‘Stay hungry, stay fresh’

29-04-2015 (07:39) - Gastcolumn

Awards. Where I work, we keep them in a cabinet in the toilets. They’re also scattered casually around the building, repurposed into more useful roles. Some prop up books, others hold down papers and there’s a couple keeping doors open. Others have been mangled, remodeled and reimagined.  Here, no award is sacred. No piece of plastic and metal is revered and idolized, regardless of colour. Which is how it should be, because awards are for work that has been done. Pitched, created, polished, successful work – but, inescapably, work from the past. In this game we call advertising, what you hang onto is what holds you back. So why seek these shiny things if their value is so transient? (Well, obviously they can enhance your bottom line considerably I’m aiming for a life-lesson here; something beyond avarice.)
When I was first starting out as a creative, I went to few lectures from an ‘Advertising Legend’. A man with a star-studded career penning epic TV spots that entranced the minds of Australians. Its catch cry became vernacular. A spectacular series of ads for pantyhose that today few would remember. However 1984 was his year; he’d collected the complete set of awards. And throughout his lectures it became clear that this year of triumph was where, creatively at least, he had resolutely remained. 
Never be that guy. Stay in motion. 
You win an award? Celebrate it and everything it represents. A win is a proud marker on your personal timeline, a peak moment. It says – hell yes, you made it. You stayed the course. You went with your gut and fought the good fight. You protected your idea through rounds of naysayers and non-believers. You brought it into the world relatively unscathed and produced the best work of your career – up to this point in time. As a result you’ve emerged a better, stronger, wiser creative. You and your team are tighter, battle-proven. And your clients doubt you a lot less. Well, to your face at least. 
Winning a creative award is a success to revel in for all the above reasons.  All I’m saying is, celebrate your hard-won shiny thing, then set it aside. Avoid the temptation to rest too long on your newfound laurels. Put it in the bathroom, garden or anywhere out of sight, and don’t look back. Stay hungry, stay fresh. Don’t be that pantyhose guy.

In juni is het weer tijd voor de Cannes Lions. In de maanden naar het festival toe zullen de ambassadeurs van de Orange Lions, juryleden en andere gastschrijvers hun licht schijnen op reclame, marketing en design en vooral: wat kunnen de Nederlandse creatieven in Cannes bereiken? Vandaag is het woord aan Genevieve Hoey, Creative Director van Wieden + Kennedy en jurylid Cyber bij de Cannes Lions 2015.


Genevieve Hoey, Creative Director Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam


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