Creative Director Chris Skelton spoke to Creative Review to share his view on the value of awards.
The design and advertising industry has a plethora of award schemes. Here we examine what part they play in the industry and in the success of creative businesses.
There’s a quotation widely attributed to the composer Sibelius: “Pay no attention to what critics say. There has never been a statue in honour of a critic.” Someone else also once said: “All anybody needs to know about prizes is that Mozart never won one.” Both valid points, so why then, in an industry that celebrates creativity, should we care so much about winning awards?"
Chris Skelton commented:
“We have seen no tangible business benefit to entering or winning awards,” says Chris Skelton, co-owner and creative director of digital design agency Thompson, “they’re not a total waste of time but we’re entering fewer and fewer and they’re certainly not a major part of our strategy.”
He also believes that, by and large, clients aren’t interested, apart from in certain, high-profile award schemes. “With larger client organisations who have bigger internal design teams and in-house teams who take design seriously, the bigger awards do stand for something in new business engagements,” he says. “In those cases we’re talking Cannes, D&AD, maybe DBA Design Effectiveness in certain circles – if you’re winning those kinds of awards and you’re working with business with those kinds of teams, then maybe it’s more worthwhile.”
He adds: “There seem to be so many in that lower and mid tier that feel much easier to win, so they’re standing for less and less, and it becomes all about the back-slapping.”