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24 Jan 2017

MarCom Mumblings: Setting your SPARK entry on fire

Hi, I’m Marcus Marketeer and I’ve won more SPARK awards than anyone in history. How can I say that so confidently? Well, since I’m fictional, my record can be basically whatever I want it to be. Anyway, back to the point, you could say I know all there is to know about the SPARK awards, so MARCOM asked me to give you some pointers on how to set your spark entry on fire! Basically, fire needs three factors to burn, and so should your entry: fuel, heat and oxygen. Let’s break that down.


Here’s the deal. We all answer to someone and usually they want to know if whatever it is we do over here in marketing actually benefits the company, right? You need to provide measurable results to show what you’re doing well and what you may need to rethink. This entry should be no different. Yeah, you had a great idea and we’ll probably love it, but the real test of a good project is if it did what it was supposed to do. Results are the fuel that keeps the company fire burning long into the night.


Whether you’re writing television commercials for a national franchise who claims to have the meats, trying to recruit membership to a local gym or selling rock crushers to international mining companies, chances are you’re not the only game in town. We’re all trying to tell our message among a field of competitors trying to steal our customer’s coveted attention. What hot ideas kept all eyes on you? This is where you get to tell us all the cool parts of your project and why you did it. Make it hot!

Oxygen (FRESH AIR)

I’m imaginary, which I believe we covered. MARCOM judges, however, are not. They’re real, they’re human and there’s a chance they’ve been judging entries for a couple hours already. Yes, results are important. Let’s face it, though, so is attention. Presentation counts (remember when mom made you turn in your first report in that clear plastic presentation folder). If your entry is a breath of fresh air while telling us your results, it might just be like blowing some air into that bonfire you’re trying to start. 

In nature, you need a spark to light these three elements into a fire, but here…if you have these three elements, you might just get yourself a SPARK.


By Damon Pilgrim, Spokane MarCom Spark Awards Judging Chair