What's Wrong With Creative Awards?

I was thinking back to the ad from our Tuesday post, the Lidl price match ad poking fun at Morrisons. These are the kinds of ads that make me frustrated about the current state of creative awards schemes.

That Lidl ad has, rightly, been praised all over the internets by advertising people. It is a proper piece of advertising, an example of advertising smartness and creative craft. But do you think we'll see it win any awards? I doubt it.

And that's the problem. All the awards seem to go to some wizz-bangy execution, or cute art direction, or epic production job that is simple enough for jurors from five continents to get. Whereas less showy ads like this will invariably be overlooked.

Creative awards are rewarding the wrong kind of creativity. They award stylists and big production jobs, not thinking or smartness. They award showy craft over craft that is brilliantly invisible. They award the novel over the excellent.

That's why I don't think creative awards are relevant or useful any more. That's why we don't enter them. And I simply don't care whether some dickhead from Brazil or fashion victim from Shanghai thinks it's super-awesome.

The creative award scheme that awards that Lidl ad, though, that I would consider.


  1. I couldn't have said it better myself. Great words.

  2. "The creative award scheme that awards that Lidl ad, though, that I would consider."

    There's your answer - start a new type of award show.

  3. One that rewards the right kind of creativity.

  4. I disagree. I'd be surprised if this didn't win something. Sure, it might get lost in the shadows of a thousand print scampaigns from Brazil, but it's got a fighting chance if it gets in front of the right people.

  5. Creative Circle?

  6. I totally agree.
    don't forget that the biggest award shows are mainly political. years ago when in Cannes I amused myself in how Indian advertising suddenly got a huge amount of awards. than few years later it was all China.
    checked the shortlists and saw bunch of much better work gone unawarded.
    it all coincided with major networks opening their shiny new offices in these two collosal markets, trying to fool the biggest clients into believing that their new "teams" are wunderkiddos or something.
    it was pathetic to watch, to be honest.
    Lidl ad is super-awesome, if I may.


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