Monthly Archives: June 2012

Best of Cannes: The Most Popular Song (JWT Puerto Rico)

The Grand Prix winner in PR-category was definitely one of my favourites this year:

Three reasons why this resonates:
* Grounded on the deep understanding of the culture (both popular & national).
* Succesful integration of the channels (Not just 360 but more of 365: great example how the different touchpoints compliment each other)
* Story-telling mode (The story started with a bang, had the interesting middle part and then ended with another bang)

Many times there is awarded advertising which can only be categorized as a stunt. This shows that you can go much deeper than just being a stunt, being a part of popular culture and being a movement. Making the leap from making advertising to making movements is a long and hard road. It is still the only road to take in 2012.

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How to Lose a Pitch?

If I would be a client, I would not have traditional pitch process. I would instead meet couple of agencies, which seem interesting to me. Have a long discussion with them to see how they view your business and the strategy. These discussions should happen with the potential core team that would be working with you (not just figureheads). This way I would ensure that the chemistry was right and their thinking is sharp. I think the best way to assess the ability to do good work is by evaluating the actual work the agency has done for their existing clients instead of the circus with usually is involved in the traditional pitches. If past cases appear satisfying then it boils down to the chemistry.

That being said, I love those NB (new business) pitches. They usually require plenty of work, fights with the team, all-nighters, panicking, plenty of killed ideas and lots coffee. But when you win them, it is one of the best feelings you can have in this business. Also other way around, the announcement of losses have driven me to the depths of depression. Then the only cure is to get back to the saddle and win the next one.

I have never believed someone who says that he has flawless track-record with pitches. That just means they are lying or just participating in small-time competitions. On the top, the difference is small. No matter how good you are or what you do, sometimes you just lose. And that´s part of the game.

There are certain mistakes, which I have seen doing repeatedly in pitches (and over and over again).

How will you surely lose the pitch?

1. By Being afraid of losing.
Usually when someone says “we have to win this”, everyone starts stressing. Yes, you always have to be serious about winning, but it is better to gamble than play safe. If you are afraid to be daring in pitch presentation, you usually will not be daring when doing the actual work. You do not change your agency philosophy to win pitches. Or you shouldn´t do mundane middle-of-the-way crap to make sure that you do not offend anyone. Or you should not be playing safe. The pitch is not only about client reviewing you, it is also about you reviewing the client. The cost of having difficult or bullying client who is not a right match for your agency will always be unprofitable on the long run.
2. By not doing your best work.
It is a false belief that the agency who does the best work always wins. Too many times the initial decision is much more actually about the politics. Or the client is just too damn scared to do the right thing. This should not prevent from always delivering the best work you can. There are two valid reasons to lose a pitch in my opinion:
* The work was too daring (This usually means that the client does not really want a real strategic partner, which pushes the creative envelope)
* Your agency was too expensive (This usually means that the client is a cheapskate)
3. Underestimating the value of the personal relations.
This does not mean that the pitch is about cabinet politics. However, sometimes you might have lost the pitch even before your presentation because the decision-maker is a fishing buddy of your rival agency head. Try to maximize the time you spent with the potential client to see are they really setting up a fair game.
4. Playing by the rules.
I have been part of winning pitches where we have only presented the strategy. Or where we have presented over 100 print ads. Or where we have presented ready-made film. Or where we have just shown the showreel and had couple of talks. This just illustrates the fact that you always have to set up different game plan for the different pitches.
Other thing is that you should take the pitch brief with a grain of salt. You should not present what client asks, but what he really needs. You might increase your risk of losing, but also maximizing the differentation from others. So usually if you are forbidden to change the logo or tagline, you should at least evaluate the possibility. And if you can improve them, go ahead.
5. Not knowing your enemies
Always make sure who are your opponents in the pitch. If the client does not say it straight, use your contacts in other agencies to find out. This way you can set up your game plan. Certain agencies have certain style, so you have to maximize the differentation from them. Also because other agencies are doing the same thing, I stress the importance of the 4th part. Do surprising moves, so your opponents cannot anticipate them.
6. Not putting a good show.
The pitches are many times more about showing that you care than showing that you can. That is why different stunts work well in NB-context. It is not because the clients choose you, because you have decorated your meeting room the resemble aeroplane (in airline pitch) or that everyone is wearing custom-made sports-sneakers (for sports client). By having a good show, you demonstrate that you really care.
8. Not putting anyone at charge.
The common pitfall of pitch is that there are too many egomaniacs in the same team (typical problem in every ad agency meeting room) and no one is really leading the group. This results in absurd fights about who is presenting and in what order. There has to be a designated leader for every pitch, who makes sure that the best work is to be done. He makes the final decisions. He also has to make sure that the presentation is done at time. Plenty of great work has been flushed by toilet just by last-minute panicking. At certain point your presentation is ready and you should always make time for also the rehearsing it. If you are presenting disorganized great thinking you will just seem disorganized, not a great thinker.
9. By going overboard
It is one thing to show that you care compared to showing that you know. It is usually always better to present less slides and leave room for conversation, than try to bore your audience to believe. The pitch is surviving of the fittest: you present only things which are essential in that you win. You do not present things, which are nice add-ons. So leave room for the presentation and do not go overtime.
10. By stressing
I have seen great presentations collapsing because the technology does not work. I think it actually the only thing you should take for granted in every office setting: video projector never works. So prepare for the projector meltdown. We will be assessed by our reaction to that event as well. If you are having nervous breakdown for a mere keynote crushing, how will the client assess your ability to cope in really disastrous situation?

So relax, do your best and kick some butt.

The best way to win pitches is straightforward: Maintaining good personal relationships and having a good reputation. This is achieved by doing damn good work every single day for every single client you have.

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Fifty Shades of Controversy

Have you read “Fifty Shades of Grey”?

As this question is asked, presumably most of the answers are lies. Who would voluntarily admit their knack for sadomasochism-flavoured erotica literature, which has started as Twilight fan-fiction?

I haven´t read the books either, although I probably should.

As a planner, you have to always understand what makes people tick. That is why quite often you have to watch movies, listen to music or read books that you really do not understand. Or wouldn´t encounter in normal circumstances. Sometimes you might actually hate them, as is the case with majority of new music around. Apparently 50 Shades of Grey is huge in 30+ married women audience. That is important to know. There must be definitely something in those books, if the trilogy has sold already around ten million copies around. And keeps on selling.

As I have not yet read those books, I can say just four reasons why they have been so succesful:

1. Sex
Sex always sells, in some way or other. And it has been a bloody good salestool for literature among all ages.
2. Internet-Born Phenomenon
The story started originally in fan-fiction communities. If you have ever checked those, they are really active and engaged communities. Fifty Shades started with Twilight characters having steamy affairs. After that it evolved to its own web property. When the book was published, the audience was already there. Quite different case compared to an unknown new novelist without the name or the following. Brilliant example about how the book publishing will change it nature. It also stresses the importance of the personal branding.
3. Technology
With e-reading devices you can actually read suspect material more freely. No one sees the cover of the book you are reading in the subway, so why not read “mommy porn” then?
4. Controversy
Of course I would have wanted to borrow these books from nearby library (only from my anthropological interest, of course), but actually in Singapore they are banned in libraries. This is due to explicit nature of the books and to prevent the teenagers to see them (as there is so much teenagers hanging in libraries in the first place). Not surprisingly the top 3 for the best-selling books in here, has been only Fifty shades of grey, darker and freed for weeks before and especially after the ban.

The best thing that has happened for these books has been those library bans all over the world. It has brought lots of free publicity in the media, because controversy is always something which interests press and the people. It has also brought new sales because you actually have to buy them if you want them. Compared to many other books, you are forced to do it.

Controversy is not always good, but it is better than no one talking about your product.

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Great Insight: Balancing Between Obvious & Obscure

“In the advertising business,a good idea can inspire a great commercial.But a good insight can fuel a thousand ideas,a thousand commercials”
-Phil Dusenberry

No matter what anyone says, finding good & relevant insights is hard work. And I think it is getting more difficult all the time. The audience getting more & more fragmented, products been around longer, new medias emerging all the time etc. However in combination with audience behavior, they are still out there. You just have to work harder to find them.

Obvious-A Great InsightObscure
A great insight is not totally obvious. For example that women are the main decision makers in grocery retailing is hardly a groundbreaking insight. Or that men like beer. If you would found out that men contribute actually much to buying certain items in grocery stores, or you found common characteristics of the women who like beer, you might be onto something.

Pitfall of the obvious
: Everyone has already used it.Lacks to surpring and differentiation.
Pitfall of the obscure: It does not touch enough amount of target audience. Lacks the human and business relevance.

There is now shortcut or proven formula to find the insights. Probably every planner has its own method. I believe in combined “gut-instinct” and “rational deduction”. Usually the difference when winning pitches or doing groundbreaking stuff is that you are confident enough to trust your own point-of-view when doing final decisions. When checking for the strategy I usually try to tick the following boxes. These are not necessarily in order and you might not always need to check out all of these (although it would be preferable).

Insight Check-List
Simplicity: Is it simple enough? (Best insights are usually told in couple of sentences)
Surprise: Does it bring new angle to the category? Does it really help to differentiate us from the others.
Action: Does it make people to act (buy, share, try, comment, give their contact details, go to the store etc. This is especially crucial in digital campaigns)
Business relevance: Does it drive existing customers to buy more? Does it bring new business? (The best insights are those which tackle these challenges)
Human relevance: Does it reveal some human truth? Can people familiarize with the insight?
Brand: Does it benefit the brand in the long term? Is it in the brand?

And although it might seem that I only present sports brands in here, I have to share this nice little retail activation that Puma did. Especially strong in simplicity, action and business relevancy (got also Silver Lion in Cannes for Promo & Activation):

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Why Ad Agencies Have Such a Crappy Websites?

Besides having cryptic names, it is unfortunately all too common for the ad agencies to have really horrible websites.

I think the most pathetic ones are the ones where the agency does not have proper website but instead they have a page which says:

“We are too busy with our clients, so we do not have had time to make a website”

That is like the most clichéd way to tackle this issue, and it has not been an unique one for over years. I am not denying that the most important way to get new business are personal relations & reputation (combination of mostly showreel & some PR). Inbound contacts to even prestigious companies are quite scarce. You have to fight for the clients and website alone does not solve your NB problems. That does not mean that it could not be much better sales tool for your agency. How many agency does proper lead generation of its own?

I think the problem is also deeply philosophical one. What kind of message do the marketing professionals send with lackluster marketing? Do you trust a doctor who does not take his own medicine? For digital agency this mistake is especially unforgivable. Your website should point the way to the future and blow the potential prospects away by showing the opportunities of how you are working without boundaries. Website should be your showreel.

I have not really been part of agency website projects* (being too busy with clients, I guess). However from my observation they usually tend to take really long, someone gets forced as a project manager and everyone else is dodging the responsibilities. Then project manager gets frustrated, depressed and/or fired, and the project is started once again. This can be repeated until infinity.

Making a proper website is not even that hard of a task nowadays. Your clients are interested about your work, the people you have and how they can contact you. These minimum requirements are easily fulfilled by an average advertising agency trainee (from start to finish). Probably the end-result would beat most of the current agency websites. And if you want to make a revolutionary website, appoint your best team to it and show that your agency really cares about the project. Agency self-promotion stunts are known to win trophies & new business in the past and at least I appreciate it more than scam work.

I hope there are some good agency websites around. If you know any, please add those in the comments, so I can start to changing my cynical view of them.

If your agency has a shitty website, how can you rationalize your client to buy a good one from you?

* We actually did a blog for TBWA\DIEGO back in the day, but the process was so quite  painless that I had nearly forgotten it. Of course with the blogs, the setting up is usually fairly straightforward, but the maintenence takes time. I think we did quite good job and were probably one of (if not) the most read agency blogs in Finland. Blog posts have been a springboard for two of my books, so I definitely recommend blogging to agencies with sharp individuals who have interesting insights to share and stamina to keep writing it. Emphasising that stamina part.

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What The Hell Do These Names Mean? (Agency Cheat Sheet)

Even though advertising agencies should be the experts in branding, the own brand names of agencies are traditionally quite cryptic. The usual method of naming are the initials of the founders like with the law firms. Whether the reason is egoism, tradition or just plain unimaginativeness, this list proves that in order to succeed as an advertising head, you have to have a distinctive name. No matter whether you are planner from Paris or copywriter from Portland, it is crucial to get those initials to the door.

I have collected most of the current biggest networks here and added some now-defunct but historically important agencies. There are many agencies missing, but add your own in the comment section below. I started compiling the list when I started to get lost of all the different acronyms and holding companies. I think the most funniest/annoying names are when two companies have merged and there might be two odd-looking sets of acronyms within each other.

NOTE: I have added mainly the ones which are based on the agency founder´s name, because those are the ones which usually are the trickiest to remember. And couple of others, if there is a good story behind it.

Agency Cheat Sheet: What the hell do these names mean?

1. Omnicom

Omnicom was formed in 1986 in a merger between DDB, BBDO & Needham Harper Steers and is currently the biggest advertising holding company. Jim Carrey worked in company called Omnicom in Truman Show.

BBDO: Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn. 1891 George Batten founded Batten & Co. Bruce Barton & Roy Durstine open an agency called Barton & Durstine on 1919, Alex Osborn joins during later that year. Batten company and BDO merged in 1928. Alex Osborn invented brainstorming technique.
DDB: Doyle Dane Bernbach, founded in 1949 by Maxwell Dane (promotions), Ned Doyle (account), Bob Gage (art director), Bill Bernbach (copywriter) & Phyllis Robinson (a copywriter). Heralded as the first creative agency, where art directors and copywriters worked side to side. Agency behind the legendary Volkswagen “Think Small” -ad.
TBWA: The EU equivalent of the advertising agencies. Founded in 1970 in Paris by Bill Tragos (American with greek-descent management), Claude Bonnange (French planner), Uli Wiesendanger (Swiss copywriter) & Paulo Ajroldi (Italian account guy). Started to really expand in 00´s.
Goodby, Silverstein & Partners: Agency founded in 1983 by Jeff Goodby, Rich Silverstein & Andy Berlin in San Francisco. Andy Berlin left and the company was renamed. Agency behind the famous “Got Milk?”-campaign.

2. WPP
Wire & Plastic Products was founded in 1977 and was originally manufacturer of shopping baskets. In 1985, Sir Martin Sorrell, the former financial director of Saatchi & Saatchi, bought the listed company and started building worldwide marketing services company buying notable advertising networks.

JWT: James Walter Thompson, founded in 1878. James Walter Thompson bought his old agency for total of 1,300 dollars (500 for the company, 800 for the furniture). Stephen King from JWT London has been said to invent the account planning function.
Young & Rubicam: Copywriter Raymond Rubicam & account man James Orr Young met each other while working in N.W. Ayer. Founded in 1923 although started to get succesful during the depression. George Gallup was working in Y&R, before founding his own marketing research firm.
Ogilvy & Mather: Originally Hewitt, Ogilvy, Benson & Mather founded in 1948. Anderson Hewitt was the first CEO and account man from JWT. David Ogilvy´s brother was the managing director of Mather & Crowther and S.H. Benson another well-known British agency who invested to this american start-up. As the history would show, only the first name is remembered.

3. Publicis
Marcel Bleustein started Publics in 1927. Current Publicis CEO Maurice Levy started in the company as an IT director. Group has a strategic alliance with Dentsu (5.).

BBH: Founded in 1982 by John Bartle, Nigel Bogle & John Hegarty. Responsible for the legendary Levi´s ads, which made me to take attention during commercial breaks.
Leo Burnett: Founded in 1935 in Chicago by Leo Burnett with bowl of apples on its reception desk. Agency behind legendary characters such as Marlboro Man & Tony The Tiger.
Saatchi & Saatchi: Originally Cramer & Saatchi founded by Charles Saatchi (copywriter) and Ross Cramer (art director). The collaboration did not work so Charles brought on his brother Maurice Saatchi (publisher at the time) and Saatchi & Saatchi started in 1970. Expanded rapidly through mergers & acquisitions and during the height was also trying to buy an own bank.
To make things complicated there are actually two Saatchi agencies at the moment. After they were ousted from Saatchi & Saatchi, Charles & Maurice founded another agency in 1995 called M&C Saatchi.

4. Interpublic
Interpublic started operating on 1961 as the world´s first marketing services holding company then comprising of McCann-Erickson and McCann-Marschalk. It went public ten years later.

Draftfcb: Foote, Cone & Belding was originally founded 1873 (Lord & Thomas Ad Agency, then) merged in 2006 with Draft, which was founded in 1978 as a direct marketing agency Kobs & Brady.
McCann Erickson: Founded in 1911, then H.K. McCann. Got its name because of the merger with A.W. Erickson agency. Erickson made fortune investing in other things besides advertising, such as the company that invented Technicolor film.
Lowe & Partners Worldwide: Frank Lowe, former account man for CDP, set up Lowe Howard-Spink in 1981. Merged with Ammirati Puris Lintas in 2000.
R/GA: Founded in 1977 by brothers Richard & Robert Greenberg (then known as R/Greenberg Associates). The agency is known for restructuring its focus every nine years, being currently in fourth cycle as an advertising agency with digital focus. It started as computer-assisted film-making company.

5. Dentsu
Originally founded in 1901 as Japan Advertising Ltd. and Telegraphic Service Co. by Hoshiro Mitsunaga. Changed its name to Dentsu in 1955. Dentsu has a near monopoly in the Japanese market, being double the size of the biggest competitors. Dentsu means electronic communications in Japanese, if I have understood correctly.

6. Havas
Havas was originally the first news agency created in 1835.That Havas was acquired by Vivendi in 1998 and is now known Vivendi Universal Publishing. The advertising group Havas is actually former subsidiary of original Havas (Havas Advertising, formerly Eurocom) but bought the rights for the name Havas in 2004.

Euro RSCG: Roux Seguela was founded in 1968. RSCG was founded in 1978 by Bernard Roux, Jacques Seguela, Alain Cayzac, Jean- Michel Goudard. Havas advertising arm Eurocom bought RSCG, thus the name nowadays.

Some legendary agencies:

Wieden & Kennedy: The agency was founded by Dan Wieden and David Kennedy, who met while working in McCann Ericsson on Nike Account. Nike become their first client and is their client still (with brief stints elsewhere, like Chiat/Day). Is surprisingly still independent.
Droga5: Founded by David Droga, Andrew Essex, Judd Merkel and Duncan Marshall in 2006. Do not know where the five comes to the name. The agency behind Jay-Z Decoded campaign.
CP+B: Founded in 1965 by Sam Crispin in Miami, although got famous much later when Chuck Porter & Alex Bogusky joined the company in 1988 as partners. Currently only Porter is part of the company. The agency behind Subservient chicken.
PKL: Papert Koenig Lois was the first agency that went public in 1962.
Wells Rich Greene: Stewart Greene, Dick Rich & Mary Wells founded the agency behind the “I love New York” slogan and logo. Later was bought by BDDP, and was closed in 1998.
BDDP: French agency founded by Jean-Claude Boulet, Jean-Marie Dru, Marie-Catherine Dupuy and Jean-Pierre Petit. After couple of rounds of mergers is eventually nowadays TBWA Paris and Jean-Marie Dru is the chairman of TBWA Worldwide. Dru is the inventor of disruption.
CDP: One of the most legendary british agencies Collet Dickenson Pearce was founded in 1960 on april fools day by John Pearce, Ronnie Dickenson & John Collett. Was the springboard for many advertising (and other) legends such as Sir Alan Parker & Ridley Scott. Was closed in 2000 and acquired by Dentsu.
Boase Massimi Pollitt: Stanley Pollitt, Martin Boase & Gabe Massimi founded the agency. Stanley Pollitt is said to be the inventor of the account planning function. In eighties BDDP tried to buy the agency, but it merged with DDB, the company was a while called BMP DDB (a name to remember) and is now DDB London.
Chiat/Day: Originally Jay Chiat & Associates, founded in 1968. Despite or because of the reputation of rebellious and pushing-the-envelope creativeness, the agency was also one of the first agencies alongside Goodby, Silverstein & Partners to introduce account planning in American agencies. Now part of the TBWA.
AMV: Abbot Mead Vickers was founded in 1977 by Peter Mead, Adrian Vickers & David Abbott and celebrated that with an and saying “Watch out Colletts, we’re only £34 million behind you.” Agency was sold to BBDO in 1991 and AMV BBDO became the biggest UK advertising agency in 1997.
HHCL: Robert Howell, Steve Henry, Axel Chaldecott & Adam Lury founded the agency in 1987. Was voted “Agency of the decade” in 2000 by Campaign magazine. The agency behind “You Know When You’ve Been Tango’d”-ads which were on heavy rotation when I used to watch MTV. Company was closed in 2007.
Ammirati Puris Lintas: Aargh, my head starts hurting reading this merger history (it is so freaking complicated). Read the whole history from the AdAge Encyclopedia.

Mark Tungate: Adland: A Global History Of Advertising (Highly recommended book of the advertising history)
AdAge Encyclopedia

Luckily we have gotten some new agencies which are not following the tradition of odd acronyms (Naked, Mother, Inferno, Possible, etc.). Hopefully that will be the way of the future.

That being said, if I ever found an agency, it will have my initials on it.

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When to Take My Name Off the Door

Leo Burnett “When to take my name off the door” from Lobo on Vimeo.

Leo Burnet´s retirement speech in 1967 is one of the classic speeches in the advertising. Even after 45 years it still resonates:

When you forget that the sheer fun of ad making and the lift you get out of it – the creative climate of the place – should be as important as money to the very special breed of writers and artists and business professionals who compose this company of ours – and make it tick.

To celebrate Leo Burnett Worldwide 75th anniversary in 2011 Leo Burnett Iberia & Director Company Lobo produced this nice animation piece.

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Pinterest Generation: Lazy & Self-Obsessed

Pinterest drives more sales than Facebook
Pinterest drives more traffic than Google+, LinkedIn & YouTube combined
Pinterest hit the 10 million unique visitors faster than any other other site in history

In retrospect, it is totally obvious that Pinterest has become so huge. It is such a great representation of the current times we are living in:

1. Many want to express themselves, few want to invest time in it

I think the main drivers in the rise of is the Pinterest is the growing amount of self-obsession combined with the laziness typical with many people. It is perfect tool for the modern man, who evaluates how his success by the number of likes and comments. Or values celebrity over his own health. Pinterest gives you easy tools for self-expression.

If we think about evolution of self-expression in the Internet, it has become more and more easier. The tools which have provided the solutions to the lazy users have been winners.

When people had own websites, you had to have technical skills to create them. Then came blogs, which reduced the technological barrier, but you still had to spend lots of time to actually write the blogs. Twitter made the expression even easier with the character constraint. Then came instant photo applications. Also social networks have undergone the same transition. MySpace had much more opportunities to pimp your profile, but Facebook showed that usually people do not want to spend time creating something themselves. When it was easy enough, everyone started to share what they had for lunch and started to also think that someone really cares.

Pinterest frees you from creating anything yourself.

In Pinterest you do not have to be a content creator, you just pin. You can grab whatever content you feel represents you and use it. No need to write even 140-characters or take photo. You are just a curator. Pinterest did to web services, what mash-ups did to music.

2. Visual learning and expression

The last centuries have been run by written word. Now we are moving more towards visual world, where we increasingly learn & get our information from visual sources. Pinterest is good example of it. Other main players in this change is Instagram (no wonder that Facebook bought it) and YouTube.

3.Interest-driven network

Underlying philosophy in Facebook is that we are defined by our social connections. Facebook works actively to blur all the lines of your different personas to merge it as one in their network. Pinterest on the other hand is build around our interests, which gives its huge opportunity for certain target groups. The great thing in the Internet was the opportunity to be something else or something more than your everyday self. Pinterest gives that opportunity back to us. If Facebook is reflection of who we are, Pinterest might be more of about what we want to be. Usually the hobbies tell much more about people than their CV.

The future succesful web services are build on the laziness and the self-obsession of the users.

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Do we need advertising awards?

As Cannes Lions is still on the full swing, it is time for the annual debate of the significance of advertising competitions. Those, who have won actually something, stress the importance and the correlation between awarded works and the business success. Those, who did not got awarded, categorize competitions as mere beauty competitions which awards only artsy-fartsy scam work.

Although never won in Cannes (yet), I still tend to fall more in the favour of competitions for the following reasons (including certain caveats as well):

1. Advertising awards are mostly internal rewards
We advertising people appear to be self-absorbed, self-confident and full of ourselves. The reality is that we are self-bashing, self-critical and always unhappy with our work. Many times we need someone from the outside to tell that work is sometimes quite ok. And there is nothing wrong in getting recognition once a year from the hard work you have done.

Of course, we should always remember to tell our colleagues when they have done good job as well. And for the managers: it is good to give raises for your best talent also before they threat to leave your company.

Competition is always competition. For certain types of people that competition brings out best out of them. Also for certain people, the competition is the best motivation. Not for the all though.

2. The events are a good way to strengthen the client relationship.
Majority of clients could not care a less about trophies you have. The awards are part of the reputation you have, but not even the main part of that. Awards are not the new business tool that many claim they are. However being on those events is a good opportunity to strengthen your client relationship. It is nice to be in more relaxed setting and celebrate your annual achievements.

If you happen to win, remember that big part of the victory is because of the client. Without daring client you are not able to do daring work. Remember to give respect to the client as well.

3. Truly groundbreaking work gets always recognition
I do not believe in making work to win awards. First of all,that approach probably will not win any awards. Second, if you do that, you are totally in the wrong business. At the end of the day we are in the business of seducing consumers to buy more stuff from the brands we work with. If you do not get kick out of that, I recommend changing jobs.

I believe in making work to solve client´s problems in the most effective & creative way. And there is high correlation between those ways. If you aim for that and keep pushing the envelope, the fame will follow eventually. I bet that there will be no weak work in this year´s list of Titanium Lions winners. At least last year all the awarded work was outstanding. You should concentrate your efforts on doing work like that. Making scam work or trivial non-profit campaigns just gets you further away from the real mastery.

Not all the good work gets awarded though. Nearly all the advertising competitions tend to favor certain types of creativity. This might make you live in an illusion, that it is the only type of creativity there is. As a planner, I always try to find the most effective solution for the consumers. Sometimes the best solution might be so straightforward and simple that it is not awarded because of that. Then your reward materializes on the cash register.

However, if you always concentrate on solving the brand problems on the most relevant & creative way possible, you will get plenty of opportunities to win awards along the road.

4. Competition entry requires marketing talent
It requires talent to make your entry pop out among thousands of other entries. You have to engage during the first seconds of your case video. You have to be simple and make your point across fast. You have to delight the jury with great insight and sparkling creativity. Also you have to make sure your PR works before the competition. If people recognize your work, it has much more better changes to succeed in the competition.

All the things mentioned before are part of the capabilities good agency should have and be selling to its customers. If you cannot do enticing case video, can you do good marketing?

Advertising awards should be reward for doing groundbreaking work, not the ultimate goal.

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