Op-Ed: Do Awards Matter?

By Kiran Aditham 

While we’re on the op-ed kick, let’s pass the mic briefly to Scott Briskman, currently chief creative officer at our monthly, San Francisco-based contributor Extractable who’s also spent time as a senior creative at the likes of Digitaria/JWT and Agency.com. The question’s raised above. Let’s see what the answer is below.

We all work hard to deliver creative solutions that are compelling and useful. Successfully clearing the hurdles along the way of a project are rewarded by seeing an idea come to life and the positive results it generates.  The icing on top is when colleagues take the time to acknowledge our efforts with awards.

Question is, do the awards we win have a purpose beyond making us feel good?


It’s easy to be cynical about it — there are so many shows, so many categories, so many media types.

Don’t go there.

Realize that smart, strong creative execution is necessary for brands to grow and stay ahead of the competition. It’s not just the strategy and the user experience that will affect people. It’s the way people perceive your brand. Visuals must be married with the right words, the right content and displayed in such a way that people are excited.  And with all the stimulation that society is bombarded with today, it’s tough to get it just right, especially with all the varying audiences we’re aiming to please.

So no matter how smart the strategy is, how efficient the media plan is, or how great the technology can be…  if the creative falls flat it’s all for naught. Great creative is what generates an emotional response.  Great creative is what compels action.

So, do awards really matter?  I say, yes, more than ever because they point us to examples where creativity worked.  And, it’s important to have outlets that still celebrate it.

Congratulations to all you lucky award winners this year.  Keep up the good work.