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Winning Awards, And Why They Matter

To be frank, we win ADDYs* every year.
I had taken it for granted.

This year, like every year, it was busy—the deadline for submission is always around Serious Business, one of our busiest times. I felt like we did not have time to get the award applications together and in the 15 seconds I invested in thinking about what to submit, no project stood out in my mind. Carol Rice, our art director, and I actually considered not entering this year. It felt good to let it go and not have that on our already overfull lists. “Who really pays attention to the ADDYs, anyway?” we self-justified. 

But, then, we thought about this project, then that project that might have a chance at winning… We couldn’t let it go. Initially, we decided to enter two or three projects, and ultimately, we entered 10. Plus, we nominated five people for Ad Person of the Year (one of the highest honors in our industry for an individual who demonstrates excellence in their work). So, we committed and entered fully.


And then, The Best Year Ever happened

This year was our most successful year at the ADDYs. We won nine out of the 10 that we submitted, and beat out other agencies that had much larger budgets. And for the first time ever, we won Best of Show (which means that our work was selected by the judges as one of the best of all work submissions, across every category). And three of our team members won Ad Person of the Year, which probably means the most to me, because these three work tirelessly, and care endlessly about all we do, not just what they do. 


Why it matters

The next week, we made a job offer to a new project manager and she mentioned she heard that we “cleaned up at the ADDYs” and that she was so excited to work for us. 

Winning awards inspires people who might want to work with you. It inspires those who already work for you. It inspires your customers. And probably, most importantly, it re-inspires yourself.

Life gets so busy, and sometimes you forget how good you are. Sometimes you forget your “Why.” Awards like the ADDYs (or the Salon Today 200) are a great exercise in reflection—and putting your energy towards things you want to see more of.

*The ADDY Awards or the American Advertising Awards, are the NAHAs of the marketing industry, and are one of the industry’s largest creative competitions. They are conducted annually by The American Advertising Federation.

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