I'll be at the Advertising Federation of Fort Wayne, Inc. ADDY Awards on Saturday night. I plan to post some highlights after we find out who the big winners are.
My two cents on advertising awards programs:
- Designers, copywriters, and other creatives take a lot of crap from people, including some who don't know what they're talking about. And since opinions about good design can be pretty subjective, it's rare that creative work is judged on an even playing field. The best thing about awards shows, then, is that they recognize the work of some very talented guys and gals who often get taken for granted, and who usually hear much more criticism than praise.
- That being said, awards shows in general can be kind of silly (ergo my lack of enthusiasm for the Oscars, for example). The key is to enjoy the night, but don't take it too seriously. Although the judges are professionals, their opinions are somewhat arbitrary (and I speak from experience, having been an awards judge once myself).
- One way to improve upon the current format would be to recognize marketing strategy, not just design. The best work may not always look all that special, but if the goal is to sell a product or service, that should be taken into account. If agencies were given a chance to tell a story about the strategy behind a campaign/ad/marketing piece, and about the results it delivered, I'd bet you'd have some different winners at the end of the night.