Posted by Bruce Pilgrim
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Talking to My Cats: 12-10-07
It's awards season. (Yay!) At least once a day at this time of year we "communications professionals" receive e-mail invitations to submit our best (read: flashiest) recent work in hopes of winning prestigious awards (read: any awards). Every now and then, we'll even get an actual physical "invitation" in what I refuse to call "snail mail." (Comparing the USPS to snails is an insult to snails.)
My favorite invitation this year was actually messengered to the office by the local Ad Club. It came on a hanger inside a dry cleaner's bag and contained a poster-sized illustration of a pair of pants. Bursting out of the pants' waist and zipper regions are photos of various people celebrating in various festive ways. The theme of this year's awards is "Party in Our Pants." (Get it?)
Now, let's set aside the actual cost of this invitation, albeit much of it provided pro bono by a local printer and ad agency. You can almost picture the bored creatives brainstorming this beauty, or dusting off a discarded concept that no real client would ever greenlight. You can be sure it has already been set aside for entry in next year's Addy Awards "Best Feverishly Clever Awards Invitation" category.
I've entered the competition myself, of course. Because no matter how many times we all might aver that "it's not about the awards, it's about the results," it's about the awards.
We want to be liked and admired; to walk down the red carpet beaming humbly for the cameras; to be called up to the podium where we thank everyone who ever lived; to be in the spotlight, sort of, even if it's just for two seconds in some cheesy hotel ballroom hanging out with people we don’t know and wouldn't like if we did dressed in our finest clothes because we are too classy to rent tuxes and half drunk on watered-down bottom shelf liquor. It's glorious.
The coolest thing about communications awards is the high probability of winning. In some cases, I'm pretty sure that if you can come up with the entry fee, you can't lose. Of course, you might also have to pony up additional bucks for an actual "statuette." If I was a cynic, I might suggest that some of these outfits are only in it for the fees.
Now there's an idea. All you need is a website, all tarted up with some high-faluting name such as the International Academy of Marketing Communications and Public Relations Society and an online-entry form that accepts credit cards. Be sure to come up with hundreds of categories to ensure plenty of winners, charge at least a hundred buck per entry (to keep out the riffraff), and then mail everyone who enters at least a "suitable for framing" certificate of merit. Get them to cough up another couple hundred for their very own statuette (actual value $19.95), and you're in the awards business.
Other than the small issue of fraud (how many winner do you expect will complain?), and the problem of disposing of all the entries, this is the best racket since religion. Enter today. You may already be a winner.