended (except where noted within a category description), brief descriptions/explanations of up to 50 words may be added for clarity for the judges (or up to 10 seconds in the case of video/broadcast files).

~ Entering URLs of the same creative as a Support File: (i.e. don't also submit a URL to a spot, if you've already submitted the MP4 as your Main Entry File). However, available links to non-static creative is requested in the Winners Information section for publishing in the online Winners Gallery.

Acceptable File formats




Counts as 1 'file' upload.
File sharing sites OK.
Password-protected URLs are not allowed.
Ensure the URL is accessible until December 31, 2020

How To Enter

The entry form consists of five steps. You will have the option to save your progress during each step of the process.

Create your 'MY ENTRIES' Account.

This is your Applied Arts Awards account for all Awards competitions. Once logged in you can edit your personal information, add, copy or edit entries and pay for entries.

Bookmark for easy access to your account later.

NOTE: If you've entered the Applied Arts Awards this year or within the last 3 years, please use the email address associated with your account.

ALL entrants must complete an online entry form in My Entries, regardless of payment method, to be eligible for entry.

Step 1: entry information

Select from one of the Awards competitions, choose a category and add your entry title.

Step 2: Entry Materials

Entry format: All entries are to be submitted digitally only. See ENTRY MATERIAL GUIDELINES section above for full details.

Step 3: Winners' Information

Everything entered in this section is for publication only and is not visible to the judges. Please review the information carefully. There will only be 48 hours to edit this information after the Winners have been notified.

The 'Winner' field is the primary company or individual you want to be credited on the piece (i.e. company name, photographer, illustrator, Young Blood, etc.).

Optional fields: Phone, email, web address and winning URL (to direct readers and visitors to view the winning work in its entirety - typically, for motion and video entries). If these are entered, they will be published alongside your winning work.

NOTE: We recommend including the URL as, due to file sizes, we don't upload the MP4 files directly for viewing in the Winners Gallery. They are only used for judging.

Description of entry: For the purpose of providing a brief creative summary of the project in the online Winners Gallery. The description is limited to a maximum of 500 characters (includes spaces).

NOTE: Descriptions are for publication use only and are not shown to the judges. If you feel strongly that judges need a description/explanation, it must be added into your Main Entry file(s) or as a Support File, but please limit it to 50 words or a max 10-second intro for video/broadcast.

Step 4: Creative Credits

Credits are a summary of the individuals or companies that have worked on the project.

A credit can be designated with an individual's name or an organization. A credit role is a job function (e.g. Creative Director, or Production House). Multiple names can be assigned to one credit role (i.e. if you have two Creative Directors, they are counted as only one credit role).

NOTE: You only have to enter credits once. Credits automatically get saved to your account to be used for any competition. You can either select a saved credit for your entry or you can add a new credit. To change the order of the credits, change the number from the sort column and select 'Update Sort' when you are finished.

IMPORTANT: It is recommended that credits be completed at the time of submission. Please review your credits carefully. If your entry is selected as a winner there will be only 48 hours to edit or add to your credits after notification.

Step 5: Certificate information

You will receive one certificate for each winning entry. Complete the winning company/individual and/or client you wish to appear on the certificate. The entry title and the category the project won in will also be included on the certificate. You will have the opportunity to order additional certificates once winners have been notified.

IMPORTANT: A submitted entry is not final and entered in the competition until you pay for it. You may edit an entry at any time until it's been paid. Once payment has been processed, it is final.

Payment & Refunds

Entry fees vary. Check each awards program in this entry kit for entry fees. Only once you have paid for an entry is it considered final and officially entered and cannot be changed. You can pay for all or only some of your entries at any given time - just select which entries you want to pay for.

The payment option is on the My Entries home page. Payments can be made by Interac, Visa, MasterCard or American Express (Amex on Canadian payments only at this time), or Paypal. For US and international entry fees are payable in US funds.

We only accept cheque, money order or direct deposit in special circumstances. These cases must be pre-approved. Contact with your request.

If you are entering a piece as both a Single and as part of a Series, ensure there are two separate entries on My Entries - one for the Series and one for the Single.

Keep a record of your submissions.


All entrants will be notified by mid-November 2020 via email. At that time, you will have only 48 hours to correct or finalize any creative credits and descriptions that may or may not have completed when entering.

To ensure you don't miss the results notifications, add to your address book.

Winners receive


  • Order additional certificates for your creative team, client, etc. with an option to order a plaque-mounted certificate
  • Order a personalized, engraved award trophy. This attractive Lucite cube is 3.5x3.5x3.5 square inches

*Additional fees apply

Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility FAQ

Can students enter? No. Students may enter the Student Competition. Go here for eligibility and deadlines for the Student Awards competition.

Can I enter something I entered last year? Not in the same competition, but if it meets the eligibility period for a different competition, then yes.

Can I enter something in multiple Awards competitions? Yes.

Judging FAQ

Will the judges see my descriptions during the judging? Judges do not see the creative descriptions you have entered. These are only for publishing in the online Winners Gallery. If you feel judges need an explanatory note, you may include a short description as a support file (no more than 50 words or 10s for broadcast/video).

Categories FAQ

Can I enter a piece in multiple categories? Yes. In your account on the My Entries home page, click "Copy" on any entry you've created. Be sure to change the discipline and/or entry category to the new one you want to submit to.

NOTE: Work submitted in one of the professional categories above is not eligible to be entered into the Community categories, with the exception of Young Blood (i.e. you may not submit the same entry to both a Community and non-Community category, except for Young Blood).

Which category does my entry belong in? Often the best way to understand a category is to see previous work that won in that category. Check our online winners Gallery for examples. If you still have questions regarding our categories or require assistance in selecting the appropriate category, contact

NOTE: Applied Arts reserves the right to move an entry to another category if we feel it unsuitable or incorrectly categorized.

Is my entry a single or a series? A single means one piece, and series means you are submitting more than one piece of the same project to a maximum of three. If an entry contains more than the specified images, we will either contact you to split the submission into multiple entries, or choose which ones will be judged, so it's best to stick to the indicated numbers for single or series.

What is the Young Blood category? Young Blood is a series of categories open only to entrants who have been out of school up to a certain number of years (three for Photography and Illustration, and five for Design and Advertising). As with all categories, they are judged on creative excellence, technical merit and suitability for end use, but the jury also takes into account the level of professional experience. You will be required to specify the name of the Young Blood entrant to qualify.

What is the Community category? The Community Awards was our newest Awards program, launched in 2017, to help Canadian artists and studios working on smaller, local clients get the recognition they deserve. In 2019, Community Awards categories were rolled into each of the four competitions (Photography, Illustration, Design and Advertising). Entries in these categories may not be entered in any other non-Community category with the exception of Young Blood categories.

Entry Material FAQ

Can I submit a hard copy or disk? No. Only digitally-uploaded entries are accepted.

The program crashed. Did I lose everything? No - you are saving your work as you go through each section of the entry form. If the program crashes as you are completing a certain section, it may not have saved.

The file I uploaded won't show me a preview. Why? You may not see the image preview if you haven't followed the specs outlined in ENTRY MATERIAL GUIDELINES. Check your file and re-upload. If you continue to experience difficulties, contact

I uploaded the wrong file. Can I change it? Yes. You can resubmit images at any time until payment is made. Click the 'X' beside the appropriate file and re-upload your image.

NOTE: The thumbnail image may not correctly display your new image. If this happens close your browser and log back into My Entries for the changes to show. If you continue to experience difficulties, try clearing your browser history or contact

Payment FAQ

Can I submit more entries after paying? Yes. In My Entries, you will have the opportunity to submit additional entries even if others already entered have been paid. This will simply generate a new confirmation email when you complete your entries with payment.

I want to change something after I've paid. What do I do? Once an entry is paid, you cannot change the category, entry format or credits. A paid entry is final, so check carefully before proceeding to the payment fields. As a winner, you will be given a small window of time add or edit information.

Can I get a refund? Entries are non-refundable; costs cover administration, processing and the judging of the entry. A submission of entry acknowledges acceptance of these rules.

My client has revoked the right for me to enter work I’ve already paid for. We do not issue refunds, but contact if you need the entry removed from the judging or winners' pool.

I'm getting error messages when I try to pay. If you entered your payment information incorrectly on your first attempt, any subsequent attempts would be declined, even if you change your payment type. Close your browser and log back into My Entries. You should now be able to proceed with payment. If you continue to experience difficulties, contact

Winners FAQ

If I win, what image will you use for reproduction? We will use the image(s) you submitted on entry. In the case of series, complete, campaign or motion, we select a sampling at our discretion from the images submitted.

What rights do I retain if my work is chosen? You retain all rights to your images. Upon entry, you will need to grant us the rights to reproduce the image or images.

My client has revoked the right for me to enter work I've won for. What do I do? We do not issue refunds in these cases, but please contact if you need the entry removed from the Winners' pool.


Questions? If you've checked all of the above sections and cannot find the answer to your question, or if you are having difficulty entering, contact


Applied Arts reserves the right to amend these rules throughout the competition. Applied Arts assumes all entries are original and the property of the entrant, with all rights granted therein. Applied Arts reserves the rights to publish or exhibit entries for our print or electronic formats, or related promotions. Entries are non-refundable. Costs cover administration, processing and the judging of the entry. All descriptions and credits are subject to editing for length, clarity and grammar in accordance with the Applied Arts editorial style guide. A submission of entry acknowledges acceptance of these rules.