Once the winners have been announced and the party is over, the recriminations start! ‘Why,’ question some, ‘didn’t my pack win an award?’ They maintain that their packs were superior to those that took the prizes; they express themselves as ‘hard done by’; they imply (at best) or blatantly declare (at worst) that the judges lack competence.
Obviously my position as a judge precludes my commenting on specific entries but I do believe some general remarks might go some way towards answering the question: Why didn’t my pet project win gold?
The victorious entries are those that show a passion for packaging. Prize-winning packs are fit for purpose, represent supply chain efficiency, exhibit measurable benefits, embody environmental benefits, and look likely to stand the test of time in the market (it’s no good bestowing an award if a pack’s a marketing disaster!).
A vital part of the entry is the motivation – this is the only means of feeding the judges the information they need to make informed assessments. By that, I mean technically correct, containing properly-documented and proven facts, quantifiable data and a minimum of hyperbole and green-washing!
The judges tend to become irritated when presented with false technical information or ridiculous, unsubstantiated claims; entrants presenting garbage do themselves no favours.
Just as vital as an effective motivation, however, are pristine samples. It sometimes seems that entrants are intent on sabotaging their own submissions by supplying samples that are bound to be rejected – for example leaking bottles and poorly executed packs (poor seals, printing out of register, labels applied skew, careless shrink sleeve application, and so forth).
Other packs are rejected if the judges can’t find the plastics recycling logo/number or the manufacturer’s imprint. Also chucked on out are packs containing illegal information, or not displaying prescribed data in the correct format.
Also notable is how few entrants present the old pack along with the new pack when describing a packaging upgrade.
It’s difficult to comprehend a company spending money on the entry fee and then presenting motivation that’s lacking relevant information or samples that are in a flawed condition. Beats me!
To consider all these aspects, Gold Pack judges offer knowledge in a multitude of disciplines. This year’s the line-up includes Andrew Marthinusen, Andy Rice, Annabé Pretorious, Gill Loubser, Gunnar Sigge, Keith Pearson, Kiril Dimitrov, Neil Cumming and Wendy Knowler, who will make their deliberations under the beady eyes of facilitators, referees and scribes, Bill Marshall and Vanessa von Holdt.
What’s in it for winners?
For those who win awards, it’s a major publicity-generating event, but that’s only one aspect. Winning an award is also a morale booster for staff, it provides creditability in the marketplace and a competitive advantage. And, for a chance to shine internationally, Gold Pack winners are eligible to enter the WorldStar contest organised by the World Packaging Organisation.
The Gold Pack Awards are about promoting innovation, identifying the best solutions to South Africa’s packaging challenges, maximising exports and minimising imports. The awards are also about benchmarking the local industry and keeping pace with global technological developments, as well as applauding outstanding design – which includes construction, graphics, convenience, product protection and ecological impact.
Closing date for entries is July 15. For further details visit www.GoldPack.org.za.