Well, they judge creativity without a benchmark of where the ad came from. No idea of how tough the birth of this idea was. It also tends to be based around a fixed set of creative principles.
To me, judging agency awards based purely on their creativity is rather like judging the quality of a school based only on the final grades of its pupils. Is the 10 A's averaging school in a rich area better than the 3 A's school in a poor area where English isn't always a first language? Surely understanding how hard it has been to get to the results, and the starting point going in are more than relevant to the success?
If you don't understand the initial problems and the process involved in an ad, is it not a little unfair to then reward only the outcome.
To me, an agency that gets a half decent idea out of a really difficult client is just as, if not more deserving of reward than the agency that makes a great ad for a great client.
It's why I keep hoping for good ads from DFS... when they get a good ad through we will know it deserves praise because of how hard it has been to sell in good work (so it seems at least!).
I am also a hater of the term 'regional' agency. A term that seems to brand agencies outside the M25 with a semi-rural status that is sometimes used in quite a demeaning way. I'm not criticising 'regional' awards, but it seems wrong to me that supposedly national/international awards ceremonies often fail to truly be so. We may have smaller clients who need more direct work in much less development time up here, but that does not mean we are less creative.
Judge based on the full story.
I'd like to see awards that balance out the skew towards those with great clients and challenger requirements:
- Best ad to get through a difficult client
- Best squeezing of ad copy past BACC
- Most creative incorporation of mandatory product features
- Best price / product ad (Aldi - Tea!)
- Most warmth created for monolithic soulless mega-corporation
- Least soul-destroying daytime TV direct ad
- Most improved advertising