This year we won one Addy and nine Certificates of Merit (I think they call them Silver Addys now).
I’ll rephrase that.
This year we were honored for exactly two good ideas. That’s because the nine certificates were all for various elements of the same campaign. The one you see below. We won for a transit campaign for the bus shelters, for a newspaper campaign for the newspaper ads and we won some single awards for individual executions too. Oh, and in those campaign categories? Because there were, like, 15 pieces in the campaign and the Addy rules define a “campaign” as 3-5 pieces, we split them up and entered essentially the same damn stuff – certainly the same damn concept – in the same category three times. And that’s what is just wrong.
We weren’t the only ones. An agency owned by a friend of mine won 11 Addy Awards and a few more Certificates for a three-ad campaign created for a theater group. Singles won multiple awards and the three of them won as campaigns. Just as it was in our case, what was a print ad was also a poster, hence, another award for the same work.
Don't blame the judges. The know good work when they see it. You can't expect them to ignore creative quality. And don't blame anybody who sees a category for an award and goes for it. But what has happened is that the Ad Club’s (it’s actually probably the AAF that mandates so many categories) need/desire to make money has collided – in my opinion – with what I think is a need to establish creative credibility and value to an awards show. I mean, exactly how excited should anyody be for winning a slew of awards for the same work over and over because the media plan was ambitious? Not very.
What should be rewarded is the idea. Not the number of places it runs. If I won six awards in a show where a single piece could only be entered twice – once as a single and once as part of a campaign – I’d feel much better than if I wrote three or four ads that we were able to enter twenty-‘leven times.
The value just isn’t there.
The AAF/Ad Club ought to step up for great advertising over profit.
That’s just what I think. But I will certainly scatter those awards around our office where people can see them. So call me a name if you want.