In advertising, all that glitters isn’t gold

Over the years, a lot has been written about creative advertising awards. And a lot has been written about how they’ve become an industry in themselves.

Copywriters and art directors are often indoctrinated into a strong award-seeking ethic. But creative awards themselves are quite worthless (see the video below), so why the desire?

Well, part of it is due to a creative person’s inherent need for recognition of their work and to find an audience for it. But part of it is also due to the fact that a copywriter, art director or creative director’s salary is often linked directly to winning creative awards (just like a marketing manager’s KPIs might be linked to phone calls, or sales, or hits on a website).

The problem arises when the work collecting the gongs isn’t the same as the work that gets noticed by the target market.

We need to remember that our challenge is to use creativity to solve our clients’ business problems. If you concentrate on that, the rewards can be much richer than just collecting a shiny doorstop. Or as one of my former CDs put it to me, ‘What would you rather have? A Cannes Lion or a yacht?’

My response: ‘If you do it right, you can have both.’

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2 responses to “In advertising, all that glitters isn’t gold

  1. I always quite liked Lester Wunderman’s quote on the subject Dust, “If it isn’t effective, it isn’t advertising.”

    Tim

  2. True, Tim. Yet Cannes now find it necessary to have an ‘effectiveness’ category. So what are the other categories for? – Work that’s clever in a ‘show-your-advertising-buddies-kind-of-way’ but has no relationship with the business world at all?

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