Sep 12, 2007

Poll Results: Do Awards Shows Matter?

About a month ago, I ran a poll in conjunction with several other ad blogs on the importance of award shows. It's completely unscientific and all that, but it's interesting to see the results: people who voted are definitely of the opinion that award shows are less and less relevant these days. In fact, only 23% thought they were still very important.

That's interesting for all of the obvious reasons (e.g. creating ads for awards shows might not be the career-booster it once was) and because it's just another way the Digital Revolution is affecting our industry.


Q: Does the proliferation of opportunities to see good ads on the interweb lessen the value of award shows for creatives?

  • Yes, awards don't really matter any more 23%
  • Yes, except maybe for Cannes 8%
  • Somewhat 22%
  • Too many different media options is what makes award shows irrelevant 14%
  • No, they're still very important 23%
  • Other 9% (see some sample write-in responses below)
• Except Cannes and the One Show
• If we're all aware of what's out there, it makes us mighty critical of how judge
• There are too many scam ads in award shows right now. It's killing their value.
• Seeing good ads online doesn't compare with getting the nod from industry stars


Nick said...

This poll's logic is broken. The idea that everyone's seen the work before and thus awards shows are irrelevant implies that the only thing people attend or enter them for is look at work or have their work looked at. That's like saying 'We've all got libraries, so who needs the National Book Award.'

Toad said...

Nick: What other reason is there?


I mean given the randomness of the judges for most major shows and the evident cronyism, I think most people are saying "I can determine for myself which ads are best." Before this they had to rely on the judges of the One Show or D&AD. The interweb lets everyone be his or her own judge.

fatc said...

@Nick: No need to attack the logic of the poll, since TT admitted (and most of us understood) it was never intended to be scientific or flawless.

Sounds like you're most bothered by the fact that 23% chose to say they felt that award shows are irrelevant. They had other options, though. So let's not knock the poll itself. Just say you disagree with the 23% that believe something you don't.

Regardless, if the show itself and the judging were all most Creatives cared about, then the shows could just send out a press release each year stating who won, and that would be that. But they don't. They print up expensive, glossy Annuals. Which are great. But unless your name appears in them, you ARE just using the shows/annuals to see work.

Not sure your Natl. Book Award analogy really holds water, but it does raise a good point.

With so many ad blogs out there, I'd say ad awards shows are quickly becoming about as relevant to the life of a working stiff Creative as the National Book Award is to the average working author:

Definitely a nice thing to receive, but not necessary. And certainly nothing to lose sleep over if you didn't happen to get one this year.

toad's sixth reader said...

awards are meaningless until you win some. creative industries need awards shows. we're insecure. it's a good night out. and it garners PR for the winners. so it's not a complete waste.

i think the "annual anticipation" aspect is declining thanks to the interweb. but what can you do. i see the D&AD annual is now only available to members. which is smart. makes me want to join.

Toad said...

@TSR: I'm seeing rogue sites with pages from D&AD posted for all to see in our near future.

Seriously though, awards only ever mattered if you'd done a fairly obscure campaign. Something big and fairly well-liked worked just as hard for your career even without the One Show blessing it. (e.g. it didn't matter if "Subservient Chicken" ever won an award. If your name was on it, you were golden.)

It's the smaller campaigns for the local poultry dealer association where D&AD or One Show was handy.

But now that they've all added interweb and direct and Rx categories, the general feeling seems to be "yeah, pretty much everyone's got a pencil or honorable mention or something."

Just not what it used to be.