Judging Process

The Crystal Awards committee sets criteria, tabulates results, and certifies finalists and winners. A select panel of esteemed marketing professionals from across the country acts as judges. Past participants have been senior marketers from other AMA chapters, Ogilvy & Mather, FedEx, Accenture, University of Michigan, and more.

All entries are judged at least twice. Judges make all decisions regarding eligibility, finalists, and winners. Judges decisions are final. Each entry must include answers to the five questions below, 800 word maximum for each question.

Entry Questions

Judges score each answer on a 1 to 10 scale, with 10 being the highest. The entry with the highest number of points in each category is the winner.


What was the core, basic problem to be solved or situation to be addressed by the entry?

Judges score on how clearly the challenge is stated.


What was/were the objective(s) to address the situation or challenge?

Judges score whether the objectives are sound, clear and measurable. If objectives aren’t measurable, judges score on whether they were clear enough to determine if they were achieved.


What was the strategy and what tactics (actions) were undertaken for achieving the objectives?

Judges score how well the strategy/tactics relate achieving the objectives.


How does the approach and tone of the creative message align with the target audience and support the stated objectives and strategies?

Judges score on how well the elements of the message, including the graphics and copy, align with the goals of the program. These criteria will allow judges to give credit for innovative and creative ideas within marketing programs.


Which results did this entry deliver? Did the entry meet its objective(s)?

Judges score how effective the entry was in producing results that tie to the stated objective(s). The Results score receives DOUBLE WEIGHT, so it is extremely important to describe the results in as measurable of terms as possible to prove the objective(s) was/were achieved.