On the other hand: advertising awards

14 September 2009

LONDON/WASHINGTON: Award ceremonies are a prominent feature of the contemporary advertising industry landscape, but the pursuit of such honours can cause agencies to lose sight of the most important aspects of their role, according to WARC's regular columnist, Tummler.

Tummler cites a recent, ill-received ad produced by DDB Brasil for the WWF, based around the twin towers, and which was set to have been entered in the next annual Cannes Lions, as casting "a new and unflattering light on agencies' addiction to advertising awards in general."

Not only are numerous national award schemes launched each year in various countries around the world, but events like the Effies, which originated in the US, and the UK's IPA Effectiveness Awards, are also taking on an increasingly global outlook.

While many of these initiatives can help demonstrate the payback derived from advertising, provide inspiration and offer an objective assessment of the abilities of the winning contributors, Tummler warns the quest for recognition must not cloud an agency's main focus: their clients.

In evidence of this, he quotes the words of the legendary adman Bill Bernbach, who argued "our job is to kill the cleverness that makes us shine instead of the product."

To read more about Tummler's assessment of advertising awards, click here.

Data sourced from WARC