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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  Why are awards for effectiveness not highly coveted?

Why are awards for effectiveness not highly coveted?


I just read your post ranking the most important awards and was wondering why the Effies were not mentioned? Why is it more important to win a Cannes Lion for a local ballerina school like Saatchi/NY just did than to boost the sales of a national laundry detergent and win an Effie. I can see why small movies that don’t really sell any tickets win Oscars. It’s not their job to sell tickets. But this business is all about selling. Period. Why don’t Creative Directors deem effectiveness as the number one priority?

intro Why are awards for effectiveness not highly coveted?The Effies are highly coveted and every agency that wins in that show proudly yells about it from the rooftops. Because they are ALL about effectiveness, not creativity per se, they aren’t mentioned in the same way as the other shows. You CAN create what we’ll call bad ads and still sell a product quite effectively. As Luke Sullivan points out in his book, “Hey Whipple, Squeeze This” (the title is from a successful, long-running ad campaign that featured a grocery clerk always getting caught squeezing the Charmin toilet paper), our industry cranks out work that sells too often without regard for the frequently offensive nature of the work. Most people hate ads because they’re so annoying and insulting to the viewer’s intelligence. Check out the Gunn Report for proof that the most highly awarded ads in the world perform the best. “Award-winning” and “Sales” are not only NOT mutually exclusive: they go together. Giant P&G, maker of oceans of detergent and famous for bad ads for decades started changing their tune in 2002, when they took a hard look at the Gunn Report and charged their ad agencies with winning at Cannes and the other big shows. Their work is often recognized at the shows now—once unthinkable. You can bet that sales are good.

So, there is no shame in striving to create the kind of work people actually want to see: it sells better than the average ad, and in a world where the consumer can elect to avoid your ad with greater and greater ease, the smart money says it’s time to snap out of it and get that it’s critical to create engaging work. That’s not to say self- indulgent, irrelevant ideas are good. Of course not. Smart, enjoyable/ thought provoking ads that you’d want to email to a friend are the bull’s eye. Chances are excellent the last one you were sent had a “chi-ching” sound following it.

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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