WNA Blog

Wed 16 Mar 2016

Is Your Creative Agency Really Working For You?


Business Awards

Here comes another film awards season, and another round of indignation or outrage at perceived or actual oversights and omissions. And in the end, does the most ‘deserving’ nominee win, or the one with the best marketing program/budget? In this instance, we’re talking about actors and movies, but the same principles can apply to our own creative industry. 

The recent announcement by Amir Kassaei that his agency, DDB Worldwide, won’t be entering many industry awards this year struck a chord with me. He said: 

“Too many of us in the industry have bought into the idea that winning awards is proof of creative effectiveness, so much so that we’re willing to sacrifice our integrity to get them. And in turn that has lessened the integrity of the awards themselves.” 

At Bellman, we don’t participate in creative awards. There are several reasons for this, and while this is not to disparage or belittle other agencies which regularly take part in industry awards, we believe our primary function – our raison d’être – is to influence change, to connect with and affect people on a daily basis. 

This can be a beautifully crafted logo or a well-considered tagline that truly reflects a client’s vision. Or a paragraph of refined, thoughtful words that resonate with a customer and encourage them to engage and reflect, or simply have a better day. 

To quote Amir again:

“Our industry has lost focus about what really matters. All of us who are working in advertising and marketing communication have only one purpose: to use our creative talents and insights to build relevance and influence in today’s world that consequently creates substantial results for the brands, products and services of our clients.”

Sure, winning an award is nice. Who doesn’t like winning recognition from peers? But if the current trend of entering every possible category in the hope of winning an award, for the sole aim of being able to boast about it among our peers or impress clients continues, then our industry is in trouble. 

For us at Bellman, we pride ourselves on not only our creative talents but our empathy, at getting deep insights to the core of a client’s needs and really speaking to those needs. 

This is what should drive our industry, not self-congratulatory hubris.

What do you think of business award programs and do you feel they really recognise the most deserving? Would love to hear your comments on the matter.


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