Creative Adam Morton-Delaney urges us to put ourselves in the company’s shoes to understand if it’s truly worth it.
“If there’s a big brand inviting you to submit work for a competition, and thousands of others are joining you in doing so, you should carefully consider whether you want to take part. Even if there’s a prize at the end, think about it from the brand’s point of view: thousands of enthusiastic young people sending in ideas for only the cost of the prize money. It’s far cheaper than employing someone to come up with the ideas, and often young people’s ideas are better anyway. Brands sometimes abuse their position as icons to exploit young people, which is totally wrong.
“A good competition is one that has a great network of people around it, and acts as a springboard. They help you to set up conversations with the right people, which are very useful as you leave university and enter industry. In hindsight, having won one competition and lost many, I think the most valuable thing about a competition is actually the process of the project, rather than the outcome. Regardless of whether you win, I think it’s worth putting a competition project in your portfolio to show employers how you respond to a real-world brief.”