Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Winning ways

Time to muse on awards... again.

And my feelings are no less mixed than they were the last time.

I just feel the urge, and the timing is optimal as we have not just won any... or lost any either, recently.

That said, a few are bubbling, hence prompting the ponder.

At the end of the day, why the heck enter? I guess it boils down basically to three main areas: ego, money... and PR (which really means serving the first two).

And what does it cost? Basically, time (always) and money (usually). But then there are a few other factors in the mix, and which should not be forgotten, namely reputation and... waaaay too often, blood pressure. These things can't half wind you up, especially if you have invested a lot in entering.

For fairly simple reasons, we seldom enter anything that costs. As an ex-ad man I have also got a lot fussier about the brief (or criteria) than I used to, and now, thanks to a few major 'Huh???'s' have got a lot more picky based on the organisers and especially the judges.

Money is a great excluder, especially when it comes to talent. You can have no talent and lots of money, and enter almost anything you fancy. You can have oodles of talent and no money and find your options are much more restricted.

And let's not forget awards are big business, from entries to galas, so those who organise are always going to be conscious of where the money comes from. And will be keen to keep it coming.

A lot is therefore down to the guidance to, and integrity of judges.

But these days there is even more, and that is their qualifications. In many 'people's choice' awards there can be no more egalitarian choice of judge than the people, but once celebrity laypersons get in there odd things can happen.

It's not so important in something that is still about, say creativity and how it plays to the public, but of late I have had to wonder what BB reject or supermodel has by way of insight into an invention. It's all become a bit too cosy, and clubby, especially when money is in the mix.

As a few Junkk and RE:tie advisers have pointed out, awards are nice, but you can't eat them, so prioritising which will lead to the next meal is probably a good idea. So from now on I'll try and leap more with my head than my heart.

AWARD - Green Awards 2008

WHEN: 10 Sept 2008
WHAT: Green Awards for Creativity in Sustainability
WHAT... MORE?: Green Awards were set up to recognise and reward creative work that communicates the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility, sustainable development and ethical best practice in any sector and across any marketing discipline.
HOW MUCH: £75 + VAT if you are wee, £250 if you could care less on the fee
URL: http://www.greenawards.co.uk/about/background
COMMENTS: You pays yer money and you take your chances. No doubt winning something is good for PR. We will not be entering. The fee, even for a small sME, is a lot. We also have our doubts on the set-up having entered (and paid) in the first year in the sub-budget sector and found our entry 'amalgamated at the discretion of the jury' with mega-bucks projects. And, sadly, awards outfits know where the big fees come from. Seeing highly creative eco-marketing sidelined in favour of blu-chip and LA greentosh campaigns, especially multi-piece DM packs, was more than we could stomach.

NEWS/Commercial PR - Water, water, not as everywhere as it could

Two things. Water is becoming a key aspect of our planetary future. Where it is... and isn't. Where it can be used. Or can't.

Second, as the first company to upload their product data to our second use ideas section, we have a soft spot for ecover.

They tend to walk the walk as much as (and often before) they talk the talk. So their press releases on matters eco tend to actually be worth something. All the more so when it goes hand in hand with charity. This one looks well worth supporting.

So, E&OE....


Ecover has launched a three-year partnership with international charity WaterAid. This partnership supports a project in Ethiopia, providing sustainable and ongoing access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene education.

Ecover and WaterAid share the objective to provide effective, sustainable solutions for the hygienic needs of people around the world, and it is this common interest that has led to the formation of the partnership. This is the first time WaterAid has worked with a business where both parties are actively working together to drive change.

The partnership will focus on the area of Hintalo Wajerat in the Tigray region where only 22% of the population currently has access to safe water and just 6% have access to adequate sanitation. More shocking is the fact that 17 out of every 100 children will die before they reach their fifth birthday. On completion of the project 14,750 people across eleven villages in the region will have access to safe water and effective sanitation.

From the end of June the partnership will be promoted on 1.5 million Ecover products across 10 lines.