As we approach the end of the year, it is awards season once more. 4A’s has just given out the Singapore Media Awards, the Festival of Media and Spikes Asia are both upcoming as I write this, and of course, nominations are now open for the global Mobile Marketing Association awards. This is actually a bit of a change from last year, as more of our industry awards include categories for digital and mobile campaigns. This development reflects the growing importance and awareness of non-traditional marketing.
I’ve said it before – awards are important. In a world obsessed with measurement and ROI, awards represent a way to consider something intangible. Sometimes, there isn’t a way to measure the factors that truly make a difference in marketing and advertising campaigns, and that is where awards can make the difference.
There is a certain amount of glitz and glamour associated with the awards ceremony itself, of course, and it gives everyone a chance to dress up and feel just a little bit special for one night. Winning an award brings with it a certain amount of prestige and industry recognition, too, something that can carry on after the awards night and help with procuring new business.
The more important function fulfilled by awards is that they unify the industry. Awards let each and every company within the industry to put their best foot forward, to showcase their very best work, and to hold it up for comparison with the best work that other companies have put forward. A panel of judges made up of industry peers ensures that the right comparisons are made. Industry awards judge work based on criteria other than the every day, not just in terms of ROI or conversion rate, but for how creative and innovative these campaigns are.
Creativity and innovation are traits that cannot be easily measured, and can only be seen by comparison with the other work done during the year. Side by side comparisons demonstrate conclusively which are the most creative, most original, and most special successful campaigns of the year.
Awards are also a good chance to see what one’s peers have been getting up to – and perhaps can provide inspiration for work in the year to come. Award winners often win because they have tried something different. Just knowing that some new technique is possible or some different practice attracts positive results can open up new possibilities. Learning from one another is perhaps the best, non-competitive way to benefit from awards, although winning is always better.