Who needs awards?
A view from Remco Graham

Who needs awards?

Amid debate over industry awards such as Cannes Lions, Now's creative chief says they still play an important role for one subset of agencies.

Who needs them?

The arrows. The pencils. The plastic, the hunks of metal.

That just end up as door stops or book ends.

The Grand Prix. Titaniums. The Glasses. Golds, Silvers, Bronzes and Woods. 

Who needs the eye watering expense?

The awards budgets big enough to pay for someone’s full time job.

The unbillable hours of crafting case studies. Sometimes taking as much time to do as the work itself. 

The awards dos. The backslapping, trying to be part of the in crowd.

The winning agencies of that year wallowing like creative wildebeests in their self-congratulatory self-worth. 

Who needs all of that? 

We do.

The small shops.

The independents punching above our advertising weight.

All of us with our natural chips on our shoulders to show the big boys with their huge budgets, networks and clients that we can do just as well. 

The Creatures, Joints, Above and Beyonds, Isobels, Atomics, St Luke’s, Quiet Storms and Mr Presidents of our world. And us.

We all have fewer clients. Less money to enter. Fewer chances to get it right.

Fewer chances to produce work that goes beyond the everyday.

And that’s what makes the challenge so brilliant.

To be on top even when everything is so stacked against you.

And the truth is we all need them.

At every agency.

For creative prestige.

For the industry to remember that, even though "everyone is now a creative", only the chosen few pick up the Golds, Grands Prix and black Pencils. 

Creativity needs to be congratulated and vindicated more than ever before. 

It’s just at the smaller agencies we feel it more.

We feel everything.

You win here and everyone feels it.

In a big agency someone wins something and you hardly notice it.

It’s just expected.

Awards can totally change our business.

They’re an enabler, a flag of success, a calling card.

They get attention. They get the PR small agencies continuously strive for. 

We’ve entered lots of work this year.

Work like our Out of Office campaign for the Women’s Equality Party.

Work that’s been getting us a huge amount of PR and getting Now talked about.

This year could be a big year for us.

Everyone has their breath held. Body parts crossed and buttocks clenched.

Do awards still matter?

You bet your fucking arse they do.

Remco Graham is the chief creative officer of Now