TL;DR : We won some awards at the Addys, enlightenment ensues.
This past weekend our agency had a stunning experience at this year’s American Advertising Awards, the annual ceremony where creativity’s effectiveness, judged by folks we respect & recognize, is acknowledged and ultimately rewarded for excellence.
Now that it’s been a few days, I’ve had a bit of time to try and understand what that night signifies for our team, processing how we got here, and looking forward to where we’re headed. I apologize in advance for the windy road below and appreciate the time your eyeballs are on loan to these words….
This year’s Addy awards yielded us the type of acknowledgement that gravity sort of pushes down onto you like humid air…a blissful, nervous, overwhelming, ultimately self-conscious state of being where you aren’t sure what to do or say, how to feel or what to make of it.
We ultimately won eight awards (listed below in order of category – client – award):
- Sales Kit – Marzio – Silver Addy Award
- Collateral Materials – Metz Culinary “Our Recipe” Employee Guide – Silver Addy Award
- Packaging Campaign – Electric City Roasting Co. Cold Label Packaging – Gold Addy Award
- Branded Content Entertainment Campaign – Breaking Benjamin Social Teaser Video Campaign – Gold Addy Award
- Digital Self Promotion – Posture Interactive Company Website – Gold Addy Award
- Judge’s Choice – Electric City Roasting Co. Cold Label Packaging
- People’s Choice – Electric City Roasting Co. Cold Label Packaging
- Best in Show – Breaking Benjamin Social Teaser Video Campaign
Validation is Nice.
To a certain extent, falling into the category of recognition for anything that we put out the door makes me do a double take. Years and years ago when we formed this little strange-brew human triad of a designer, a programmer + and a business director, we had no idea how we were going to *do* anything.
We didn’t have much, but we had what we needed.
We had a strong, rapidly evolving knowledge base of core design and development beliefs and best “practices” with the chops to back it up. We had a deep, neural understanding of the need to execute the client’s vision in their best interest no matter what, and ultimately how to build the foundation of long-term, healthy business relationships.
We built Posture culture-first. I don’t care how freakishly talented some rock star developer is. If they are an asshole, I don’t want to be around them a bazillion hours a day (and I certainly don’t want to make cool shit with them). If we can we have a conversation that produces something meaningful, and the skillset is chasing close behind, we’ll gladly cultivate that mindset and grow *with* you. The rest is cake: Just don’t be a dick.
This many years later, I never dreamed I would be so fortunate to have had the opportunity to hire and surround myself with such talented people that are just…*better* than me in every sense of the word: I’m made aware & encouraged every day to be a better artist & builder & thinker, to develop more tasteful business acumen, and to strive to actually become the person I’m prone to convince myself I think I am.
I get to work and grow with these incredibly talented people every day to produce some of the most creative, challenging, and engaging solutions our clients have come to know and depend on us for.
It was only after I ran this dialogue back in my head (quite a few times) that I was able to get a grip on why people put so much weight on being validated and why it matters.
When I wrap a project, if I’m cool with it and it has met or exceeded the client’s business objectives, that’s as far as I can let myself define a “success” for our team. Taking some time the past few days to dig into how I reflect on work we complete, more often than not at some uncomfortably blistering pace, makes me think I need to be open to understanding and accepting validation more in general.
We work in an incredibly competitive, feverishly paced industry. These awards represent projects that span the breadth of our core competencies and were in some way or another touched by every single team member doing the best that they possibly could to help make our clients successful.
I realize now that these awards signify that *in addition* to meeting our client’s goals and helping write their success story, our work is being appreciated by other creative talent in our industry as well…peers that understand the hustle and what good hard work is when you see it.
If this is what feeling validated is like, sign me up all day.
Recognition is Humbling.
This speaks for itself, but we are truly humbled to have been recognized to this degree by the American Advertising Federation. A jury of fellow creatives singling out our work out of the battering ram of submissions is incredibly rewarding and we couldn’t be more grateful.
None of it really comes easy for any of us, and I’ll spare you the cliché agency nonsense masquerading as team-building or business growth …such gems as “Excellence is a habit”, or “you can’t choose which projects you go all in on or which you push through the pipe – go all in every time and be inspired!”……it’s all bullshit.
We’re a team and a family. We fight, bicker, bitch and moan. We burn ourselves out on the grandest of scales. We’re all incredibly guilty of not seeing beyond the closest Deadline o’Clock coming full throttle, but also staring it right down to not only our own mental nerve-endings but of those around us as well. It’s intense, it’s challenging, it’s relentless, and I wonder on occasion how we didn’t implode or collapse on ourselves completely by now…
Why is calling ourselves out like this so important? Humility. It’s all rooted in Posture’s commitment to getting the absolute best solution for the visions and goals that we are fortunate enough to be trusted with by our clients.
I lose sight of that, and we just need to remind ourselves every now and again that we are never pushing for the *wrong* solution, or the *easy* way out when it gets tough. We are pushing for the new, the best, the most abstract, the brightest…we’re pushing further.
We were recognized and rewarded for our take on the creative spirit of excellence in the art of advertising.
I can’t tell you how proud that makes me to say, and with just a smidge less self-consciousness this time around the bend.
Let’s Push Further.
We look forward to what this year may bring, having the opportunity to be pushing new boundaries, exploring new tech, creating new types of content and solutions for our clients…virtual reality, 360° video, Blockchain development…the sky is the limit, and I’m looking for 2018 to be a pretty rad year.
About the American Advertising Awards/ADDYs
Conducted annually by the American Advertising Federation (AAF), the local chapter is the first of a three-tier, national competition. Concurrently, all across the country, local entrants vie to win ADDY Awards – recognition as the very best in their markets.
All local Golds get automatically forwarded to the second tier where they compete against winners from other local clubs in one of 15 district competitions. District ADDY winners are then forwarded to the third tier, the national stage of the American Advertising Awards.
The ADDYs is the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition, annually attracting more than 40,000 entries.