Awards for the  Un-awarded

Awards for the Un-awarded

Advertising awards are a celebration of the best: but this can have a two-fold effect, in that it can make some people feel—well, the worst.

It's hard to get a great idea up, so when you win an award you feel on top of the world.  But how do you feel when you haven't won any? Gabberish conducted an anonymous survey to get a sense of how the many un-awarded feel. Below are some of their reflections.

Words by anonymous creatives. Drawings by Siobhan Fitzgerald.

Awards make me feel stressed. I feel pressure to win them, even though I know it's not a real measure of the work was effective, smart, creative, or original. I also feel pressure to win them to advance my career, however winning doesn't seem to make a huge difference. Not winning seems to matter more. 
– Copywriter

I feel inspired and motivated by them but I hate feeling pressured to win them and I get the feeling that they’re also the emperor’s new clothes—agencies want us to think they’re important so they can pay us less. They want us to think awards are payment enough.
– Creative Director

AwardsAsCurrencyAgain.png

It seems like a "right time, right place" kind of thing. I'm not ashamed I haven't won more, but I'd like the opportunity to.
– Copywriter

I feel like success is constantly out of reach. It’s a constant stretch. At times it drives me with a relentless madness, in other moments there’s the delivery of satisfaction. Mostly it’s a need to strive for something greater than what exists.
– Senior Art Director

 Just out of reach...

Just out of reach...

I find myself comparing myself to other creatives, but most of them are guys. The kind of guys that are able to strike up that "chummy" relationship with their boss over a beer. They've won lots of awards (I believe) because they've been given the opportunity. They have bosses that instantly believe in them. I think it's a bigger problem than awards.
– Copywriter

I feel like shit when I read someone's bio and compare what awards they've won. I have to actively challenge my thoughts if I see a more senior creative with few awards.
– Copywriter

It's annoying when your boss's attitude about a project changes because it's won an award. They should know if it's good or not without one. And there are many ideas that are great but aren’t suited to enter into shows.
– Art Director

 When winning makes an idea good.

When winning makes an idea good.

Awards make me feel conflicted. Jealous but excited. You see ideas you've had get awarded for others. But then when friends or colleagues win it makes me proud and happy for them. But then also hate them just a smidge. So yeah, conflicted.
– Art Director

They're a goal, but not a necessity. Industry recognition is always good, but when it comes too much and too often it loses its meaning.
– Creative

Sometimes it's overkill. Like when the same thing keeps getting awarded, I lose interest. It does make you think, shit, do I have anything in the bag this year. It's not a bad self evaluation/check in.
– Art Director

 One idea, one thousand awards.

One idea, one thousand awards.

It’s uncomfortable, because a lot of the time people win shitloads, because they’ve had time to make the case videos and all of that. Juniors are hardly ever given time to make case videos. It also always reminds me of all the great ideas we’ve had that the client has killed, and then sometimes you see something similar win at Cannes.
– Junior Copywriter

Awards make me feel anxious, excited, and depressed.
- Copywriter

No other industry feels the need to pat themselves on the back as much as we do. Creatives feel the need to temper eating client’s shit with endless peer recognition.
– Creative Director

 So much to celebrate.

So much to celebrate.

They're great if you have a good idea that your boss loves. Terrible if you don't.
 – Copywriter  

What do awards mean to me? Re-cutting effing case studies 100x. Having a boss who has anxiety. Often, disappointment.
– Creative Director

I think people are way too invested in awards, but it’s actually just our industry patting ourselves on the back. Nobody else in the world cares about a Gold Lion.
I hope that we can focus more on the work and trust ourselves that they are great, and not need to enter it into award shows to prove it to ourselves.
– Copywriter

 

 

Gabberissue #3:  Awards

Gabberissue #3: Awards

End of a golden era: Terry Savage

End of a golden era: Terry Savage