Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Award Winning Advertising.

Each Year, The American Advertising Federation (AAF) recognizes the best advertising produced in the country. Winners from 200 local events, if selected, go on to district competitions. Some will go on to national judging. An ADDY is a coveted award by creative people everywhere. This is perhaps the biggest advertising competition. But there are other national and international awards and printed annuals comprised of advertising judged to be exemplary too. So, why is it important? Is it relevant to you as a marketing professional? Award Shows are designed to showcase advertising and the people who create it. Creative people submit their work annually to be examined under pier scrutiny. Some agonize over it. Is it all worthwhile? Advertising is an anonymous art. Its creators are usually unknown to the public. Awards, like the ADDYs, provide recognition for the efforts of these generally unsung heroes.

You might have mixed feelings about advertising awards. The cynical will suggest that winning awards (for advertising) is self-serving. Is the advertising agency ignoring important marketing goals like increasing market share in favor of trying to achieve accolades instead? Let’s face it, there is no shortage of award winning advertising professionals whose marketing patrons have taken their business elsewhere. Advertising excellence and smart marketing don’t have to be mutually-exclusive, however. Think of the companies you admire the most. Take a look at examples of their advertising communications.

Where’s the best place to view such exhibits of excellence? Awards shows, of course. Awards shows and published show annuals help set a standard of excellence. They provide a frame of reference for creative teams who have to face the blank page. You should want your agency to be proud of the work they produce for you. If they spend the time and money to enter their work you should be happy knowing they feel it represents their best efforts. Cut your agency some slack. Do yourself and your company a favor and let your creative people find creative solutions. Trust their judgment. Let them know you expect creative and smart work. Challenge them to produce results and win awards. Tell them what you want the advertising to say, not how to say it. Measure the solutions against an approved creative platform strategy statement. If you are lucky, you’ll get advertising of which everyone can be proud. Maybe your advertising will win some awards along the way.

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