It’s no secret that agencies love to win awards. They do a lot of hard work for their clients, and it’s good to be recognized by your peers. But are these awards good for the industry? Let’s look in more detail at this debate.
The Pro's of agency awards
There are many pros to winning awards. For example, they:
- Build careers.
- Are a great new biz tool.
- Motivate and humble the agency.
- Help to attract and retain talent.
- Generate positive client jealousy.
- Compare you with your industry peers.
- Are your competitors saying you’re good – not your mom.
This list is taken from Anselmo Ramos (Founder, Creative Chairman at GUT) from his recent LinkedIn post about the subject. Although one might argue that he is biased, these are good points and many of the winners of awards have created some excellent work,
It is a way to highlight your work and build your reputation within the industry. Awards shows are often attended by some of the most influential people in advertising, so winning an award can help you make connections and get your work seen by the right people.
Awards can also be a great way to show your clients that you’re doing good work. Winning an award can help build trust between an agency and its clients.
The cons of agency awards
Critics argue that the industry is living in an “Awards Bubble” – a world where agencies focus too much on winning awards, and glamour has diverted their attention from what they really are which is communicators and consultants. They point out that awards often go to ads that are clever or funny, even if they don’t sell. Others argue that creativity can’t be measured by the number of awards won and even suggest that awards may be given for reasons not directly related to the creative quality of an agency…..
Of course, many people would argue that awards don’t matter at all. Clients mostly care about how their ads perform in terms of delivering their strategic objectives, rather than any recognition they might receive. Some agencies have even chosen to stop entering award shows altogether, to focus on what they see as more important work.
Are there too many agency awards?
There are many different advertising awards shows. Some of the most well-known advertising awards shows include the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the Clio Awards, and the One Show. These award shows receive thousands of entries from agencies all over the world, and only a handful of winners are chosen.
In addition to these, there are many other awards shows, some are managed by the industry publications, some are regional, some focus on specific niches and we even saw one being launched by a software company last year.
This leads to the somewhat justifiable argument that there are just too many of them. For example, this post on Fishbowl shows that this is something that industry insiders also feel.
How do agencies decide whether to enter award shows?
The sheer number of awards means that it’s just not practical for an agency to enter them all. The work required is just immense.
There are a few factors that agencies consider when deciding whether to enter an award show. One of the most important is how likely they are to win. Agencies want to put their best work forward, so they often only consider award shows that have a strong track record of recognizing good ads.
Other factors include the prestige and visibility of the award show itself, as well as its cost and the entry requirements.
Agencies often have to spend a lot of time and money entering award shows, and they may not always have the resources to do so. The cost of awards is a topic in its own right and is something that Carlos Pezzani speaks about in his book “You can Heal Your Agency”
Is the industry living in an Awards Bubble?
On the one hand, agencies often enter award shows because they want to showcase their work and build their reputation. But on the other hand, agencies also care about doing good work for their clients.
It can be difficult to balance the two, and some may argue that the industry has become too focused on winning awards. However, ultimately, the best agencies are those that can strike a balance between creating award-winning work and satisfying their clients. And while there may be challenges when it comes to the Awards Bubble, the industry will not disappear anytime soon.
While winning awards can certainly be beneficial for agencies, some people argue that it may also come at a cost. Critics argue that the industry is living in an “Awards Bubble” – a world where agencies focus too much on winning awards, rather than doing good work for their clients.
However, many still believe that awards are still important – both for their own sake as well as for the clients who care about them. Ultimately, it comes down to a matter of priorities and what matters most to each individual agency. Whether or not the industry is living in an Awards Bubble remains a hotly debated topic within the advertising world.
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