Want an outsider’s perspective on the Clio’s? Read Slate magazine writer Seth Stevenson’s report:
For an awards gala, the vibe here is distinctly self-hating. Even the eminent old-timers are cynical. At the Lifetime Achievement dinner on Sunday night (held in a ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton’s mammoth oceanside compound here in South Beach), the Clios honored Bob Greenberg. Greenberg is the chairman of the agency R/GA, and a man the New York Times recently called “Madison Avenue’s 30-Second Spot Remover.” Dressed all in black, he stood before the halibut-nibbling masses and proclaimed the 30-second television spot the “most expensive form of advertising” (often $20,000 per second, by his calculation) and also the “least efficient.” It was an admirably iconoclastic speech (and cheers to the Clios for feting an iconoclast rather than a politicker). But it was a downer. Where’s all the puffery, I wondered. Isn’t that what awards shows are for?
Luckily, Monday night’s event had puffery to spare. Throngs of tipsy “creatives” from around the world (many dressed in New York black, many others in skateboard couture) packed Miami’s Jackie Gleason Theater, eager to applaud the winners in categories such as “Internet Advertising,” “Print/Posters,” and “Design.” The mood was bouncy, as 1) no one was forced to ponder the demise of television advertising, because the awards for TV and radio work aren’t given out until tonight, and 2) there had been an open bar for a full two hours leading up to the show. When you’re trying to ignore industrywide malaise, liquor helps.
Frankly, if I had gotten an all-expenses paid trip to the Clio’s, I wouldn’t be suffering from maliase. But I might be liquored up.