How in-house creative teams benefit from winning awards – and why they also need unique categories.

Working as an in-house creative team is never the same as being on the agency side.

An external agency’s value is based purely on the delivery of their creative outputs, whilst for an in-house creative team, there are many more success measures beyond their creative delivery.

Why do awards matter for in-house creative teams?

It can be hard for in-house creative teams to earn the credibility they deserve. Often, it is wrongly assumed that they are not as creative or do not have the skills to execute in the way an external agency might be able too. Receiving awards becomes the external validation needed to prove to internal stakeholders that they are more than capable of delivering great creative work.

Award wins are also an important step in the transformation journey of an in-house creative team, as previous Inside Out® Awards winners, the NSPCC, discovered:

“Winning an award gave our team a massive boost. Not only was it great to get recognition for a project which we were really proud to have worked on, but it also helped us to forge stronger relationships with other people and teams at the NSPCC. In the last year, we’ve seen more and more people picking us as the first choice to take on projects, which means we can go on to take on more exciting challenges as a team and make more of a difference to the organisation.”

Creative Director, NSPCC

But it is not just about external validation. Often, the pressures on an in-house creative team are relentless so having the opportunity to stop and celebrate can be a real motivation boost for your team’s morale.

“So much amazing creativity happens in-house. It’s so refreshing to be able to shine a spotlight on internal talent and be able to celebrate it in this way. The standard of work entered was incredible. My team was really energised by taking part and I’d encourage more teams to enter.” Creative Team

“Our award means a lot to us because it recognises the hard work and skill that went into creating the campaign – as well as the research, teamwork, tenacity, and care taken to get it right for our Partners. It’s important to us because the awards take into account business effectiveness as well as creativity, so it’s a testament that it worked all around. It also shows us that it was well worth all the late nights spent and lunches missed! We’re thrilled to have won and would urge anyone to take part.”

Head of Copy,

Why do in-house creative teams need different categories?

Traditionally, the majority of creative and design awards have always focused purely on the creative execution of projects, but when I worked in-house, I always found it difficult to find award categories that could give the projects and impact my team were delivering the relevant recognition.

The Inside Out® Awards were created in 2013 with the aim of providing an opportunity for these specialist creative teams to gain recognition for the unique ways they add value and contribute to business success.

Here are two key themes that have inspired some of our longstanding categories and judging criteria:

  • Celebrating great work and business impact – Our ‘Best Project Awards’ and ‘Best Internal Rebrand / Brand Development’ don’t just celebrate great creative work but ask for clear evidence of the business impact. Extra points are added for any additional challenges that have been overcome during the project.
  • Collaboration – Celebrating the collaboration efforts between in-house teams within the business amongst their internal clients and any external agencies they may be working with is another important criteria. Fostering a culture of togetherness is essential for delivering great work – especially when you are based inside an organisation.

“The great thing about the ‘In-House Design Awards’ was that they showed us how companies, big or small, are required to bring everyone together during marketing and design projects – from designers to copywriters. This is essential if they are to create consistency with brand recognition and overall messaging. Only by doing this and working as one can in-house design teams produce outstanding collateral from print to video.”

Senior Brand Designer, Ideagen

AI Sandboxing

In 2024, we are introducing a ‘Best Use of AI’ category to give in-house creative teams an opportunity to showcase how they are using AI.

While AI is still a fast moving yet emerging technology, it will have a profoundly positive impact on these teams, and this award has been created to showcase and inspire other teams.

Our Inside Out® Awards have established themselves as a key feature in the calendar of many in-house creative teams across the UK and EMEA and we now have over 200 case studies of award entries.

Over the years, we have seen first-hand the positive impact our Awards have had on the in-house creative community, enabling them to clearly demonstrate their value, gain external recognition, and showcase best practices.

Join us in celebrating the outstanding work created by your in-house creative team and enter now.

The deadline for entries to the 2024 Inside Out® Awards is 2nd July.

For more information, head to our website.

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