15 Addy Categories for Collateral, WTF!?

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We are just back from the annual DC Addys. And did quite well, thank you very much. Overall, we took home 14 gold and silver awards this year in pretty much every category-TV, radio, print, collateral, interactive and mixed media campaign. As usual, it was a fun evening of schmoozing and boozing. (see the video)

I’ve always been a fan of award shows. They’re the only way to see what everyone else is doing and measure yourself against the best work out there. But I’ve always felt they tend to reinforce what’s been done before when they should be rewarding the stuff that’s really new and innovative. Especially at a time when technology and social networking are changing our industry on a daily basis.

But clearly, the Addys (and by extension the AAF who makes the rules for the competition nationally) haven’t gotten the message yet. Case in point. Despite a very cool text-messaging theme to this year’s show, there wasn’t a single mobile-based campaign among the winners. In fact, there wasn’t even a category for it. WTF? And what about social media? Again, no category for it. A quick perusal of the call for entries shows one catchall category titled “Non-traditional”. One category for any idea involving mobile, word of mouth, web apps, social networking, guerilla etc. By contrast, there are 15 categories for collateral.15!?

How can you honor the best, most cutting edge work when the show is so tilted towards traditional media? Our agency is trying to harness these new forms of communication everyday. We challenge our clients to embrace change and lean forward along with us. We don’t always succeed, but we’re determined to get there.

As much as I love the Addys, I wish they would join us in the effort.