Awards do serve a purpose. But when I say a purpose, it means it’s a very personal purpose. And personal purpose would mean a very creative to creative purpose. But that’s not the real job of advertising; it might be good for motivating your craft, talent or doing a reality check at one’s personal career. So, I reiterate myself, it’s a personal gain for a creative professional. But when you go beyond that personal gain, developing it as a gain for your brand, that’s when the award benefits. So, my point here is that not every award is better.
Awards creating a perception as reality only becomes significant with the media coverage that comes out of it. If there is nobody writing or covering awards, those awards are insignificant. What is an awards show? In a close room, there are maximum 300 awards being given and winning awards. Today, while I am talking about this topic, I am sure in some part of somewhere, somebody is winning an award.
But unless someone covers it, that award is insignificant. While we say awards do matter and bring recognition, my point is where does this recognition come from? It comes from media coverage. So yes, it does add to our portfolios and recognition, and even more it also opens doors to newer opportunities, but it does not end there because it’s a full circle.
You might get a new assignment based on that, but we have to prove that our craftsmanship works for that particular assignment too. We are in the publicity media business, where anything that will be publicised will have an impact, no matter how! So, coming back to awards creating good advertising perception is like a ball rolling. All I can say is that eventually water will find its level.
One might get an instant recognition from there, but eventually one should not forget that we are in a brand building business; we are in a long term business and not in a short term business. However, there wasn’t a phase where I wasn’t excited about awards; I am still excited about awards, but I am excited about real awards and I have started understanding the difference between real awards and notional awards. So, even if the awards are a perception, it is a short term perception. At the end of the day, it is about how much you deliver for the brand.
(Prasoon Joshi is Executive Chairman and Regional Executive Creative Director, Asia Pacific, McCann Erickson.)