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WHY FOCUSING ON AWARDS COULD ACTUALLY DO YOUR AGENCY HARM.

26th August 2018

I couldn’t make the Dubai Lynx awards night I had a business dinner with a client. I was a bit miffed so to make him feel the smallest pang of guilt for keeping me away from prom night, I asked him who he thought might win Agency of the Year and if any of his brand’s work had been shortlisted. To my surprise, he confessed to not knowing anything about it and he couldn’t care less. To celebrate a bunch of overpaid and underworked, pretentious creatives, indulging them in some sycophantic orgy of self-congratulation over work derived from phantom briefs with no business value was as alien to him he said as Martian poo.

As I stole away from the table for a swift toilet break it made me think. If our clients have such scant regard for awards if they literally mean nothing to them, then why do we get so worked up about them and spend a disproportionate amount of money entering them.

I’ve always considered “the most awarded agency at this year’s awards blah blah” at the end of the email quite a good little new business tool, but is it? It may occasionally have a negative effect.

To celebrate a bunch of overpaid and underworked, pretentious creatives, indulging them in some sycophantic orgy of self-congratulation over work derived from phantom briefs with no business value was as alien to him he said as Martian poo.

Anyway back to the angry client. His rant continued long after my epiphany in the bog, “Do you know award teams take the best creative talent in agencies and the real work for real revenue generating clients gets pushed out by the creative minnows” he whispered. “While all the hot creative love juice is flowing towards Abdul Jawarma’s House of Shawarmas, because you can produce 20 print ads that run once in Liberia in a magazine with a readership of four, the larger brands, the multi-nationals have to put up with the same recycled formulaic dross. Often not because we want it but that’s all my agency ever produces”. Interesting I thought, I’ll get my coat.

awards are vital, not just for creative progression but for morale

Personally, I think our awards are vital, not just for creative progression but for morale as well, they remind me of a British summertime. It’s only for a short period but it comes around every year. Everyone looks forward to it, everyone enjoys it, and it’s the time for optimism and brave new thoughts. Awards season is the same. It gets us out of the office, makes us all socialize with our peers and even befriend each other. If only we can figure out how to get the clients more involved we’ll be laughing.

 

Phil Lynagh
Director SHA.

“The opinions in this article are that of the author alone and in no way, reflect the opinions or viewpoint of the agency. Unless of course we happen to agree with those opinions completely, in which case they might, but otherwise they don’t”

 

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