Tuesday, April 17, 2012


The attached picture is of 17 One Show pencils that my friend Tom Lichtenheld is throwing out.

What you do with awards says a lot about you. If they sit on your shelf, it says you’re desperately insecure and want visitors to know you’re a creative genius. If you use them as a doorstop, it says you want people to notice them but to also think they’re not that important to you. If you throw them away like Tom, it says you’re a super-successful children’s book author and you don’t need to monkey around with ad awards anymore.

In a business that changes in fundamental ways every day, it strikes me in this awards season that awards are kind of anachronistic. Sure they’re a bar of sorts and I’m happy to win them, like the Webby I just won for my Porsche Everyday site (cough cough). But I think there should be one awards show, and it should award the agency that is best negotiating this brave new world of advertising. And be done with it.

Maybe I’ll start one. Call them the Gary Awards. The first winner would probably be Droga 5.

By the way, I’ve thrown out all my awards too. Not 17 pencils like Tom, unfortunately.


Patrick Scullin said...

Awards are a sickness. I once worked at an agency that was so awards obsessed, that it did a poster to belittle the fact it had won a best in show award the previous year.

Why would it do such a thing? In an attempt to win a bigger, more prestigious award.

How screwed up is that?

G.D. said...

And if they had won the more prestigious award, what would they have done? Conducted a ritual sacrifice of a goat to win another award?

Patrick Scullin said...

Probably, Gary.

I've noticed a few agencies in my travels that win awards then display them in a trash can as if to say, "these trinkets are not important to us!"

God only knows how many tens of thousands of dollars these agencies spend to cop their cavalier attitudes.

What a business...

Anonymous said...

My awards sit in a box in a closet. Not a huge box, mind you. And maybe the box is bigger than it needs to be.

But I can't toss the awards out.

They are still reminders of times when a team of folks across different disciplines worked together to achieve something special. Something that worked. Something rare.

I can't disprespect the team so I can't discard the awards.

If I take the privilege to toss them out, that is saying that the awards were all about me. They weren't. Smart research met smart strategy met smart media met me and my partner(s).

Maybe it's because I haven't won enough of them to be cavalier and cool. But I dig my box. And the folks that partially filled it.

Downstate gray haired dummy.

G.D. said...

Sage words, Mr. Anonymous. As per expected.