Madison Avenue is now in the midst of the 2007 Advertising Industry Awards season.
There are literally dozens of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners scheduled between now and February 15th where some person, thing, action or organization receives recognition of one type or another. Ninety-nine percent of the time it is in the form of an award.
Ironically, for all the awards awarded, there is no awards competition for the Best Award. There's an award void. We believe the industry should take action to fill this gap and propose creating a new award that awards an Award, as an Award, for being the Best Award.
Advertising awards generally recognize the delicate balance between art and finance. We believe Pink Floyd's "Have a Cigar" should act as inspiration for this new award. It's an anthem whose title itself regales a celebration from one person to another; between artist and manager. Therefore, we suggest the award be called, "The Pinkie."
We believe this is a very important issue that the industry should take seriously. The number of awards in our industry is now so gargantuan that many agencies have people on staff who do nothing but submit work produced by their shop to awards competitions.
They often have the title of "Awards Strategist", or "Director of Awards Management". In fact the goal to win awards is now considered mission critical, particularly with the leading ad agency holding companies.
They view awards, especially those made of crystal glass and gold plated engraving as practical demonstrations to their clients of how important the creative solution is to them, versus the current image they have of just being money-grubbing bean counters.
New executive positions are being created at the large agencies to win more awards for their agency and for their clients. The new title is, "Chief Awards Officer," or CAO, for short.
The Wall Street Journal
This appears to run parallel to a trend used by employers to demonstrate appreciation to their employees, as reported recently in a Wall Street Journal article, titled: Games, Outings Keep Workers Connected. Here are a few examples mentioned:
1. Guitars: Two or three times a year, a guitarist visits the office, and employees gather around to listen.
2. Balloons and Baseball: "Re-birthday" parties with balloons on the employee's hire date.
3. Toy Racetracks: Installing racetracks in the office where employees can make design changes on the cars, which may be built of materials from plywood to carbon fiber;
4. Scavenger Hunts: Employees from different work groups combed the streets for four hours;
4. Photo Shoots: Photographing the team all wearing sunglasses!
Some say these "balloonogram-like" management tools appear to be "must haves," especially for Millenials who feel they should receive a reward for showing up for work on time!
One CAO interviewed by the MadAve journal was quoted, "We live in a culture today that requires "kudos" for everything, however mediocre or infinitesimal. Awards have an effect in the same way. For all intents and purposes they're a great way to stroke our clients egos."
MadAve Journal research seems to show that award-centric agencies add more to their bottom-line with healthier margins, even when the client's sales plummet. This is particularly startling with ad campaigns created which were considered universally off-strategy. "That's the beauty of having so many awards to compete in," the CAO said. "If you don't win one, you'll most likely win another."
The Mobius Awards
The Golden Marble Awards
The AWNY Awards
The Golden Drum Awards
The Adobe GoLive 5 Awards
The John Caples International Awards
The Steven Kelly Awards
The S U M M I T c r e a t i v e A W A R D S
The Tenagra Awards
The Webby Awards
The WebAward Awards
The Mercury Awards
The ADDY Awards
The OMMA Awards, The MIXX Awards, The ad-tech Awards, The Ad Age Media All-Star Awards, The Media Maven Awards, The Top 100 Marketer Awards
# of The Media All-Star Awards - 100+ Individuals Awarded
Media Plan of the Year Awards: 25+ Individuals Awarded
Annual Lifetime Achievement Awards:
8 Media Associations (example: IAB)
6 Trade Publications
10+ Advertising Clubs
70+ Individuals Awarded Annually (conservative estimate)
The Ad Age Agency(s) of the Year: 5+ (East, West, etc...)
The Adweek Agency(s) of the Year: 5+ etc...
The Adweek Top 10 Digital Agencies of the Year
The Mediapost Agency of the Year: 7+ Categories/Agencies
The Mediaweek Media Agencies of the Year
Numerous TV Industry Trade Pub, Association & Club Awards to be listed later
Numerous OOH Industry Trade Pub, Association & Club Awards to be listed later
Numerous Newspaper Industry Trade Pub, Association & Club Awards to be listed later
Numerous Magazine Industry Trade Pub, Association & Club Awards to be listed later
Numerous Radio Industry Trade Pub, Association & Club Awards to be listed later