The McCann Time Capsule: The Timeless (at least since 1973) Case for Creative Awards
This has been a stunning award-winning week at the Cannes Lions Festival with McCann New York, MRM//McCann and McCann Health all winning Grand Prix awards for the first time. And these have come on top of the many other Gold, Silver and Bronze Lions won by these and lots of other McCann Worldgroup agencies throughout the world.
What else is there to say? That creative awards do matter to clients as well as to agencies, and that, even if they don’t directly correlate with sales effectiveness, they do reflect the ability to connect with consumers.
But wait, this case has been cogently made before, as conveyed in the pictured 1973 McCann trade ad when the agency that year won the most TV awards at the Clios.
Headlined, “‘Awards don’t mean a damn thing. . .’ as long as you win them,” here is the body copy, worth quoting at length:
“Last week McCann-Erickson walked off with seven of the final television awards in the Clio competition. More than any other agency. And for clients like Coca-Cola and Sears and Del Monte.
“Over the years, our clients have come to expect the awards. (Even some of their competitors have called to congratulate us.) And to those who say, ‘Awards don’t mean a damn thing,’ we say that’s just not true.
“It’s true that awards for advertising don’t necessarily reflect the ability of a commercial or a particular print advertisement to sell. That depends on marketing strategy, too—and the judges are not picked to judge a commercial or ad on that basis. But what is true is that 250 executives, and none from McCann by the way, can sit down and decide which advertising over the year best communicates with and relates to the consumer. Because that’s half the battle in advertising.
“And we know the writers and art directors and producers we have. So we don’t think it’s an accident that we walked off with so many Clios. Or a few Andys last week. Or three out of the eight television gold medals in last year’s Art Directors Show. And for as wide a range of clients as Coca-Cola and the New York Racing Association and Del Monte and Sears and two of our international clients—the Cheese Information Center and Look Now Magazine.
“So as we saw our cleaning lady’s face as she shined all those awards last night, we thought that maybe the way we got to be the second largest advertising agency in the world was by being the most creative agency. It’s a nice feeling. And we’d like to share it with you.