I enter the pre-drinks foyer wearing AWARD's
high fashion paper wrist band. I'm Armand. A passionate wanker (aka
director) and this year I have a finalist in the Film & Video
category, so I'm invested. I look around and note the hopeful glint in
the eyes of my peers, who tonight are my competition. They're thinking
what I'm thinking: I hope this doesn't run as long as last year. Despite
holding AWARD in the highest regard, we gotta whinge about something.
Because advertising is replete with first world problems. Or maybe it's
cause we need to take the edge off. If you're a finalist, you pass it
off casually - nobody likes a gloater. If you're not, you pass it off
casually. Nobody likes a sore loser.
So the awards begin, and
some great work gets duly rewarded. Exciting stuff. But as much as I
enjoy clapping every 45 seconds for someone else's moment of glory, I
found myself sifting through the booklet, counting how many more awards
before my category comes up. Like watching Bold and The Beautiful, I
occasionally tune in to see what's happening.
Oh, Palau Pledge won another award. So happy for you guys. Hey, there's
those good-looking guys who did Stop The Horror, heading down the
stairs...again. An award should have gone to the category title, Best
New Product Launch and Re-Launch or Multi-Product Promotion at Retail.
Flick flick flick, 4 pages of awards to go.
By the time my
category came around I knew I wasn't going to win. I was unconsciously
applying reverse psychology on fate to influence a decision. And
suddenly they're announcing GOLD and my little "tomato sauce" spot for
marriage equality, wins a Gold.
I puff out my chest, head down
the stairs thinking, this is it! Armand de Saint- Salvy from //Thirteen
& Co is the next big thing. But by the time I got on stage and
accepted the award, I realised, no-one is looking at me. Hundreds of my
peers are watching my work on the big screen. Now that, is cool. When
else would this ever happen? So I extricated my cranium from my rectus
and conceded that this wasn't about me. It's about the work. And that's
how it should be.
The major awards are handed out, some very
talented and deserving people get pencils of colour deep into the
rainbow. And then we all head back into the foyer. Now what? Yabbering.
Drinking. Lots of tall people. It wasn't hard to miss the sharp gold
pencil in my hand, and it was too heavy to conceal in my pocket. Should I
have also donned a novelty sized foam pointing hand and spruiked my
success at the after party? Probably. Instead, I talked to a few lovely
people then went home. At 10pm. I woke up the next morning refreshed and
clear headed. I'm so not advertising.
Winning at AWARD is great.
Peer recognition is always welcomed and time invested by the judges to
consider our work, is much appreciated. But at the end of the day, the
winner was the same creative entity, prior to winning. A pointy pencil,
that could double as a gold-plated shiv, doesn't actually change your
ability. Whilst your brand stakes have just risen, unless you actually
care about developing your craft as a creative entity, you risk being
this year's smashed avo. Popular until people realise the hype doesn't
match the offering.
Armand de Saint-Salvy is available for commercial work through production collective //Thirteen & Co.