Rob Frankel - Branding Expert

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The Myth of Award Shows

There is nothing quite as pathetic as a bunch of ad hacks sitting around a banquet table, congratulating themselves on work that nobody really understands -- or cares about. Don't get me wrong, I love this business. But the depth of inbreeding has gotten to such a point where much of what passes for "great ads" relies less on accurate, clever execution than it does on oblique references and celebrity "me-too"ism. Stuff you could do in your sleep. This is the Emperor's New Clothes all over again: everyone's busy admiring the King's new suit, even though everyone knows he's not wearing anything. And so they sit, each one perpetuating the other one's myth, convincing each other that his work is better than hers.

In real life, nobody cares about awards. People who win awards tell their mothers about them so that their mothers have SOMETHING to tell their friends when THEIR friends brag about their kids who are doctors. It somehow legitimizes the occupation. People who DON'T win awards sit around and grumble how they mean nothing. The fact is that awards do NOT help agencies get accounts. Third party endorsements and public relations most assuredly DO help.

When creative directors spews that bilge about awards, I can guarantee he's right about one thing: it's a lot cheaper to dangle award carrots in front of copywriters and art directors than it is to pay them in cash.

Rob Frankel

Copyright 1996, FRANKEL & ANDERSON * Advertising, Marketing & Killer Creative * Toll-Free in USA & Canada: 1-888-ROBFRANKEL * Telephone: 818-990-8623 * FAX: 413-778-0909 *  

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