What’s different about this year’s PRIME Awards

New chair of judges reveals a fundamental shift in thinking

Poised to take centre stage in September, the hotly contested 2019 PRIME Awards looks set to be the biggest event in its 15-year history. Amanda Davey speaks to PRIME’s new chair of judges David Cousins about its reason for being and why this year marks significant change.


Q: What’s so special about the PRIME awards?

As an industry awards show it is unique because it is so multilayered. Not only is it the only program that recognises excellence within the Australian pharmaceutical and life sciences industry but it’s the only one that I can think of that combines a mix of marketing, sales, and educational awards in one event.

Q: Tell me about your new role as the chair of judges?

There is a lot of evolution occurring in our industry and so my role is to try to help evolve PRIME in line with that. I have many years of experience judging other awards shows so I will also be bringing that experience to PRIME.

Q: How long have you been involved with this event?

Since day one. As an entrant, I wrote my first PRIME paper 15 years ago and have entered every year since. It was for a Bayer blood pressure drug called Adalat.

Q: Do you remember how you went?

Yeah, we won. We cleaned up and got the marketing campaign award. That paper went on to win at the APG Creative Planning Awards and AFA Effectiveness Awards as well which was the predecessor to the Effie Awards.

Q: What’s changed in the industry over that time?

I think the shift to multi-channel campaigns driven by cross-functional plans has been the biggest change. By that I mean companies are really planning their campaigns in a cross functional way now whereas before you used to have the education team working in complete isolation from marketing which was working in isolation from sales. Off the back of that is a greater desire to understand campaign effectiveness and how to measure it.  

Q: Can you talk me though the new categories you’re introducing?

Sure. So, we’ve now got a category called Sustained Excellence in Bettering Patient Outcomes. This is the first time we’ve really looked at long-term effectiveness and sustained patient outcomes. This award is quite deliberately not focused on revenue generation.

We have also replaced the Best Single Advertisement Award with something called Creativity in Communication because of the industry’s shift to multichannel campaigns. This category is split between OTC and prescription products.

Finally, we have updated the Marketing Campaign of the Year award that brings it back to its core and reflects the evolution of the industry.

Q: Who should enter the PRIME Awards?

Anybody who works in or with the Australian pharmaceutical and life sciences industry, who is passionate about what they do and who takes pride in the results that they have delivered.

Q: What would be your three top tips for aspiring winners?

  • Take time to craft your entry – storytelling is important
  • Be honest about what you do and don’t know
  • There is always a way to calculate campaign effect and ROI – be resourceful by using publicly available data.
Entries for the 2019 PRIME Awards are open now and close on Friday 21st June. You can find out all the information you need to enter at primeawards.com.au
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