AD STARS Launches ‘PIVOT’ Category & Postpones This Year’s Festival In Busan

AD STARS has announced that all judging for the AD STARS 2020 Awards will now take place online, while this year’s winners will be unveiled online onAugust 22 via

The festival is also extending the entry deadline to the AD STARS 2020 Awards from May 15 until July 10, giving creative businesses more time to submit their work as they adjust to a challenging time for the industry.

AD STARS is still free to enter, and two Grand Prix of the Year winners will once again win US$10,000 each.

“After long discussions with our friends in the industry, we have decided to proceed with the AD STARS 2020 Awards online. We know that COVID-19 is causing a lot of uncertainty and disruption, and our thoughts are with all of the creative businesses who are being impacted. However, we believe it has never been more important to celebrate the power of creativity, which shines amid crisis. And because the AD STARS Awards are free to enter, they present an opportunity for agencies and production companies to raise awareness of their talents and ideas at a time when they may need it most,” explains Hwan-Jin Choi, Chair of AD STARS.

“As always, we want creators all over the world to have a forum where they can share their work, and inspire the world. All winners will be showcased online and publicized around the world. We already have a sophisticated online judging system in place, so the integrity of our judging process will remain as high as ever,” adds Choi.


AD STARS’s three-day exhibition, conference and awards ceremony will not take place on August 20-22, but has been tentatively postponed until October 22-24.

“If it is not safe to host events in Busan due to COVID-19 in October, our program will be replaced online. We will keep an eye on the situation and update you accordingly as the safety of our delegates, speakers and judges is paramount. We would like to thank all of our judges for their support, and our agency and production partners for their understanding,” says Choi.

AD STARS’ Final Judges will meet virtually from August 3-18 to choose this year’s Grand Prix, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Crystal winners, which will be announced on August 22 on the AD STARS website.


AD STARS 2020 is launching a special category in response to the coronavirus called ‘Pivot’. This category recognises campaigns that have amplified and repositioned brands in keeping with their core values, or which have contributed to overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic through purposeful pivots, public health initiatives and economic revitalization.

 It’s amazing to see how quickly brands and agencies have responded to COVID-19 by living their higher purpose and serving the greater good,” explains Lydia Lee, Assistant Manager at AD STARS. “A brand ‘Pivot’ means changing a brand’s direction and brand strategy through creative, business and brand ideas. This is the best category to show how creativity shines amid crisis, and it’s part of our mission to celebrate ideas that help to make the world a better place.”

The jury will be looking for ideas that have launched in response to the coronavirus. For more information about the entry criteria, visit


AD STARS will continue to support students and creative professionals aged under 30 through the Young Stars and New Stars competitions. However, both programs will be held as online contests. Applications will open at the end of May, with more details to be announced soon.

Now in its 13th year, AD STARS is accepting entries until July 10 in the following categories: Film, Print, Outdoor, Radio & Audio, Design, Interactive, Mobile, Data Insights, Social & Influencer, PR, Brand Experience & Activation, Direct, Media, Integrated, Innovation, Diverse Insights, Place Brand, Creative eCommerce, Video Stars, Public Service Advertising (PSA) and Pivot. This year, AD STARS will present its first Production Company of the Year award to the highest-scoring production company in the Film Craft, Print Craft and Outdoor Craft categories.

It’s free to enter all categories excluding the Innovation and Integrated categories, which cost KRW100,000 (approx. US$100) per entry. For more information, visit

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