Much ado about award winning creative

There's a lot of ink (well, online, i.e.) at the moment on agencies and award-aimed creative work. Is it kosher for agencies to do pro-active, award-driven work that's not really part of the client's brief? Who commissions such work? Who checks it? Is it released in pucca press? Does the agency have a broadcast certificate? Am OK from the client? A blessing from the client? What's the thin line? And when does one cross it?

Creatives around the world are driven by podium glory. Not all work is done for clients with the brand at heart. And that's not just work that's entered into the grand raffle of ad awards. Day in, day out, creatives do work that is self gratifying. I'm not for a moment saying all work is like that, but a lot of it is. Often, it's off brief, off brand strategy, but the work looks great, and the copy is cleverly crafted, and it's all so much a work of art, rather than an effective communication that sells the brand. So, no big deal, you'd say, when the creatives go one step further and do the same thing for award entries?

But isn't it a push too far? Award winning entries are meant to be work that is done for the brand, on brief, and ones that are effective, ones that resonate with consumers, and leave a mark. Not just beautiful work. Effective work. Real work.

The standards in the Middle East over the last few months have been great. We've seen some gorgeous work entered for the Lynx Awards and for Cannes. Winning work, real work, good stuff. But a few have raised their eyebrows and questioned some of it. FP7 Doha's entry for the EA games which won massive accolades at Cannes has now come up as a hot topic for debate. It's a bit late in the day, isn't it? Crying over spilt milk, or, to be more precise, a gold lion? Apparently EA games have disowned it, they didn't ask for it, they had nothing to do with it. Talk to the team at FP7 Doha, and you'll hear a different story. Yes, they admit, they didn't put in the logos they should have, but, the ads, say FP7 were not faked.

More actually, where creative directors are standing up and saying Enough! with the metal chasing. They want to do real work. I read about a culture in the region that's "ill equipped" to do real work. I so buy that if the winning directors then go back to their creative pods and churn out mediocre ad after ad. That's the line they need to be aware of. And that's what should really be awarded.

Post a Comment