A Big Night For Charlotte Advertising Agencies


Tonight the men and women of Charlotte's creative class (thank you Richard Florida) will gather for drinks, hors d'ouevres, and mutual recognition of 2012's best locally produced marketing, advertising, and branding work. At birdsong gregory, our shopper marketing agency is sending some folks to this annual gala, but, truth be told, we've always had an ambivalent relationship with award shows.

There are at least 39 award shows in advertising. In alphabetical order they are; the Ace Awards, the ADDYS, the District 2 ADDYS, the Ad Age BEST Awards, the AME International Awards, the ANDYS, the Art Director's Club, the A+ Awards, the Athenas, Auroras, CA Annual, Cannes Lion, the Caples, Clios, Creativity, Cresta, D&AD, Echo, Effie, Good Samaritan, Graphis, Icon, Interactive Media and Marketing, Kelly, Marcom, Mercury, Mobius, New York Festival, Obie, One Show, Portfolio, Print Regional Design, Reggie, Silver Microphone, Summit, Type Directors Club, Telly, and the Visual Club Awards. And I'm sure I left out a bunch.

Award shows strike a nerve with ad people. Some see awards as an important and necessary industry acknowledgment of high creative standards and achievement. On the other side of the fence, some of us regard self-awarded industry awards as a self-indulgent distraction from what really matters – the client's bottom line.

As an executive creative director, I can appreciate both points of view, but I think the most important question any agency should ask itself is this: at the end of the day, how impressed are clients with creative awards and does the increasingly expensive entry fees and ticket prices to award shows result in a significant return on that investment?



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