A Lovely List Of The Top Advertising Awards
Put yourself in a marketing client’s shoes. They want to find and select a new advertising, digital or design firm. How to do that? They ask friends; take hours searching the Internet; maybe your agency got its account-based marketing down and the client now knows about the agency; the client hires an agency search consultant or… maybe they look at the top advertising and design awards to find an agency that a third party loves. A third party that gave the agency an award and big kisses. In a world of over 4 trillion ad and digital agencies, a client needs some help.
This list provides a list of the top advertising and design awards plus: deep thoughts on why you should even bother doing the advertising award game. This game is costly and time-consuming.
Across my global and regional advertising career, I’ve won big creative awards like the One Show, EFFIES and regional ad awards. There is a system to winning… Here are my views on advertising awards objectives and strategies. It is mindblowing how many advertising agencies do not know how to enter an award show — to win.
Note: This advertising awards list gets updated. Let me know if I am missing an award.
Note #2: I write about advertising awards and other agency and personal branding strategies to make you and your agency more famous in my new book. How To Build A Kick-Ass Advertising Agency
Another note: This is obvious but is worth mentioning. Even if you do not want to send out an award entry, these websites will point you to a great place to steal ‘winning’ ideas.
Advertising Awards Are Good… But, Maybe Start Here: Why Enter Award Shows? Do You Have A Strategy?
Winning the right advertising awards is good for business and agency and client morale. Just make sure you know why you are entering. Too many agencies don’t approach the award process with a plan or objectives beyond the search for ego fulfillment. This can make the whole effort a bit too C R A Z Y. But, you know that. Or, do you? Go here to hear an advertising award judge on his less-than-optimal experience reading agency entries.
I have a memory about the power of awards from my first day at Saatchi & Saatchi London way back in the 1990s. I walked through the creative floor and noticed a tall glass case randomly stuffed with lots of creative trophies. This haphazard display delivered two messages: 1) Saatchi wins lots of awards and 2) they don’t take these too seriously. Of course, the second point was bull shit. Saatchi was always about looking like a winner and the award case proved that point in a cheeky manner. It worked better than the usual and obvious shelf of awards that sit behind the ad agency receptionist’s head.
I have always had mixed feelings about advertising awards. On one hand, they are, like winning an Academy Award, i.e. ridiculous. No one ad, digital program or actor is the “best.” On the other hand (the one with the wallet), they are way expensive. As an agency owner, I often cringed when a creative director came to me with his handout asking us to spend hundreds on award entries.
However money aside, advertising awards have some very big advantages for agencies, clients, and creative-class workers:
The awards celebrate creativity itself. Creative strategies, art, copy and the media platforms that deliver the work.
They help our most talented people get noticed.
They help smart well-designed agencies get noticed by occasionally confused clients who need second party confirmation when selecting an agency. To me, this is a very important point and one that makes writing those increasingly expensive entry checks worth the cost. Awards should be a big part of an agency’s business development program – not just an ego stroker.
To put all of this go-for-it into context, I wrote about the Portland agency Pollinate a few years back that has done very well (!) by hammering Advertising Age’s Small Agency awards show. The blog post, “How To Win The Ad Age Small Agency Award? Twice?” is a demonstration of the value of entering and winning an award that has meaning for prospective clients because it is delivered via an industry-leading publication. Check it out.
Last point before the list. Award judges have told me that around 30% of agencies do not know how to create an entry that is designed to win. Poor copy, poor strategy, even typos. Many agencies rush through the process at the very last minute. Do you? Do you have an annual award plan? Who is in charge?