Our Voices


Communications Officer
The organizers of Effie Netherlands have made an exciting announcement during the highly anticipated EffieFest. They will be introducing Social Plus to the prestigious Effie Awards. A distinguished jury, led by Tim Claassen, Head of Strategy at Havas Lemz, will evaluate entries based on their social impact. To qualify for the Social Plus alongside the bronze, silver, or gold Effie, participants will need to answer supplementary questions. This latest edition aims to highlight how brands can make positive contributions to sustainable and social progress

Can you tell us more about this new development for the Effie Awards?  

Ask yourself this question: can you truly consider yourself successful if your success comes at the expense of something or someone else? There is a growing awareness – globally and perhaps even more so in the Netherlands – that every marketing effort has an impact: for good or worse. That’s why the Effie is creating an elevated platform for cases that have extra meaningful impact, regardless of the category. It can be a Brand or Behavior category case with an additional element. By asking an additional question to every Effie entrant in the Netherlands, they can choose to participate for the Social Plus or not. This way, we don’t penalize anyone but rather reward the frontrunners in our field. 

What specific criteria will you consider when assessing the social impact of campaigns?  

A specialized jury will review the answers. The intention should be genuine, the ambitions and results should be of a high standard. We look at the submitted case and marketing efforts, but we can also consider the overall company: how does the case fit into the overall ESG strategy? 

How do you think the introduction of the Social Plus will encourage brands to be more socially responsible in their marketing and communication efforts?  
Every Effie winner remains a significant winner. However, the Social Plus offers an additional chance for extra shine. It will undoubtedly contribute to the transition towards more meaningful brands and cases that are submitted and win. 

Could you give some examples of campaigns you believe would have been eligible for the Social Plus recognition?  

One strong case that won Silver last year in the “Impactful Proposition” category was Tiny Forest: a densely planted, native forest the size of a tennis court. By creating these Tiny Forests around schools and neighborhoods, urban children get closer to nature. It was a winning proposition, but clearly with a social plus. Another winner was Zeeman, a strong Dutch retailer that has built a powerful brand around thriftiness. Zeeman is thrifty with people, the environment, and society. They received a Bronze Effie for their Brand results, but it could have easily been a Social Plus as well. 

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