Last few years have seen a remarkable change in the advertising industry in Sri Lanka. Starting from the Brand Mantra to AdFest, and a few international awards, there’s a new awakening in the air. We see Sri Lankan agencies beginning to win in Asia, and beyond.
The taste of success is a good thing. Hunger to win more, is even better.
But, along with this sudden awakening, there looms a danger. Are we winning for the sake of winning or are we doing some brilliant “advertising” work that truly deserves accolades in gold?
Winning awards is not that difficult, especially in the “Print: Single” Category. For example, here’s one easy way to bag a metal: pick a pro-bono client, sell your one-off idea, use the media-muscle to strike a deal with a magazine or a paper and you are on your way to glory. Its pretty much like photo-captioning: you have an idea or a visual in your head and all you do is find a brand that fits. One off, one award, and forget the client. Its like the ethical version of what Triad did with the Daily Mirror and the ‘umbrellas’ to win at the inaugural Chillies.
Could this approach add a metal to you mantle? Yes, most likely. Would it move the goods off the shelf? I doubt it very much.
Lots of agencies around the world, and quite a lot of creatives too, choose this path in the beginning to launch themselves. Some evolve from that point and become brilliant creatives while some remain rogues. A rare few, become brilliant rogues.
Knowing Sri Lanka, I can confidently guess where we could end up. Some international awards, huge ego’s and the death of brand building. I just hope that clients and media wouldn’t fall prey to agencies that are trying to win a few awards by hook or crook, on their account.
“Sham-awards” could be the next cancer that kills the originality and creativity – because unlike “sham-ads,” these are even harder to detect.
Winning awards is a good thing. Winning awards while selling goods is the best thing. That's what should be on our agenda - because that’s the right thing to do, and that's the ethical thing to do.