Further Thoughts On Award-Schemes-As-Media

Last week I put up a post suggesting that winning awards for an ad can be a good source of cheap media that will be chewed over for years by a certain wealthy, influential, media-centric demographic.

As I continued to ponder this idea, two more things occurred to me:

First, I realised that I got most of my initial knowledge about Amnesty International from Indra Sinha’s early 90s press ads that I read in D&AD annuals. They were long-copy whoppers that detailed, in beautifully written prose, just how important the organisation was and the type of problems they helped to solve. So, as a young ad nerd who just wanted to become a better copywriter, I read every word of them several times over and now Amnesty is the only charity I donate to. The same thing happened (except for the donations) when I read David Abbott’s beautiful, Pencil-winning RSPCA ads, and on the American side of things, Washington’s Holocaust Museum and the Truth campaign against Big Tobacco only came to my attention through the appropriate One Show Annuals, yet the information they presented have always stayed with me. I suppose I paid them far more attention than I would have done had I come across them in their regular media schedule, making their relatively small entry fees money well spent.

Second, I was chatting to Mark Denton the other day about Nike Plus. We couldn’t understand how an invention that amazing, something which transcends advertising and marketing to improve and affect the lives of so many, could have just passed us by…until we read about it in awards annuals. Now, without wanting to flatter myself, I’m a fairly computer literate, media savvy person and part-time twat, who is interested in both running and music AND I own an ipod and some Nike trainers. You’d think I’d be a complete bullseye for Nike Plus, and yet they failed to reach me. Maybe I don’t pay enough attention to advertising, but I’m stunned that such a paradigm-shifting event only found me when it started to win advertising awards. Actually, I can’t think of that many significant pieces of advertising that have reached to me through the natural spread of the internet, other than Honda Cog and Dove Evolution.

So all I can say is ‘thank you’ to advertising award schemes for enriching my life beyond where it would otherwise be.

And to anyone with something interesting to say who doesn’t know how to reach me, make it into a good ad, run it once and send it in to Creative Circle, D&AD, Cannes or The One Show. I’ll read every word.