There are light and dark sides to everything. It’s good celebrate exceptional creative. But there’s no perfect way to do it. And without results attached, well, it’s really about what’s wonderful in and of itself, yes? Are scams a sin? Without question. But unlike poaching no one dies. And, while it’s easy to shake your head about the whole thing (particularly from the seat of a mid-sized indie shop) we have to consider what motivates the creation (and sweaty anticipation) of this kind of work. I believe it has less to do with ego and more to do with money. Awards (and the bigger the better) equal better paychecks, more career options, more sex and, yes, more weeks in France with the agency credit card. Follow the money. Clients pay for award-winning agencies (even if they might complain later that it’s all the creatives really care about). Agency CEOs and ECDs pay for award-winning creatives (even though they might later grouse about attitude). The truth is no creative is born with a need for hunks of metal and lucite. Creatives indulge in producing this work because they get “paid” to do it. We may not like it but, as agency leaders and clients, we need to acknowledge our responsibility for it. If we start paying for some other measure of success and we’ll see a change.
Steffan Postaer, the site’s host, agrees and says we ought to start calling awards, “rewards.” I’m in. From now on, I’ll rail against the inanity of Reward Shows.