Do Advertising Awards Build Your Brand?
The truth behind awards, their true value, and what they mean to a client’s brand.
brandRUSSO was born in February 2001, and like most agencies, we entered our work in all of the award shows, winning more than our fair share of local, regional and national advertising awards. We earned a great haul of glass and metal acknowledging the impressive work we created for our clients. The Telly awards are a favorite being produced by the same company that makes the Oscar. They have some real heft to them. But, year after year, winning dozens and dozens of awards began to feel empty and meaningless (and expensive to enter). Just because some out-of-market creative director “judged” the work to be worthy of recognition – what did that really mean?
How did it benefit our client for us to win a few hundred awards?
In 2008 we stopped entering competitions. Our focus has always been on the results of the work. Without the emotional and economic toll of awards submissions, we were able to invest more in education, development, and focus on what really matters: improving our clients’ bottom line.
I get it, people love to win awards for their work. From Academy Awards for film, Tony Awards for Broadway, and Grammy Awards for Music, every industry takes the opportunity to congratulate the best in their business. Some awards focus on critical successes and some tend to lean towards the commercial successes. Occasionally some winners are successful on both fronts, but that is rare.
When it comes to advertising awards, the commercial success of a campaign is not taken into consideration. From local Addy (American Advertising Federation) to The International Cannes Lion Grand Prix, industry insiders judge the submissions and declare the winners based on the criteria of their beauty.
In 2018, CP+B, a renowned powerhouse global advertising agency, followed our lead (although they might not have realized it) and announced they would cease all awards show submissions moving forward.
“Like most agencies we’re addicted to award shows, and with a new award popping up every week it’s difficult to stop. That’s why we’re so excited about the Grand Quitty. It allows us to feed our ravenous egos and at the same time get off the award-show treadmill that last year cost us 3.8 bazillion dollars,” Bogusky said in a statement.
A recent Adweek article, “Are Cannes Lions Grand Prix-Winning Ads Affective?”, reports on a study gauging the effectiveness of the biggest global ad campaign winners. The report answers the question of whether or not these Grand Prix winning ads are as effective with consumers as they are with an esteemed panel of creative superstars. Spoiler Alert: they are not.
What does all of this mean? When picking an ad agency, ask yourself what is more important to you. Do you want an ad campaign that wins a ton of awards for the agency or one that increases sales for your company?
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RUSSO is a strategic branding agency that uses consumer insight to change the conversation; forming emotional connections with the target audience. To learn more, click HERE to learn more about our process, RAZOR BRANDING.