Creatives

CD’s and ECD’s - how important are awards when you’re hiring a creative? I am currently at an agency that has no interest in awards and despite what I’m doing outside of work to win some {cont}

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I could care less about awards when hiring a creative. You are not a failure if you dont have indusrty awards. As long as your book is awesome and you dont blow the interview you’ll get the gig.

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@ecd1 you hiring? Happy to FL or open to FT. fishbowlacd@gmail.com

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We couldn’t care less about awards.

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That’s refreshing to hear.

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With the exception of D&AD, most awards are primarily judged by people no good Creative would be interested in working for. That’s why so much scammy crap, pointless virtue-signaling and half-arsed stuff from the usual coterie of agencies and directors wins every year.

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Totally agree. I look at the juries on most awards and have never heard of most of them.

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When I review candidates, I look for people who will provide value for my clients. People who I think clients would always want on their business. Creatives who understand business complexities, strategy, and have the ability to execute that understanding in press-worthy ways that transcend the media buy. It’s great if those efforts have resulted in awards. But more important if they resulted in impact. Award shows are a product of our industry celebrating our industry. They prove you did something the majority of the people in advertising thought was awesome. That’s certainly commendable. And you should be very proud of it. But we are a service industry first and foremost. Hired to make something happen. So if your book if full of ways you used creativity to make stuff happen, that’s what really matters. Awards are a nice accent piece on top. Also, it helps if you have a cool name. Like Max Powers or Gina Killthorn. 🤘🏼

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I want to know you’re hungry and know what great work is (and obviously can do it). Awards can be one way to demonstrate that. But they also come with their own set of problems- is this creative obsessed with winning, did they actually have the idea, can they also do the day to day client work I need, etc. I’d rather see a lot of smart ideas than 1 great one and a bunch of mediocre stuff. That, along with a conversation showing that you have the desire and personality to do good work, will get you hired.

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I’m not a CD or an ECD, but have a lot of say in whether someone gets hired, although it seldom is entirely my call. People’s opinions about awards will vary. In that sense it’s a little luck of the draw who or where you’re interviewing. However, in my opinion and in most places I’ve been, awards are at most, seen as a slight plus, but it is also weighed against many other things. If you have a lot of awards, the only thing that tells me is that you are good at playing the awards game. It’s a nice skill to have, but it is not at all representative of whether you’re going to do a good job at this (or any other) agency. If I don’t see work that totally understands the consumer’s mindset (award winning or not) I get worried. One thing I love to see in a book, is a boring brief solved in a way that most people wouldn’t have solved it. Something that shows me you can do a lot with very little. It’s easy to have a great piece in your book that came from a Super Bowl brief or a million dollar budget. It’s not so easy when you have a brief for a direct mail piece with a shitty budget and lots of restrictions. Also, as the W+K person said above: I have a buddy that got hired there last year. The guy had never even won a local addy, but they were good at seeing his potential, not his past accomplishments. Anyone can look at those, but not everyone can spot the former.

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I’ve hired over 200 creatives. I really focus on the ideas and craft I see in the portfolio. Some awards in there are nice, but not a deal breaker at all if you don’t have any. It’s more important to edit your book and don’t include work just because you produced it. Only show your most interesting work. And I don’t mind spec pieces either. Show me what you’re capable of!

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Yes. I need three writers, actually...

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For me, from most important to least: 1) Conceptual ability and craft in your work. 2) Work ethic/hunger. 3) Positive attitude and energy- if you’re genuinely nice, collaborative and take constructive feedback and mentorship. 4) Awards- they’re nice but not a deal breaker by any means.

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(I have a handful on my own volition). I have no awards for work that I’ve made. Would love to hear your thoughts (preferably without making me feel like a failure). Thanks!!

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@wk1 but doesn't everyone you guys hire need some sort of side hustle?

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It helps, but not always necessary.

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