With all the hype surrounding the Cannes award show at the moment, I can't help but wonder – would real-life award shows do better to follow the Award School method of presenting ideas on their own merit? *
Working in the advertising industry I have seen the huge scale of work that goes into preparing submissions for all manner of award shows throughout the year. Every other week there are people frantically trying to get hype reels finished, or printing off massive foam core boards, all so that the work that has already been completed can be shown off in a more fancy way, thus gaining an edge when tired judges are trying to choose winners. But is this process actually helping judges make an informed decision, or is it more about throwing money at a mediocre idea to try and make it look more impressive?
Award School teaches young creatives that the strength of their work is all in the big idea. The very reason that we were told to hand-draw our ideas is so that no one gets an advantage by being able to brilliantly photoshop their work, or try to cover a bland idea with the distraction of pretty bells and whistles. The amount of money and time that agencies throw at award entries could be dramatically reduced, and at the same time it would bring us back to the main principle of great advertising – it's all about the big idea. Do you think this model could work in the future?
*Clearly this hypothetical would not apply to craft-based awards.