The Business of Awards
Last week, my wife, Peggy, and I schlepped into New York for an awards luncheon.
Peggy and I were each honorees at different times, and feel that attending is something that we should do to support the organization. The VIP reception started at 10:30 a.m., and the Grey Goose vodka was free. And even though it blows my tight writing schedule sky high, we see a bevy of chums from the good old days.
That said, I will never again attend this event and will be very choosy about future awards ceremonies, even though I thoroughly enjoyed the early a.m. white eye-openers on the rocks.
That Mortality Thing
In the middle of consuming chicken and broccoli during what was billed as a happy occasion, all of us were called to order, whereupon four speakers trudged to the microphone to remind us of four colleagues who had died during the year, and then proceeded to deliverer eulogies. One even touted a scholarship fund and asked for money.
I needed a drink badly, but the bar was closed.
The Awards Thing
When I was (relatively) young and on the make in terms of getting ahead in my career, I was thrilled to be invited to judge entries sent for consideration to the John Caples Awards and the ECHO Awards, which are sponsored by the Direct Marketing Association.
Somewhere along the line, my mentor, the great Axel Andersson—who has forgotten more about direct mail than I will ever know—analyzed the winners of these two prestigious awards. Andersson discovered that only a tiny fraction of these direct marketing efforts were ever mailed a second time.
What started off as genuine attempts to acknowledge excellence had disintegrated into a bunch of rich agencies submitting their flashiest work, lying outrageously about the results, and giving each other awards to decorate their waiting rooms and impress prospective clients.