Most of the people in the creative and media industry view Advertising awards as something that provides the industry an additional currency. People argue that awards are just one of many tools to measure creativity.
On the other hand, almost all Advertising awards are criticised for being an exercise in self-importance. There is a strong view that derides the idea of creativity that takes birth only to exist in the sphere of awards. It is clear in many cases the work produced is a pure creative exercise and not the natural outcome of a professional work stream. The account management people who have convinced the clients to publish those ads should be awarded instead of the creative.
But this view—outdated and fatigued as it is—doesn’t take into account the role these awards play in the multi-billion industry.
Awards inspire the industry people, acknowledge their potential beyond the quantifiable business measures, and encourage them to think afresh and beyond the convention. Awards like Cannes Lions, One Show, D&AD, etc. provide great worldwide platforms for the greatest creative, Advertising and marketing professionals to come together, learn from each other, and understand and analyse the growing trends in the industry. These are also unique opportunities to network with clients, customers, and other brilliant minds from the industry in a casual environment. These are spaces for off the record conversations, and for discussing creative ideas with the key players who move the industry forward. Also you get exposed to great creativity as an added value.
David Grey of the communications company Open says awards are the global litmus tests for creative work that industry peers deem to be of world-class standards. It’s all about perceptions.
Awards are also charged with an environment that fosters osmosis, exposure, conversations, workshops, and lectures. They are also melting pots for creative and professional cultures.
Advertising awards recognise and amplify those who have successfully managed to stand out from the background noise solely on the basis of their creative excellence. The work highlighted is often of the highest calibre. Imagination and out of the box thinking is rewarded for ads that may not have been conceptualised the way they are now ten years ago.
The awards also generate a pruned list of exceptional agencies for clients who they would like to work with. Awards celebrate the combined power of strategic and creative thinking to build brands.