Advertising and Awards

A prominent placement talent once told me that a candidate looking for a Copywriting role (and being considered for one at a small-ish agency) asked her what their awards budget was before his CV would be submitted. He never applied and who can say where he is now? Sure, you get into the industry and want recognition, but am I a hopeless romantic for thinking that such spotlight should be secondary to being effective, strategic and creative (at the same time) anyway? There’s a burning question that asks if award shows really care about strategy? If not, who – or what – are you appealing to?

Clients don’t like their money being spent for where awards will follow. Client wants bottom line effectiveness as payoff for the countless presentations by the people they see as weirdos with “fun” jobs. They reckon awards are just for the agency and don’t necessarily translate into a bottom line bulge. While on the pursuit of a statue, are strategy and creative speaking the same language? And while they are reaching for a dictionary to translate the other’s passion-pitch, the client throws their hands in the air and considers moving the account altogether, or worse still, running it in-house. Then again, there are brands like Nando’s and Kulula that thrive on conversations around their messaging and how this translates into actual income. But those brands and their bold recognition are few and far between. Can the same approach be taken with Johnson and Johnson? Clicks? Menshealth? Koo? So if you work on one of these – or similar – accounts, how do you earn your keep and satisfy your need for recognition? Start with a mantra. Drive home a message. Maybe win a medal. What do you think?

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