Starting to see posts from creatives who won awards, and Im honestly alarmed by how I just do not care at all. I feel like the people who hustle and call in favors to make stuff clients wont pay for and have no interest in—and work even harder on case study videos over nights and weekends—are only rewarded (even if they get another job) with the expectation to do it again next year.

I should care more about “reshaping the industry,” but I dont see any reward coming out of it, just busywork.

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Me neither. I look at it like people who have no lives and will leave their agency, leaving a void for me to come in and freelance and get paid way more than they ever did and care way less. Is it apathy or perspective? Pessimism or realism? Either way I’m fine with it.

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Totally agree. I think awards are cringy and the amount agencies spend to enter is even cringier

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Its just becoming a totally separate thing from what we actually do. Not only time wise but money wise. Clients never cared a TON about awards, but they at least knew they were good for morale at their agency. Now they dont give a shit about morale (let alone the idea that a place is “their” agency), only saving money project to project.

So awards are totally self contained within the agency world. The ONLY benefit is gunning for your next job. But fewer places even care about “doing award winning work,” and those that do make those “efforts” separate from the actual work clients request and (barely) pay for. Its just hard to see any benefit.

Is there an agency (since Droga I guess?) that started small, won awards, and it landed them big, AOR clients who did better work? Is there a success story in the last few years?

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I have to say, having been on both sides throughout my career, when you’re on the winning side it really feels good. But! Only when your work is real, for a real client. Inventing stuff for award shows is awful and bad practice and the opposite of what we should be doing as an industry. So I’d say, be alarmed if you’re not being given opportunities to do the good work.

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Ad agencies continue to enter and win them to attract talent, and ostensibly new clients. While they do attract talent, clients are really interested in how you’re going to help them make their numbers this quarter. So I guess they are a necessary evil.

I’ve been at a few big agencies that prioritize awards, and every year they’re won they always bring in a few new client and talent. You spend money to make money. They’d be gone if they didn’t have ROI for the big networks.

Is BBDO still entering them? Honest question. Haven’t seen much from them lately.

Yeah plenty. But I must say, it doesnt seem like we create stuff out of whole cloth just to submit. Like Sandyhook is the big winner for “cause” type awards, but thats an actual (multiyear) client.

Ive worked other places where the entire idea, and parts of the work—like radio or billboards—was done just to pad out the case study video, and its gross

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